NEW ORLEANS — Alexandria attorney Darrell K. Hickman faces the possibility of a partially deferred suspension following a recommendation issued Feb. 8 by a Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) hearing committee over allegations in two client matters.
In its nine-page recommendation issued by LADB, Hearing Committee No. 7 recommended Hickman be suspended for a one year and one day, with six months deferred, and that he be placed on one year of supervised probation. The hearing committee also recommended Hickman be required to attend the state bar's ethics school and a time management and law office practice session as a condition for reinstatement.
The recommendation was signed Feb. 7 by committee Chair Terrence D. McCay and was issued the following day. Attorney member Zebulon M. Winstead and public member Richard A. Hinton concurred in the recommendation.
Hickman was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on April 11, 1994, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association’s website.
Allegations against Hickman stemmed from an employment law matter and a divorce matter. Hickman is alleged to have violated professional conduct rules, including those regarding diligence, candor and keeping clients reasonably informed. Hickman admitted to most of the allegations against him, according to the hearing committee's recommendation.
Hickman's full disclosure to the office of disciplinary counsel and steps he has made "to improve office administration and communication with clients," were considered mitigating factors in the hearing committee's recommendation. Also considered in mitigation was the remoteness of the misconduct, which allegedly occurred in 2011 and was reported to the office of disciplinary counsel in 2014, but formal charges were not filed until 2018.
In a previous discipline that followed a Supreme Court order in June 2014, the high court handed down a fully deferred one-year suspension after Hickman allegedly misled his client about the status of her legal matter.