Sunday, July 29, 2012

Duluth attorney faces possible disbarment

The Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board alleges that Louis A. Stockman failed to comply with a prior discipline ordered by the state Supreme Court

A Duluth lawyer whose face graces the cover of a Twin Ports phone book is again in trouble with the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.

The director of that office has filed a petition seeking discipline ranging from reprimand to disbarment for Louis A. Stockman because of unprofessional conduct. The Stockman Law Office has occupied the cover spot on the Dex phone directory for the past couple of years.

Among the allegations is that Stockman failed to comply with the prior discipline ordered by the state Supreme Court.

In January 2009, the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board, the state's watchdog group for attorneys, issued Stockman an admonition for failing to obtain his client's consent before making a settlement demand to an insurer, failing to notify the client of the insurer's counter-offer, failing to diligently handle the client's case and failing to keep the client reasonably informed about the status of his case.

He was suspended from practicing law for at least five months starting in March.

According to the new petition for disciplinary action filed by Martin Cole, director of the Office of Lawyer's Professional Responsibility:

In addition to handling the legal matters of two more clients in a less-than-professional matter before being reprimanded, Stockman continued to display signage at his Superior Street office and continued to identify himself as an attorney while suspended.

Brian Fischer, Stockman's former law partner, said Thursday that the signage on his office in the Beal Building in downtown Duluth has been removed and that he now owns the business, which is called Injury Law.

Fischer said Stockman is working in his office as office manager and legal assistant, but intends to answer the allegations against him and be reinstated. Stockman wasn't available for comment.

"It's been a very humbling experience for him, but at the same time we are two relatively young guys and we're looking for ways to come through this and continue, for many years to come, help people with their legal needs," Fischer said.

By: Mark Stodghill, Duluth News Tribune

Source: The Duluth News Tribune

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