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 January 2018.
Louisiana Supreme Court
- Ali Zito Sheilds. The court reinstated the petitioner to the practice of law. The court previously suspended the petitioner for a period of one year and one day for instructing a client to forge petitioner’s name on court pleadings, failing to return a client file, failing to provide accountings to clients, and failing to refund unearned fees.
- Joshua Paul Melder. The court suspended the respondent for one year and one day, with six months deferred. The court imposed a five-year period of probation and required the execution of a JLAP recovery agreement. The respondent was previously arrested and booked for domestic abuse battery and resisting an officer.
- Timon V. Webre. The court suspended the respondent for one year and one day, fully deferred and followed by supervised probation of one year. The court also orded the respondent to complete the LSBA’s Trust Accounting School and the LSBA’s Law Office Management Assistant Program, and to submit quarterly trust account statements for review by the ODC. The respondent neglected a legal matter, failed to communicate with a client, and failed to return an unearned fee.
- Michael David Cox. The court suspended the respondent on an interim basis in response to a Petition for Interim Suspension for Threat of Harm filed by the ODC.
- Charles D. Jones. The court readmitted the petitioner to the practice of law, subject to an unsupervised probationary period of three years. During this probationary period, the petitioner must provide evidence to the ODC that he is making monthly restitution payments, monthly IRS payments, and monthly payments to the Louisiana Department of Revenue. The petitioner was previously convicted of one felony count of tax evasion, and two felony counts of making a false tax return.
- James A. Gray, II. The court suspended the respondent for one year to be followed by a one-year period of probation. The respondent was previously suspended for two years.
- Joseph G. Pastorek, II. The cout permanently disbarred the respondent after a federal conviction for conspiracy to dispense Schedule IV controlled substances while employed as a physician for a pain clinic.
Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board
- Louise Anne Klaila. The board recommended the imposition of a year-and-a-day suspension and that the respondent make restitution to her client. The respondent neglected a client matter, failed to communicate with a client, failed to account for fees, failed to return unearned fees, and misused her client trust account.
- George Martin Gates, IV. The board recommended the imposition of a six-month suspension, fully deferred and subject to probation. The respondent failed to diligently represent his client, charged improper fees, failed to cooperate with the ODC, and engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.
- Wiley J. Beevers. The board publicly reprimanded the respondent for negligently filing a motion directly adverse to another client.
- Juan Carlos Labadie. The board recommended that the respondent be disbarred, that the respondent pay restitution to his client, and refund fees to another client. The respondent made false statements regarding the qualifications or integrity of a judge, failed to timely file client matters, failed to comply with a malpractice settlement, and failed to provide accounting or refund of unearned fees.
LADB Hearing Committees
- Salvadore R. Perricone. Hearing Committee #55 left the record open for the ODC to subpoena forms from the federal government that are needed for the maintenance of the respondent’s top secret security clearance. The committee granted ODC and the respondent thirty days after the return of the subpoena to submit post hearing briefs. The respondent, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, made inappropriate anonymous postings on the New Orleans Times-Picayune’s website.
- Tyrone F. Watkins. Hearing Committee #09 recommended the three-month suspension of the respondent, entirely deferred, conditioned upon reimbursement to his client and working with LSBA’s Practice Assistance Counsel to create a proper law office management program emphasizing client communications. The committee concluded that the respondent’s conduct included violations of diligence, reasonable communication, termination of representation, and return of fees owed to a client.
- George Martin Gates, IV. Hearing Committee #14 recommended the public reprimand of the respondent. The respondent negligently represented two clients, and failed to pay fees required to be eligible to practice law.
- Gregory Timothy Discon. Hearing Committee #62 recommended that the respondent be disbarred, evaluated through the JLAP program, and sign a contract for five years of monitoring by JLAP. The respondent had a long history of cocaine addiction, illegally converted client funds, fraudulently created pleadings and invoices, and forged a judge’s signature.