NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) — The Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) earlier this month ordered dismissal of formal charges against Shreveport attorney John Nathaniel Bokenfohr that he helped his client to withhold evidence.
The LADB adopted findings and conclusions reached earlier by a hearing committee and dismissed formal charges filed by the office of disciplinary counsel (ODC) in December 2016, according to the LADB's 13-page order issued April 11. In his answers to the ODC allegations, Bokenfohr denied violating any of the rules.
The LADB's recommendation follows a hearing committee's legal conclusions and its own recommendations filed in December that formal charges against Bokenfohr be dismissed.
The LADB's order was not reached unanimously as Adjudicative Committee member Linda G. Bizzarro dissented in the board's order.
Bokenfohr was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Oct. 10, 2003, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website. Bokenfohr had no prior discipline before the state bar, according to the the LADB's recommendation.
The ODC's allegations against Bokenfohr stemmed from his representation of a Shreveport pawn shop owner who had been charged with aggravated battery following a fight with a customer in the shop's parking lot Nov. 7, 2014, according to the LADB's order. The shop's owner did not immediately turn over evidence to police, although Bokenfohr reportedly told him multiple times he should do so and he eventually did. The pawn shop owner was convicted in July 2015 of simple battery and obstruction of justice, and the ODC's allegations against Bokenfohr followed that conviction.
The LADB, in its order, said it agreed with the hearing committee that the ODC had not proved its case against Bokenfohr.
"Upon learning of his client’s obstruction of justice, Bokenforh took reasonable remedial measures, by urging this client to disclose the evidence and, once the client agreed to relinquish the evidence, preserving the integrity of the evidence for the prosecution by means of expert examination," the LADB's order said.
"This entire process took less than three months and the evidence was delivered to the prosecution over two months ahead of the initial trial date.”