January 2020 Discipline

These lawyers were the subject of Louisiana Supreme Court disciplinary orders or Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board recommendations published during the month of January 2020.

Louisiana Supreme Court

  1. Donald R. Dobbins. The court suspended the respondent for one year and one day. The respondent failed to provide competent representation to clients, neglected legal matters, failed to communicate with clients, failed to refund unearned fees and unused costs, failed to properly, supervise his non-lawyer staff, resulting in false affidavits being filed in the court record, failed to reduce a contingency fee agreement to writing, forged client signatures on settlement checks, and failed to place disputed funds in his trust account. In so doing, the respondent violated Rules 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5(a), 1.5(c), 1.15(e), 3.3(a)(1), 3.3(a)(3), 5.3(b), and 8.4(a).
  2. David Gardner Deblieux. The court suspended the respondent for one year. The respondent engaged in conduct that satisfied the elements of the crimes of unauthorized entry into an inhabited dwelling, domestic abuse battery, simple battery, and simple criminal damage to property. In so doing, the respondent violated Rules 8.4(a) and 8.4(b).
  3. Christopher Alexander Gross. The court suspended the respondent on an interim basis pending further orders of the court. The court issued no reasons for so doing. 
  4. James A. Dukes. The court suspended the respondent on an interim basis pending further orders of the court. The court issued no reasons for so doing. 
  5. Paul John Barker. The court transferred the respondent to disability inactive status pursuant to a joint petition. The court issued no reasons for so doing. 
  6. John Christopher Alexander. The court suspended the respondent on an interim basis pending further orders of the court. The court issued no reasons for so doing. The Baton Rouge Advocate reports that Mr. Alexander was arrested in December 2019.
  7. Louella P. Givens-Harding. The court permanently disbarred the respondent. The respondent engaged in an insurance-fraud scheme by which she defrauded Medicare of $575,450.07. In so doing, the respondent violated Rules 8.4(a), 8.4(b), and 8.4(c). 
  8. John E. Settle, Jr. The court granted the request of the respondent for permanent resignation. The respondent allegedly engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. 
  9. Nicholas Anderson Hall. The court suspended the respondent for six months, followed by a one-year period of unsupervised probation pursuant to a joint petition for consent discipline. The respondent allegedly practiced law while ineligible to do so. 

Louisiana Attorney Discipline Board

  1. Candace P. Howay. The board recommended that the court suspend the respondent for one year and one day and pay restitution in the amount of $3,000 to the complainant. The respondent neglected legal matters, failed to provide competent representation, and failed to refund unearned fees, among other violations. In so doing, the respondent violated Rules 1.1, 1.3, 1.4(a), 1.4(b), 1.5(f)(5), 5.5(a), 8.1(b), 8.1(c), 8.4(a), and 8.4(c).
  2. Akello Patrice Dangerfield. The board recommended that the court permanently disbar the respondent. The respondent converted over $120,000 in client funds. In so doing, the respondent violated Rule 1.15(a)(d) and Rule 8.4 (a)(b)(c)(d).

LADB Hearing Committees

  1. Walter P. Reed. Hearing Committee #24 recommended that the court permanently disbar the respondent. The respondent was convicted of multiple counts of conspiracy to commit fraud while an elected district attorney. In so doing, the respondent violated Rules 8.4(a), (b), (c), and (d).
  2. Sedric E. Banks. Hearing Committee #3 recommended that the court suspend the respondent for one year. The respondent violated duties owed to his client but caused no actual harm. In so doing, the respondent violated Rules 1.5 and 1.9.
  3. Joseph Mayer, III. Hearing Committee #12 recommended that the court suspend the respondent for one year and one day. The respondent was involved in two separate vehicular accidents: driving with a black-out level blood-alcohol content, and a hit-and-run offense. In so doing, the respondent violated Rules 8.4 (a) and (b).
  4. Jeananne Roy Self. Hearing Committee #17 recommended that the board publicly reprimand the respondent. The respondent pleaded guilty to the crime of Possession of Marijuana, a crime that the respondent did not commit and that he pleaded guilty to protect a sibling. In so doing, the respondent violated Rule 8.4(b).
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