Yes, a Louisiana lawyer may sign another lawyer’s name on a pleading with the permission of that lawyer. See La. Civ. Code art. 2989. A Louisiana lawyer may not, however, sign another lawyer’s name on a pleading without that lawyer’s knowledge and/or consent. See In re Root, Docket No. 21-DB-010 (LADB Recommendation, dated June 15, 2022). Doing so could subject the signing lawyer to professional discipline for making false statements to a tribunal and engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud deceit or misrepresentation.
Here are a few take aways
- If your co-counsel gives you permission to sign their name to a pleading, it is probably safe to do so.
- If you give someone else permission to sign your name to a pleading, remember that your signature is a certification that you have read the pleading and made a reasonable inquiry into the facts and law. So be sure you have.
- Do not sign your co-counsel’s name to a pleading when you don’t have their consent to do so. Doing so could subject the lawyer to professional discipline in addition to creating a professional rift between yourself and your co-counsel.