NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) — New Orleans attorney and former Orleans Parish traffic and civil judge Ronald J. Sholes has been publicly reprimanded following an April 2 Louisiana Supreme Court attorney disciplinary proceeding over allegations he failed to adequately supervise a non-lawyer assistant.
The state high court accepted a joint petition for consent discipline filed by Sholes and the office of disciplinary counsel before handing down the reprimand, according to the high court's single-page attorney disciplinary proceeding. Sholes acknowledged "his conduct" in the joint petition for consent discipline, the attorney disciplinary proceeding said.
The joint petition followed an office of disciplinary counsel investigation into allegations Sholes failed to adequately supervise a non-lawyer assistant, which is a violation of the court's professional conduct rules. Sholes also was ordered to pay all costs and expenses in the matter with legal interest to commence 30 days from the date of the court's attorney disciplinary proceeding.
Sholes was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Oct. 5, 1984, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website. No prior discipline against Sholes is listed on his state bar profile.
Sholes retired as Orleans Parish Traffic Court judge in July 2013, according to the October/November 2013 edition of the Louisiana State Bar Journal. Sholes had been elected in 1998 to Division D of Orleans Parish Traffic Court and had served about four years, leaving more than a year before the end of his term on the bench.
Previously, he was as an Orleans Parish Civil District Court judge from 1991 to 1998.
His time as a traffic judge was marred by a 2006 ticket-fixing and theft scandal in which four people, include two clerks, entered guilty pleas in federal court the following year on allegations they stole more than $100,000 in traffic fine fees, according to a news report at the time of his retirement from the bench. One of the clerks who entered a guilty plea in the case was Sholes' niece, Angela Sholes.