LADB Imposes Public Reprimand for Lawyer’s Threat to “Kick Your Ass”

Louisiana State SealOn September 6, 202, the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board issued an interesting opinion in the matter of In re Felix Anthony Dejean, IV. The LADB imposed a public reprimand on the respondent, principally for a violation of Rule 8.4(b) through committing the criminal act of “simple assault.” More particularly, the board found that the respondent’s threat to the complainant that he was “ready to kick [the complainant’s] ass” was enough to constitute simple assault.

Notably, three board members dissented and voted to defer to the hearing committee’s recommended dismissal of the complaint. One dissenter noted that a mere threat is not enough to constitute “assault,” but that the threat must be one that would place a recipient in “reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery.” Another dissenter noted that “there is a great deal of distance between unprofessional and wrong conduct, and a disciplinary violation.”

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