NEW ORLEANS – A Shreveport attorney has received a third suspension from practicing law.
In an order released July 20 by the Louisiana Supreme Court, attorney John E. Settle Jr. was “suspended from the practice of law on an interim basis … pending further orders of this court.”
The order notes that the suspension is for “threat of harm.”
The interim suspension is in line with such complaints from the Office of Disciplinary Council (ODC).
“He was suspended on an interim basis, that usually means there was some sort of threat of harm to clients,” Dane Ciolino, a professor of legal ethics and Loyola University College of Law in New Orleans, told the Louisiana Record. “Because there was a threat of harm to clients, there’s no telling what it is, they never post much detail about it. You see several of those every year.”
Settle can seek to have the order of suspension dissolved or modified, in which case the ODC will have five days to respond, and the Supreme Court will choose how to act on the motion.
Otherwise, “the disciplinary proceeding is going to move forward and it’s going to be resolved after a hearing, and the Louisiana Supreme Court will ultimately make a decision,” Ciolino said.
If the court finds the allegations against Settle are valid, it can choose what form of discipline it wishes to impose on the attorney.
“No fine,” said Ciolino. “What we’re looking at is either suspension or disbarment, or perhaps even a permanent disbarment, given his prior disciplinary history.”
That history includes a suspension for a year and a day in 2012 as a result of two DWI arrests and a six-month suspension in October 2016 for violating a recovery agreement and testing positive for alcohol.
The ODC will appoint a trustee to ensure all of Settle’s clients’ interests are protected. If Settle is ultimately disbarred, Ciolino said “another lawyer will be appointed to his cases by the Louisiana Supreme Court.”