Ct attorney discipline backdating
The Louisiana Supreme Court has noted that while Rule 8.4(d) typically applies to “litigation-related misconduct,” it is broader in scope. When, however, a lawyer’s motive to prosecute is genuine—that is, actuated by a sincere interest in and respect for the purposes of the criminal justice system—DR 7-105(A) would be inapplicable, even if such prosecution resulted in a benefit to a client’s interest in a civil matter.
A lawyer engages in professional misconduct if the lawyer threatens to press criminal or disciplinary charges “solely to obtain an advantage in a civil matter.” La. DR 7-105(A) is intended to preserve the integrity of both the system of civil liability and the criminal justice system by making sure that a lawyer’s actual or threatened invocation of the criminal justice system is not motivated solely by the effect such invocation is likely to have on a client’s interests in a civil matter. The Committee believes that such determinations necessarily must be made on a case-by-case basis”); Supreme Court of Texas Prof’l Ethics Comm., Tex. Moreover, under Rule 8.04(a)(1), the lawyer is prohibited from seeking to circumvent the requirements of Rule 4.04 by causing the lawyer’s client to make a report that would violate Rule 4.04 if the report were made directly by the lawyer.”).
It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:(a) Violate or attempt to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another;(b) Commit a criminal act especially one that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects;(c) Engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation;(d) Engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice;(e) State or imply an ability to influence improperly a judge, judicial officer, governmental agency or official or to achieve results by means that violate the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law;(f) Knowingly assist a judge or judicial officer in conduct that is a violation of applicable Rules of Judicial Conduct or other law; or(g) Threaten to present criminal or disciplinary charges solely to obtain an advantage in a civil matter. Professional “misconduct” includes conduct that is “prejudicial to the administration of justice.” La.
The Louisiana Supreme Court adopted this rule on January 21, 2004.
A lawyer’s abuse of public office can suggest an inability to fulfill the professional role of lawyers. However, the court has held that a lawyer’s violation of the confidentiality provisions of Rule XIX § 16 does not subject a lawyer to discipline because a lawyer participating in the disciplinary process has a First Amendment right to reveal the substance of such proceedings.
The same is true of abuse of positions of private trust such as trustee, executor, administrator, guardian, agent and officer, director or manager of a corporation or other organization. Finally, it is professional misconduct not only for a lawyer to personally violate the rules, but also to “assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another.” Id.; In re Guirard, 11 So. 2009) (finding 8.4(b) violation for lawyers assisting their case managers and investigators in the unauthorized practice of law); In re Brown, 813 So. 2002) (disbarring lawyer for, among other things, assisting another lawyer in the unauthorized practice of law); see also Restatement (Third) of the Law Governing Lawyers § 5(2) (2000).
The substantive law of antidiscrimination and anti-harassment statutes and case law may guide application of paragraph (g). Conduct related to the practice of law includes representing clients; interacting with witnesses, coworkers, court personnel, lawyers and others while engaged in the practice of law; operating or managing a law firm or law practice; and participating in bar association, business or social activities in connection with the practice of law. 19, 2015) (recommending suspension for accepting marijuana as fee for legal services). 2012) (disbarring lawyer for homicide despite not being convicted of any crime related to the homicide because the ODC met its burden of proving that lawyer did not act in self-defense); , 741 So. 1999) (suspending lawyer for assault with a handgun that did not result in conviction).
Lawyers may engage in conduct undertaken to promote diversity and inclusion without violating this rule by, for example, implementing initiatives aimed at recruiting, hiring, retaining and advancing diverse employees or sponsoring diverse law student organizations. A trial judge’s finding that peremptory challenges were exercised on a discriminatory basis does not alone establish a violation of paragraph (g). Moreover, a lawyer is subject to discipline under this rule even if the criminal act does not result in conviction. Finally, a lawyer may be sanctioned for criminal conduct that is wholly unrelated to the practice of law.
Most fundamentally, a lawyer engages in “misconduct” if the lawyer violates the Louisiana Rules of Professional Conduct. Moreover, a lawyer engages in misconduct if the lawyer “attempts” to violate the Louisiana Rules, but does not complete the violation. 2006) (disbarring lawyer for violations of rules 3.3, 4.1 and 8.4(c), among other rules violations). In one case, the court considered such conduct to have occurred when an assistant district attorney threatened criminal prosecution to a person in order to collect a personal debt. A lawyer who pointed a gun at another lawyer during a deposition engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. 2003) (suspending lawyer for directing client to sign her deceased father’s name on release and settlement check). A lawyer does not violate paragraph (g) by limiting the scope or subject matter of the lawyer’s practice or by limiting the lawyer’s practice to members of underserved populations in accordance with these Rules and other law. The Louisiana Supreme Court routinely has disbarred lawyers convicted of serious crimes. A lawyer may charge and collect reasonable fees and expenses for a representation. Lawyers also should be mindful of their professional obligations under Rule 6.1 to provide legal services to those who are unable to pay, and their obligation under Rule 6.2 not to avoid appointments from a tribunal except for good cause. A lawyer’s representation of a client does not constitute an endorsement by the lawyer of the client’s views or activities. A lawyer engages in “misconduct” and is thus subject to discipline under this rule if he or she engages in any “criminal act.” La.