Legal Ethics

Lawyer who bought detox shampoo for client is disbarred

  • Print

Ultra Clean shampoo

Image of Ultra Clean shampoo from the product’s website.

The Louisiana Supreme Court has disbarred a lawyer accused of buying a shampoo to scrub his client’s hair of any signs of illegal drug use.

The lawyer, Douglas Kent Hall, was also accused of failing to communicate with clients and failing to return unearned fees when fired by dissatisfied clients. Another count said Hall had pleaded guilty to theft of utility service. The Legal Profession Blog noted the decision (PDF) and highlighted the shampoo allegation.

Hall was accused of buying the shampoo, called Ultra Clean, after an opposing lawyer notified Hall he was filing an emergency petition claiming Hall’s client was using illegal drugs. The petition sought custody of a child in the care of Hall’s client. The shampoo touts its ability to remove drug buildup on hair and it is often used to avoid a positive drug test, according to the opinion.

At a pretrial conference the next day, Hall “adamantly denied” that his client was using illegal drugs, the opinion says. A judge ordered tests of both hair follicles and cuticles; Hall’s client passed the hair test but the cuticle test was presumed positive for marijuana, amphetamines, and methamphetamines.

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.