NEW ORLEANS — The Louisiana Supreme Court recently suspended James E. Moorman III, a Covington attorney, for allegedly failing to perform legal services for several clients while he was undergoing addiction treatment.
According to the April 24 order, Moorman voluntarily surrendered his law license in 2013 after his friends and members of the legal community held an intervention for him. The attorney allegedly was suffering from severe depression at the time.
Moorman was admitted to an inpatient treatment facility, first receiving treatment for depression. He was later transferred to a program to treat addiction. According to the order, Moorman voluntarily gave up his law license while he sought treatment. As a result, several of Moorman’s clients suffered. The attorney was charged with misconduct in 10 similar client matters.
Moorman was hired to represent a man in a child custody matter for a fee of $5,000. The client also paid an additional $1,000 to the attorney’s office with the understanding that Moorman would likely be out of practice. Eventually the client hired new counsel. During the investigation, Moorman admitted that he had not been diligent in his efforts on the client’s case.
The remaining matters were similar, with Moorman taking cases ranging from DWIs and possession charges to divorce proceedings. In each one, the attorney failed to perform adequate services for his clients.
During the investigation, the attorney was cooperative and admitted his wrongdoing. Moorman agreed that each client was entitled to a refund of some form for his failures.
Moorman was suspended for three years, though the suspension was retroactive to October 2013. The attorney was admitted to the Louisiana State Bar in 1991. He had no record of discipline prior to the voluntary surrender of his license in 2013.