disciplinary matter arises from formal charges filed by the
Office of Disciplinary Counsel ("ODC") against
respondent, Shelley Ann Martin, an attorney licensed to
practice law in Louisiana but currently on interim suspension
for threat of harm to the public. In re: Martin,
12-0328 (La. 2/7/12), 82 So.3d 1232.
September 28, 2009, New Orleans police, while responding to a
report of suspicious activity, observed respondent exiting a
vehicle with a needle sticking out of her forearm and blood
trickling down her arm. After taking possession of the needle
and questioning respondent, she acknowledged the presence of
additional drug paraphernalia in a bag located under the
vehicle's seat. This drug paraphernalia included
additional needles, a lighter, a "coppertop" that
had been burned on the bottom, and an elastic band that the
police confirmed is associated with heroin use.
respondent's arrest and arraignment for possession with
intent to use drug paraphernalia in violation of La. R.S.
40:1033, she was released on bond. Respondent subsequently
failed to appear in court for trial, which resulted in a
bench warrant for her arrest. The district attorney's
office eventually dismissed the charges against respondent
when they became stale after not locating her.
alleged that respondent's conduct violated Rules 8.4(a)
(violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct) and 8.4(b)
(commission of a criminal act that reflects adversely on the
lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a
lawyer) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
represented M.S and her husband W.S in connection with their
corporate farming enterprise and business. During the
representation, respondent commenced a sexual relationship
with W.S. and introduced him to the drug culture in which she
was engaged. Respondent's conduct with W.S. resulted in
the acrimonious divorce of M.S. and W.S.
alleged that respondent's conduct violated Rules 1.7
(conflict of interest: current clients) and 8.4(a) of the
Rules of Professional Conduct.
has been ineligible to practice law since September 10, 2010
for failing to pay her bar dues and the disciplinary
assessment. Additionally, as a result of her conduct
in Count I above, respondent was interimly suspended from the
practice of law by order of this court effective February 7,
2012. Notwithstanding her status, in December 2011,
respondent continued to represent W.S. and his farming
alleged that respondent's conduct violated Rules 5.5
(engaging in the unauthorized practice of law) and 8.4(a) ...