NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) — New Orleans attorney Nichole Rene Goudeau, ineligible in the state for nearly a decade, faces possible suspension following a Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) recommendation to the state Supreme Court after she gave counsel in a divorce case while ineligible.
The LADB recommended Goudeau be suspended for a one year and one day and that she be ordered to make restitution to her client in the divorce case and pay all costs and expenses in the proceedings, according to the LADB's 12-page recommendation filed April 23. "Although [Goudeau] answered the charges, she thereafter failed to participate in the proceedings," the LADB's recommendation said. "A hearing was held at which she did not appear."
The LADB's recommendation follows a hearing committee's legal conclusions and its own recommendations filed in November that Goudeau be suspended for six months, with all but 30 days deferred, followed by two years' unsupervised probation. Allegations against Goudeau include failure to comply with minimum mandatory continuing legal education requirements, failure to pay her bar dues and agreeing to an unreasonable fee. The hearing committee also recommended that Goudeau attend the Louisiana State Bar Association's ethics school.
The LADB adopted the hearing committee's factual findings and legal conclusions," the LADB recommendation said. "As to sanction, [Goudeau]'s misconduct, as well as her failure to cooperate with the office of disciplinary counsel and participate in the hearing, the board recommends that she be suspended for a year and a day.
"The imposition of a year and a day suspension will require [Goudeau] to apply for reinstatement and demonstrate she meets the requirements of Louisiana Supreme Court Rule XIX, 24(E) in the event she seeks to return to the practice of law in the future. The board further recommends that she make restitution to the complainant and that she be charged with all costs and expenses associated with the disciplinary proceedings."
Goudeau was admitted to the bar in Louisiana Oct. 18, 2007, according to her profile at the state bar's website.
Goudeau has been ineligible to practice law in Louisiana since 2009 for noncompliance with trust account registration requirements, failure to pay bar and disciplinary dues and noncompliance with continuing legal education requirements, according to her state bar profile and the LADB's recommendation.