NEW ORLEANS – The Office of Disciplinary Counsel (ODC) has submitted a petition to the Louisiana Supreme Court in regards to attorney Richard Brazan, Jr., who has a general practice in the Baton Rouge area, after an investigation into allegations he advised his client to improperly obtain documents from an opposing party for use in preparing discovery.
According to rules of the Supreme Court, discovery is the process of uncovering relevant facts through identifying witnesses, documents and other items that can lead to establishing those facts as admissible evidence. There is considerable debate as to how discovery can be ethically obtained, and in this case, improperly obtaining documents for discovery is crossing the line.
The June 17 official Supreme Court document explained that Brazan and the ODC submitted a joint petition for consent discipline.
According to U.S. Legal, in certain disciplinary sanctions, such as reprimand or the suspension or revocation of a license, the use of a consent order allows the licensing agency and the parties involved to resolve a disciplinary proceeding initiated by the agency without the time and expense required by a formal administrative hearing.
Certain cooperation also fares well for the respondent, like in Brazan’s case, because they are willing to cooperate and maintain transparency.
The Louisiana Supreme Court decided Brazan’s violation, in relation to his following cooperation, could be handled with probationary conditions.
“Having reviewed the petition, it is ordered that the petition for consent discipline be accepted and that Richard Brazan Jr., be suspended from the practice of law for a period of six months,” the court said. “It is further ordered that this suspension shall be deferred in its entirety and that respondent shall be placed on unsupervised probation for a period of one year.”
The court further explained that the probationary period shall commence from the date Brazan and the ODC execute a formal probation plan.
“If Brazan fails to comply with the conditions of probation, or any misconduct during the probationary period, it could mean grounds for making the deferred suspension executory, or possible additional discipline could be imposed,” the order said.
The court also said all costs and expenses should start 30 days from the date of the court’s judgment, until paid.