Court Reinstates Suspended Lawyer With No-Solo-Practice Condition

lascIn an unusual rehearing order, the Louisiana Supreme Court reinstated suspended lawyer Robert A. Booth, Jr., with the condition that for a two-year probationary period he “may not operate a solo law practice, but rather, must be a salaried employee of a law firm.” The court further ordered that he have “no access to client funds” during the probationary period. See In re Robert A. Booth, Jr., No. 2015-OB-2008 (La. Mar. 24, 2016). Justices Clark and Crichton dissented. In 2009, the court suspended Booth for two years for failing to return unearned fees in two client matters, and for neglecting one of those matters.

In October 2015, a hearing committee of the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board recommended that the court reinstate Booth—subject to the condition that he “make timely payments to the Client Assistance Fund” (which had paid clients owed refunds by Booth). The court initially rejected the hearing committee’s recommendation, denied reinstatement, and ordered that Booth “not reapply for reinstatement until he has paid restitution and the costs of his prior disciplinary proceedings, or made good faith efforts to do both.” Why it changed course on rehearing is a mystery.

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