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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

2 YEAR SUSPENSION FOR PERFORMING NON-LEGAL WORK

The Louisiana Supreme Court has suspended an attorney, Katherine Guste, for two years for charging a nursing home resident client her normal billing rate of $125 per hour for performing non-legal services such as grocery shopping and picking things up. 
 
The Louisiana Supreme Court held that Kathering Guste charged "an unreasonable fee and took advantage of her client."  The lone dissenter thought that there was insufficient evidence to show that the client was taken advantage of and that a less harsh penalty would be sufficient.
 
The elderly client suffered from Huntington's disease and, according to the Louisiana Supreme Court majority, had diminished capacity.
 
The lesson to learn from this is that if you are going to help a client out with any non-legal business, you likely should not charge your normal legal billing rate, no matter if performed during your normal hours.
 

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