NEW ORLEANS -- Covington attorney James E. Moorman III has been reinstated to practice law following a March 2 Louisiana Supreme Court decree after his suspension in 2016 over multiple counts of misconduct.

The state Supreme Court accepted Moorman's application for reinstatement after considering a hearing committee recommendation that he be reinstated, according to the high court's five-page decree. Moorman's reinstatement was effective immediately, subject to a year of supervised probation, according to the decree.

Moorman was admitted to the Louisiana bar April 15, 1991, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website.

The misconduct alleged against Moorman occurred in 2013, according to the state Supreme Court's decree. 

"Over a three-month period in 2013, while [Moorman] was experiencing severe depression, he engaged in misconduct involving neglect of his clients' legal matters, failure to refund unearned fees and failure to properly supervise his nonlawyer staff," the decree said. "Specifically, [Moorman] collected approximately $16,500 in fees from clients and then failed to provide the services for which he was paid."

In October 2013, the state Supreme Court granted a joint motion filed by Moorman and the office of disciplinary counsel, and placed Moorman on voluntary interim suspension.

In September 2016, a state bar hearing committee recommended Moorman be suspended for three years after he admitted to 10 of 11 charges of misconduct, with the hearing committee finding no misconduct on the 11th charge. The charges included failure to return unearned fees, neglecting client legal matters and failure to supervise non-attorney staff, according to the hearing committee's recommendation.

In March 2017, the Louisiana attorney disciplinary board also recommended a three-year suspension for Moorman for the same misconduct charges, according to the board's recommendation.

The following month, the state high court issued a attorney disciplinary proceeding suspending Moorman for three years, based on the hearing committee and disciplinary board recommendations.

In December 2017, a state bar hearing committee issued a conditional recommendation that Moorman be readmitted to practice law in the state, provided he undergo mental health counseling and submit to the monitoring of his practice.

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