Louisiana Record

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Permanent disbarment recommended for Baton Rouge attorney following 13 unanswered complaints


By Karen Kidd | Dec 19, 2019


NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) — Suspended Baton Rouge attorney J. Renee Martin faces possible disbarment following a Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) hearing committee's recommendation over 13 complaints filed by former clients and judges.

"It is unfortunate that [Martin] chose not to respond to the formal charges," LADB hearing committee No. 15 said in its 20-page recommendation. "However, given the circumstances, the committee finds the evidence clearly and convincingly supports its recommendation of permanent disbarment."

Martin allegedly violated professional conduct rules, including those regarding abiding by a client's decisions, diligence, keeping a client informed, fees, protecting a client's interests upon termination and failing to cooperate with the office of disciplinary counsel.

The committee also recommended that Martin be ordered to pay all costs and expenses in the disciplinary proceedings.

The recommendation was signed Nov. 9 by committee chair John H. Smith and issued Dec. 12. Attorney member Laurie N. Marien and public member Vallan B. Corbett concurred in the recommendation.

Martin did not file an answer to the office of disciplinary counsel's formal charges, and in August the factual allegations were deemed admitted, according to the recommendation.

Martin was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Oct. 28, 2005, according to her profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website.

Allegations against Martin stem from complaints filed with the office of disciplinary counsel in 11 separate client matters, a contempt finding by the 19th Judicial District Court for failing to appear on behalf of a client and a judge's complaint that she repeatedly failed to appear on behalf of a client.

Martin was placed on interim suspension following a February 2017 Louisiana Supreme Court order for "threat of harm."

In June 2018, Martin also became ineligible to practice law in Louisiana for noncompliance with continuing legal education requirements, according to her state bar profile.

In a previous discipline, Martin was publicly reprimanded following a May 2014 Supreme Court order after she admitted in a petition for consent discipline to failing to return a client's file.

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Organizations in this Story

Louisiana State Bar AssociationLouisiana Attorney Disciplinary BoardLouisiana Supreme Court

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