NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) — Baton Rouge attorney and former judge Richard C. "Ric" Oustalet Jr. has agreed to suspension following a May 20 Louisiana Supreme Court attorney disciplinary proceeding and an office of disciplinary counsel investigation and formal charges.
In its single-page attorney disciplinary proceeding, the court accepted the joint petition for consent discipline reached between Oustalet and the office of disciplinary counsel and suspended the attorney for two years.
The state high court also ordered Oustalet to pay all costs and expenses plus interest, in the matter.
Formal charges against Oustalet were preceded by an office of disciplinary counsel investigation into allegations that the attorney neglected his clients' legal matters, failed to communicate with his clients, relocated and accepted a position as an attorney with the state without giving notice to his clients, continued representing clients while employed with the state, and failed to return unearned fees and client files upon request.
Oustalet was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Oct. 5, 2001, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association’s website.
Oustalet became an administrative law judge for the state's division of administrative law in December 2015 following 17 years as a trial lawyer and more than three years as a Calcasieu Parish prosecutor, according to court documents and information on his LinkedIn page. He currently works as a risk management litigation specialist for the state, according to LinkedIn.
The Supreme Court's attorney disciplinary proceeding does not appear to be related to two recommendations previously issued by separate Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) hearing committees.
In November, an LADB hearing committee recommended Oustalet be suspended for at least a year and a day and that he pay $7,500 in restitution plus interest to one client. That recommendation was handed down after the committee found Oustalet knowingly and intentionally violated professional conduct rules, including those regarding competence, scope of representation, diligence, communication, return of unearned fees and improper termination of representation.
In March 2019, a separate LADB hearing committee recommended Oustalet be suspended two years and ordered to pay all costs and expenses. That recommendation was handed down over allegations Oustalet violated professional conduct rules, including those regarding diligence, expediting litigation, communication, improper termination of representation and misrepresentation.