NEW ORLEANS — Mandeville attorney Christine Y. Voelkel, indefinitely suspended earlier this month, faces possible further suspension following a March 22 Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) recommendation to the state Supreme Court.
In its 24-page recommendation based on two consolidated sets of formal charges, the LADB recommended Voelkel be suspended for a year and a day and ordered to pay all costs and expenses in the matter.
Voelkel was alleged to have violated professional conduct rules, including those regarding client trust account improper use or mismanagement and failure to cooperate with the office of disciplinary counsel.
Voelkel "demonstrated no grounds for deferral" of any portion of the LADB's recommended suspension, the recommendation said.
"Should she wish to re-enter the practice of law, a [suspension of] one year and one day will require [Voelkel] to petition for reinstatement under Rule XIX, Section 24 and demonstrate her fitness to practice law," the recommendation said.
Voelkel was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Oct. 15, 2004, according to her profile at the state bar's website.
The LADB's recommendation referred to two previous hearing committees' recommendation in allegations consolidated before the LADB. In January 2017, a hearing committee recommended Voelkel receive a fully deferred one-year suspension and be placed on two years probation for an overdraft reported on her trust account.
In May 2018 another hearing committee recommended Voelkel receive a one-year suspension, with all but 60 days deferred, over allegations she filed several pleadings when she was ineligible to practice law and jeopardized her client's legal cause. The recommendation also involved an alleged overdraft notice on Voelkel's client trust account in June 2016, according to the recommendation.
Earlier this month the Louisiana Supreme Court placed Voelkel on interim suspension for "threat of harm." It is not clear whether the allegations before the LADB and the two hearing committees are related to the Supreme Court's order.