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. Continue reading “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.”

Yeah, it finally happened – ODC tags Lightfoot with Orteous!

Until the Recommendations of the Hearing Committee appeared in my email inbox today, I had no idea the Louisiana Office of Disciplinary Counsel was a functioning body. Apparently, it’s just a little slow. Nonetheless, it has now done what many felt should have been done before the Impeachment of Judge Thomas Porteous – address the conduct of the Respond, Claude C. Lightfoot, Jr:

The undisputed factual account of the events that led to the current charges against Respondent are these: In or around the summer of 2000, former United States Court District Judge Gabriel Thomas Porteous, Jr. was experiencing significant financial difficulties, and therefore contacted the Respondent to explore means by which he may manage his debt, including the possibility of bankruptcy protection. The Respondent met with then Judge Porteous and his wife and determined to deploy initially a nonbankruptcy “workout”, whereby the Respondent would contact each creditor and ask them to consider a reduction in the debt owed to allow then Judge Porteous and his wife a means of retiring the debt without filing for bankruptcy.

To that end, Respondent mailed letters to each of the creditors, setting forth his representation and inviting each creditor to consider a workout proposal. Thereafter,
Respondent followed up his letters with telephone calls to the creditors in an effort to get then Judge Porteous and his wife some relief. This process proved to be futile, as the majority of the creditors did not respond at all, and the few that did, knowingly or unknowingly, responded with a lawsuit and a subsequent rejection by their counsel of
Respondent’s proposal on behalf then Judge Porteous and his wife.

As a result, Respondent again met with then Judge Porteous and his wife and recommended a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. In addition to recommending the filing, Respondent, on his own volition, also recommended Continue reading “Yeah, it finally happened – ODC tags Lightfoot with Orteous!”