Court Suspends Former Judge from Practice of Law

King_GuiltyOn March 14, 2016, the Louisiana Supreme Court indefinitely suspended former Orleans Parish Juvenile Court judge Yolanda J. King from the practice of law. See In re Yolanda J. King, No. 2016-B-0331 (La. Mar. 14, 2016).

A New Orleans jury convicted King in November 2015 of deliberately filing false campaign documents and submitting a false address to qualify for her judicial office. The state proved at trial that she falsely claimed New Orleans residency when she actually lived in Slidell.

Although King received a probationary sentence, Louisiana Supreme Court Rule XIX § 19 requires the immediate suspension of any lawyer convicted of a “serious crime.” The term “serious crime” includes “a felony or any other crime, the necessary element of which as determined by the statute defining such crime, reflects upon the attorney’s moral fitness to practice law.” See La. Sup. Ct. R. XIX § 19(B).

In the months to come, the court will decide whether Ms. King’s violation of Rule 8.4(b) will result in her continued suspension or disbarment. See La. Rule of Prof’l Cond. 8.4(b) (prohibiting a lawyer from committing “a criminal act especially one that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects”).

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