Supreme Court indefinitely suspends New Orleans attorney over alleged cocaine possession

By Karen Kidd | Feb 27, 2019

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans attorney William Christopher Beary has been voluntarily and indefinitely suspended following a Feb. 25 Louisiana Supreme Court attorney order and recommendation handed down almost a year ago regarding alleged cocaine possession.

In its single-page order, the high court's suspended Beary after accepting a joint petition for interim suspension filed by Beary and the office of disciplinary counsel. Beary's suspension, which is pending further orders of the court, was effective immediately.

Beary was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Oct. 8, 1993, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website. No prior discipline was listed on his state bar profile or in a search of Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board's online database.

In March 2018, Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) hearing committee No. 33 recommended Beary receive a deferred suspension for alleged cocaine possession. The committee also recommended Beary receive a fully deferred suspension of a year and a day and submit to two years of random drug testing.

The committee handed down its recommendation after finding no evidence that Beary has a substance abuse disorder for that his alleged misconduct harmed a client or the public.

Beary "appears to be in control of any problem he might have had with the use of cocaine, and there is no evidence that he had a problem with his use of alcohol," the committee said in its 20-page report. The committee "strongly recommends that [Beary] seek professional counseling to avoid any future misuse of these substances."

Beary, who completed a diversion program prior to the committee's recommendation, had asked the committee to recommend a fully deferred suspension. Beary and the office of disciplinary counsel have been largely in agreement about the charges and the proceedings, according to the hearing committee's report.

"The ODC and [Beary] disagree only upon the sanction that should be imposed upon [Beary]," the committee's report said. "The ODC urges a suspension of 'at least a year and a day' and that no portion of any suspension be deferred. The ODC also argues that [Beary] be cast for all costs in these proceedings. [Beary] argues that a suspension of one year and one day should be imposed but that it should be fully deferred."

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Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board Louisiana State Bar Association Louisiana Supreme Court

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