IN RE: HAROLD D. REGISTER
disciplinary matter arises from formal charges filed by the
Office of Disciplinary Counsel ("ODC") against
respondent, Harold D. Register, an attorney licensed to
practice law in Louisiana but currently on interim suspension
pursuant to a joint petition filed by the parties in April
2017. In re: Register, 17-0691 (La. 4/27/17), 218
I - The LeDay Matter
December 2009, while respondent was representing LeDerian
LeDay in a criminal matter, Mr. LeDay was involved in an
automobile accident. In August 2010, Mr. LeDay hired
respondent on a contingency fee basis to represent him in his
personal injury matter. The case settled in April 2011 for
$10, 000, at which time respondent endorsed the settlement
check and deposited it into his client trust account.
However, respondent did not disburse any funds to Mr. LeDay
or provide him with a settlement disbursement statement.
Respondent also did not pay Mr. LeDay's medical providers
or satisfy a lien for Mr. LeDay's outstanding child
support. In July 2013, Mr. LeDay filed a complaint against
respondent with the ODC.
gave a sworn statement to the ODC in May 2014. He
acknowledged that no disbursement had been made to any party
as of the date of the statement, over three years after he
deposited the settlement check into his client trust account.
LeDay gave a sworn statement to the ODC in August 2014. He
confirmed that no settlement funds had been disbursed as of
the date of the statement. Mr. LeDay testified that this
caused his credit standing to be negatively affected.
the ODC's investigation, respondent promised to produce
copies of his bank statements to the ODC. He failed to do so,
necessitating the issuance of a subpoena. In October 2014,
respondent gave a second sworn statement and again failed to
provide his bank statements. When the ODC finally obtained
the requested information from respondent, the bank
statements reflected that on several occasions in 2012, 2013,
and 2014, respondent's trust account balance fell below
the $10, 000 he was holding on Mr. LeDay's behalf.
alleged that respondent's conduct violated Rule 1.15
(safekeeping property of clients or third persons) of the
Rules of Professional Conduct.
II - The Glaude Matter
matter arises from litigation relative to the seizure of
$129, 852 in currency by the United States government, and
regarding which the government later initiated a civil
forfeiture complaint. The currency was seized from the son of
Dianne Glaude, who subsequently died. In March 2008, Ms.
Glaude paid respondent $1, 200 to represent her interests in
her claim (as the heir to her son) for the return of the
seized currency. In April 2011, respondent filed an unsigned
and incomplete Verified Statement of Claim on behalf of Ms.
Glaude. In response, the government filed a motion to strike.
Respondent failed to oppose the motion to strike and failed
to appear at the hearing on the motion. Consequently, in June
2011, the district court granted the motion to strike. Ms.
Glaude's Verified Statement of Claim was stricken from
the record, and her matter ultimately dismissed via default
November 2011, Ms. Glaude filed a complaint against
respondent with the ODC. Ms. Glaude asserted that respondent
failed to communicate with her in a timely fashion throughout
the representation, and when she did receive a text message
from him, he indicated that he was "on top of this
situation." Ms. Glaude also stated that respondent
failed to notify her of the proceedings in the district court
or of the ruling granting the motion to strike. In response
to the complaint, respondent indicated that Ms. Glaude's
case was complex and despite his best efforts he could not
"change the position of the Federal Government."
Respondent noted that he had filed a motion seeking
reconsideration of the district court's ruling in order
to protect Ms. Glaude's interests, but the motion was
gave a sworn statement to the ODC in August 2012. He could
not recall whether he had filed an opposition to the motion
to strike and despite repeated requests, did not produce a
copy of any such pleading. Asked why he did not appear in
court for the hearing on the motion, respondent stated that
the date was not marked on his calendar. Respondent indicated
that he made efforts to effectively represent Ms. Glaude, but
he also admitted that his efforts were not sufficient to
obtain a positive outcome.
2012, Ms. Glaude filed a legal malpractice suit against
respondent. The suit was settled in Ms. ...