On January 17, 2024, the Supreme Court of Louisiana placed attorney Karl J. Koch on supervised probation due to his mishandling of a client trust account.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Karl J. Koch,” with case no. 2023-B-1395.

The Office of Disciplinary Counsel filed formal charges against Koch in December 2021 related to an audit of his trust account for the period of January 2017 through July 2019. The audit found that Koch improperly used the account for personal and business expenses rather than keeping client funds separate in violation of Rules 1.15(a) and 1.15(b) of the Louisiana Rules of Professional Conduct. It also determined he failed to perform the required quarterly reconciliations, violating Rule 1.15(f).

Initially, Koch told the ODC that no client money was in the trust account during the time in question. However, further records showed around $52,000 in client settlement funds had been deposited between mid-2017 and mid-2018. While Koch did not dispute the factual findings, one proposed misconduct charge of criminal behavior was later dismissed.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court accepted that Koch knowingly violated ethical duties to clients and the public. As the sanction, it issued a one-year and one-day suspension but deferred the entire period subject to two years of supervised probation with conditions. Koch must attend the Louisiana Trust Accounting School and comply fully with all probation terms.

According to avvo.com, Mr. Karl J. Koch is a general practice attorney in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He acquired his law license in Louisiana in 1985.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.