Monday, April 15, 2024

A Mother's Complaint Leads To A Lawyer's Disbarment

The Louisiana Supreme Court disbarred an attorney following his arrest on drug and weapons charges

On June 24, 2021, the ODC received a disciplinary complaint from respondent’s mother, Janet Mollere, advising of the arrest. Mrs. Mollere also alleged that respondent “needs help, most likely mental & to get drug free.” Respondent failed to respond to notice of the complaint.

However, on August 20, 2021, respondent did provide the ODC with a signed authorization to release his records from the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program (“JLAP”). Respondent’s JLAP records revealed that, on July 28, 2021, he
entered Palmetto Addiction Recovery Center for inpatient treatment. On August 18, 2021, after only twenty-two days of treatment, respondent left Palmetto against medical advice. Before respondent stopped treatment, Palmetto diagnosed him with the following:
• Alcohol Use Disorder, Severe
• Cocaine Use Disorder, Severe
• Opioid Use Disorder, Severe
• Amphetamine Use Disorder, Severe
• Sedative hypnotic Use Disorder, Severe
• Generalized Anxiety
• Insomnia
• Hypertension
• Lumbar disc disease

Palmetto’s recommendation was that respondent immediately complete a long-term inpatient treatment program and then sign a five-year JLAP recovery agreement.

There were also complaints concerning two client matters.

during his sworn statement, respondent admitted that he had used cocaine with a client prior to and on the day of his June 15, 2021 arrest and that the factual narrative contained in the arrest record was substantially accurate. Respondent also admitted that he converted between $30,000 and $40,000 of his parents’ money to fuel his “continuing [drug] use.” 

Based on default

we will adopt the committee’s recommendation and disbar respondent, retroactive to the date of his interim suspension. We will further order respondent to make full restitution to Mr. Johnson and/or the Client Assistance Fund, as well as to his parents, Ms. Becnel, and RPC.

(Mike Frisch)

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2024/04/the-louisiana-supreme-court-x-following-an-attorneys-arrest-on-drug-and-weapons-charges-on-june-24-2021-the-odc-received-a.html

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