NEW ORLEANS – The Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board has filed a formal hearing committee report regarding Greta L. Wilson, an attorney who practices in New Orleans, alleging she violated many rules of professional conduct and should be disbarred from practicing law.
The hearing report explained that the rules violated include filing suit on behalf of a client without authority or consent, obtaining funds from the court registry by conduct involving dishonesty, fraud or misrepresentation, through conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, and by converting funds to her own use and fraudulently converting funds belonging to another client.
The report explained that on Oct. 21, 2015 ODC moved that the formal charges be deemed admitted.
“After review and consideration of the record, the committee issued an order denying the motion,” the document said. “Although finding it ‘likely’ that [Wilson] has received adequate notice for purposes of the disciplinary rules, ODC was instructed to attempt service at least one additional time at [her] primary and secondary addresses on file.”
The ODC attempted contact with Wilson again to no avail and on Jan. 27, 2016 it moved a second time to have the formal charges deemed admitted by clear and convincing evidence, which the committee granted.
“On Feb. 24, 2016, however, [Wilson] submitted a request to set aside the order, and the committee, despite finding that [she] had failed to provide good cause, nonetheless withdrew its prior order to give one final opportunity to (her) to answer the formal charges and defend herself,” the document said. “Nothing further was heard from [Wilson]. In the meantime, two separate charges against her were consolidated in the proceeding.”
On March 5, the ODC again requested to have a formal charges admitted and on April 6, the committee issued an order agreeing to the request. The parties were allowed to prepare to submit arguments and evidence on the issue of sanctions until June 6. ODC submitted materials May 25, but Wilson did not submit her argument or evidence in her defense.
The document offered multiple cases and instances similar to Wilson’s violations to determine the most appropriate sanction, and also considered aggravating and mitigating factors. The aggravating factors were severe enough to consider permanent disbarment.
“The soul mitigating factor would appear to be the absence of any prior disciplinary record of Wilson,” the document said. “Though she has referenced emotional problems concerning an undisclosed personal illness and her father's ‘terminal illness,’ no additional information concerning these issues have been offered.”
Further, the document explained there was no evidence of any causal connection between Wilson's alleged personal issues and her conduct at hand.
The document also explained that what was clear was that Wilson obtained funds from clients under fraudulent methods, converting those funds to her own use.
“It is also clear that the aggravating factors that way the mitigating factor,” the document said. “For this reason an upper departure from the baseline sanction of disbarment may be appropriate.”
Considering all factors, the committee unanimously recommended that Wilson be disbarred from the practice of law. Further, she is to pay all costs and expenses of the hearing.