The Louisiana Supreme Court has disbarred high-profile Baton Rouge attorney E. Eric Guirard and his law partner Thomas Pittenger.
In a 23-page opinion, the Louisiana Supreme Court ordered Guirard’s name “stricken from the rolls and his Louisiana law license revoked.” The same decision was made for Pittenger. Both lawyers can reapply for their law licenses after a period of five years.
The Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board first recommended that Guirard, known for the “E Guarantee,” and his partner, Thomas Pittenger, be disbarred. The board’s recommendation then went before the Louisiana Supreme Court. In arguments before the Louisiana Supreme Court in March, a lawyer representing Guirard and Pittenger told the high court that the sanction of permanent disbarment was too severe. He pointed out that both lawyers corrected methods of operating the law firm after being confronted with allegations of wrongdoing and both men have fully cooperated.
An attorney with the Office of Disciplinary Council, however, argued that Guirard and Pittenger “consciously and intentionally” violated ethics rules. The board accused the lawyers of paying commissions to employees who are not lawyers. The lawyers are also accused of allowing case managers who are not lawyers to provide legal advice to clients. Both of those allegations violate the rules of professional conduct for attorneys.