NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) — New Orleans-based environmental attorney Stuart H. Smith, practicing in Louisiana for almost 32 years, has received a voluntary deferred suspension following a May 11 Louisiana Supreme Court attorney disciplinary proceeding after he was convicted of cyberstalking.
The state high court handed down the fully deferred three months suspension after Smith and the office of disciplinary counsel (ODC) submitted a joint petition for consent discipline in which Smith acknowledged his conviction amounted to a professional conduct rule violation, according to the court's single-page attorney disciplinary proceeding. The court also placed Smith on a year's probation.
"The probationary period shall commence from the date respondent and the ODC execute a formal probation plan," the court's attorney disciplinary proceeding said. "Any failure of respondent to comply with the conditions of probation, or any misconduct during the probationary period, may be grounds for making the deferred suspension executory, or imposing additional discipline, as appropriate."
Smith also was ordered to pay all costs and expenses, plus interest in the matter.
Smith was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Oct. 10, 1986, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website. No prior discipline is listed in Smith's state bar profile.
Smith has been lead attorney in "more than 100 oil pollution cases", according to his online biography at his law firm's website. One of those cases was a 2001 $1 billion jury award to a retired Jefferson Parish District Judge Joseph Grefer and his family against Exxon Mobil Corp. The award was record-setting in the state until about a year later, when the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal reduced the award to $168 million plus interest.
Smith was charged with cyberstalking in July 2014 after he allegedly sent a threatening email to then New Orleans Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer over a noise ordinance. The following September, Smith plead guilty to a reduced cyberstalking charge and received a suspended sentence and two years' probation.