NEW ORLEANS – Suspended Larose attorney Edward Duane Schertler II faces permanent disbarment following a recent Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) recommendation to the state Supreme Court regarding allegations that Schertler attempted to smuggle contraband into the Lafourche Parish Detention Center.
"The board recommends that the sanction of permanent disbarment, instead of disbarment, be imposed in this matter," the LADB said in its June 21 recommendation. The LADB also recommended the Louisiana Supreme Court order Schertler to pay all costs in the matter.
Lafourche Parish sheriff officers allegedly caught Schertler trying to sneak contraband into the parish detention center during a March 2016 visit with an inmate he said was his client, according to the recommendation. A warrant was issued after cellphones, chargers and tobacco were allegedly discovered during a search of Schertler's briefcase.
The LADB recommendation follows a hearing committee's legal conclusions and its own recommendation filed in August that Schertler be disbarred but not permanently. The LADB found the hearing committee's recommended sanction was not a severe enough penalty.
"This behavior, along with the other misconduct of (Schertler), seriously placed the public at risk and tarnished the image of the legal profession," the LADB's recommendation said. "In order to protect the public and maintain the high standards of the legal profession in this state, (Schertler) should not be allowed the opportunity to return to the practice of law in the future."
Schertler was placed on interim suspension in May 2016. In January 2018, while being held at Lafourche Parish Detention Center, Schertler was served with formal charges by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.
Schertler did not file an answer and the charges were deemed admitted in March.
Schertler's alleged misconduct violated professional conduct rules, including those regarding conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation, commission of a criminal act and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, according to the LADB's recommendation.
Schertler, 43, was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on April 30, 2004, according to his profile on the Louisiana State Bar Association's website. Schertler had no prior record of discipline in Louisiana, which was the sole mitigating factor found in the disciplinary proceeding against him, according to the LADB's recommendation.