These lawyers were the subject of Louisiana Supreme Court disciplinary orders or Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board recommendations published during the month of August 2022.
Louisiana Supreme Court
- Jeffery F. Speer. The court granted a petition for transfer to disability inactive status deferring disciplinary proceedings against him until he resumes active status.
- Koby Dean Boyett. The court granted a petition for interim suspension for threat of harm suspending respondent from the practice of law pending further orders.
- Karen Ruth Carter-Peterson. The court granted a petition for interim suspension and ordered the institution of necessary disciplinary proceedings.
- Stephen T. Sylvester. The court granted a joint petition for transfer to disability inactive status deferring disciplinary proceedings against him until he resumes active status.
- Edmond H. Knoll. The court granted the respondent’s request for the permanent resignation from the practice of law in lieu of discipline. The court further ordered that the respondent be permanently prohibited from practicing law in any jurisdiction and from seeking admission or readmission to the practice of law in any jurisdiction. The respondent advised JLAP and the ODC that he will no longer participate in JLAP monitoring in accordance with the terms of his previously granted petition for consent discipline.
Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board
- Andre R. Belanger. The board dismissed the formal charges filed against the respondent by the ODC alleging violation of Rule 7.7(c) of the Rules of Professional Conduct regarding the evaluation of advertisements. The board determined that the ODC did not meet its burden of proving the respondent’s Super Lawyers advertisement was disseminated in violation of Rule 7.7(c). The board found that the advertisement appeared only in the Super Lawyers print magazine that was distributed only to lawyers and was therefore exempt from the pre-filing requirement per Rule 7.8(d).
- Michael C. Palmintier. The board dismissed the formal charges filed against the respondent by the ODC alleging violation of Rule 7.7(c) of the Rules of Professional Conduct regarding the evaluation of advertisements. The board determined that the hearing committee’s finding of a violation was erroneous as it appeared to be based on an allegation first raised by the ODC during the hearing and therefore deprived respondent of fair notice of misconduct. The board further found that the advertisement in question, which appeared in Super Lawyers and was distributed to other lawyers, was exempt from the pre-filing requirement per Rule 7.8(d).
- DanMinh Quy Mui. The board recommended a one-year suspension, fully deferred, along with a probationary period to coincide with his two-year JLAP monitoring agreement. The board found that the respondent violated Rule 8.4(c) of the Rules of Professional Conduct when he engaged in criminal conduct by driving while intoxicated. The board did not find a violation of Rule 8.1(c) regarding failure to cooperate with the ODC as the respondent had followed through with his agreement with the ODC to undergo JLAP evaluation.
- W. James Singleton. The board recommended that the respondent be disbarred for violating Rules 1.5(c), 1.15(a), 1.15(d), 8.1(a), 8.4(a), and 8.4(c) of the Rules of Professional Conduct. The board also recommended that the respondent make restitution to his former client in the amount of $6,680.80. The respondent failed to timely and accurately disburse funds to his client following the settlement of his client’s auto accident case.
- Michael Treaman Bell. The board recommended disbarment for the respondent’s violations of Rules 1.3, 1.4, 1.15, 5.5(a), 8.1(c), 8.4(a), 8.4(c) and 8.4(d). The board adopted the Hearing Committee’s recommendation that the respondent be prohibited from seeking readmission for no less than five years from the date of finality of the judgment in this matter. The respondent engaged in the unauthorized practice of law by knowingly representing multiple clients while disbarred. The respondent additionally failed to return unearned fees and failed to cooperate with the ODC in its investigation.
LADB Hearing Committees
- Amanda G. Clark. Hearing Committee #27 recommended that the court suspend the respondent from the practice of law for one year and one day. The respondent neglected legal matters, failed to reasonably communicate with her client, failed to timely file an appeal of an adverse judgment against her client, and abandoned her client in litigation without protecting its interests. Additionally, the respondent failed to cooperate with the ODC in its investigation. In so doing, the respondent violated Rules 1.1(a), 1.3, 1.4(a), 1.4(b), 8.1(c), 8.4(c), and 8.4(d).
- Christopher Gross. Hearing Committee #49 recommended permanent disbarment. The respondent repeatedly accepted client payments for services he did not render, diverted clients from his employer to himself, engaged in fraudulent conduct, and failed to cooperate with the ODC in its investigation. Additionally, the respondent engaged in the unauthorized practice of law while ineligible due to failure to comply with MCLE requirements. In doing so, the respondent violated Rules 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5(c), 1.15(a), 5.5, 8.1(b), 8.1(c), and 8.4(a-c) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
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