NEW ORLEANS – On Aug. 31, the Office of Disciplinary Council (ODC) ordered that Juan Carlos Labadie, an attorney who practices in Gretna, be suspended from the practice of law on an interim basis and was effective immediately. The official court document did not explain what caused the interim suspension.
Labadie is no stronger to dealings with the legal system. In August 2014, he was ordered by Judge Michael Mentz to serve 30 days of house arrest for contempt of court, punishing him for disregarding a court-ordered drug test in his child-custody battle with his ex-wife, which was ongoing for a couple of years.
In response to the order a few hours later, Labadie said he would run for the Division F seat on the 24th Judicial District Court, which was the seat Mentz held.
“If elected, Labadie pledged he will correctly apply the law, no matter who wins or loses in the cases before him,” The Times-Picayune Aug.14, 2014, article said.
Labadie continued to explain his reasons for running against Mentz after the judge’s order, effectively diverting attention away from his divorce proceedings.
"In my humble opinion, our courts should be protected from politics," Labadie said in the interview. "To the extent that judges in Louisiana are elected, the courts should be free from politics as much as possible. The concept that no man is above the law seems to ring more true of a history lesson than real life. That should not be. This principle should be a living, breathing concept that is actively applied every day in our courts."
The contempt order stemmed from an Aug. 7 request for Labadie to submit to a drug screen that his ex-wife sought. Labadie didn't do it, so the judge held him in contempt of court.
The next day, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeal suspended Mentz's order because Labadie was only given one day to comply.
“The 5th Circuit reversed Mentz's contempt order, finding the judge did not give Labadie sufficient notice before holding a contempt hearing,” the Aug. 14 article said.
In another instance, the ODC investigated allegations that Labadie maintained incomplete records of his client trust account, which resulted in a negligent conversion of funds. Following the filing of formal charges, Labadie and the ODC submitted a joint petition for consent discipline.
“Having reviewed the petition, it is ordered that the Petition for Consent Discipline be accepted and that Juan Carlos Labadie…be suspended from the practice of law for a period of one year and one day, fully deferred, subject to a two-year period of supervised probation governed by the terms and conditions set forth in the Petition for Consent Discipline,” the June 24, 2011, official court proceedings document said.
Labadie attended Tulane University and received his J.D. in 1994. He was admitted to the bar in 1996.