Johnson, J. not on panel. Rule IV, Part II, §3.
On January 31, 1997, this court placed respondent on interim suspension, based on his conviction for
possession of cocaine. In re: Chaney, 96-0298 (La. 1/31/97), 687 So. 2d 393.
Mr. Morgan was apparently granted an out-of-time appeal; however, he lacks the funds to hire new
SUPREME COURT OF LOUISIANA
IN RE: RUSSELL ALAN CHANEY
ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS
This attorney disciplinary proceeding arises from two sets of formal charges filed by
the Office of Disciplinary Counsel (“ODC”) against respondent, Russell Alan Chaney, an attorney
licensed to practice law in the State of Louisiana. The charges allege respondent failed to adequately
represent his clients, failed to keep his clients reasonably informed, failed to return unearned fees and
provide an accounting when requested, and failed to keep his clients’ funds separate, converting those
funds to his own use. In addition, the charges allege respondent entered a plea of guilty to possession
of cocaine and was sentenced to three years imprisonment.
For purposes of clarity, the underlying facts will be addressed under the docket
numbers assigned in the disciplinary board.
Respondent accepted the representation of Kenneth D. Morgan in connection with a
criminal matter in May of 1995. Mr. Morgan paid respondent a total of $2,100.00 to file an appeal
on his behalf. However, respondent never filed the appeal and did not communicate with his client.
Accordingly, the delays for Mr. Morgan’s appeal have run.2
Delores Johnson retained respondent to represent her brother, who was incarcerated
and facing criminal charges. She paid respondent $500 to help secure his release on bond. Despite
their repeated efforts to communicate with respondent, neither the defendant nor Ms. Johnson were
able to communicate with respondent after payment of the fee, and he never performed any work on