NEW ORLEANS – On Sept. 6, the Supreme Court of Louisiana denied
William F. Henderson’s request for readmission to the Louisiana State Bar
because he allegedly violated Rules of Professional Conduct by accepting a paralegal
position while actively disbarred.
Despite his compliance with all other matters involved with
his disbarment orders, his readmission was unanimously denied because he
accepted a paralegal role, which counts as being involved with a legal
Associate Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court Scott J. Crichton,
agreed with others that Henderson’s readmission should not be allowed.
“I agree with the decision to deny readmission in this
matter,” Crichton said. “I write separately to stress that disbarred
attorneys seeking readmission to the Louisiana Bar must comply with the Rules
of Professional Conduct.”
Crichton explained that Rule 5.5(e) clearly prohibits an
attorney from employing a disbarred attorney in any capacity in connection with
the practice of law.
“It follows, a disbarred attorney is prohibited from
accepting employment in connection with the practice of law,” Judge Crichton
said. “Further, Rule 8.4(a) prohibits an attorney from violating or attempting
to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct. Thus, by accepting employment as
a paralegal, (Henderson) violated the Rules of Professional Conduct, which in
turn precluded him from proving by clear and convincing evidence that he
satisfied the readmission requirements.”
Henderson’s disbarment occurred when, on July 27, 2010, he
plead guilty in the 9th Judicial District Court for the Parish of Rapides to
one felony count of unauthorized use of property valued in excess of $1,000 from
his conversion of client funds.
“Prior to the institution of formal charges, (Henderson) and
the Office of Disciplinary Counsel (ODC) submitted a joint petition for consent
discipline, in which (Henderson) acknowledges that his conduct constitutes a
violation of Rules 1.15 and 8.4(b) of the Rules of Professional Conduct,” the
original August 2013 court document said. “Having reviewed the petition, it is
ordered that the Petition for Consent Discipline be accepted and that William
F. Henderson…hereby is disbarred, retroactive to March 31, 2010, the date of his
It was further ordered by the court that all costs and
expenses in the legal matter must be paid by Henderson.
The March 31, 2010, court document explained that Henderson
was suspended from the practice of law on an interim basis, pending further
orders from the court while the initial investigation was under way by the ODC.
Disbarment followed in 2013.
Henderson was a partner in the firm of Coleman and Henderson
LLC. According to his firm biography, he received his bachelor's degree from the
University of South Alabama and a J.D. degree from the Loyola School of Law. He
was admitted to practice law in Louisiana and has practiced law in Alexandria since
1994, primarily in the area of areas of real estate, family law, estates and
successions and bankruptcy. He was also a licensed title insurance agent
representing Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Co.
Henderson is most well-known for his representation of the
U.S. Department of Agriculture in wetlands land acquisitions, as well representing numerous banks and
mortgage brokers throughout the state.