NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) — Covington attorney John Morris Dunn III, practicing in Louisiana for more than 46 years, faces possible disbarment following a Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) recommendation to the state Supreme Court in February for allegedly using settlement proceeds to pay his medical expenses.
Dunn allegedly converted up to $75,000 in settlement proceeds to pay his personal medical bills, according to allegations detailed in the LADB's 14-page recommendation issued Feb. 28.
The LADB's recommendation follows a hearing committee's legal conclusions and its own recommendations filed in April 2017, which also recommended Dunn be disbarred.
No additional updates in the matter, including a decision by the Louisiana Supreme Court, have been posted to the LADB website. Dunn was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Sept. 9, 1971, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website.
The LADB's recommendation stems from a complaint filed around June 2011 with the office of disciplinary counsel from a third-party medical provider whom Dunn reportedly owed about $74,000 for medical services provided to Dunn's personal injury case clients, according to formal charges in the LADB's recommendation. When Dunn failed to communicate with the medical provider, the provider reportedly contacted the clients, who informed the provider that their personal injury matters had settled and funds owed to the provider had been deducted from final settlement amounts.
Dunn's health, "without prior notice", had failed "and he underwent an emergency quadruple bypass heart surgery," the formal charges said. "At the time, [Dunn] had no medical insurance and was billed approximately $150,000. As a result, [Dunn] was unable to work for a period of time."
Dunn used the funds designated for the medical provider "to pay his personal medical bills and to sustain himself during the time he was unable to work," the charges said.
In a previous discipline, Dunn was admonished in 2001"for failing to protect funds owed to a third-party medical provider," the LADB's recommendation said.
"Given the extent of [Dunn's] conversion, his failure to provide full restitution, and the absence of any substantial mitigating factors, the board finds that the committee’s recommendation of disbarment is appropriate," the LADB's recommendation said.