ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDING
disciplinary matter arises from formal charges filed by the
Office of Disciplinary Counsel ("ODC") against
respondent, Yolanda Julie King, an attorney licensed to
practice law in Louisiana but currently on interim suspension
based upon her conviction of a serious crime. In re:
King, 16-0331 (La. 3/14/16), 186 So.3d 649 (Johnson,
February 2013, respondent qualified to run for Orleans Parish
Juvenile Court, representing in her qualifying documents that
she was domiciled in Orleans Parish. Respondent subsequently
prevailed in a runoff election. In March 2014, a grand jury
in Orleans Parish indicted respondent on two felony criminal
charges arising out of allegations that she was actually
domiciled in St. Tammany Parish and that she made false
representations about her domicile when she qualified to run
for judicial office.
the indictment, this court disqualified respondent from
exercising any judicial function during the pendency of
further proceedings. In re: King, 14-0924 (La.
5/15/14), 140 So.3d 711 (Johnson, C.J., recused). Prior to a
final adjudication of the judicial discipline matter against
respondent, she lost the status of a judge when she was
defeated in the fall 2014 elections. As a result, the ODC
assumed jurisdiction over respondent.
November 2015, a jury found respondent guilty of both counts
of the indictment. She was sentenced in February 2016 to a
suspended jail sentence and probation.
respondent filed a motion for an out of time appeal of her
criminal conviction, which motion was granted. The court of
appeal then remanded the case to the trial court with
instructions to conduct an evidentiary hearing on a claim of
ineffective assistance of counsel. State v. King,
17-0123 (La.App. 4th Cir. 10/27/17), 231 So.3d
remand, on December 18, 2017, respondent entered into a plea
agreement, whereby the original convictions were vacated. In
exchange, respondent pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor
violation of La. R.S. 18:1461.3(C)(4) (disobeying any lawful
instruction of a registrar, deputy registrar, or
March 2016, the ODC filed formal charges against respondent,
alleging that her 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
initially failed to answer the formal charges, and the
factual allegations contained therein were deemed admitted
and proven by clear and convincing evidence. Eight months
later, respondent, through counsel, filed an unopposed motion
to recall the deemed admitted order. She also sought a stay
of the formal charge proceedings pending her criminal appeal.
The motion and request for a stay were granted, and the
deemed admitted order was recalled.
April 2018, the ODC filed a supplemental and amending formal
charge. Respondent filed an answer and admitted to the
factual allegations and rule violations contained in the
supplemental and amending formal charge. She also waived a
formal hearing and requested the opportunity to submit a
written argument on mitigation and appropriate sanction.
submission, respondent indicated that she is the sole
caregiver for her eighty-eight year old mother and fifty-six
year old brother, both of whom are disabled and in need of
constant care. After respondent's sister passed away in
November 2015, respondent moved to Atlanta, Georgia to take
care of them. In May 2018, respondent was forced to move with
them back to Louisiana due to financial ...