NEW ORLEANS, La. (KLFY) — A Breaux Bridge lawyer and former city judge has been disbarred by the Louisiana Supreme Court in a filing released Tuesday.
W. Glenn Soileau, 74, will be unable to practice law in the state ever again, according to a decree by the Supreme Court.
The high court ordered that Soileau “is permanently disbarred. His name shall be stricken from the roll of attorneys and his license to practice law in the State of Louisiana shall be revoked. Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule XIX, § 24(A), it is further ordered that respondent be permanently prohibited from being readmitted to the practice of law in this state.”
The court voted 7-1 to disbar Soileau, with only Justice Jefferson D. Hughes III dissenting.
The filing by the court included a long list of disciplinary actions and charges of judicial misconduct, including:
- While serving as a judge of the Breaux Bridge City Court, during the 1986 Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival, he committed a battery upon a law enforcement official and directed verbal abuse and obscenities towards numerous individuals at the Crawfish Festival Headquarters and grounds, including stating that he “owned the [expletive] town.”
- He was charged in 1987 with engaging “in an altercation during a game of pool at a bar in Breaux Bridge which necessitated the response of police, during which respondent informed the police officer that he had no authority to intervene because respondent ‘ran the town.’” After being released on a personal recognizance bond, Soileau pressed charges of simple battery against the victim in his own court and fixed bond at $1,000.
- In his capacity as judge of the Breaux Bridge City Court, he issued an arrest warrant for an individual whom he was opposing in civil litigation for criminal charges instituted by his client in the civil litigation.
- In 1997, he pleaded guilty in federal court to three hunting violations under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Soileau was sentenced to serve six months in prison, followed by a five-year probationary period with conditions, the maximum penalty for a Class B misdemeanor. In imposing the sentence, the federal judge considered, among other things, the severity of the charges and his four prior convictions of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. She also concluded that “respondent had intentionally attempted to mislead the court concerning the relevant facts of the prior convictions.”
- In 2017, he was arrested in Lafayette and charged with DWI following a traffic accident. A computer search revealed that he had previously been arrested for DWI in 2013 and 2015. After his arrest he refused to provide a breath sample; however, he did agree to submit a urine sample, which was positive for alprazolam, amphetamine, methamphetamine and Tramadol.
In 2018, Soileau was charged with pandering, letting premises for prostitution, prostitution and obstruction of justice.
According to the ruling, Louisiana State Police and members of the Lafayette Metro Narcotics Task Force made contact with Idalia Hotz, whom they “had reason to believe was distributing crystal methamphetamine” from a room at a hotel in Lafayette.
While Hotz was detained in the room, agents noticed that she received a text message on her cell phone alerting her to the presence of police cars in the hotel parking lot. A follow-up text directed Hotz to “Get rid of whatever you have and hurry.”
The messages were sent by a contact named “Glenn,” whom Hotz identified to agents as Soileau. A short time later, Soileau appeared at the hotel and introduced himself to agents as Hotz’s attorney. He said that he paid for the room and requested that the agents vacate the premises. Soileau was advised by the agents of the criminal investigation under way, then left the hotel, the ruling said.
During a search of the room, agents found nine grams of crystal methamphetamine and a glass smoking pipe. After Hotz was placed under arrest, she advised the agents that Soileau “often pays for rooms in different hotels and provides her with meals while she conducts prostitution activities in the various hotel rooms.” Agents seized Hotz’s cell phone for further investigation, and text messages found on the phone confirmed that respondent was knowingly financing
Hotz’s illegal activities.
“The messages further established that respondent is also a paying client of Ms. Hotz’s,” the ruling read.
He was arrested on March 2, 2018. He ultimately pleaded no contest to an amended misdemeanor charge of interfering with a law enforcement investigation; the remaining charges were dismissed.
In May 2022, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel of the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board filed formal charges against Soileau, alleging that he violated the Rules of Professional Conduct. Those charges included:
- Counseling a client to engage or assisting a client in conduct that the lawyer knows is criminal or fraudulent.
- Committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer.
- Engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.
The court said Soileau failed to answer the formal charges.
“Accordingly, the factual allegations contained therein were deemed admitted and proven by clear and convincing evidence,” the court ruled. “No formal hearing was held, but the parties were given an opportunity to file with the hearing committee written arguments and documentary evidence on the issue of sanctions. Respondent filed nothing for the committee’s consideration.”
The committee found that Soileau’s misconduct “is so egregious that it warrants permanent disbarment,” and that he is “ethically and morally unfit for the practice of law and that there is no reasonable expectation of significant rehabilitation in his character in the future.”
In a concurring opinion filed by the court, Chief Justice John L. Weimer called Soileau’s disbarment “an appropriate sanction given the long history of behavior outlined in this court’s opinion.”
“It is obvious that the success he achieved in graduating from law school and being elected to serve his community as a judge have been overshadowed by a serious substance abuse issue,” Weimer wrote. “I urge the respondent to seek treatment and healing from the clutches of a disease and return to being a successful member of his community.”