December 2015 Discipline

Louisiana State SealThese lawyers were the subject of Louisiana Supreme Court disciplinary orders or Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board recommendations that were made public during the month of December 2015.

Louisiana Supreme Court

  1. Glay H. Collier, II. The court ordered that the respondent be suspended from the practice of law on an interim basis pursuant to Supreme Court Rule XIX, § 19.
  2. Richard Z. Johnson, Jr. The court ordered that the respondent be suspended from the practice of law on an interim basis pursuant to Supreme Court Rule XIX, § 19.
  3. Gregory Paul Hardy. The court ordered that the petitioner be immediately reinstated to the practice of law following an 18 month suspension. After considering a hearing committee report, to which neither party objected, the court found clear and convincing evidence that the petitioner complied with the reinstatement criteria.
  4. Charles R. Joiner. The court ordered that the respondent be suspended from the practice of law for thirty days. The respondent’s negligent supervision of his nonlawyer assistant facilitated her embezzlement of client funds. The respondent thereafter failed to make prompt restitution to remedy the consequences of his negligence. Said the court: “[a]lthough respondent may have been victimized by his assistant’s improper actions, the ethical rules and jurisprudence of this court impose an overarching duty on the lawyer to safeguard the funds of the lawyer’s clients.”
  5. Robert A. Booth, Jr. Although a hearing committee of the LADB unanimously recommended the petitioner’s reinstatement, the court denied reinstatement and held that the “[p]etitioner may not reapply for reinstatement until he has paid restitution and the costs of his prior disciplinary proceedings, or made good faith efforts to do so, but in no event until one year has passed from the date of this judgment.”

Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board

  1. Carla Ann Brown-Manning. The Board recommended that respondent be suspended from the practice of law for a year and a day. The respondent failed to diligently represent clients, failed to return unearned fees and the client files, and failed to cooperate with the ODC in its investigation. Among other things, the respondent neglected to complete a succession matter, and failed to file for an expungement (which compromised her client’s employment prospects). Further, she made no attempt to refund the fees that she was paid.

Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board Hearing Committees

  1. Randy J. Ungar. Hearing Committee No. 24 unanimously recommended that the petitioner be reinstated to the practice of law after finding that he met all requirements for reinstatement. The petitioner had been suspended for withholding information from his clients regarding a settlement in order to facilitate the collection of an excessive fee.
  2. E. Eric Guirard. Hearing Committee No. 14 unanimously recommended that the petitioner be reinstated to the practice of law. He had been disbarred for engaging in conflicts of interest, failing to supervise nonlawyer staff, engaging in impermissible fee-sharing with nonlawyers, and facilitating the unauthorized practice of law by nonlawyers.
  3. Hugh E. McNeely. Hearing Committee No.55 unanimously recommended that the respondent be suspended from the practice of law for a period of three years, with all but one year deferred. Respondent agreed to the voluntary dismissal of a client’s claim without the consent of the client, and he subsequently failed to communicate with the client or with ODC.
  4. Joslyn Reneee Alex. Hearing Committee No. 15 unanimously recommended that the respondent be reprimanded and required to attend continuing education concerning trust account management. The respondent failed to properly account for and remove fees from her trust account.
  5. Ronald Seastrunk. Hearing Committee No. 6 unanimously recommended that the respondent be publicly reprimanded for failing to disclose exculpatory evidence to defense counsel in a criminal case. More particularly, the respondent was unreasonable in following his supervisor’s instruction to withhold certain evidence and, as a result, was not eligible for the “safe harbor” provision of Rule 5.2(b).1
  1. The “safe harbor” in Rule 5.2 provides as follows: “A subordinate lawyer does not violate the Rules of Professional Conduct if that lawyer acts in accordance with a supervisory lawyer’s reasonable resolution of an arguable question of professional duty.” See La. Rules of Prof’l Cond. R. 5.2(b).
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