On Wednesday, February 7, 2024, the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board filed a recommendation to the Louisiana Supreme Court to suspend attorney Irvin Joseph Celestine Jr.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Irvin Joseph Celestine Jr.,” with case no. 22-DB-032.

The Board’s recommendation consolidates two separate disciplinary matters filed by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel against Celestine. Matter 22-DB-011 involves a complaint filed by attorney Leah Penny regarding Celestine’s representation of a client in a personal injury lawsuit. Penny alleged that Celestine settled the case without his client’s knowledge or consent and failed to communicate with his client. Matter 22-DB-032 involves a complaint filed by Paul Kost Jr., another former client of Celestine’s who claimed that Celestine failed to communicate with him regarding a criminal case.

A hearing was held before Hearing Committee No. 20 in June 2023. The Committee found that clear and convincing evidence showed Celestine violated various Rules of Professional Conduct in both matters. This included failing to communicate with clients, act with diligence, expedite litigation, and cooperate with the disciplinary investigations. The Committee recommended Celestine be suspended from practice for one year and one day.

The Board reviewed the case and concluded that the Committee’s factual findings were supported by the record and not manifestly erroneous. The Board conducted its review of the rules violations and determined the conclusions of the Committee were also supported that Celestine violated Rules regarding the scope of representation, diligence, communication, cooperation with disciplinary authority, and conduct prejudicial to justice.

In their recommendation, the Board adopted the Committee’s sanction of a one-year and one-day suspension. They emphasized aggravating factors such as multiple offenses and bad faith obstruction of the disciplinary proceedings through his failure to cooperate. They also noted Celestine did not prove any mental health issues as mitigating factors. The Board sees the suspension as necessary to protect the public and maintain high standards for the legal profession. The recommendation has been forwarded to the Louisiana Supreme Court for consideration.

According to avvo.com, Mr. Celestine Jr. is an attorney in Lafayette, Louisiana. He acquired his law license in Louisiana in 2007.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.