NEW ORLEANS — Keith Thornton, a Baton Rouge attorney, was recently reinstated to the practice of law, subject to a two-year period of supervised probation, according to a decree by the Louisiana Supreme Court.
According to the court's March 31 order, Thornton's reinstatement is conditioned upon several factors, including supervision by a "probation monitor" or a law firm or other attorney responsible for his monitoring.
The high court had suspended Thornton for one year in 2004 and for two years in 2007 for misconduct.
His first suspension involved neglect of a legal matter, failure to communicate with a client and failure to cooperate with the Office of Disciplinary Commission (ODC) in three separate investigations, the ruling said.
In his second suspension, the court found he had engaged in "misconduct that included neglect of a legal matter, failure to communicate with his client, failure to make reasonable efforts to expedite litigation, engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice and failure to cooperate with the ODC in its investigation," the order said.
Thornton, however, has proved that he is entitled to be reinstated, having recognized "the wrongfulness and seriousness" of his actions related to both suspensions, the high court found.
"Petitioner has also shown that he possesses the requisite competence, honesty and integrity to be reinstated to the practice of law," the order said.
The court said that for Thornton to successfully complete his probationary period, he must also report no less than quarterly to his probation monitor, complete the Louisiana State Bar Association Annual Solo and Small Firm Conference and the LSBA Four Corners Seminar.
Thornton also must not violate rules of professional conduct during his conditional reinstatement period, the order said. If a disciplinary complaint is filed against him, he is ordered to cooperate with the ODC.
If he fails to comply with conditions or commit misconduct, his right to practice law could be immediately terminated, and he could face further discipline.