Reinstatement recommended for Baton Rouge attorney following gambling addiction treatment

By Karen Kidd | Feb 26, 2019

NEW ORLEANS — Baton Rouge attorney Julie Ann Fusilier, suspended more than two years ago after allegedly breaking into her ex-husband's house, could be reinstated following a Feb. 25 recommendation by a Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) hearing committee.

Fusilier's reinstatement would be contingent on compliance with her current recovery and monitoring agreement with the judges and lawyers assistance program, according to the eight-page recommendation issued by LADB hearing committee No. 25.

"After weighing all of the evidence, including testimony and exhibits, the committee is unanimous in its opinion that Julie Fusilier has met her burden by clear and convincing evidence that she should be conditionally readmitted to the practice of law," the recommendation said.

Committee chair Joseph J. LaPlace III signed the recommendation in which fellow committee members Vanessa Lafluer and Vallan Corbett concurred.

Fusilier was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Oct. 6, 1989, according to her profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association’s website.

Fusilier was suspended in June 2016 for "commission of a criminal act involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation," the committee's recommendation said.

"Specifically, [Fusilier] broke into the home of her ex-husband while he and his wife were away, " the recommendation says  "Fusilier stole jewelry, which she subsequently pawned for cash to feed a gambling addiction." .

In January 2018 Fusilier petitioned for reinstatement. In March 2018, the office of disciplinary counsel filed its response to the petition, taking no position. A hearing scheduled in May was continued after Fusilier "found herself once again at a gambling facility which she immediately self-reported to the professionals with the judges and lawyers assistance program."

Fusilier was referred to treatment and the hearing regarding her application was put off until this past January. Witnesses provided "credible, consistent, and conclusive" testimony that Fusilier "has been very active" in treatment programs, the recommendation said.  

Fusilier has been alcohol and drug free for about 12 years, according to the recommendation.

"The committee finds the testimony to be clear and convincing that Ms. Fusilier has satisfied the substantive criteria for reinstatement to the practice of law," the recommendation said. "Besides the testimony at the hearing, several individuals submitted letters attesting to the [Fusilier]'s good character and fitness to practice law."

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Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board Louisiana State Bar Association Louisiana Supreme Court

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