Louisiana Record

Monday, August 19, 2019

Supreme Court dismisses charges that Shreveport attorney helped client withhold evidence in battery case


By Karen Kidd | Sep 24, 2018

NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) – Formal charges against Shreveport attorney John Nathaniel Bokenfohr alleging he helped his client withhold evidence in a battery case several years ago have been dismissed following a Sept. 21 Louisiana Supreme Court attorney disciplinary proceeding.

Though it took three months, Bokenfohr always believed his client would comply with his legal advice to turn over the evidence the client was withholding, according to the Supreme Court's  three-page attorney disciplinary proceeding.

"Briefly stated, this case involves the obligations of an attorney who learns his client has failed to produce evidence in response to a search warrant in an ongoing criminal investigation," the disciplinary proceeding said. "Upon learning the evidence was in his client's possession, (Bokenfohr) counseled his client on several occasions to turn the evidence over to the authorities. (Bokenfohr)also informed his client that he was likely to be charged with obstruction of justice."

The Supreme Court's decision followed a Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board recommendation in April that the high court dismiss the formal charges against Bokenfohr. Allegations against Bokenfohr stemmed from his representation of a Shreveport pawn shop owner charged with aggravated battery following a fight with a customer in the shop's parking lot in November 2014, according to the LADB's recommendation.

The shop's owner did not immediately turn over evidence to police, though Bokenfohr reportedly told him multiple times he should do so and the client eventually did. The pawn shop owner was convicted in July 2015 of simple battery and obstruction of justice. Allegations against Bokenfohr followed that conviction.

The LADB's recommendation for dismissal followed a hearing committee's legal conclusions and its own recommendations in December that formal charges against Bokenfohr be dismissed.

Bokenfohr was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Oct. 10, 2003, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website.  Bokenfohr had no prior discipline before the state bar, according to the LADB's recommendation.

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Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board Louisiana State Bar Association Louisiana Supreme Court

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