NEW ORLEANS – Shreveport attorney Michael Brian Rennix is facing permanent disbarment following a recent recommendation by a Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) hearing committee.
The list of consolidated formal charges against Rennix was considered too lengthy to reproduce in the LADB recommendation filed Jan. 29, but the charges were part of 42 pages of attachments. Charges against Rennix include converting more than $11,000 in client funds, accepting fees "from number clients" for bankruptcy and divorce cases he never filed, forgery, creating fraudulent documents and continuing to practice law after he became ineligible, the recommendation said.
Aggravating factors included "investigation of the misappropriation of estate funds about which (Rennix) has misled the court and the vulnerability of the clients who were in serious financial need and some of which had suffered physical injuries which contributed to their financial needs," the recommendation said.
The hearing committee found no evidence of mitigating factors.
The recommendation was signed Jan. 28 by Hearing Committee No. 35 Chair Pamela A. Stewart and was issued the following day. Attorney member Tyler G. Storms and public member C. Bennett Humphries concurred in the recommendation.
Rennix was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on April 26, 2012, according to his profile on the Louisiana State Bar Association's website. Rennix has been ineligible to practice law in Louisiana since September 2016 over noncompliance with trust account registration and continuing legal education requirements and failure to pay bar and disciplinary dues, according to his state bar profile.
In October 2016, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Jeffrey P. Norman signed a memorandum opinion referring Rennix for discipline in three captioned cases and a miscellaneous proceeding that involved four show-cause orders, in addition to nine other Chapter 7 cases in which the court issued disgorgement orders.
"Mr. Rennix's conduct is below the standard of care this court requires for lawyers that appear before it," Norman said in his memorandum opinion. "This is especially true in this court, which deals primarily with consumer bankruptcy debtors who are often economically challenged, undereducated and unsophisticated."
Rennix was suspended indefinitely the following month in a state Supreme Court order handed down in favor of the Office of Disciplinary Counsel's petition for interim suspension for "threat of harm."