NEW ORLEANS — The Louisiana Supreme Court ruled on Jan. 13 to suspend New York City attorney David Segal from the practice of law in Louisiana for a period of one year.
According to documents on the Louisiana Attorney Discipline Board website, the attorney was licensed to practice in the states of New York and Louisiana, though his alleged misconduct was solely committed in New York. The order to impose reciprocal discipline was decreed after approval of a petition filed by the Louisiana State Bar Office of Disciplinary Counsel last fall.
Segal was investigated for neglect in four matters. Segal allegedly failed to communicate with two clients, did not answer in a timely manner disciplinary complaints filed by three clients, did not appear in two cases, did not comply with court orders, and did not file retainer statements in a timely manner. It was determined that Segal had violated one section of the New York Lawyer’s Code of Professional Responsibility and three sections of New York's Rules of Professional Conduct.
The Supreme Court of New York suspended the lawyer for one year on Dec. 9, 2014, with the suspension beginning Jan. 8, 2015. The attorney, who was admitted to practice in New York in 1974 and in Louisiana in 1969, had previously incurred a suspension for similar misconduct in 1993. Segal had allegedly failed to return retainer fees to clients in nine matters. He was reinstated to the New York State Bar Association in 1997.
Upon receipt of the the motion from the New York’s Supreme Court, the Louisiana State Bar issued a notice to Segal on Nov. 21, 2016, giving the attorney 30 days to tell the courts why identical discipline was unnecessary. According to court documents, the attorney filed response with the ODC consenting to the reciprocal discipline.
The Louisiana Supreme Court determined that deference to the New York Supreme Court ruling was adequate.
Based on the evidence provided by New York's Supreme Court investigation into the matters of misconduct and the attorney's response to the notice provided by the Louisiana Supreme Court, the state of Louisiana determined that suspension in both states was warranted discipline. The nature of the misconduct charges that Segal was found culpable of demonstrated harm to his clients and the public; therefore, it was deemed necessary to suspend Segal’s license to practice.
According to its website, the Louisiana Supreme Court is located in New Orleans and was established in 1813 as the highest court in the state. It is presided over by seven justices: Chief Justice Bernette J. Johnson, who was appointed in February 2013; Greg G. Guidry; Scott J. Crichton; James T. Genovese; Marcus R. Clark; Jefferson D. Hughes III; and John L. Weimer.