NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) — Lafayette attorney Michael Sean Reid faces possible disbarment following a May 23 Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) recommendation to the state Supreme Court following allegations of multiple professional conduct rules violations.
The LADB's 21-page recommendation follows a hearing committee's legal conclusions and its own recommendations filed in August that Reid be permanently disbarred after he stipulated to nine counts of misconduct. Allegations against Reid include violations of professional conduct rules governing diligence, communication, fees, safekeeping property, termination of representation, failure to cooperate with the office of disciplinary counsel, misconduct, dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.
"As to sanction, considering the circumstances in this case, the board recommends that [Reid] be disbarred," the LADB's recommendation said. "It further recommends that he make full restitution to his clients, and that he pay all costs and expenses associated with these disciplinary proceedings."
Reid was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Oct. 5, 2001, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website. Reid has been ineligible to practice law in Louisiana since September 2016 for unpaid disciplinary dues, unpaid bar dues and noncompliance with trust account and continuing legal education requirements, according to his state bar profile.
Following an office of disciplinary counsel investigation into overdraft notices on Reid's client trust account, Reid admitted in July 2016 that he had mishandled the account, according to the LADB's recommendation. Reid also "further indicated that during the prior year, he had battled depression and anxiety, had sought professional psychiatric help, and had been hospitalized for stress and anxiety-related hypertension," the LADB recommendation said.
"He requested the opportunity to voluntarily surrender his license until such time as he could obtain treatment and regain his ability to function within the legal field," the recommendation said. Reid signed a release the following August but did not follow through with a judges' and lawyers' assistance program recommended course of treatment.
In December 2016, the Louisiana Supreme Court placed Reid on interim suspension for threat of harm following a petition filed by the office of disciplinary counsel. That suspension order was effective immediately.