On Thursday, February 22, 2024, the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board recommended that attorney Charles Edward Brumfield Jr. receive a public reprimand for violating conduct rules related to his representation of a client.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Charles Edward Brumfield, Jr.,” with case no. 22-DB-059.

The charges cited Louisiana Rules of Professional Conduct 8.4(c), 8.4(d), and 8.4(a).

The matter dates back to May 2020, when the Office of Disciplinary Counsel filed formal charges against Brumfield for his involvement in negotiations on behalf of Chris Hebert, a former employee of St. Martin Parish who was terminated in 2016. Hebert alleged that his firing was related to reporting misconduct by coworkers, including racial slurs. Brumfield had represented Hebert in a 2017 lawsuit against the parish that was later settled.

According to records, Hebert possessed audio recordings implicating former parish officials in using racial slurs. In mid-2018, after the lawsuit was resolved, Brumfield began contacting St. Martin Parish president Chester Cedars and attorney Allan Durand regarding negotiations for a non-disclosure agreement concerning the tapes. Over the following years, Brumfield made multiple offers to the parish, initially proposing they receive the tapes in exchange for $80,000 and Hebert’s job reinstatement. He later increased the demand to $150,000.

Durand filed the disciplinary complaint, arguing Brumfield’s negotiations amounted to extortion and violated rules against dishonesty. However, testimony from Brumfield and others indicated he did not believe his actions were criminal and that he saw the legal matter and negotiations as separate issues. A hearing committee initially recommended dismissing the charges, finding prosecutors did not prove misconduct by clear and convincing evidence.

Upon review, the disciplinary board agreed prosecutors failed to show Brumfield facilitated extortion or other crimes. However, the board determined Brumfield knowingly pursued claims he knew were waived and released in the earlier settlement, violating conduct rules against dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to justice. While finding lesser misconduct than alleged, the board ordered Brumfield to receive a public reprimand given the harm caused to the parish and his substantial legal experience.

According to avvo.com, Mr. Brumfield, Jr. is an attorney in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. He acquired his law license in Louisiana in 2007.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.