Friday, November 3, 2017

Reinstatement Favored For Disbarred Judge

The Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board recommends the reinstatement of a disbarred double-dipping judge

This is a readmission matter based upon the filing of a petition and application for readmission to the practice of law by William A. Roe ("Petitioner" or "Mr. Roe"), Louisiana Bar Roll Number 11384, a disbarred attorney and retired judge. In September 2009, Petitioner was found guilty of three counts of misdemeanor unauthorized use of a movable. He received a sentence of six months, with three months deferred, two hundred forty hours of community service, $1,500 in fines, and eighteen months active probation. The conviction was based upon the following facts: During the years 2005-2007, Mr. Roe attended LSBA judicial seminars in Sandestin, Florida. As a judge in Plaquemine Parish (25111 JDC), Mr. Roe had access to a "bond fund" from which he took advance funds to pay for his trip to Sandestin. Upon returning from Sandestin, Mr. Roe applied and received reimbursement for his expenses from the Louisiana Supreme Court. He did not use these reimbursement funds to pay back the "bond fund," resulting in him receiving double compensation for the same expenses. This conduct was discovered by a legislative auditor investigating other matters in the 25111 JDC.

The Board disagreed with the hearing committee and found the petitioner met all criteria

In concluding that Petitioner failed to demonstrate that he recognized the wrongfulness and seriousness of his conduct, the Committee appears to have taken a narrow view of Petitioner's testimony, ignoring that he has acknowledged the serious consequences of his conduct and his responsibility for it. However, the Board finds that the testimony above clearly demonstrates that Petitioner acknowledges that his actions were wrong, that they brought embarrassment upon the judiciary, and that he was responsible for them. Additionally, as further evidence that he recognizes the wrongfulness and seriousness of his conduct, Mr. Roe consented to disbarment for his criminal conduct, which means he accepted and acknowledged his criminal conduct and that it violated the Rules of Professional Conduct.

(Mike Frisch)

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