NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) — Baton Rouge attorney George Allen Roth Walsh, publicly reprimanded last summer by the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) for allegedly practicing law while ineligible, faces a 30-day suspension over the same allegations.
The high court handed down a six-month suspension with all but 30 days deferred, to be followed by a year of unsupervised probation, according to the 12-page attorney disciplinary proceeding issued Dec. 3. Walsh also was ordered to attend ethics school and pay all costs and expenses.
"The record supports a finding that [Walsh] violated duties owed to the legal profession, which created the potential for harm," the attorney disciplinary proceeding said. "Given [Walsh]'s lengthy history of failing to fulfill his professional obligations, his misconduct was grossly negligent, if not knowing."
The state Supreme Court's decision followed an appeal by the office of disciplinary counsel's appeal LADB's earlier decision to reprimand Walsh.
Walsh was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on April 22, 2005, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website.
Formal charges against Walsh stem from a complaint filed by East Baton Rouge Parish 19th Judicial District Court Judge Adam J. Haney, who reported Walsh appeared in his court in June 2016 for a juvenile detention hearing when Walsh was ineligible.
Walsh was ineligible to practice law in Louisiana for about 10 months in 2015 and 2016 after he failed to pay his state bar dues and disciplinary assessment, in addition to failing to comply with a trust accounting reporting requirement. Walsh admitted he made two court appearances, communicated with clients, accepted fees and took on new clients during the period he was ineligible but he also testified that he had been unaware he was ineligible.
In December 2017 an LADB hearing committee recommended Walsh be suspended six months, with all but 30 days deferred, and that he be placed on a year of unsupervised probation. Walsh objected to that recommendation, arguing the recommended sanction was too harsh.
In June the LADB publicly reprimanded Walsh, concluding the alleged misconduct had been minor, had been unintentional and had caused no actual harm, and took into account that Walsh had no prior discipline record in Louisiana and he had expressed remorse for his negligence.