New Orleans attorney suspended following misconduct allegations in client matter

By Karen Kidd | Mar 30, 2018

NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) — New Orleans attorney Louise Anne Klaila has been disbarred following a June 5 Louisiana Supreme Court attorney disciplinary proceeding over allegations of misconduct in a single client matter.

Klaila was suspended for a year and a day and was required to provide an accounting and refund unearned fees to her former client, according to the high court's 10-page attorney disciplinary proceeding. The state high court's action followed recommendation by the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board and a board hearing committee recommendations last summer and earlier this year.

Klaila also was ordered to pay all costs and expenses in the matter, according to the attorney disciplinary proceeding.

Klaila was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Dec. 28, 2007, and maintains a law office in New Orleans, according to her profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website. Klaila had no prior discipline before the state bar, according to the disciplinary proceeding and her state bar profile.

In June, a Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board committee recommended Klaila be suspended for one year with all but three months deferred after the committee found she had collected an unreasonable fee from her client and failed to return the unearned portion. The hearing committee also found Klaila had failed to cooperate with the office of disciplinary counsel, according to the committee's recommendation.

In January, the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board recommended Klaila be suspended for a year and a day and that she be required to make restitution to her client. The board's recommendation followed allegations she neglected a client matter, failed to communicate with her client, failed to account for fees, failed to return unearned fees and misused her client trust account.

In its attorney disciplinary proceeding, the state Supreme Court said it agreed that the board's recommended suspension was appropriate. "This sanction will require [Klaila] to apply for reinstatement and demonstrate to our satisfaction that she has remedied the problems that caused her misconduct," the high court said in its disciplinary proceeding.

"Accordingly, we will adopt the disciplinary board's recommendation and suspend the respondent from the practice of law for one year and one day. We will also order respondent to provide an accounting and make restitution of any unearned fees to [her client]."

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