Abuse in Louisiana in the broad daylight

Over the past few days, we’ve been corresponding with Eric from Louisiana.  His father’s tragic story is detailed at http://bellsouthpwp.net/b/a/baxterericweb/lear.  Elder abuse is not an infrequent component of Involuntary Redistribution of Assets (IRA) cases.  Mistreatment of the elderly can occur at the hands of their spouses, children, caregivers or even sometimes attorneys. 

EoD completely agrees with Eric’s assessment with regard to attorneys that one can’t malign the profession as a whole (EoD has the good fortune to work with some of Texas’ best) and expect to get anywhere.  He aptly continues, though, that some should “confine themselves to the green pastures of ambulance chasing.” 

More of Eric’s perspective regarding elder abuse and lawyers in Louisiana: 

Here are some links to a disciplinary case I consider to show the archetype of legal exploitation and the authorities’ dismissive attitude:

http://ladb.org/NXT/gateway.dll/HC/1998-04-29_96-db-059.htm
http://ladb.org/NXT/gateway.dll/DB/1998-10-21_96-db-059.htm
http://ladb.org/NXT/gateway.dll/SC/1999-09-08_1998-2646.htm

Even though the complainant was brought by the city health director it was ignored until “prompted by the airing of a national television exposé on the topic of elderly abused by their children” after which the attorney was permanently disbarred. Actually, the Louisiana supreme court wrote “the complaint was additionally prompted by the airing of a national television exposé on the topic of elderly abused by their children.” But the complaint had actually been brought months before the broadcast and it was the attorney who had been the architect. Moreover, the broadcast piece contained no evidence which had not been available in the first place. This case shows how publicity is the deciding factor. On the other hand, disciplinary complaints are handled in utter secrecy unless formal charges are brought. I think I read somewhere that this occurs in about 1 of 300 complaints. As much as the bar associations and disciplinary authorities may wish it were otherwise, I don’t think their authority allows them to silence lay persons. I would like to create a national database of complaints against unethical attorneys, particularly those who exploit vulnerable clients.

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  • Gary Hammon

    Very timely.