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Friday, May 29, 2020

Permanent disbarment recommended for New Orleans attorney over alleged conversion of Deepwater Horizon settlement funds


By Karen Kidd | Feb 17, 2020

The Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board has recommended New Orleans attorney Akello Patrice Dangerfield be permanently disbarred after she allegedly converted funds from the Deepwater Horizon settlement.

NEW ORLEANS – Ineligible New Orleans attorney Akello Patrice Dangerfield faces possible permanent disbarment following a Jan. 17 Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) recommendation for allegedly converting about $127,000 in Deepwater Horizon settlement funds.

The LADB accepted a hearing committee's earlier conclusions and findings and recommended the Louisiana Supreme Court permanently disbar Dangerfield. The LADB also recommended that Dangerfield be ordered to pay $127,000.50 in restitution, in addition to all costs and expenses in the disciplinary proceedings.

"Her conversion of $127,000.50 of her client's funds, for which restitution has not been made and for which no meaningful payment arrangements have been established, caused her client direct, significant and actual harm," the LADB said in its recommendation. "Her conduct has also tarnished the image of the legal profession."

Dangerfield has acknowledged that she owes the restitution amount, according to the LADB recommendation.

Dangerfield was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Oct. 11, 1996, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association’s website. Dangerfield had no prior history of discipline, according to the LADB recommendation.

Dangerfield has been ineligible to practice law in Louisiana since June over noncompliance with trust account registration and continuing legal education requirements and unpaid bar and disciplinary dues, according to her state bar profile.

The office of disciplinary counsel filed its formal charges against Dangerfield in September 2018.

In March 2019, an LADB hearing committee recommended Dangerfield be permanently disbarred and that she be ordered to pay restitution.

There were some mitigating factors, including her "full and free disclosure to the disciplinary board or cooperative attitude toward the proceedings, and personal problems," the LADB recommendation said.

Dangerfield "testified at her sworn statement that she was caring for her ill mother, who passed away during the time of the misconduct," the LADB recommendation said.

Still, the board recommended permanent disbarment.

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Organizations in this Story

Louisiana State Bar AssociationLouisiana Attorney Disciplinary BoardLouisiana Supreme Court

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