On Tuesday, October 3, 2023, the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board recommended the reinstatement of attorney David J. Motter with conditions. Motter was suspended from practicing law for three years, with all but one year and one day deferred, following a petition for consent discipline. The suspension was due to serious misconduct, including overcharging a client and failing to provide competent representation.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of David J. Motter,” with case no. 23-DB-024.
Prior to the suspension, Motter had been suffering from significant emotional issues, particularly untreated substance abuse issues. On April 18, 2023, Motter filed a petition and application for reinstatement to the practice of law. The Office of Disciplinary Counsel filed its response to the petition on June 30, 2023, and a hearing was held on August 24, 2023.
At the hearing, Motter testified on his own behalf and called three fact witnesses. The ODC also called one fact witness. Motter had offered twenty exhibits, and the ODC had offered five exhibits. The Committee found that Motter had fully complied with the terms and conditions of all prior discipline orders, “except to the extent that they were abated under section 25.”
Furthermore, the Committee found that Motter had not engaged nor attempted to engage in the unauthorized practice of law during the period of suspension or disbarment. Two witnesses had offered testimony that Motter had refrained from practicing law while he had been ineligible to do so.
The filing states:
“Mr. Motter produced credible evidence that he has not improperly engaged in the practice of law while suspended, and no contradictory evidence was offered. Two witnesses offered testimony that Mr. Motter has refrained from practicing law while he has been ineligible to do so.”
Mr. Thomas Cappella, who is a licensed Louisiana lawyer and Motter’s long-time friend, colleague, and former law partner, testified that Motter’s job description, role, and function do not require or involve practicing law in any capacity. Mr. Capella has strictly instructed Motter not to engage in any actions that could constitute the practice of law.
Accordingly, the Committee recommended that Motter’s petition for reinstatement to the practice of law be granted with conditions, including a two-year probationary period, during which he shall comply with all provisions of Supreme Court Rule XIX.
According to avvo.com, Mr. Motter is a DUI And DWI attorney in New Orleans, Louisiana. He acquired his law license in Louisiana in 1992.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.