NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) — Belle Chasse attorney Patrick A. Giraud faces a fully deferred conditional suspension following an Oct. 5 Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) recommendation to the state Supreme Court.
"The fully deferred suspension is appropriate considering all of the circumstances presented here and is in line with jurisprudence involving similar situations," the LADB said in its 23-page recommendation.
In addition to the fully deferred year-and-a-day suspension, the board also recommended Giraud be ordered to pay costs and expenses. The LADB's recommendation concurred with a hearing committee's recommendation in March that Giraud receive a fully deferred suspension over allegations he used trust account funds to feed his pain medication.
In addition, "to encourage [Giraud]' continued recovery and to further protect against any recurrence of his misconduct", the board also recommended five conditions to the deferred suspension. That Giraud enter a five-year judges and lawyers assistance program contract, submit to two years' probation, take at least six hours of continuing legal education and complete the state bar's trust accounting school. Failure to comply could be grounds for making the deferred suspension executory or imposing additional discipline.
Giraud was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Oct. 28, 2005, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website. Giraud had no prior discipline before the state bar, according to the hearing committee's report.
Allegations against Giraud stemmed from an overdraft notice on his trust account received by the office of disciplinary counsel in February 3, 2016, according to the recommendation. A review of Giraud's financial records for Aug. 1, 2015, through Jan. 31, 2016, turned up more than $33,000 in regular payments of non-client expenses.
Giraud was alleged to have used trust account funds to support his addiction to prescription pain medications, including OxyContin. Giraud entered a 90-day inpatient treatment program by the time formal allegations were filed against him, according to the recommendation.