NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) — Destrehan attorney Neil Dennis William Montgomery faces possible suspension following a Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) recommendation to the state Supreme Court earlier this month over complaints filed by two former clients' in divorce and family cases.
The LADB recommended Montgomery be suspended for a year and a day and that he be ordered to pay restitution to his clients, with interest, and all costs and expenses in the proceedings, according to the LADB's 11-page recommendation issued April 23.
The LADB's recommendation follows a hearing committee's legal conclusions and its own recommendations filed in November that Montgomery be suspended for a year and one day for allegedly failing to communicate with a client, to return an unearned fee and to cooperate with an office of disciplinary counsel investigation.
The LADB adopted the conclusions and recommendation of the hearing committee but did not agree with all its findings.
"The committee found that [Montgomery] acted negligently," the LADB recommendation said. "The board finds, however, that [Montgomery] acted knowingly. The deemed admitted facts and the evidence in the record demonstrate [Montgomery] knew or should have known his lack of diligence and lack of communication was below the standard required by the rules of professional conduct and negatively impacted his clients. Furthermore, [Montgomery] certainly knew that he collected fees for work he did not complete."
Montgomery was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on April 26, 2012, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website. Montgomery had no prior discipline before the state bar, according to the LADB's recommendation.
"The only mitigating factor supported by the record is [Montgomery]'s lack of a disciplinary history," the LADB recommendation said. "The following aggravating factors are supported by the record: multiple offenses, bad faith obstruction of the disciplinary proceeding by intentionally failing to comply with rules or orders of the disciplinary agency, substantial experience in the practice of law and indifference to making restitution."
Montgomery currently is ineligible to practice law in Louisiana, according to the LADB's recommendation and his state bar profile. Beginning in September 2015, Montgomery has been listed as ineligible for not paying state bar and disciplinary dues, noncompliance with trust account registration requirements and noncompliance with continuing legal education requirements, according to his state bar profile.
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