NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans attorney Alphonse M. Thompson Jr. faces a mostly deferred suspension following a recent recommendation by a Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board hearing committee over allegations he forged a judge's signature to "pacify" his client.
Thompson could receive a one-year suspension with all but the first month deferred, according to the seven-page recommendation issued by LADB Hearing Committee No. 37. The committee also recommended Thompson pay all costs in the matter.
The committee found Thompson violated professional conduct rules regarding diligence, communication and expediting litigation.
The recommendation was signed Sept. 24 by Committee Chair Robert Johnston and was made public Oct. 12. Committee Attorney Member Wade Webster and Public Member Linda Ellis concurred in the recommendation.
Thompson was admitted to the Louisiana bar on Oct. 11, 1985 according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association’s website.
Allegations against Thompson followed a complaint filed by New Orleans First City Court Chief Judge Angelique Reed in July of last year, alleging that Thompson forged the judge's name on a motion and order setting a trial date, according to the recommendation.
"The documents contained a signature purporting to be that of her Honor, but she adamantly denied that it was her signature," the recommendation said. "She advised that the signature contained on the motion was a forgery."
Emotional problems Thompson was suffering when he allegedly created the false trial setting documents and "convincing remorse" he expressed during testimony before the hearing committee were considered mitigating factors, according to the recommendation.
"He apologized to Judge Reed, his client and the disciplinary board," the recommendation said. "There was no evidence his conduct caused damages. His client has continued being represented by [Thompson] in not only the case in which the forgery occurred but also in another case. The evidence shows that [Thompson] took the action that he did to pacify his client who was pressing him to obtain a trial date in her case."
In a previous discipline, the state Supreme Court publicly reprimanded Thompson by consent in February 2014 over allegations he failed to properly supervise a non-attorney assistant and mishandled his client trust account.