NEW ORLEANS — New York attorney Larry English, who represented a triple murder client in a 2011 case since overturned, faces possible public reprimand following a split Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) recommendation to the state Supreme Court.
The LADB did not adopt the conclusions of one of its hearing committee, issued more than a year ago, that said the disciplinary allegations against English should be dismissed. Instead, the LADB recommended English be publicly reprimanded.
The LADB also recommended English be required to submit an ongoing fee dispute with one of his clients to arbitration.
Two LADB members dissented in the recommendation, saying English should be suspended.
Allegations in the two consolidated cases against English include failures to return an unearned fee and to advise his client that he was leaving Louisiana.
The allegations date back to 2009 and 2010, with formal charges against English initially filed by the office of disciplinary counsel in 2011.
English was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on April 11, 1994, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website.
Following the hearing committee's recommendation that all charges against English be dismissed, the office of disciplinary counsel filed an objection while English, in his own brief, urged that the committee's recommendation be upheld.
In a case unrelated to the charges, English represented Robert McCoy in a first-degree triple murder case heard in 2011. McCoy, who was charged with killing three members of his estranged wife's family in 2008, pled not guilty, claimed he was not in Louisiana at the time and that the real killers were corrupt police in a drug deal gone bad.
In an apparent attempt to save McCoy from the death penalty, English, over McCoy's repeated objections, told the jury that McCoy killed his estranged wife's son, mother and stepfather but that his diminished mental state at the time should bar him from a first-degree murder conviction.
The jury subsequently returned three murder convictions.
In May of last year, McCoy won a new trial following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
McCoy was removed from Louisiana's death row and since June of last year has been held in Bossier Maximum Security Facility where he awaits his new trial.