On January 2, 2024, Claims Journal reported on ongoing repercussions relating to a New Orleans-based law firm, McClenny Moseley & Associates (MMA). The article stated that former MMA attorney John Snowden agreed to a nine-month suspension of his law license as part of a settlement with Louisiana regulators.
The disciplinary measures against Snowden required approval from the Louisiana Supreme Court. By a 4-3 margin, the high court signed off on the “consent discipline” negotiated between Snowden and the Office of Disciplinary Counsel. However, not all justices agreed with the sanction. Justice Scott J. Crichton dissented from the majority decision, arguing the nine-month suspension was too lenient a punishment given Snowden’s admitted ethical lapses. On the other side, Justice Jefferson Hughes dissented because he felt the temporary license suspension was excessively harsh. A third dissent came from Justice Jay B. McCallum, who disagreed with the judgment but did not provide a reason for his dissent.
Snowden admitted to violating various ethics rules during his work at MMA, including failures to properly communicate with clients and acts of dishonesty. Snowden’s former boss, William Huye, who served as managing partner of MMA’s New Orleans office, also received an indefinite suspension of his law license amid an ongoing investigation.
In addition to disciplinary actions, the report discussed legal disputes and financial restrictions imposed on MMA. A judge in Texas approved a temporary restraining order sought by Equal Access Justice and ESQ Fund, two Florida-based hedge funds. This order prevented MMA from accessing $30 million in loans pledged as collateral by the hedge funds. The collateral included potential fees from property damage, product liability, and toxic tort cases.
Each hedge fund had provided $15 million to MMA. Insurance defense attorney Matthew Monson argued in a LinkedIn post that the hedge funds’ investment in MMA’s marketing exposed them to heightened legal risk, given probes into the firm’s business operations. Monson believed this connection could lead to additional legal scrutiny.
The hearing on the hedge funds’ request for a temporary injunction was held on January 8 in the Harris County District Court.
Source: Claims Journal