ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDING
disciplinary matter arises from formal charges filed by the
Office of Disciplinary Counsel ("ODC") against
respondent, Murray Neil Salinas, a disbarred attorney.
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 2003. In
2013, respondent was admonished for failing to cooperate with
the ODC in its investigation of a complaint. In 2016, we
disbarred respondent for neglecting several legal matters,
failing to refund unearned fees to several clients, and
failing to cooperate with the ODC in four investigations, all
of which occurred between March 2012 and the latter part of
2014. In re: Salinas, 16-1381 (La. 10/17/16), 202
So.3d 163 ("Salinas I").
this backdrop, we now turn to a consideration of the
misconduct at issue in the instant proceeding.
filed two sets of formal charges against respondent under
disciplinary board docket numbers 17-DB-014 and 18-DB-079.
Respondent failed to answer either set of 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 in either matter, but the parties
were given an opportunity to file with the hearing committee
written arguments and documentary evidence on the issue of
sanctions. The matters were consolidated on February 4, 2019
before being considered together by a single hearing
committee. Respondent filed nothing for the hearing
I – The Brooks Matter
Brooks, Jr. retained respondent to represent him in
post-conviction relief proceedings. Respondent agreed to file
the post-conviction application upon receipt of one-third of
the total $1, 000 fee. Mr. Brooks' family paid respondent
$400 during April and May 2012. Respondent failed to file the
post-conviction application, and the two-year statute of
limitations for the application expired in December 2013.
prolonged period of Mr. Brooks' family attempting to
contact respondent to no avail, Mr. Brooks' father
finally made contact with respondent in August 2015. At the
conclusion of the discussion, respondent agreed to return the
entirety of the fee paid but has never done so.
received notice of Mr. Brooks' disciplinary complaint on
April 27, 2016 but has never answered or otherwise responded
to 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), 1.5(f)(5) (failure to refund an
unearned fee), and 8.1(c) (failure to cooperate with the ODC
in its investigation).
II – ...