Recent Decisions From the Louisiana Supreme Court
IN RE TIMMY JAMES FONTENOT (Mamou), 2017-B-1661, (11/28/17): The Court disbarred the respondent for settling a client matter without consent, forging the clients’ signatures on the settlement documents, misleading the clients regarding the status of the case, and failing to disburse the settlement funds for five years.
IN RE ANDRES HUMBERTO AGUILAR (Shreveport), 2017-B-1116, (12/6/17): The Court suspended the respondent for one year and one day, with all but nine months deferred, for neglecting two legal matters, failing to communicate with two clients, and paying for two case referrals.
IN RE PEGGY M. HAIRSTON ROBINSON (Baton Rouge), 2017-B-1290, (12/6/17): The Court permanently disbarred the respondent for neglecting legal matters, engaging in conflicts of interest, engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, failing to make refunds or pay sanctions as ordered by a court of law, and engaging in multiple instances of felony theft.
IN RE ELISE MARYBETH LAMARTINA (Mandeville), 2017-B-0328, (12/6/17): The Court dismissed the formal charges, which alleged the unauthorized practice of law, based upon the ambiguity of La.R.S. 37:212(C).
TIMON V. WEBRE (New Orleans), 2017-B-1861, (1/12/18): The Court suspended the respondent for one year and one day, fully deferred, for neglecting his client’s legal matter, failing to communicate with his client, failing to promptly refund an unearned fee, and mishandling his trust account.
Deemed Admitted Matters (Louisiana Supreme Court Rule XIX, Section 11(E)(3)):
IN RE DARRYL L. ROBERTSON (Baton Rouge), 2017-B-1169, (11/28/17): The Court suspended the respondent for one year and one day for providing incompetent representation to a client, neglecting the legal matter, and failing to communicate with the client.
IN RE DOUNNISEI KUO GBALAZEH (Philadelphia, PA), 2017-B-1704, (12/5/17): The Court suspended the respondent for one year and one day for practicing law on two occasions by seeking to enroll as counsel on behalf of immigration clients while she was ineligible to practice law.
IN RE ELISE MARYBETH LAMARTINA (Mandeville), 2017-B-0430, (12/6/17): The Court suspended the respondent for three years based upon her convictions for shoplifting.
IN RE PHIL C. NUGENT (Houston, TX), 2017-B-1856, (12/5/17): The Court suspended the respondent for eighteen months for filing two frivolous judicial complaints against a judge, as well as filing a frivolous petition for damages against the judge and respondent’s former wife.
IN RE ROGER WAYNE KITCHENS (New Orleans), 2017-B-1870, (12/15/17): The Court suspended the respondent for three years, retroactive to his interim suspension, for neglecting his clients’ legal matters, failing to communicate with his clients, failing to refund unearned fees, failing to return client files upon request, practicing law while ineligible to do so, and engaging in criminal conduct by driving under the influence of alcohol.
IN RE JOSHUA PAUL MELDER (Baton Rouge), 2017-B-1922, (1/9/18): The Court suspended the respondent for one year and one day, with all but six months deferred, based upon his commission of domestic abuse battery and resisting an officer.
IN RE WILLIAM A. ROE (New Orleans), 2017-OB-1862, (12/15/17): The Court granted the petitioner’s readmission to the practice of law. The petitioner was disbarred by consent in 2012. In re Roe, 12-0264 (La. 3/2/12), 82 So. 3d 266.
IN RE ALI ZITO SHIELDS (New Roads), 2017-OB-1916, (1/9/18): The Court granted the petitioner’s reinstatement to the practice of law. The petitioner was suspended in 2015. In re Shields, 14-2473 (La. 2/27/15), 161 So. 3d 614.