Louisiana Record

Monday, August 19, 2019

New Orleans attorney suspended following unsuccessful attempt to purchase house from client

By Karen Kidd | Mar 29, 2018

NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) — New Orleans attorney Gregory Swafford has been suspended following a March 23 Louisiana Supreme Court attorney disciplinary proceeding over allegations stemming from an unsuccessful attempt to purchase a house from his client.

Half of Swafford's six-month suspension was deferred and the active portion of his suspension is to be followed by a year of probation, according to the high court's 10-page attorney disciplinary proceeding. Swafford also is required to complete Louisiana State Bar Association's ethics school, according to the disciplinary proceeding. Swafford also was ordered to pay all costs and expenses in the matter, the disciplinary proceeding said.  

Swafford was admitted to the Louisiana bar April 23, 1993, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website. Swafford had no prior discipline before the state bar, according to the disciplinary proceeding and his state bar profile.

Allegations against Swafford stemmed from his purchase of a house on Farragut Street in New Orleans from a client in which he allegedly failed to reduce the terms of his agreement with the client, according to the disciplinary proceeding. The client filed a complaint in July 2014 against Swafford with the office of disciplinary counsel. Swafford responded that he did not represent the client, according to the disciplinary proceeding.

Swafford said interest in the Farragut Street property was predicated on a clear title and that "all necessary parties were available and agreeable, but that another attorney would handle the succession work," the proceeding said.

The client produced e-mail exchanges between herself and Swafford earlier that year that indicated he was representing her, according to the disciplinary proceeding. The client subsequently hired another attorney and sold the Farragut Street property in 2015, according to the proceeding.

In May, a Louisiana attorney disciplinary hearing committee recommended that the Supreme Court and down a fully deferred 30-day suspension against Swafford and that he be ordered to attend the state bar's ethics school. The hearing committee's recommendation following allegations Swafford negligently created an attorney/client relationship, failed to act with reasonable diligence and promptness and failed to protect his client’s interests, according to the hearing committee's recommendation.

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Louisiana State Bar Association Louisiana Supreme Court