Legal Ethics

Top La. Court Nixes Lawyer's Argument That Judicial Bribery Scheme Doesn't Call for Disbarment


A suspended Louisiana trial lawyer has been permanently disbarred for his role in a Mississippi judicial bribery scheme.

Rejecting arguments by Paul S. Minor that attorney discipline should not take place until his criminal appeals are final and that disbarment is too harsh a punishment, given the mitigating circumstances, the Louisiana Supreme Court in a Tuesday ruling noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has denied his certiorari petition and said disbarment is merited.

“The record demonstrates that respondent secured bank loans for two Mississippi state court judges, purportedly for campaign expenses,” wrote the top Louisiana court in its opinion (PDF). “Thereafter, in an effort to conceal the fact that he was paying off the loans himself, respondent used cash and third-party intermediaries to disguise the true source of the loan payments. In exchange for this financial assistance, respondent subsequently received extremely favorable rulings from the judges in cases he filed in their courts. This conduct amounts to a blatant corruption of the judicial system, and will not be tolerated by this court.”

Previous ABAJournal.com posts provide additional details:

Big-Name PI Lawyer Sentenced for Bribing Judges (2007)

2 Judges & 1 Lawyer Win Bribery Appeals After 5th Circuit Raises New Issue (2009)

5th Circuit Upholds Conviction of Lawyer, Two Judges in Miss. Corruption Case

Hat tip: Legal Profession Blog.

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