On Tuesday, November 8, 2022, the Supreme Court of the State of Louisiana ruled on charges for attorney discipline against Baton Rogue attorney Amanda G. Clark alleging Incompetent Representation.
The case is entitled “In the matter of Amanda G. Clark” and was brought by the Office of the Disciplinary Counsel. Case #2022-B-01332.
The charges cited rules of professional conduct Rules 1.1(a), 1.3, 1.4. 8.1 (c), 8.4 (c), 8.4 (d) which states:
A lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client. Competent representation requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness, and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.
A lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client.
Consult with the client about any relevant limitation on the lawyer’s conduct when the lawyer knows that the client expects assistance not permitted by the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law.
Fail to cooperate with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel in its investigation of any matter before it except for an openly expressed claim of a constitutional privilege.
Dishonesty, Fraud, Deceit, or Misrepresentation. Professional “misconduct” includes conduct “involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation,” even if the conduct is not criminal in nature.
Engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.
The rules of professional conduct can be here.
The following are as alleged and summarized from the filing:
This disciplinary matter arises from formal charges filed by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel (ODC) against the respondent, Amanda G. Clark, an attorney licensed to practice law in Louisiana but currently ineligible to practice. In 2018, Marathon Resource Management Group, LLC hired a respondent to defend it against two lawsuits. Specifically, on January 24, 2018, Marathon hired a respondent with respect to Danielle Shorter v. Marathon Resource Management Group, et al., Baton Rouge City Court Case No. 17 – 09687. Then on February 14, 2018, Marathon hired respondent with respect to Derek Holmes, et al. v. Marathon Resource Management Group, et al., Baton Rouge City Court Case No. 18 – 00665. For a period of time, the respondent represented Marathon in the lawsuits without issue
The Filing states:
‘However, the respondent last communicated with Marathon via a February 6, 2020 email, wherein she stated, “I do want to represent Marathon in bringing this matter to resolution and quickly. I regret the delays, and I am scheduling a call with the plaintiffs’ counsel to get a final number. I will give you his reply tomorrow afternoon.” Since this email, the respondent has not communicated with Marathon.’
The Filing Continues:
‘According to Marathon, the respondent was mostly absent in the early months of 2020 after her law firm, Forrester & Clark, apparently dissolved. Although Marathon tried to contact the respondent multiple times following her February 6, 2020 email, she did not respond. In March 2021, Marathon learned from opposing counsel handling the two lawsuits that the respondent recently confirmed to him that she was no longer representing Marathon.’
The Filing further alleges:
‘During her rescheduled sworn statement on May 6, 2021, the respondent admitted that she failed to communicate with Marathon following her February 6, 2020 email and failed to timely file an appeal in late 2019, which error she never disclosed to Marathon. In explaining why she abandoned Marathon as a client, the respondent stated: “I just, kind of, check out and have not been able to deal with the stuff, which is my obligation. I understand… But anyway, the appeal was untimely… It was a problem I had created in the file. I messed up in that. It interfered with my ability to handle the case, I guess, or to communicate with [Marathon]… I haven’t had any communication with them. This has gone on and, I mean, obviously, I knew.”
After careful consideration of the Court, the court ordered the suspension of the Respondent.
The Disposition states:
“Upon review of the findings and recommendation of the hearing committee, and considering the record, it is ordered that Amanda G. Clark, Louisiana Bar Roll number 24432, be and she at this moment is suspended from the practice of law for one year and one day.”
As of today, Ms. Clark is listed on the website of the law firm, Forrester & Clark, L.L.C. as a practicing attorney. Her info can be at martindale.com. She attended Louisiana State University, graduating in 1996. Clark practices in Baton Rogue, Louisiana. She has been licensed in Louisiana, license #22432.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.