Louisiana Record

Friday, December 13, 2019

Baton Rouge attorney permanently disbarred following allegations of misconduct

By Karen Kidd | Sep 12, 2017

Louisiana State Supreme Court building

Baton Rouge attorney Randal Alandre Toaston has been permanently disbarred following a Sept. 6 Louisiana Supreme Court decision involving 26 allegations of misconduct after years under suspension and allegedly breaking into his office he'd been ordered to vacate.

The 38-page decision alleged Toaston failed to provide competent representation for and communicate with his clients, neglected legal matters, didn't refund unearned fees and withdrew more than $50,000 from his client trust account. Toaston also is alleged to have allowed one client's lawsuit be dismissed as abandoned, engaging in criminal conduct and failing to cooperate with an investigation by the state bar's Office of Disciplinary Counsel (ODC) investigation into allegations against him.

A Louisiana State Bar hearing committee recommended Toaston be ordered to pay restitution.

Toaston's alleged wrongdoing began a year before he was admitted to the bar in 2002 when he was hired by one client about nine months before he received his license to practice law in Louisiana, according to the high court's decision. That case ended up being dismissed as abandoned in November 2008, Toaston never refunded his client's fee and the client filed a claim with the state bar, according to the decision.

In addition to other allegations in other client matters, Toaston was arrested in October 2012 for careless operation of a vehicle, driving under suspension and resisting an officer, according to the decision. He was billed with these charges and, in August the following he, was placed in a diversion program but didn't pay the required diversion program fee or appear for a scheduled Oct. 15, 2014, court date, which resulted in a bench warrant for his arrest that remains active, according to the decision.

Toaston was placed on interim suspension by order of the Louisiana Supreme Court in August 2014, according to the high court's decision. That same month, once the ODC's investigation was under way, the judgment of eviction had been signed, Toaston ordered to vacate his office and the landlord changed the locks, Toaston allegedly hired a locksmith to get him back inside, according to the decision. Toaston then allegedly removed client files and other items from the premises, according to the decision.

Formal charges were filed the following December.

In February 2016 a state bar hearing committee recommended Toaston be disbarred.

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Louisiana State Bar AssociationLouisiana Supreme Court