NEW ORLEANS -- The Louisiana Disciplinary Board's Office of Disciplinary Council (ODC) has recommended that Metairie attorney Thomas E.
Campbell be suspended for allegedly violating certain Rules of Professional
The attorney disciplinary matter stemmed from a complaint filed
by William Hicks III, followed by the ODC filing formal charges against Campbell
for allegedly failing to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in
representing a client and failing to keep the client responsibly informed about
the case’s status.
Despite the suggestion of suspension by the ODC, the committee chairman and lawyer member did not agree with the ODC’s findings.
“The evidence and the testimony presented do not rise to the
level of proof by clear and convincing evidence that Campbell was in violation
of the formal charges by ODC, and accordingly they recommend dismissal of the
charges that he was in violation of the rules of professional conduct,” the
official document said.
The document offered background information explaining how formal charges
were filed Feb. 5, by the ODC. Campbell filed an answer to the
charges March 28 through his counsel Damon S. Manning.
hearing of this matter was held on June 1, 2016. The committee was provided pre-hearing
and post-hearing briefings by ODC and (Campbell) and corresponding exhibit
books,” the document said.
Further, the document explained how the ODC received a
complaint from the Louisiana Attorney General's Office filed by Hicks against Campbell.
It was explained that Hicks and Campbell formally engaged in a contingency
contract of representation as related to an incident that Hicks was involved in
at the Family Dollar store in 2005.
Apparently, Campbell did not file a lawsuit on the half of Hicks
prior to the prescription date. Hicks contacted Campbell approximately eight
years later seeking a status of the case. Campbell and Hicks exchanged a series
of telephone calls and letters and then Campbell send a check to Hicks for
$2,000, which Hicks cashed. Based on the information provided, ODC alleges that
Campbell was in violation of certain Rules of Professional Conduct.
The document explained the committee chairman and lawyer member found the evidence and testimony presented by the ODC did not offer enough convincing
evidence to prove intentional professional misconduct.
“The committee chairman and lawyer member urge [Campbell] to
attend for additional hours of continuing legal education, which will consist
of two hours of ethics and two hours of professionalism in addition to the 12
1/2 hours required by the Louisiana Supreme Court and pay all costs for the
CLE,” the document said. “The four additional hours need to specifically
address the subject of office management, handling of lawsuits, client
communications and client relationships. The four additional continuing legal
education should be completed Dec. 31, 2016.”
Outside of continuing education to avoid future issues
similar to this, the committee did not see harsher sanctions necessary since
there was lack of contact between both partied for more than eight years, and when
Hicks contacted Campbell, Campbell always responded. Also, Campbell has no
prior disciplinary record during the 33 years he has been in practice, the