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In re Forrester

Supreme Court of Louisiana

October 15, 2019

IN RE: CHRISTA HAYES FORRESTER

          ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDING

          PER CURIAM.

         The instant disciplinary proceeding arises from a motion and rule to revoke probation filed by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel ("ODC") against respondent, Christa Hayes Forrester, for failure to comply with the conditions of probation imposed in In re: Forrester, 18-0287 (La. 3/23/18), 238 So.3d 965 ("Forrester I").

         UNDERLYING FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         The record in Forrester I demonstrated that respondent had neglected a legal matter and failed to communicate with a client. Prior to the filing of formal charges, respondent and the ODC submitted a joint petition for consent discipline, proposing that respondent be suspended from the practice of law for six months, fully deferred, followed by a one-year period of unsupervised probation with the condition that she attend the Louisiana State Bar Association's ("LSBA") Ethics School. On March 23, 2018, this court accepted the petition for consent discipline in Forrester I. The court's order stated in pertinent part as follows:

The probationary period shall commence from the date respondent, the ODC, and the probation monitor execute a formal probation plan. Any failure of respondent to comply with the conditions of probation, or any misconduct during the probationary period, may be grounds for making the deferred portion of the suspension executory, or imposing additional discipline, as appropriate. [Emphasis added.]

         On May 9, 2018, respondent executed a formal probation agreement with the ODC. Among other conditions, respondent agreed to the following:

Promptly respond to all requests by the Office of the Disciplinary Counsel;
Comply with all bar membership requirements including: maintaining current knowledge in the law by satisfying all mandatory continuing legal education requirements and timely paying all Louisiana State Bar Association membership dues and Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board annual disciplinary fee assessments; [and]
Respondent shall attend the Louisiana State Bar Association Ethics School and shall pay all costs of these proceedings.

         DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS

         Motion and Rule to Revoke Probation

         On July 8, 2019, the ODC filed a motion and rule to revoke respondent's probation, alleging that respondent failed to comply with the conditions of her probation in Forrester I.

         Despite numerous reminders from the LSBA on October 5, 2018, November 8, 2018, January 29, 2019, February 27, 2019, and May 2, 2019, regarding the next regularly scheduled sessions of the LSBA's Ethics School, respondent failed to attend Ethics School, as required by her probation agreement. As confirmed in the LSBA's July 1, 2019 correspondence, ...


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