NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) — Metairie attorney Quiana Marie Hunt faces possible deferred suspension and probation following a Sept. 3 Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) recommendation over allegations she mishandled her client trust account.
In its unanimous 17-page recommendation, the LADB supported the Louisiana Supreme Court handing down a fully deferred year-and-a-day suspension and that Hunt be placed on two years' supervised conditional probation. The LADB also recommended Hunt be ordered to pay all costs and expenses.
"Her conduct was negligent as to her trust account, but knowing as to her failure to cooperate with office of disciplinary counsel in its investigation," the LADB's recommendation said. "While there was no actual harm to her clients, [Hunt]'s actions did cause harm to the disciplinary system in that its resources were wasted and needless expense was incurred when the [Hunt] failed to cooperate."
The LADB's action follows a hearing committee's legal conclusions and its own recommendation filed in September of last year. The hearing committee recommended Hunt be suspended for a year and a day and that she be ordered to pay all costs and expenses in the matter after finding she "mishandled her client trust account, resulting in the commingling of client funds."
The LADB adopted the hearing committee's finding of fact but did not agree that "there is no evidence client funds were misappropriated."
"The forensic auditor’s report in this matter shows that two cash deposits totaling $5,800 were deposited into respondent’s trust account during the audit period," the LADB's recommendation said. "Ms. Hunt failed to identify the clients associated with each deposit, and no disbursements could be matched with the deposits. This activity establishes commingling."
Hunt was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Oct. 30, 2014, according to her profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website. She had no prior discipline before the state bar, according to the LADB and hearing committee recommendations.
Allegations against Hunt stem from an audit of her trust account September 2016 to September 2017, that identified misuses, including a check made payable to "cash," payment for operating expenses and absence of bank reconciliations, according to the LADB's recommendation. Hunt is alleged to have violated professional conduct rules, including those regarding safekeeping client property, commingling, conversion and cooperation, the recommendation stated.