LADB hearing panel backs deferred suspension for Belle Chasse attorney

By Karen Kidd | Apr 27, 2018

NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) — Belle Chasse attorney Patrick A. Giraud awaits the outcome of a recommendation issued by a Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) hearing committee in March that he receive a deferred suspension after allegedly using trust account funds to support his addiction to pain medication.

Hearing Committee No. 37 handed down its recommendation against Giraud for "intentionally utilizing funds from his trust account to support an addition to prescription pain medication, specifically OxyContin," the committee's four-page report said.

The committee recommended Giraud be suspended for a year and one day, fully deferred, conditioned upon his compliance with a Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program agreement, a regular auditing of his trust account and completion of the Louisiana State Bar Association's trust accounting program.

The report was signed March 13 by hearing committee chairman Wade Webster, after having been filed the previous day, according to dates on the report. No additional updates in the matter, LADB recommendations or a decision by the state Supreme Court, have been posted on the LADB website.

Giraud was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Oct. 28, 2005, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website. Giraud had no prior discipline before the state bar, according to the hearing committee's report.

Giraud began using OxyContin in 2013 and continued until early 2016 and he "admitted thqt he did not have a prescription for this opioid drug but purchased it from another attorney and others," the hearing committee's report said.

"After an attorney he worked with died of a heroin overdose, and during the time he was under investigation by the office of disciplinary counsel, [Giraud] entered an inpatient drug rehabilitation facility, Palmetto Addiction Recovery Center, where he resided for 95 days," the report said. "He signed a recovery agreement in which he agreed to forego drug or alcohol use."

Giraud also agreed to voluntary drug testing and has regularly attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. 

"He continues to be a regular participant in AA and testified that he had not drunk alcohol or used drugs since he left the inpatient facility," the report said.

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