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In re Hicks

Supreme Court of Louisiana

November 5, 2018

IN RE: BRADLEY O. HICKS

         ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDING

          PER CURIAM

         This disciplinary matter arises from formal charges filed by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel ("ODC") against respondent, Bradley O. Hicks, an attorney licensed to practice law in Louisiana, but currently ineligible to practice.[1]

         FORMAL CHARGES

         The Petree Matter

         In June 2011, respondent was appointed as Timothy Petree's public defender. Respondent did not meet with Mr. Petree to discuss the status, facts, and strategy of his case prior to his arraignment, at which he pleaded guilty. On June 23, 2015, Mr. Petree sent respondent correspondence in which he requested a copy of his discovery. Respondent failed to respond to Mr. Petree's request.

         Despite receiving notice on January 7, 2016 of Mr. Petree's disciplinary complaint against him, respondent failed to provide a response to the ODC. Thereafter, respondent was twice served with subpoenas to provide a sworn statement to the ODC. He appeared for neither the sworn statement scheduled for August 30, 2016 nor the sworn statement scheduled for March 8, 2017.

         The ODC alleged that respondent's conduct violated the following provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct: Rules 1.3 (failure to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client), 1.4 (failure to communicate with a client), 8.1(c) (failure to cooperate with the ODC in its investigation), and 8.4(a) (violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct).

         The Irons Matter

         In October 2015, Zachary Irons hired respondent to represent him in a child custody matter. Mr. Irons paid respondent $1, 000 towards a fee of $1, 800, and he and respondent agreed that he would pay the balance in $100 installments. Thereafter, respondent stopped communicating with Mr. Irons and failed to file any pleadings on his behalf. After several unsuccessful attempts to contact respondent, Mr. Irons requested a refund of the fee paid. Respondent failed to provide the refund.

         The ODC attempted to provide respondent with notice of Mr. Irons' disciplinary complaint against him but was unsuccessful. Thereafter, respondent was twice served with subpoenas to provide a sworn statement to the ODC. He appeared for neither the sworn statement scheduled for August 30, 2016 nor the sworn statement scheduled for March 8, 2017.

         The ODC alleged that respondent's conduct violated the following provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct: Rules 1.3, 1.4, 1.5 (fee arrangements), 1.16(b)(5) (a lawyer may withdraw from representing a client if the client fails substantially to fulfill an obligation to the lawyer regarding the lawyer's services and has been given reasonable warning that the lawyer will withdraw unless the obligation is fulfilled), 1.16(c) (a lawyer must comply with applicable law requiring notice to or permission of a tribunal when terminating a representation), 1.16(d) (obligations upon termination of the representation), 8.1(c), and 8.4(a).

         The Coleman Matter

         In October 2014, Reda Coleman and her siblings hired respondent to handle their parents' succession, paying respondent $1, 200. Respondent filed the judgment of possession on March 27, 2015 but failed to sign it. As a result of this and other errors, the judgment was rejected. Ms. Coleman and her siblings had to hire new counsel to complete the succession. ...


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