Mandeville attorney Elise Marybeth LaMartina has been suspended for three years following a Dec. 6 Louisiana Supreme Court disciplinary proceeding, rather than disbarred as one justice recommended, following convictions on shoplifting charges and unauthorized visits to a public school.
Justice Scott J. Crichton dissented from the high court's majority decision to suspend LaMartina, according to the nine-page disciplinary proceeding. Crichton said he found LaMartina's conduct "coupled with her lack of cooperation with and flippancy toward her disciplinary proceedings" warranted disbarment, according to his dissent included in the disciplinary proceeding.
The state high court also ordered LaMartina pay all costs and expenses.
In October 2011, LaMartina was arrested for allegedly shoplifting $166.87 worth of merchandise from Target store in Covington, according to the disciplinary proceeding. She also was arrested twice on civil attachments issued in two cases in which LaMartina was the defendant, according to the disciplinary proceeding.
In January 2015, LaMartina was arrested for shoplifting hair dye valued at $7.29 from Rouses Supermarket in Mandeville and ultimately was charged with misdemeanor theft of goods, according to the disciplinary proceeding. "In October 2015, respondent pleaded guilty to this charge as well as the 2011 shoplifting charge previously discussed," the proceeding said.
LaMartina was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Oct. 13, 2006, according to her profile at the Louisiana State Bar's website. LaMartina's disciplinary problems with before the state supreme court began about four years later when she received a fully deferred one year and one day suspension and two years of unsupervised probation with conditions, according to the high court's July 2010 disciplinary proceeding.
That discipline arose from allegations that LaMartina repeatedly violated St. Tammany Parish School Board rules and regulations when she visited Tchefuncte Middle School during the 2004-05 school year, according to the disciplinary proceeding.
After her 2011 arrest, the state high court issued a May 2012 disciplinary proceeding that revoked LaMartina's probation and invoked the previously deferred suspension. LaMartina had not filed for reinstatement as of the date of the high court's most recent disciplinary proceeding, according to the disciplinary proceeding.
This past March, the state bar's attorney disciplinary board recommended LaMartina be suspended following her guilty plea to shoplifting and allegedly failing respond to an office of disciplinary counsel investigation.