NEW ORLEANS — Criminal-defense attorney Frank Ferrara of Walker
has been conditionally reinstated to the practice of law in
Louisiana, subject to a two-year period of probation.
In a ruling handed down Feb. 17, according to court documents,
the Louisiana Supreme Court conditioned his reinstatement on Ferrara
requesting the Office of Discipline Commission appoint a practice
monitor to supervise his professional activities while on probation,
among other things.
Ferrara's misconduct arose from an investigation that the ODC
started in 2015 on allegations that he made a promise or a guarantee
of a particular result or outcome of a representation.
That particular misconduct happened during the same time frame as
a previous misconduct charge he faced in 2013. In that case, the
misconduct at issue involved allegations that Ferrara drafted an
affidavit upon request of his criminal-defense client in which the
victim agreed to drop the criminal charges in exchange for payment,
the order stated.
In April 2016, the state Supreme Court suspended
Ferrara for a year and a day for the first misconduct.
Prior to the filing of the newer charges, Ferrara and the ODC
submitted a joint petition for consent discipline proposing that
Ferrara be found guilty of more violations that would warrant
discipline and could be considered if he applied for reinstatement
from his suspension in his first charge.
"On June 30, 2015, we accepted the petition for consent
discipline," the order stated.
After considering the record in its entirety, the Supreme Court
found that Ferrara met his burden of proof.
The other conditions for his reinstatement are:
- Cooperate and comply with ODC requirements;
- Comply with the bar's Rules of Professional Conduct during his
- Quickly and entirely cooperate with the investigation conducted
by the ODC, should he have a disciplinary complaint lodged against
him at any time during the conditional-reinstatement period.
Justices Scott Crichton and Marcus Clark dissented
from the majority.
Crichton noted that the disciplinary-hearing committee described
Ferrara's reinstatement petition as "sloppily prepared" and
"concerning" that the petition "had such
In particular, Ferrara had omitted a "significant number"
of assets, income and liabilities, including tax liens greater than
$380,000, Crichton wrote.
"Notwithstanding an amendment of his application, petitioner
has disregarded the clearly delineated and non-negotiable
reinstatement requirements set forth in [state statute], which calls
into question whether he possesses the requisite character and
fitness to practice law,” he wrote.
Crichton wrote that he would deny Ferrara's conditional
"Following suspension from the practice of law, one who
petitions the Supreme Court for reinstatement ought to be scrupulous
and fastidious — and accurate — in doing so," Crichton
"Given petitioner’s transgressions and his 'sloppily prepared'
application for reinstatement, I seriously question whether he has
proven that he has the requisites to return to this noble