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Legal Ethics

2-Year Law License Suspension for Attorney Who Charged Client Usual Rate to Run Errands

Posted Dec 7, 2012 12:56 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A divided Louisiana Supreme Court has OK'd a recommended two-year law license suspension for an attorney who charged a client nursing home resident her usual billable rate of $125 per hour to perform non-legal services such as running errands.

Katherine M. Guste charged an unreasonable fee and took advantage of her client, the majority found in a Tuesday opinion (PDF). However, a dissenting judge said there was insufficient evidence to show that her client, who was in his 60s and suffered from Huntington's disease, had diminished mental capacity, and said a less harsh penalty would have been sufficient.

Guste's conduct concerning another client in an unrelated matter was also at issue in the disciplinary case.

Hat tip: Legal Profession Blog.

Additional coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Suspension Recommended for Attorney Who Ran Errands for Client at $125 Per Hour"

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