Supreme Court imposes deferred suspension on Baton Rouge attorney for allegedly practicing law while under suspension

By Karen Kidd | Jun 10, 2019

NEW ORLEANS — Suspended Baton Rouge attorney Gregory Cook has had a previously deferred suspension made executory following a June 3 Louisiana Supreme Court attorney disciplinary proceeding for alleged unauthorized practice of law.

In its four-page attorney disciplinary proceeding, the Supreme Court suspended Cook for six months from the date of the court's decree, which was effective immediately. The court was acting on a request by the office of disciplinary counsel (ODC) to make the previously deferred suspension executory, alleging that Cook practiced law while suspended and made false representations in his affidavit for reinstatement.

"[Cook] maintains that he never intended to circumvent the rules of professional conduct, but was simply waiting for the ODC to inform him of the date his suspension would commence," the disciplinary proceeding said. "[Cook] indicates that while erroneously awaiting notification of a suspension date, he was unknowingly practicing law within the suspension period. [Cook] reasonably thought he would have received ample notice of his suspension date so he could take action to protect his clients."

Cook was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on April 26, 2012, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website.

In a split Supreme Court attorney disciplinary proceeding handed down in December, Cook received a six-month suspension, with all but 30 days deferred, and a year of unsupervised conditional probation over conflict-of-interest allegations. The probationary period was expected to begin from the date Cook and the office of disciplinary counsel executed a formal probation plan, according to the court's December disciplinary proceeding.

"Thereafter, during the active period of his suspension, [Cook] engaged in the practice of law," the more recent disciplinary proceeding said. "Prior to being reinstated, [Cook] submitted an affidavit certifying his full compliance with the court's suspension order. This affidavit, however, contained false representations."

The circumstances constituted misconduct, according to the more recent disciplinary proceeding.

"Although the ODC has requested that that the previously deferred portion of the suspension be made executory, we find no evidence that [Cook] has served any part of the active portion of his suspension," the more recent disciplinary proceeding said. "To the contrary, the record reveals [Cook] continued to practice law between the finality of our decree on Dec. 20, 2018 through Jan. 31, 2019."

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