NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) — Covington attorney Joseph Aiavolasiti Kott has been voluntarily transferred to disability inactive status following a March 9 Louisiana Supreme Court order.
The state high court handed down its order following consideration of a joint petition for transfer to disability status, according to the brief order. Kott's transfer to disability status was effective immediately and all disciplinary proceedings against him "shall be deferred until such time as he resumes active status," the order said.
Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Greg Gerard Guidry recused himself from the matter, according to the order.
Kott was admitted to the Louisiana bar April 14, 2009, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website.
Kott's earlier attempt to be admitted to the bar was blocked by a split state Supreme Court vote in November 2006, following opposition by the committee on bar admissions. The committee opposed Kott's application to sit the Louisiana bar exam, "based on character and fitness concerns primarily arising out of his felony conviction for vehicular homicide", according to the state high court's decision that month.
Kott had been involved in a fatal accident in December 1998 and "was consumed by remorse" afterward, according to the decision. The state Supreme Court allowed Kott to take the exam, which he passed, but then did not allow him to be admitted to the bar at that time because he "failed to meet his burden of proving that he has good moral character," the high court's decision said.
Justice Pascal F. Calogero, Justice Catherine D. Kimball and Justice Jeannette Theriot Knoll dissented from the majority decision with Calogero and Knoll saying they would conditionally admit Knox. In her dissent, Kimball wrote that she believed Kott "has affirmatively shown that his character has been rehabilitated in the eight years since his felony conviction for vehicular homicide."
Kott was admitted to the bar in Louisiana a few years later, according to information on his state bar profile. In May 2011, the state Supreme Court issued an order finding Kott had successfully complied with all the probation terms for his admission and, upon recommendation of the office of disciplinary counsel, terminated his conditional admission.