Oregon State Bar Seeks Rare Emergency Attorney’s License Suspension As It Continues To Represent Clients In Federal And State Courts And Charge Clients Significant Fees despite an earlier suspension, according to state records.
Louis Paul Marcanti’s troubles have begun when Columbia Bank notified the state bar in June 2021 of an overdraft and insufficient funds in Marcanti’s attorney’s trust account, according to bar records. The bar then opened an investigation. Trust accounts are special bank accounts where client funds should be kept safe and separate from a lawyer’s personal and business assets until such funds are withdrawn.
the bar, responsible for licensing and disciplining lawyers, asked Marcanti for information about the bank notice but never received an explanation last year. On October 27, the bar issued an administrative suspension of Marcanti’s attorney’s license for his alleged refusal to cooperate with its investigation.
Now the bar has filed a petition with a state professional liability board for a longer “emergency suspension” of Marcanti’s Law license, quoting a “considerable threat of immediate and irreparable harm to customers and the public”.
“We are concerned that there are clients of Mr. Marcanti who are unaware that he is not currently licensed to practice,” said Kateri Walsh, spokeswoman for the bar.
License suspensions under the emergency law are unusual in Oregon. There were two in 2019, one in 2020, one in 2021, and Marcanti marks the second wanted this year, according to the bar association. The bar has approximately 15,000 member lawyers.
Marcanti, 39, did not return calls and emails seeking comment.
But Marcanti sent a four-page letter to the bar’s disciplinary attorney this month outlining how he suffered physically from a lengthy COVID-19 and experienced significant personal and mental setbacks, including the loss during of the last 18 months from his best friend, his fiancée, his home and life savings.
He pleaded with the bar to allow him to do whatever is necessary “to correct this situation” and allow him to practice law in Oregon.
The bar is moving forward with its request for an emergency stay, satisfied that Marcanti was fully aware that his license had been suspended as he continued to represent clients in court, Walsh said.
Bank records suggest Marcanti mixed his own money with customers’ money and mixed one customer’s money with another’s, according to bar records.
After his attorney’s license was suspended in October, Marcanti continued to sign and file two pleadings in a civil case in federal court and negotiated and finalized a settlement in a Multnomah County civil case, representing a woman who had no idea her lawyer’s license was suspended. , depending on the bar.
Last month, he filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of two female estate representatives in Marion County Circuit Court and filed a claim with the state workers’ compensation board for 117 $585 in attorney fees for 435 hours of work, according to the bar.
In the workers’ compensation case, his opposing counsel filed a lawsuit with the bar, noting that the fee claim “was much higher than what we usually see before counsel.”
Under the administrative license suspension that remains in effect, Marcanti could have his license reinstated immediately once he cooperates with the bar association’s investigation.
An emergency suspension, however, would remain in effect until dismissal or the conclusion of disciplinary proceedings.
Marcanti, who earned his Oregon law degree in 2018, is listed as president and owner of Stumptown Law Group, with a current address in Sutherlin and prior addresses in Nehalem and Manzanita.
His “flagrant disregard for his suspension from the practice of law while the investigation into his billing practices and accounting irregularities remains unaddressed poses a serious threat to his clients and the public,” wrote disciplinary attorney Matthew S. Coombs. Deputy at the State Bar.
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