Monday, November 11, 2013
The Louisiana Supreme Court has ordered a stayed two-year suspension of an attorney with treatment supervised by the Lawyer Assistance Program ("LAP").
One count involved the attorney's neglect of a claim by a former wife that her ex-husband had breached a confidentiality agreement.
He told the client that the reason for delay was that her former husband had a "spy" in the clerk's office. The client did not buy that story.
The attorney delayed in turning over the file and unearned retainer after he was fired.
The other count dealt with the attorney's alcohol problem. He was arrested for DWI and voluntarily entered treatment. He did not follow the recovery center's recommendation for ongoing treatment through the LAP program as he "didn't see any reason" to do so.
The bar learned of the conviction and also received a letter from a judge where the attorney was a public defender "concerning respondent's persistent use of alcohol."
The attorney then returned to his in-patient treatment and has fully complied with his LAP agreement.
The court majority found that probation with conditions was appropriate.
Justice Clark dissented and would require a period of actual suspension under the circumstances. (Mike Frisch)