Louisiana Record

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Mostly deferred suspension, probation recommended for New Orleans attorney alleged to have practiced while ineligible in 2014

Discipline

By Karen Kidd | Feb 21, 2020

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NEW ORLEANS – New Orleans attorney Kemic Alan Smothers faces a possible mostly deferred suspension following a Feb. 10 Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) recommendation to the state Supreme Court for allegedly providing legal services while ineligible in 2014.

In its 12-page recommendation, the LADB recommended Smothers be suspended for six months, with all but 30 days deferred, subject to two years of unsupervised probation.

The LADB also recommended Smothers be ordered to pay about $707 in restitution to one client, in addition to all costs and expenses in the disciplinary proceedings against him.

The LADB's recommendation follows a hearing committee's legal conclusions and its own recommendation filed in January of last year. The hearing committee recommended Smothers receive a fully-deferred six months suspension and two years probation, in addition to being required to attend the Louisiana State Bar Association's ethics school.

The hearing committee also recommended Smothers be ordered to comply with annual registration and continuing legal education requirements.

The LADB adopted the hearing committee's recommendations about Smothers' probation requirements but not its recommended fully-deferred suspension.

The LADB said it could not "excuse" Smothers' alleged misconduct "as a simple oversight," the LADB's recommendation said.

"Accordingly, we find that an actual period of suspension is warranted," the LADB recommendation said.

Smothers was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Oct. 18, 2002, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website.

Smothers is alleged to have provided general transactional and contract review, drafting and negotiation and other legal services to a New Orleans company in 2014 despite being ineligible to practice law in Louisiana at the time.

Smothers became ineligible to practice law in the state in May 2014 after he allegedly failed to comply with mandatory continuing legal education requirements.

The LADB, like the hearing committee, found Smothers' alleged misconduct was negligent "and caused actual harm to his client by charging fees for legal services rendered while he was ineligible," the LADB's recommendation said.

"By failing to update his registration statement addresses, he caused the office of disciplinary counsel to expend time and unnecessary expense in sending the formal charges to an outdated address," the LADB recommendation said.

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Organizations in this Story

Louisiana State Bar AssociationLouisiana Attorney Disciplinary BoardLouisiana Supreme Court

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