On Tuesday, October 10, 2023, the Supreme Court of Louisiana issued a disciplinary decision disbarring Derrick K. Williams, an attorney who was suspended from the practice of law for one year and one day due to misconduct that occurred between 2016 and 2019.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Derrick K. Williams,” with case no. 2023-B-0949.
The court found that Williams had violated the Rules of Professional Conduct by neglecting a legal matter, failing to communicate with a client, charging an unreasonable fee, forging a client’s endorsement on a settlement check, and failing to pay settlement proceeds to a client and the client’s third-party medical provider. The court also found that Williams had failed to cooperate with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel (ODC) in its investigation, which is a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct. The ODC filed formal charges against Williams, and he failed to file an answer to the said charges.
The hearing committee determined that Williams had knowingly and intentionally violated his duties owed to the public and the legal profession and that his conduct had caused actual harm to his client. The committee found no mitigating factors present, but it did find aggravating factors, including a prior disciplinary record, a dishonest or selfish motive, a pattern of misconduct, multiple offenses, bad faith obstruction of the disciplinary proceeding, vulnerability of the victim, substantial experience in the practice of law, and indifference to making restitution.
The committee recommended that Williams be disbarred and ordered to make full restitution. Neither Williams nor the ODC filed an objection to the committee’s recommendation, and therefore, the disciplinary board submitted the committee’s report directly to the Supreme Court.
The court conducted an independent review of the record and found that the alleged misconduct had been proven by clear and convincing evidence. The court determined that Williams had violated the Rules of Professional Conduct as charged and that his actions were serious enough to warrant disbarment.
The Disposition states:
“Upon review of the findings and recommendation of the hearing committee, and considering the record, it is ordered that Derrick K. Williams, Louisiana Bar Roll number 30836, be and he hereby is disbarred. His name shall be stricken from the roll of attorneys and his license to practice law in the State of Louisiana shall be revoked.”
According to avvo.com, Mr. Williams practiced law in Vidalia, Louisiana prior to his disbarment. He acquired his law license in Louisiana in 2006.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.