NEW ORLEANS – Suspended Metairie attorney Arthur L. Harris Sr. faces additional suspension following a recommendation issued March 12 by a Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) hearing committee over consolidated formal charges against him.
In its 15-page recommendation, LADB Hearing Committee No. 23 recommended Harris be suspended for three years over alleged multiple professional conduct rules violations. Harris is alleged to have violated rules regarding registration information, diligence, unreasonable fee and return of unearned fee, obligations upon termination and failure to expedite litigation. Harris also was alleged to have knowingly disobeyed a court order and failed to respond and cooperate.
"The committee also recommends that (Harris) account for and return unearned fees to his clients as addressed in the formal charges or to the Louisiana State Bar Association Client Assistance Fund, as applicable," the recommendation said. "(Harris) must return the clients' files as addressed in the formal charges."
The committee also recommended Harris be ordered to pay all costs and expenses in the proceeding.
Harris did not file an answer to the office of disciplinary counsel's formal charges and in September the factual allegations were deemed admitted, according to the recommendation.
The recommendation was signed March 11 by committee Chair Sandra D. Guidry and was issued the following day. Attorney member Louis G. Arceneaux and public member Rebekah M. Akins concurred in the recommendation.
Harris was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on May 18, 1971, according to his profile on the Louisiana State Bar Association's website.
In June, the Louisiana Supreme Court revoked Harris' probation and imposed a previously deferred year-and-a-day suspension. The Supreme Court also ordered Harris to return files to former clients and to pay all costs and expenses in the matter.
The previous suspension had been handed down by the high court in December 2013 following a joint petition for consent discipline reached between Harris and the office of disciplinary counsel and initially resulted in the then fully deferred year and a day suspension. That discipline followed allegations that Harris neglected legal matters and failed to communicate with his clients, return unearned fees and cooperate with the office of disciplinary counsel in its investigation.