Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Reinstatement Granted

The Louisiana Supreme Court has conditionally reinstated a suspended attorney

On December 28, 2013, petitioner intentionally entered the home of S.S. and his wife, J.H., without authorization.  During her sworn statement to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel (“ODC”), petitioner acknowledged that she did not have express permission to enter the residence. Petitioner was arrested and charged with unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling, a felony. This charge was dropped as part of a plea bargain. On October 30, 2015, petitioner pleaded guilty to stalking and to violation of a protective order, both misdemeanors.

She was suspended on an interim basis and then for one year as final discipline.

The case drew attention from the New Orleans Advocate

A New Orleans lawyer who was caught inside a married couple’s Uptown home in October 2013 while they were on a trip, prompting a criminal complaint and revelations of a tryst between the two women, pleaded guilty Friday to misdemeanor counts of stalking and violating a protective order.

Trisha Ward, 37, received a six-month suspended sentence and two years of probation. She was ordered to undergo counseling and steer far clear of the couple, ending a two-year legal saga.

Because of her conviction, Ward also could face state sanctions against her law license.

Ward, who was admitted to the bar in 2008, picked up another charge last month when she was accused of making three purchases through using the female victim’s credit cards more than a year after her arrest. It was allegedly part of a pattern of misbehavior by Ward against the victim, a local university professor, after the initial charges were filed along with a stayaway order.

Ward had once been close to the couple, even baby-sitting for them, and she had a key to the couple’s home.

The New Orleans Advocate is not naming the victim.

She sat Friday in the courtroom with her husband as Ward sought to assure Criminal District Court Judge Tracey Flemings-Davillier she wouldn’t pester them. She told the judge she has left the city to avoid a chance run-in.

“I will stay as far away as possible,” Ward said.

 As part of the deal, Ward will undergo a psychological evaluation and counseling.

In a legal filing last year, Ward claimed she entered the couple’s home clandestinely so she could repay the professor without the husband learning about their fling.

“It was during her effort to return the money that Ward encountered another housekeeper,” Ward’s attorney wrote, claiming the professor chose to press charges rather than admit the tryst to her husband.

District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office agreed to reduce the illegal entry charge, a felony, to stalking, a misdemeanor, while dropping a count related to the online purchases.

The reinstatement order imposes several conditions. (Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink


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