Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re LeBlanc

Supreme Court of Louisiana

April 8, 2019

IN RE: MICHAEL KEITH LeBLANC

         ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDING

          PER CURIAM

         This disciplinary matter arises from formal charges filed by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel ("ODC") against respondent, Michael Keith LeBlanc, an attorney licensed to practice law in Louisiana, but currently suspended from practice.

         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 2002. In 2007, he received an admonition for engaging in a conflict of interest and in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. Then, in 2008, the ODC commenced an investigation into allegations that respondent neglected legal matters, failed to communicate with clients, and failed to promptly refund unearned fees. Thereafter, respondent failed to cooperate with the ODC in the investigation. Respondent was placed on interim suspension pursuant to a joint motion of the parties. In re: LeBlanc, 08-1688 (La. 7/29/08), 987 So.2d 248. Thereafter, we accepted a petition for consent discipline and suspended respondent from the practice of law for three years, retroactive to the date of his interim suspension, for the above misconduct. In re: LeBlanc, 12-1487 (La. 9/14/12), 98 So.3d 288 ("LeBlanc I"). Respondent has not been reinstated and, thus, remains suspended from the practice of law.

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

         FORMAL CHARGES

         On August 4, 2017, the ODC was contacted by law enforcement for the Jackson County Sheriff's Department in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The ODC was advised that respondent was the subject of an arrest warrant alleging that he had committed embezzlement and forgery.

         The ODC opened an investigation into these allegations. The ODC learned that respondent had committed the alleged crimes while employed as an accountant with Premier Craneworks ("Premier") in Pascagoula. Upon reviewing his bank statement, the president of Premier noticed that two checks - one in the amount of $1, 955.83 and another in the amount of $1, 956.38 - had been written on the company's account but were issued out of sequence. An investigation by law enforcement established that respondent, without permission, consent, or authority, had taken the checks and made them payable to his girlfriend, who then cashed them. After the stolen checks were discovered, respondent left his employer's office and fled the jurisdiction of Mississippi. Law enforcement described respondent as a fugitive from justice. Respondent was recently apprehended on an open warrant while in Florida and has been extradited to Mississippi.

         DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS

         In March 2018, the ODC filed formal charges against respondent, alleging that his conduct violated the following provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct: Rules 8.4(a) (violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct), 8.4(b) (commission of a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer), 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 Committee Report

         After considering the ODC's deemed admitted submission, the hearing committee made factual findings consistent with the deemed admitted factual allegations set forth in the formal charges. The committee added that when the president of Premier confronted respondent about the checks, respondent denied knowing anything about them. Based on these facts, the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.