NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) — Maryland attorney George Martin Gates IV faces possible suspension following a split Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) recommendation to the state Supreme Court.
The LADB found Gates, of Greenbelt, Maryland, violated professional conduct rules regarding diligence, fees, cooperation with an office of disciplinary counsel investigation and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. The board recommended the Supreme Court hand down a fully deferred six-month suspension, subject to probation, and that Gates be required to attend the state bar's ethics school and pay restitution and all costs and expenses of the disciplinary proceeding.
The LADB's recommendation follows a hearing committee's legal conclusions and its own recommendations filed more than a year ago and the state Supreme Court's order earlier this year ordering that allegations against Gates be consolidated.
LADB adjudicative committee member Linda G. Bizzarro signed the recommendation in which fellow members Pamela W. Carter, Danna E. Schwab, Evans C. Spiceland Jr, Melissa L. Theriot, Walter D. White and Charles H. Williamson Jr concurred. Committee member Anderson O. Dotson III issued a single-sentence dissent that said, "I would adopt the sanction recommended by the hearing committee, i.e. a public reprimand."
Gates was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Oct. 15, 1999, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website.
In April 2017, a state bar hearing committee recommended Gates be publicly reprimanded and be required to attend additional continuing legal education courses over allegations in two matter. Gates allegedly failed to timely and properly release his client's file upon requested and to properly communicate with his client.
In January the LADB recommended Gates receive a fully deferred six month-suspension and probation for over allegations that included failing to diligently represent a client and charging improper fees and failing to cooperate with the office of disciplinary counsel.
In February, the state Supreme Court handed down an order consolidating allegations against him in the two matters. In its order, the high court remanded allegations against Gates to the office of office of disciplinary for a single disciplinary recommendation.
In his brief filed with the state bar, Gates reported that he no longer practices in Louisiana, that he has relocated to Maryland and is seeking admission to the bar in that state, according to the disciplinary board's earlier recommendation.