Ron Haley Jr., Ronald Greene family lawyer and rapper Lit Yoshi, suspended for 6 months | Courts
Baton Rouge criminal defense and civil rights attorney Ron Haley Jr., whose high-profile cases include besieged local rapper Lit Yoshi and the family of Ronald Greene, a black motorist who died following an encounter brutal in 2019 with state soldiers in northern Louisiana, was suspended Tuesday from practicing law for six months.
Haley, who has been a lawyer since 2007, and the Office of Disciplinary Counsel have consented to the sentence handed down by the Louisiana Supreme Court for her violations of attorney ethics.
The ODC had investigated allegations that Haley overlooked a legal matter, failed to communicate with a client, inappropriately attempted to resolve a malpractice claim with a client, and failed to return a client’s case on demand .
The Supreme Court actually suspended Haley for a year and a day, but postponed all but six months of the suspension. He must pass the Louisiana State Bar Association’s ethics school.
“Any failure (…) to complete ethics school, or any misconduct during the deferral period, may be grounds for making the deferred portion of the suspension enforceable or for imposing additional discipline, if applicable”, the High Court warned.
Judge Scott Crichton, who expressed the only dissent among the seven judges, called the six-month suspension “unduly lenient.”
“In view of the facts presented, I would rather impose a suspension of one year and one day without a suspended period,” he said.
Lewis Unglesby, who represents Haley, said the mistakes happened when Haley was an inexperienced young lawyer.
“He has become a great lawyer and I have every reason to believe that upon his return he will bring honor to the profession and do a great job for his clients,” Unglesby said.
Haley’s clients include rap artist Lit Yoshi, real name Mieyoshi Edwards. The 22-year-old is set to stand trial in mid-July in Baton Rouge state court on seven counts of attempted first degree murder resulting from two rap-related shootings in the city last year.
These shots injured three adults and two children.
Edwards, who was also arrested this summer in connection with a shooting in Slidell last year, is being held without bail. He had been under house arrest in Florida, but his $ 1.82 million bond was revoked after his latest arrest.
Detectives attributed the shootings to a latent feud between rival record companies NBA (Never Broke Again) and TBG (Top Boy Gorilla), groups that authorities have also described as gangs. Edwards performs under the TBG label. Rival NBA Baton Rouge rapper YoungBoy, whose first name is Kentrell Gaulden, founded the NBA group.
Gaulden was indicted in March by a federal grand jury in Baton Rouge with possession of a firearm as a criminal in September 2020 and that he also possessed a firearm not registered in his name in a federal database . He was also indicted in August with a weapons charge by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles after he was allegedly found in possession of a pistol and ammunition when officers recovered him in California on the warrant. Baton Rouge stop.
He is currently under house arrest in Utah pending trial on his federal charges.
In his work as a civil rights lawyer, Haley represents the family of Ronald Greene, the black motorist who died following his encounter with soldiers in the Monroe area.
Federal prosecutors are investigating whether state police authorities obstructed justice to protect soldiers seen on long-held body camera video beating, dragging and stunning Greene during his fatal 2019 arrest.
Greene’s arrest on May 10, 2019 came after he escaped a traffic violation stop and led soldiers in a chase near Monroe at a speed of over 115 mph. Soldiers first told Greene’s relatives that the 49-year-old man died of an accident at the end of the chase, despite his car showing little damage, and it was only later that the state police recognized a struggle.
Haley is also one of the attorneys for Aaron Bowman, a black suspect who was allegedly brutally beaten with a flashlight by a state soldier in May 2020. The former soldier, Jacob Brown, was recently indicted by a federal grand jury on one count. deprivation of rights under cover of the law.
Bowman, 46, received stitches in his head, a broken jaw and broken ribs after Brown assaulted him with a tactical flashlight designed to break glass, hitting the unarmed man 18 times, according to police reports.
Brown claimed the strikes on Bowman constituted “respect for the pain,” an investigator wrote in an arrest warrant for Bowman last December on state charges.
Brown is the son of a former state police official, Bob Brown, who retired last year amid a growing scandal at Troop F, a predominantly white section of the state police based to Monroe who patrols a dozen parishes in northeast Louisiana.