NEW ORLEANS – Attorney Bruce C. Ashley II, practicing in Louisiana for more than 43 years, faces a possible fully deferred suspension following a Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) recommendation to the state Supreme Court over allegations in four client matters.
The LADB recommended the high court hand down a fully deferred 18-month suspension conditional upon a Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program (JLAP) contract for five years, and that Ashley provides a detailed accounting to each of the clients in all four counts against him. Another condition the LADB recommended was that a practice monitor be appointed to Ashley's law practice for a year, according to the LADB's 24-page recommendation issued March 13.
The LADB also recommended Ashley pay all costs and expenses in the proceedings.
The LADB's recommendation follows a hearing committee's legal conclusions and its own recommendation filed in September.
No additional updates in the matter, including a decision by the Louisiana Supreme Court, have been posted to the LADB website.
Ashley was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Oct. 2, 1974, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website.
The LADB's recommendation was based upon formal charges against Ashley by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel alleging he violated rules that refer to diligence and knowingly making a false statement of material fact. Ashley stipulated to the allegations in the formal charges "with limited variation," the LADB's recommendation said.
Ashley's response to the charges "referenced his prior medical and alcohol abuse problems and treatment and provided various explanations in response to the allegations of the specific counts," the LADB recommendation said. Ashley requested that his JLAP agreement be for three years, rather than five, pointing out "that he voluntarily entered a lengthy, inpatient rehabilitation program and voluntarily entered into his JLAP contract," the LADB recommendation said.
"He referenced the damage to his practice and financial stress caused by his alcoholism and depression and treatment for same and attached a list of costs (totaling approximately $4,000) of compliance with the JLAP agreement to date."
In a previous discipline, the state Supreme Court handed down a fully deferred six-month suspension against Ashley in September 2013 over allegations that he neglected a legal matter and failed to adequately communicate with a client.