Traylor Should be Disbarred, Say Ellingtons

Former Louisiana Supreme Court Justice (Retired) Chet D. Traylor should be permanently disbarred from practicing law, say Ryan Ellington and Noble Elington III in an ethical conduct complaint filed last Friday with the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board.

The complaint alleges that Traylor lied to the court when he said he could not be present for a deposition in a succession case involving the estate their mother who was also Traylor’s late wife.

The two brothers claim Traylor represented that he was to be in a Baton Rouge federal court the day (August 12, 2010) they wanted him deposed. However, they allege Traylor is not licensed to practice in that particular court and furthermore, they say that the conflicting Baton Rouge conference had been canceled several days before he (Traylor) made the assertion that he had to be in Baton Rouge.

Specifically, the Ellingtons allege that Traylor violated the following Louisiana rules of professional conduct for attorneys:

RULE 3.3. CANDOR TOWARD THE TRIBUNAL

(a) A lawyer shall not knowingly:
(1) make a false statement of fact or law to a tribunal or fail to correct a false statement of material fact or law previously made to the tribunal by the lawyer;

RULE 3.4. FAIRNESS TO OPPOSING PARTY AND COUNSEL

A lawyer shall not:
(b) falsify evidence, counsel or assist a witness to testify falsely, or offer an inducement to a witness that is prohibited by law;

RULE 8.4. MISCONDUCT

It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:
(c) Engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation;

In their conclusion, the Ellingtons say:

“After investigation and a hearing establishing these facts, Justice Traylor’s (Ret.) license to practice law in this state should be stricken from the roll of attorneys. Justice Traylor’s (Ret.) misconduct, we regret to say, justifies permanent disbarment.”

In court last week, the Ellingtons won an important ruling that will allow them access to accounts and records pertaining to the succession case. See here the Lincoln Parish News Online (LPNO) report.

It is unclear at this time whether there are any assets remaining for the two Ellingtons to inherit from the estate.

Filings for 2008 and 2009 showed “professional wagers” listed as income for the Traylor family. Gambling losses, if any, are not required to be disclosed on the forms. See here LPNO’s report.

Walter Abbott is the publisher of Lincoln Parish News Online, where this article originally appeared.

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