On Monday, March 27, 2023, the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board recommended the suspension of attorney Flynn Kempff Smith for continuing to practice law despite his ineligibility status. The case is entitled “In the Matter of Flynn Kempff Smith,” with case no. 22-DB-045.
The charges cited Louisiana Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1(c), 5.5(a), and 8.4(a)(b)
Allegedly, the respondent still appeared in court on behalf of a client despite his ineligibility to practice law since 2020 for failing to file his annual registration statement, pay his bar dues, and pay his disciplinary assessment. In another count, the respondent was alleged to drove his car while under the influence of alcohol and was in possession of cocaine.
The filing states:
“On February 10, 2022, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel received a written complaint against the Respondent from Bianca N. Moore who is employed by the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court in Section ‘G’. Ms. Moore reported to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel that on January 27, 2022, the Respondent appeared before the Judge in Section G representing John A. Melton during arraignment in a case bearing docket number 553 – 101, he enrolled on the defendant’s behalf and entered a not guilty plea on behalf of his client. The following week the judge became aware that the Respondent was and has been ineligible to practice law when he appeared in court as counsel for Mr. Melton.”
The filing continues:
“On or about February 16, 2022, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel learned that on February 11, 2020, the Respondent had been involved in a motor vehicle accident and was found to have been highly intoxicated. The Respondent’s vehicle had come to rest on the bumper of another vehicle parked near the intersection of Cherokee Street and Dominican Street in New Orleans. The two vehicles had collided and Respondent’s vehicle was still running while he was asleep at the wheel when the investigating officer arrived. The officer made contact with the Respondent who evidenced a very strong odor of alcohol both on his breath and in his vehicle where an open container of alcohol was found to be present. The Respondent was awakened and upon exiting the vehicle was unsteady on his feet, had slurred speech, and had bloodshot eyes. While the officer was conducting a search of the Respondent a small packet containing a white powdery substance fell from the Respondent’s pocket. Field testing confirmed the officer’s initial belief that the substance was in fact cocaine.”
According to the court, the respondent’s unauthorized practice of law caused potential harm to his client and the legal system. While his criminal conduct caused actual and potential harm to the public and the actual harm to the profession. Moreover, in deciding on the appropriate sanction, the court referenced ABA Standards for imposing lawyer sanctions which states that suspension is the generally appropriate discipline when a lawyer knowingly engages in criminal conduct which contains the elements that seriously adversely reflect on the lawyer’s fitness to practice.
The Recommendation states:
“The Committee finds that Respondent violated the Rules as charged and recommends that he is suspended from the practice of law for two years. The Committee also recommends that the Respondent be assessed with the costs and expenses of the proceeding pursuant to Rule XIX, §10.1”
Mr. Smith practices in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is licensed in Louisiana. His info can be found on avvo.com.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.