Louisiana Record

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Baton Rouge attorney receives shorter-than-recommended suspension for forgery, other misconduct


By Karen Kidd | Feb 10, 2020


NEW ORLEANS — Longtime Baton Rouge attorney Donald R. Dobbins has been suspended following a split Louisiana Supreme Court attorney disciplinary proceeding on forgery and other allegations stated in five complaints.

In its 24-page disciplinary proceeding issued Jan. 29, the Supreme Court's majority suspended Dobbins for a year and one day and ordered him to pay $4,440 in restitution to two former clients.

The high court also ordered Dobbins to pay all costs and expenses.

The court majority opted for a suspension less than the two years that a split Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board recommended in August because of "the significant delay in these disciplinary proceedings," the disciplinary proceeding said.

All of the complaints against Dobbins were for alleged misconduct that occurred about eight years or more ago. The Office of Disciplinary Counsel filed formal charges against Dobbins in June 2017.

Chief Justice Bernette Johnson and justices James Genovese, Jefferson Hughes III and John Weimer, along with retired Judge James Boddie Jr., concurred with Dobbins' suspension. Boddie, who formerly sat on the 4th Judicial District Court bench, had been appointed justice ad hoc in place of Justice Marcus Clark.

Justices John L. Weimer, Justice William J. Crain and Justice Scott J. Crichton dissented in part, with Crain concurring with Crichton's reasons for his dissent. Weimer said he would have imposed a two-year suspension, with all but a year and a day deferred, while Crain and Crichton indicated they would "impose no less than a three year actual suspension, if not disbarment."

Dobbins was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on April 15, 1991, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website.

In previous disciplines described in the disciplinary proceeding, Dobbins was admonished in April 1998 and again in February 1999 for failing to have contingency fee agreements in three client matters. In the latter admonition, Dobbins also allegedly failed to provide a client with an accounting in a case he handled in the early 1990s.

Dobbins also was suspended for one year, with all but six months deferred, in January 2002 for comingling and converting, and reprimanded in June 2005 for conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, according to the disciplinary proceeding.

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Organizations in this Story

Louisiana State Bar AssociationLouisiana Attorney Disciplinary BoardLouisiana Supreme Court