NEW ORLEANS — Longtime New Orleans attorney Errol John Ware faces possible permanent disbarment following a split Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) recommendation to the state Supreme Court over allegations that included lacking candor before a court and falsifying documents.
The LADB's 19-page recommendation issued July 20 follows a hearing committee's legal conclusions and its own recommendations filed in October.
Adjudicative Committee Member Melissa L. Theriot dissented from the board's recommendation, saying she would recommend disbarring Ware, but not permanently.
"[Ware] submitted false documents to the court and disbarment is appropriate," Theriot wrote in her dissent, citing American Bar Association standards for attorney sanctions.
"I do not believe his actions, while serious violations of the rules of professional conduct, constitute intentional corruption of the judicial process, as in the case of bribery or perjury," Theriot continued in her dissent. "Rather, he falsified documents for his own benefits."
Adjudicative Committee member Brian D. Landry signed the recommendation in which fellow board members Linda G. Bizzarro, Pamela W. Carter, Sheila E. O'Leary, Dominick Scandurro Jr, Danna E. Schwab, Evans C. Spiceland Jr and Charles H. Williamson Jr concurred.
Ware was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Oct. 2, 1974, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website.
In October, an LADB hearing committee recommended Ware be permanently disbarred and ordered to pay $5,500 in restitution after finding the attorney failed to diligently represent his client and act with candor toward the court and his client, in addition to mismanaging funds and refusing to cooperate with the office of disciplinary counsel.
Ware's possible permanent disbarment would mark the first time in more than two decades that he has been disciplined in Louisiana. In 1994, he was admonished for failing to cooperate with an office of disciplinary counsel investigation and threatening criminal or disciplinary charges solely to obtain an advantage in a civil matter, according to the LADB's recommendation.
"Additionally, Respondent was sanctioned with formal private reprimands in 1979 and 1988, but the underlying details are unknown," the LADB's recommendation said.
The remoteness of Ware's prior disciplinary history was considered the only mitigating factor in the case against him.