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In re Wilson

Supreme Court of Louisiana

January 14, 2019

IN RE: GRETA L. WILSON

          ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDING

          PER CURIAM

         This disciplinary matter arises from formal charges filed by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel ("ODC") against respondent, Greta L. Wilson, a disbarred attorney.

         PRIOR DISCIPLINARY HISTORY

         Before we address the current charges, we find it helpful to review respondent's prior disciplinary history. Respondent was admitted to the practice of law in Louisiana in 1989. In 2017, the court disbarred respondent, who, without having the authority or consent to do so, filed suit and enrolled as counsel in another suit for the purpose of obtaining funds, and then converted those funds to her own use. In re: Wilson, 17-0622 (La. 6/5/17), 221 So.3d 40 ("Wilson I").

         Against this backdrop, we now turn to a consideration of the misconduct at issue in the instant proceeding.

         FORMAL CHARGES

         By way of background, Kim Richardson retained respondent to represent him in a contract dispute with the State of Louisiana Hazard Mitigation Grant Program ("HMGP") and a grant recipient homeowner. Essentially, respondent was to help Mr. Richardson collect funds due to him for construction work that he had completed on a recipient's home. On June 21, 2012, Mr. Richardson paid respondent a $5, 000 deposit and signed an attorney-client contract calling for the deposit to be drawn upon at the rate of $150 per hour.

         Thereafter, Mr. Richardson attempted to contact respondent, to no avail. Mr. Richardson was eventually able to reach respondent's assistant, who provided him with a copy of his file. The file included a copy of the attorney-client contract, a copy of a letter purportedly sent by respondent to the HMGP requesting a copy of records, two internal memorandums from respondent's assistant, and one purported billing statement for 2.58 hours of work. Respondent failed to perform any substantial work in the matter and failed to refund any of the $5, 000 payment.

         In April 2015, the ODC received a complaint filed by Mr. Richardson against respondent. A copy of the complaint was forwarded to respondent via certified mail and delivered to her primary address, but she failed to respond to the complaint.

         DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS

         In August 2017, the ODC filed formal charges against respondent, alleging that her conduct violated the following provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct: Rules 1.3 (a lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client), 1.4 (failure to communicate with a client), 1.16 (obligations upon termination of the representation), 3.2 (failure to make reasonable efforts to expedite litigation), 8.1(c) (failure to cooperate with the ODC in its investigation), 8.4(a) (violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct), and 8.4(c) (engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation).

         Respondent failed to answer the formal charges. Accordingly, the factual allegations contained therein were deemed admitted and proven by clear and convincing evidence pursuant to Supreme Court Rule XIX, § 11(E)(3). No formal hearing was held, but the parties were given an opportunity to file with the hearing committee written arguments and documentary evidence on the issue of sanctions. Respondent filed nothing for the hearing committee's consideration.

         Hearing ...


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