NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) — Longtime and currently ineligible New Orleans attorney Matthew B. Collins Jr. faces possible suspension following an Oct. 30 Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) recommendation over a client's 2011 claim against her landlords.
In its 16-page recommendation, the LADB recommended the Louisiana Supreme Court suspend Collins for a year and a day. The recommendation follows a hearing committee's legal conclusions and its own recommendation in December 2018 that Collins be suspended six months.
The LADB adopted the hearing committee's findings that Collins violated professional conduct rules regarding diligence and promptness, keeping a client reasonably informed, protecting a client's interests and not inducing others to violate rules. The board also agreed with the hearing committee's findings that the office of disciplinary counsel had not proven Collins violated a professional conduct rule regarding compliance with reasonable requests.
"Further, the board finds that the aggravating factor of substantial experience in the practice of law is also present, in addition to those aggravating factors found by the committee," the LADB's recommendation said.
Collins was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Oct. 6, 1978, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website.
Collins has been ineligible to practice law in Louisiana since September 2016 over noncompliance with trust account registration requirement and unpaid bar and disciplinary dues, according to the LADB's recommendation and information on his state bar profile.
This past September, Collins also became ineligible after failing to pay disciplinary costs associated with a 2015 Supreme Court attorney disciplinary proceeding.
Allegations against Collins stem from his agreement in May 2011 to represent the client in her claim against her landlords following injuries she allegedly suffered in a bathtub collapse, according to the LADB's recommendation.
Collins wrote a letter to the landlords but took no further action in the matter, did not keep the client informed about the status of her case and did not provide a notice that he had terminated representation, the recommendation said.