PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
JULY 5, 2001
Chief Justice Pascal
F. Calogero, Jr. announced today the Louisiana Supreme Court's
establishment of the Supreme Court Committee to Study Lawyers'
Financial Assistance to Clients. The committee has been charged
with studying and then making recommendations concerning possible
amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct concerning
financial assistance to clients. Presently, the Rules of Professional
Conduct (which apply to all Louisiana licensed attorneys)
and case law allow lawyers to advance minimal living expenses
and litigation expenses to clients in need.
The intention to establish
a committee to study financial assistance to clients was expressed
by the Supreme Court in the opinion in Chittenden v. State
Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, et al , rendered
May 15, 2001. The Court held in Chittenden that
clients may be obligated to pay interest in certain circumstances
when an attorney procures loans to help the client fund living
and litigation expenses.
The members of the
Supreme Court Committee to Study Financial Assistance to Clients
are: Justice Catherine "Kitty" D. Kimball, Chair; Kim M. Boyle;
Richard C. Broussard; John W. deGravelles; Elizabeth Erny
Foote; E. Phelps Gay; T. Haller Jackson, III; Justice Jeannette
T. Knoll; Lawrence S. Kullman; J. Burton LeBlanc, IV; Christine
Lipsey; Frank L. Maraist; Jacques A. Massey; Charles B. Plattsmier;
Gary L. Ryan; Dominick Scandurro, Jr.; Richard C. Stanley;
and Phillip A. Wittmann.