New Orleans attorney faces suspension for violating rules of conduct in tenant dispute with landlord

By Karen Kidd | Dec 11, 2018

NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) –New Orleans attorney Matthew B. Collins Jr. faces suspension following a recommendation issued Dec. 10 by a Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) hearing committee over allegations stemming from a client's 2011 claim against her landlords.

In its six-page recommendation, LADB Hearing Committee No. 24 recommended Collins be suspended for six months and that he be ordered to pay all costs in the matter.

The recommendation was signed Dec. 6 by Committee Chair Anthony P. Dunbar and was issued four days later. Attorney member Kenneth K. Orie and public member Daniel E. Sullivan concurred in the recommendation.

Collins was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Oct. 6, 1978, according to his profile on the Louisiana State Bar Association's website. Collins has been ineligible to practice law in Louisiana since September 2016 over noncompliance with trust account registration requirements and unpaid bar and disciplinary dues, according to the hearing committee's recommendation and information on his state bar profile.

Allegations against Collins stem from his representation of a client in her claim against her landlords. Collins wrote a letter to the landlords but took no further action in the matter, did not keep the client informed about the status of her case and did not provide a notice that he had terminated representation, according to the hearing committee's recommendation.

Formal charges were filed against Collins in February but Collins did not file an answer to the charges and they were deemed admitted in September. Last month, the office of disciplinary counsel filed its submission for Collins' sanction.  

"Though it has not been established whether (Collins) acted knowingly or negligently, he certainly should have known that his conduct – or lack of activity – would or could cause harm to his client," the hearing committee recommendation said. "His total lack of cooperation with the office of disciplinary counsel, especially in light of his prior suspension, is along grounds for suspension in this matter."

The client apparently paid no money to Collins "for the little he did," the hearing committee recommendation said.

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Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board Louisiana State Bar Association Louisiana Supreme Court

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