On Tuesday, October 3, 2023, the Supreme Court of Louisiana suspended attorney Stephen Sterling, III for one year and one day, with all but six months of the suspension deferred, due to neglecting a legal matter, failing to communicate with a client, and misleading a client about settlement status. Sterling was also found to have failed to cooperate with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel in their investigation.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Stephen Sterling, III,” with case no. 2023-B-1094.
Formal charges against Sterling III had been filed on June 3, 2022, and after he failed to respond promptly, ODC filed a motion to deem the allegations admitted on October 21.
In the first matter, Ms. Shelia C. Massey filed a complaint against Sterling on April 29, 2021, alleging that he had failed to properly handle her case involving severe damage to her teeth sustained on the premises of a grocery store. Specifically, Sterling had failed to reduce the contingency fee agreement to writing and had neglected the case, resulting in delays in settlement. He had also provided dishonest answers to Massey about the delays.
In another case, Reginald Stewman filed a complaint on May 17, 2021, after Sterling failed to provide meaningful representation for a DWI case. Despite a fee agreement, Sterling had not performed legal work, nor had he issued a refund upon termination. Additionally, he had failed to cooperate with ODC’s investigation.
The Supreme Court accepted the joint petition for consent discipline and ordered that Sterling be suspended from the practice of law for one year and one day, with all but six months of the suspension deferred.
The Disposition states:
“IT IS ORDERED that the Petition for Consent Discipline is accepted and that Stephen Sterling, III, Louisiana Bar Roll number 27298, be suspended from the practice of law for one year and one day. All but six months of this suspension shall be deferred, followed by a two-year period of probation subject to the conditions set forth in the petition for consent discipline.”
According to avvo.com, Mr. Sterling III is a criminal defense attorney in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He acquired his law license in Louisiana in 2001.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.