NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) — Kenner attorney John Julius Steger IV faces possible suspension following a recommendation issued May 22 by a Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) hearing committee over multiple alcohol-related arrests stretching back to 1993.
The hearing committee recommended Steger be suspended one year followed by five years' probation, according to the four-page recommendation issued by LADB Hearing Committee No. 12. His probation would coincide with the judges and lawyers assistance program monitoring agreement.
"In the instant case, Mr. Steger has multiple instances of DWI," the recommendation said. "However, he successfully completed a 90-day inpatient treatment program at Palmetto Addiction Recover Center on Sept. 7, 2017 and entered into a five year monitoring and recovery agreement with the judges and lawyers assistance program on Sept. 11, 2017. Mr. Steger has, at all time, been fully compliant with his judges and lawyers assistance program recovery agreement had he has sustained a successful track record of recovery."
The matter came before the hearing committee after a Louisiana Supreme Court split 4-3 in February, rejecting a proposed consent discipline for Steger, according to the recommendation. "No explanation was given for the court's rejection," the recommendation said.
Steger was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Oct. 11, 1996, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website.
Steger's first arrest described in the recommendation was during Mardi Gras in February 1993, more than three years before he was admitted to the bar in Louisiana, over charges of disturbing the peace and obscenity. "Alcohol consumption was involved," the recommendation said. "Records could no longer be located regarding his arrest. According to Mr. Steger, the matter was ultimately dismissed."
The recommendation also described alcohol-related arrests in February 2001, October 2002, March 2003, June 2003 and twice in November 2013. In his first arrest in November 2013, after Steger crashed into a tree, he bit an emergency room nurse and was charged with battery. "Mr. Steger has no independent recollection of these events but has no reason to doubt the accuracy of the police reports and he stipulates to the same," the recommendation said. "Mr. Steger pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of simple assault."