The Louisiana ODC breaks out the wet noodle and gives Lawyer Claude Lightfoot a pass on fraudulent legal conduct, A why the legal system is broken update.

Of all the stories we’ve covered on Slabbed the Impeachment of US District Court Judge G Thomas Porteous was some of our most nationally recognized in terms of major news outlets reading us for background and real time information. I mention this because we were harboring no illusions that the disciplinary process for the host of unethical dishonest lawyers that enabled some of Porteous’ most egregious conduct would result in anything other than window dressing and have no consequences that would deter the type of outrageous behavior uncovered by the impeachment proceedings.  Today I hate to see our low expectations were probably not set low enough as Drew Broach at the Times Picayune breaks the news that lawyer Claude Lightfoot, the guy who falsified a bankruptcy petition for Porteous and his wife, has been suspended for a one month for his role in corrupting the legal process.

Those so interested can read the opinion at the LADB website here.  To justify giving Lightfoot the wet noodle they had to concoct an excuse and it appears the fact Mrs pOrteous boo hooed in front of Claude was enough justification for a 20 year veteran lawyer to completely abandon his sense of ethics as far as the LADB was concerned:

Although not mentioned by the Committee, the record supports substantial experience in the practice of law as the sole aggravating factor in this matter. The Committee declined to include the additional aggravating factors put forth by ODC of (a) a dishonest and selfish motive; and (b) a pattern of misconduct. The Board likewise does not find these two aggravating factors as (a) the record reflects that Respondents misguided effort to help his clients was motivated by compassion for his clients; there is nothing in the record that supports he was motivated by selfish reasons or dishonest reasons; and (b) the record makes it clear that Respondents misconduct in this matter is a single blemish on an otherwise reputable and meaningful 24 year law career.

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Respondent’s desire to assist them avoid the negative publicity and embarrassment which would have been generated by the Times Picayune publication of their bankruptcy filing appears to have arisen from his client attorney meetings with the Porteous’ where both, but in particular Carmella Porteous, was clearly distraught.

In Lightfoot’s case it is true that the public was not hosed except to the extent he assisted a client in committing Bankruptcy Fraud thus destroying even more public confidence in a corrupt judiciary and the legal profession.  I can’t wait to see how the committee justifies letting Dick Chopin skate.  I guess Chopin and Porteous’ victim in that miscarriage of justice, Ida and Ronnie Turner will just have to suck it and be happy. File this one under the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board looking out for their own.

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7 thoughts on “The Louisiana ODC breaks out the wet noodle and gives Lawyer Claude Lightfoot a pass on fraudulent legal conduct, A why the legal system is broken update.”

  1. Moronic yes…disgusting, corrupt, unethical all that.

    Someone once noted that the amount of money paid by attorneys as dues each year and as apportioned to the LADB is in excess of $4M … can that be correct? And if so where do we get a copy of the accounting information relative to how that money is being spent?

  2. Interestingly that Mel Porteous can speak from the grave to justify Lightfoot's misconduct that should've earned him a year's disbarrment. It is disgusting, truly, in every aspect. Thanks ODC!

  3. So let me get this right. If your client crys you as an attorney and officer of the Court can freely and knowingly commmit fraud and perjury.Lightfoot just happened to also be an appointed U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee also where the fiduciary, ethical standard of care is even higher. Thank goodness the U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee Dept. relieved Lightfoot of his Trusteeship.a long time ago.

    I thought the Feds had Lightfoot's number a few months back for federal perjury – wonder what happened there. Did he have some federal judge friends in the Courts write 30 or so "get out of jail" letters in his behalf. Just like when Porteous needed an unethical bankruptcy job done he called out for the federal judges' "do-rag" bankruptcy man, namely Lightfoot, for his expert, unethical oxymoron help.

    I'm sure some of those type friends helped Lightfoot's ass squeeze out of the indictment for knowingly and fraudulently signing Porteous' bankruptcy document affying all the information in "Orteous' " bankruptcy petition was correct under federal penalty of fraud and perjury.

    The entire U.S Southeastern District and U.S. Fifth Circuit Appeal Courts are complete jokes except when they want to eat their own young (Porteous).

    By the way where is AROD these days while the Lightfoot types of the world walk free with wet noodle scars all over their corrupt bodies.

  4. The members of this committee should hang their heads in shame and be marched to the nearest guillotine.

    The reasoning of the Committee is more akin to drunks bullshitting in a Bar Room as opposed to responsible members deliberating on behalf of the Bar.

    Although I have been one of the most outspoken critics of Mr. Plattsmier, I would take this opportunity to thank him and the ODC for their ‘stand up’ effort to have Lightfoot punished to a degree deserved given ALL of the surrounding circumstances.

  5. As if it isn’t bad enough that we have liars and every other form of reprobate practicing before the Bar, we have this, as I quote the murderer Reilly:

    “Lets cut to the chase: I killed a man 19 years ago.”

    And now from a fellow 1L student:

    “This email from a Tulane 1L is indicative of many of the emails we received:

    Are the students (such as myself) correct in being offended he was judged against us (and others) in the admissions process? Are students correct in being offended that he (allegedly) received a considerable amount of scholarship to offset the cost of the law school process? Are the students correct in being worried that, when placed in one of the most stress-inducing environments in the United States, Mr. Reilly will reach his tipping point and live up to his violent past, pulling a Virginia Tech-esque move and harming fellow students? I feel that the answer to each of these questions is in the affirmative.

    However, I am sure the law school in question had none of these concerns in mind when admitting the convicted murderer. Instead, they granted him admission, and (once again, allegedly) encouraged him to attend by offering a substantial scholarship, which is aided by the scholarship provided by the NAACP. Furthermore, it is of the opinion of this writer, as well as other students, the school was in the opinion that they would be hailed as being on the cutting edge of legal education, admitting convicted murderers (deemed as a “psychopathic master manipulator” by the state of Rhode Island) into their school, to be in close proximity not only with other law students, but also the undergraduates on campus.

    Lastly, I would like to stress that it is simply unconscionable that the law school would admit such a student, knowing he would never be allowed to sit for the bar in any state. With the economy suffering in the way it is, as well as current graduates having a hard time finding it impossible to sit for the bar due to parking tickets, bad credit and the like, is it admissible for a law school to admit a student on the basis they can pay tuition, knowing their options as an attorney are extremely limited, at best?

    New Tulane 1L Is An Advocate, A Writer, And A Murderer http://abovethelaw.com/2011/09/new-tulane-1l-is-a

    Even if Reilly graduates from Tulane Law School he will not (how about probably) be admitted to the Bar.

    I think the Tulane Law School Alumni Association needs to take back their Law School … just as the morally responsible lawyers of Louisiana need to take back their ODC and the LDCB !!!

    This is just another example of the detachment these elitists of a governing board who make such absurd decisions of granting scholarships have toward the community and those that fund their existence !

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