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In re Segal

Supreme Court of Louisiana

January 13, 2017

IN RE: DAVID SEGAL

         ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDING

          PER CURIAM

         Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule XIX, § 21, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel ("ODC") has filed a petition seeking the imposition of reciprocal discipline against respondent, David Segal, an attorney licensed to practice law in Louisiana and New York, based upon discipline imposed by the Supreme Court of New York.

         UNDERLYING FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         While practicing law in New York, respondent neglected four legal matters, failed to communicate with two clients, and failed to timely answer disciplinary complaints filed by three clients. Additionally, he engaged in conduct adversely reflecting on his fitness as a lawyer, failed to appear at two case conferences, failed to comply with court orders, and failed to timely file retainer statements.

         On December 9, 2014, the Supreme Court of New York suspended respondent from the practice of law for one year, effective January 8, 2015, for violating DR 1-102(A)(7) (a lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on the lawyer's fitness as a lawyer) of New York's Lawyer's Code of Professional Responsibility and the following provisions of New York's Rules of Professional Conduct: Rules 1.3(b) (a lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to the lawyer), 1.4(a)(3) (a lawyer shall keep the client reasonably informed about the status of the matter), and 8.4(d) (a lawyer shall not engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice).

         After receiving notice of the New York order of discipline, the ODC filed a motion to initiate reciprocal discipline proceedings in Louisiana, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule XIX, § 21. A certified copy of the decision and order of the Supreme Court of New York was attached to the motion. On November 21, 2016, this court rendered an order giving respondent thirty days to demonstrate why the imposition of identical discipline in this state would be unwarranted. Respondent filed a response in this court, consenting to the imposition of reciprocal discipline.

         DISCUSSION

         The standard for imposition of discipline on a reciprocal basis is set forth in Supreme Court Rule XIX, § 21(D). That rule provides:

Discipline to be Imposed. Upon the expiration of thirty days from service of the notice pursuant to the provisions of paragraph B, this court shall impose the identical discipline … unless disciplinary counsel or the lawyer demonstrates, or this court finds that it clearly appears upon the face of the record from which the discipline is predicated, that:
(1)The procedure was so lacking in notice or opportunity to be heard as to constitute a deprivation of due process; or
(2)Based on the record created by the jurisdiction that imposed the discipline, there was such infirmity of proof establishing the misconduct as to give rise to the clear conviction that the court could not, consistent with its duty, accept as final the conclusion on that subject; or
(3)The imposition of the same discipline by the court would result in grave injustice or be offensive to the public ...

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