NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) – Kenner attorney John Julius Steger IV faces possible deferred suspension following a recent Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) recommendation to the state Supreme Court regarding multiple alcohol-related arrests dating back to 1993.
The LADB recommended Steger, 48, receive a conditional fully deferred suspension and that he be ordered to pay all costs and expenses for violating rules of professional conduct, according to the board's 26-page recommendation issued Dec. 4.
The LADB's recommendation follows a hearing committee's conclusions and its own recommendation filed in May recommending Steger be suspended for a year followed by five years of probation. The hearing committee also recommended Steger's probation coincide with his agreement with the judges and lawyers assistance program monitoring.
Steger was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Oct. 11, 1996, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website.
"(Steger) has no prior disciplinary record, either public or private, and has never been the subject of a diversion opportunity," the procedural portion of the LADB's recommendation said.
Steger's alcohol-related arrest record begins in February 1993 with charges of disturbing the peace and obscenity, according to the LADB's recommendation. More alcohol-related arrests followed in April 2001, October 2002 and in March and June of 2003, none of which were reported to the office of disciplinary counsel by Steger or any prosecuting authority, according to the LADB's recommendation.
In November 2013, Steger was twice arrested after consuming bottles of wine and taking a sleep aid, crashing his vehicle into a tree, biting an emergency room nurse, blacking out and performing two separate breath analysis tests that came back indicating twice the legal limit, according to the LADB's recommendation.
"It is only after these two final incidents in successive days that the matter was reported to the office of disciplinary counsel by the prosecuting authority," the LADB's recommendation said.
Steger later submitted to an inpatient evaluation but refused to participate in an inpatient treatment program, according to the LADB's recommendation.
"Reportedly he has chosen to participate in an intensive outpatient program with (Addiction Recovery Resources of New Orleans) ARRNO, a group which is neither sanctioned nor accredited by the judges and lawyers assistance program professionals," the LADB recommendation said. "At this time (Steger) is not under a JLAP monitoring agreement."