Louisiana Record

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New Orleans attorney gets deferred suspension after allegedly using incarcerated client's funds

By Karen Kidd | Sep 15, 2017

New Orleans attorney Alvin Anthony Johnson Jr. received a deferred suspension and probation following a Sept. 6 Louisiana Supreme Court disciplinary proceeding over allegations he commingled and converted client funds and failed to account for money due his incarcerated client.

Johnson's year-and-a-day suspension was deferred in its entirety and he was placed on two years of supervised probation, according to the state high court's 11-page disciplinary proceeding. His probation was ordered by the court to commence from the date he, the office of disciplinary counsel and the probation monitor execute a formal probation plan. If Johnson fails to comply with the conditions of his probation, the deferred suspension could be executory, according to the disciplinary proceeding.

The court also ordered Johnson to pay all costs and expenses in the matter.

Johnson was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on April 13, 2006, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar's website.

Allegations against Johnson stemmed from a 2012 case in which he represented an incarcerated client following the death of the client's father, according to the disciplinary proceeding. The client was beneficiary of his late father's insurance policy, according to the disciplinary proceeding. Johnson was retained at a rate of $200 per hour to make sure the client received the insurance policy funds designated for him and to investigate any other policies or funds of his father's that might be due him, according to the disciplinary proceeding.

Johnson worked six hours for his client, received client trust funds of at least $3,308 but only $594 was deposited into his client's commissary account, according to the disciplinary proceeding.

In October, Louisiana attorney disciplinary board hearing committee No. 33 recommended that Johnson be suspended for one year with all but  six months deferred.  The committee found the respondent commingled and converted client funds and failed to account for funds owed to his client, according to the committee's report.

"His actions were intentional," the report said. "The injury caused was actual and still ongoing. Aggravating the situation is that he has never made complete restitution to the [client, and the client is] at a disadvantage in that he was apparently incarcerated for part or all of the process and this committee is sensitive to his vulnerability and [Johnson] continues to ignore the disciplinary process altogether."

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Organizations in this Story

Louisiana State Bar Association Louisiana Supreme Court