LADB hearing committee recommends suspension for New Iberia attorney

By Karen Kidd | Apr 27, 2018

NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) — New Iberia attorney Alicia Johnson Butler awaits the outcome of a recommendation issued by a Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) hearing committee in February that she be suspended for a year.

LADB Hearing Committee No. 20 made that recommendation following allegations Butler failed to safeguard her client property, act with reasonable diligence and promptness in paying her client and third parties and communicate properly with her client, according to the committee's 23-page report.

The hearing committee referred in its report to a previous discipline the Louisiana Supreme Court handed down against Butler, saying she "did not learn her lesson the first time around".

"However, she should not be disbarred," the report continued. "She should be suspended for one year, have her trust account audited, at her expense, be subject to supervised probation for one year and pay all costs in these proceedings."

The committee also recommended Butler be required to "again" attend the Louisiana State Bar Association's ethics school "with particular attention to the proper use and operation of a client trust account." 

The report was signed Jan. 15 by committee chairman Patrick J. Briney and was issued Feb. 7. No additional updates in the matter, LADB recommendations or a decision by the state Supreme Court, have been posted to the LADB website.

Butler was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on April 20, 2000, according to her profile at the state bar's website.

Butler was previously disciplined by the state Supreme Court, which handed down a fully deferred six months suspension in January 2014. That suspension dealt with allegations that Butler had failed to promptly notify a third party of funds in which that third party had an interest, keep those funds separate her personal funds and misinformed a federal court about the reimbursement amount owed to her after a client's case had been settled.

In that discipline, Butler and the Office of Disciplinary Counsel submitted a joint petition for consent discipline to the state high court, which was accepted. Her fully deferred suspension was subject to her successful completion of a year of supervised probation and attending ethics school.

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