Lafayette attorney Harold D. Register Jr. has been disbarred following a Feb. 14 Louisiana Supreme Court disciplinary proceeding despite dissent from two justices who said they would have preferred Register be suspended.
Chief Justice Bernette J. Johnson and Justice Jefferson D. Hughes III both dissented with the court majority decision to disbar Register.
"Based on the record, I find a more appropriate sanction to be suspension," Johnson said in her dissent, with which Hughes concurred. "I agree with the hearing committee's recommendation that the respondent should be suspended from the practice of law for three years, subject to two years of supervised probation with conditions."
Justice James T. Genovese recused himself.
Register was charged with professional conduct rule violations in two client matters, according to the high court's 12-page disciplinary proceeding. Register was alleged to have failed to have disbursed money to a client and to third parties that Register had received as part of a settlement. Instead, he converted the funds for an extended period, according to the disciplinary proceeding. Register also was alleged to have failed to provide adequate representation of one client, on whose behalf he failed to answer pleadings that had been filed by the opposing party and to have not attended a scheduled court appearance, according to the proceeding.
Register's disbarment was retroactive to April 27, 2017, the date he was placed on interim suspension, according to proceeding.
Register's law office is at 216 Rue Louis XIV, Lafayette, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website. He is not attorney Harold D. Register III whose law office is at 102 Versailles Blvd., Lafayette and who is a member of the state bar in good standing, according to his profile at the state bar's website.
Register Jr. was admitted to the Louisiana bar Sept. 18, 1985, according to his profile at the state bar's website.
In March 2017, a state bar hearing committee recommended Register Jr. be suspended for three years followed by two years' probation and be ordered to pay restitution $6,000 in restitution to one of his former clients. The following October, the Louisiana attorney disciplinary board recommended Register Jr. be disbarred and that he be ordered to pay restitution.