On Tuesday, August 29, 2023, the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board issued a recommendation for the permanent disbarment of attorney David R. Opperman for serious criminal misconduct, including charges of aggravated rape and indecent behavior with juveniles.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of David R. Opperman,” filed by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel with case no. 23-DB-009.

The charges cited Rules of Professional Conduct 8.4(a) and b.

In 2020, Opperman was indicted on multiple felony counts of aggravated rape of a 13-year-old victim from 2003. In a separate case, he was charged with felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile between the ages of 12 and 17 where there was an age difference of over two years. The alleged acts took place between 2000 and 2001.

Opperman reached a plea agreement in both criminal cases. He pled no contest to one count of indecent behavior with the intention of arousing sexual desires. Two other rape counts were dismissed. He also pled guilty to one count of indecency involving a juvenile with the intention of gratifying sexual desires.

In June 2022, Opperman entered his pleas in court. For the first count of indecency, he was sentenced to seven years hard labor with two years suspended, plus three years probation. For the second count, he received seven years of hard labor consecutive to the first count, fully suspended, and three years of probation consecutive to the first probation term. He is also required to register as a sex offender for life. Opperman began serving his sentence in August 2022.

Based on these criminal convictions, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel filed formal charges against Opperman for professional misconduct. They allege he violated Rules 8.4(a) and 8.4(b) of the Louisiana Rules of Professional Conduct. Rule 8.4(b) prohibits the commission of a criminal act, and 8.4(a) prohibits attempting to violate the rules.

At the hearing, the criminal convictions were accepted as conclusive proof of Opperman’s guilt. The sole issue was appropriate sanctioning. Aggravating factors included selfish motives, patterns of misconduct, vulnerable victims, substantial legal experience, and illegal conduct. The only mitigators were the lack of prior offenses and sanctions imposed.

The Committee found Opperman violated the Rules as charged. It concluded permanent disbarment is the appropriate sanction under Guideline 4 for felony sexual misconduct. It believes his criminal acts demonstrate a lack of fitness to practice and no reasonable expectation of rehabilitation.

The filing states:

“The Committee finds that Respondent violated the Rules as charged in the formal charges and recommends that Respondent be permanently disbarred.”

According to avvo.com, Mr. Opperman had been practicing in Saint Francisville, Louisiana as a litigation attorney. He attended the Louisiana State University, Paul M. Herbert Law Center, graduating in 1990.

An original copy of the filing can be found here.