April 2017 Discipline

These lawyers were the subject of Louisiana Supreme Court disciplinary orders or Louisiana Attorney
Disciplinary Board recommendations that were made public during the month of April 2017.

Louisiana Supreme Court

  1. Channing J. Warner. The court granted an ODC petition to revoke probation, making the respondent’s deferred suspension for one year and one day executory immediately.  The respondent was suspended (all of which was initially deferred) in 2014 for neglecting client matters, commingling client funds, and failure to promptly deliver settlement funds to a client.  In granting deferment, the court required the respondent agree to probation with various restrictions and periodic updates. After signing the probation agreement, the respondent became ineligible to practice law on multiple occasions and became the subject of two disciplinary complaints.
  2. James Louis Fahrenholtz. The court disbarred the respondent and revoked his law license effective immediately.  In 2009, the respondent was suspended from the practice of law for a period of one year and one day for two separate charges but never sought reinstatement. In 2015, while working as a lobbyist, the respondent was arrested and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of possession of stolen goods.
  3. Lance Hac Nguyen.  The court prohibited the respondent from practicing law in Louisiana in any capacity for a period of one year.  The respondent was representing a criminal client in Louisiana pro hac vice and contacted the co-defendant without the authorization from the co-defendent’s lawyer. In addition, the respondent failed to cooperate with ODC’s investigation.
  4. James E. Moorman III. The court suspended the respondent for a period of three-years.  The respondent and ODC filed a joint stipulation in which the respondent acknowledged misconduct on 11 client complaints. During the three-month period that the violations occurred, the respondent was severely depressed and eventually entered a treatment facility. The various charges included: failure to return unearned fees, failure to zealously represent the clients, converting client funds for his own use, and failure to adequately supervise non-lawyer employees.
  5. Mark Anthony Johnson.  The court suspended the respondent from the practice of law for a period of one year and one day.  While a staff attorney with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, the respondent became ineligible to practice law for registration and MCLE deficiencies, yet continued to practice law. Furthermore, during its investigation the ODC discovered that the respondent had been arrested in 2012 for DWI.

Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board

  1. Greta L. Wilson. The Board recommended that the court disbar the respondent. The ODC brought two separate charges against the respondent based on two client matters.  In the first matter, the respondent filed a suit on behalf an individual without that individual’s consent or authorization.  She received funds on behalf of this client and tried to retain 1/3 of the funds based on a purported client relationship.  In the second matter, the respondent enrolled as counsel of another individual to receive funds held with the registry of a court. The respondent was not hired by the individual and converted the funds, later claiming she was hired by the individual’s brother.
  2. Micheal A. Betts. The Board recommend that the respondent be publicly reprimanded for failure to communicate with a client, failure to timely prosecute the client’s claim, and failure to deliver the client’s file when requested.
  3. Michael Thomas Joseph Jr. The Board publicly reprimanded the respondent and ordered him to attend the LSBA’s Trust Accounting School.  The respondent allowed several overdrafts in his client trust account and failed to cooperate with the ODC investigation.
  4. Thomas E. Campbell.  The Board recommended that ODC’s formal charges against the respondent be dismissed. The Board found that the respondent “committed ordinary malpractice, but he did not engage in any actions in addition to the malpractice which would serve as a basis for sanctions. Respondent has an unblemished record of practicing law that spans more than three decades. He made an error and he informed his client of this error. He has made restitution for any possible monetary harm. Considering the totality of the circumstances, the Board finds there is no sanctionable misconduct here and it is appropriate to dismiss the formal charges.”

LADB Hearing Committees

  1. John Morris Dunn, III. Hearing Committee #62 recommended that the respondent be disbarred for converting funds owed to third-party service providers.  In various personal injury actions, the respondent hired the same medical provider and failed to pay up to $75,000 in medical expenses from settlement proceeds.  The respondent’s health failed and he converted the $75,000 to pay personal medical bills instead.
  2. George Martin Gates IV. Hearing Committee #2 recommended that the respondent be publicly reprimanded and attend additional CLE courses based on two matters.  In the first matter, the respondent failed to timely and properly release the client file once requested.  In the second matter, the respondent sent a text message to alert a client that her case had been dismissed, failed to communicate with the client after repeated calls, and failed to respond to the opposing party’s motion for summary judgment.
  3. Ramsey T. Marcello. Hearing Committee #33 recommended the respondent be readmitted to the practice of law, subject to JLAP participation and monitoring.
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