A hearing committee of the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board has recommended a fully-deferred suspension for a Northshore lawyer who received his legal fee in marijuana. See In re James D. Mecca, No. 15-DB-001 (LADB HC No. 6, Oct. 19, 2015). The respondent, James D. Mecca (website), agreed to undertake the representation of a confidential informant (“CI”) who posed as a prospective client. He met the CI in a Target parking lot in Covington, and accepted $300 in cash and a backpack containing marijuana. After driving away, he was arrested by deputies of the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office. Ultimately, Mecca plead guilty to the crime of simple possession of marijuana.
Considering the respondent’s acceptance of responsibility, and his “excellent compliance” with the Lawyers’ Assistance Program, the hearing committee rejected ODC’s request for a 2-3 year suspension. Instead, the committee recommended a year-and-a-day, fully-deferred suspension—”provided that he remains compliant with all terms and conditions of the LAP contract.”
Notably, the “About Us” page on the respondent’s website states the following: “We Accept Multiple Payment Methods.” Indeed.