On Friday, February 23, 2024, the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board recommended the suspension of attorney Adam Granville Young for one year and one day, with all but 90 days of the suspension deferred, due to ethical violations related to business dealings with a former client, Donald Domingue.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Adam Granville Young,” with case no. 19-DB-069.

The charges cited Louisiana Rules of Professional Conduct 1.8(a) and 8.4(a). 

The case dates back to 2010 when Young, who had been practicing law for around five years at the time, began receiving financial assistance from his cousin Domingue to help grow his law firm. Domingue, a stockbroker, provided Young with cash advances, paid off his student loans, and allowed him to use office space and credit cards.

While Young understood he needed to repay the loans, no formal agreement was made. The amount loaned is unknown but exceeded $500,000 based on promissory notes signed by Young. He began representing Domingue as a client in 2010 regarding legal matters.

Issues arose in 2014 as Domingue demanded repayment. Young struggled and proposed a payment plan involving a percentage of his firm’s net profits but stressed he could not give Domingue an ownership interest or share legal fees due to ethical rules. No written agreement was finalized.

Their personal and professional relationship deteriorated, leading Domingue to file a promissory note action, while Young filed claims against Domingue for extortion and unfair trade practices. The matters were consolidated and remain pending.

On July 17, 2020, Young filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, listing Domingue as owed over $1 million. The men later stipulated Domingue would be allocated $541,910.41, with $350,000 surviving bankruptcy discharge if paid under the repayment plan.

The Office of Disciplinary Counsel investigated and accused Young of improperly entering into a business transaction with Domingue without following requirements to obtain independent legal advice and informed consent in writing. Young was also accused of improperly sharing legal fees.

At the disciplinary hearing held over multiple dates from 2021 to 2022 due to counsel issues, testimony established the facts described above. The hearing committee found ethics violations for entering a business transaction with a client and violating conduct rules but did not find proof of fee sharing.

Considering the violations of duties to Domingue and lack of prior discipline as mitigating factors, the committee recommended Young be suspended for one year and one day with all but 90 days deferred contingent on no further misconduct and full restitution to Domingue.

The Disciplinary Counsel objected, arguing the committee erred in not finding aggravating factors. Both sides briefed their arguments to the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board. The Board adopted the findings and recommended sanction on December 7, 2023.

The recommendation states:

“Based on the above, the Board recommends that Respondent, Adam Granville Young, be suspended from the practice of law for one year and one day, with all but ninety (90) days of the suspension deferred. The Board further recommends that conditions of the deferment are that Respondent engage in no further violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct for a year and one day from the date of his initial suspension; that Respondent be ordered to make restitution to the complainant, Donald Domingue, in the entire amount of $541,910.41.”

According to avvo.com, Mr. Young is a Chapter 11 bankruptcy attorney in Lafayette, Louisiana. He acquired his law license in Louisiana in 2005. 

A copy of the original filing can be found here.