Louisiana Record

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Longtime New Orleans attorney faces deferred suspension, probation in alleged mishandled trust account


By Karen Kidd | Aug 29, 2019

NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) — Longtime New Orleans attorney Kevin Schoenberger faces possible suspension following a recommendation issued Aug. 26 by a Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) hearing committee over allegations that he mishandled his client trust account.

In its 12-page recommendation, the LADB hearing committee No. 23 recommended the Louisiana Supreme Court hand down a fully deferred one year suspension and two years' probation after finding Schoenberger "committed misconduct in the negligent handling of his trust account."

The hearing committee also recommended Schoenberger, 72, pay all costs and expenses in the disciplinary proceeding. The recommendation was signed Aug. 22 by committee chair Sandra D. Guidry and was issued four days later. Attorney member Louis G. Arceneaux and public member Robert P. Ventura concurred in the recommendation.

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

"[Schoenberger] has practiced law for approximately 47 years and there was no prior disciplinary action or complaint about his activities until an inadvertent overdraft notice was received by the office of disciplinary counsel," the recommendation said. "[Schoenberger] cooperated fully with the investigation."

Allegations against Schoenberger stemmed from a February 2016 overdraft notice on his trust account "due to his failure to consider an outstanding client disbursement that cleared the trust account before a $4,000 disbursement to his cost account was processed," the recommendation said.

A subsequent office of disciplinary counsel audit found Schoenberger collected settlement proceeds and third party reimbursements, deposited them into the trust account but then did not pay them out during the audit period, according to the recommendation.

Schoenberger "inadvertently overdrew his trust account" during a period in which he was having personal problems, the hearing committee's recommendation said.

"He had just received notice that he lost a federal case involving his family," the recommendation said. "He was having problems with his wife, whom he rectified with, but then she died. The committee has weighed the significance of each mitigating factor and concludes that they warrant a reduction in the degree imposed on [Schoenberger]."

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Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board Louisiana State Bar Association Louisiana Supreme Court

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