NEW ORLEANS — The Louisiana Supreme Court of Louisiana recently ruled to suspend attorney Mitchel M. Evans II from practicing law in a sentence handed down Dec. 6.
The three-year suspension, which includes two years of supervised probation, was a result of the Office of Disciplinary Counsel filing three formal charges against the respondent. The charges stem from various alleged acts of misconduct committed by Evans beginning in 2005.
According to court documents, Evans was hired in March 2009 to represent a woman in her case to gain a portion of her ex-husband’s military benefits. Evans was paid $1,750 for her services, though he allegedly became almost unreachable. The petition Evans was hired for was not filed until March 2010, and the complaint claims that the respondent did no further work on the case.
The client filed an official complaint with the ODC in August 2011. After receiving a subpoena, Evans issued a sworn statement in January 2012 blaming his secretary for the mishap. The ODC determined that Evans had failed to act with diligence, failed to communicate with his client, and failed to offer a refund as well as failing to cooperate with the ODC.
The second complaint stems from March 2011 when Evans was hired by another woman in a custody case for $850. Evans allegedly failed to return his client’s phone calls and did not file the pleadings. The client later requested that the $850 be used for him to represent her in her divorce. The client did file a complaint with the ODC, which resulted in Evans providing another sworn statement that named his secretary as the reason for the misconduct. However, after his statement, the client had continued working with Evans on her case.
A third incident began in February 2008 when the respondent was hired to represent a woman and her stepmother in a custody battle. The clients paid Evans $3,350, after which they claimed he failed to communicate with them. The clients filed the complaint with the ODC after Evans allegedly failed to address a judgment issue that arose in their February 2010 hearing. Evans provided another sworn statement again pointing to his secretary and claimed that the clients were not owed a refund as he had helped the client obtain visitation.
The final case occurred in February 2005 when Evans was hired to represent a client in a criminal matter as well as a connected civil matter. Evans was allegedly provided with a videotape and papers for the client’s civil case against the police department as a result of a beating he had received while under arrest. However, Evans purportedly failed to relay the necessity of the client obtaining a deposition by a specific deadline and the deposition costs.
According to the ruling, Evans will be placed on supervised probation after a formal probation plan is created.