Legal Ethics

Doubly Disbarred? In-House Lawyer Who Didn’t Disclose Sanction Gets Permanent Punishment

A disbarred Louisiana lawyer who didn’t disclose the sanction to WorldCom and Verizon while working in their legal departments has now been permanently disbarred.

The Louisiana Supreme Court permanently disbarred James David Turnage on Friday after he failed to respond to the ethics charges. The Legal Profession Blog links to the opinion (PDF).

Turnage began his career at WorldCom in 1999 in a nonattorney position. He was promoted to an associate counsel position in 2001 and disbarred in 2002, in part for commingling and converting client and third-party funds, the opinion says. He never disclosed the disbarment, however, and continued to work in the legal department after WorldCom was acquired by Verizon.

Turnage was promoted to associate general counsel in 2007 and fired in 2011.

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