NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) — Laplace attorney Daniel Elmore Becnel III faces possible suspension following a May 23 Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) recommendation to the state Supreme Court over allegations his mishandled his client trust account.
The LADB recommended Becnel be suspended for a year and a day, with all but 60 days deferred, followed by a year of conditional probation, according to the LADB's 11-page recommendation. "Here, [Becnel] violated a duty owed to his client," the LADB's recommendation said.
"The committee's finding that he acted negligently is supported by the evidence and should be adopted by the board. [Becnel]'s conduct caused harm to the client, inasmuch as she was deprived of funds to which she was rightfully entitled for two years."
The LADB's recommendation follows a hearing committee's legal conclusions and its own recommendations, filed in October, that Becnel be suspended for a year, with all but 60 days deferred, followed by a year of conditional probation.
The hearing committee's recommendation alleged Becnel negligently mishandled his client trust account but said the misconduct had not been intentional.
Becnel was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Oct. 11, 1991, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website.
The LADB's recommendation, if adopted by the Louisiana Supreme Court, would not be the first time Becnel has been disciplined in the state. In November 2012, the Supreme Court suspended Becnel for 9 months following an office of disciplinary counsel investigation into allegations that Reid engaged in a consensual sexual relationship with a client.
In a previous discipline, the Louisiana Supreme Court handed down an order in October 2010 suspending Becnel for a year, with three months' deferred, following by a year of unsupervised probation over alleged misconduct in a single client matter. The high court also ordered Becnel to make restitution to his client.
In April 2005, the state Supreme Court approved a joint petition for consent discipline agreed to by Becnel and the office of disciplinary counsel following two sets of formal charges over nine counts of misconduct, according to the high court's 2010 order.