A Baton Rouge lawyer who was convicted of simple battery for "chest bumping" a prosecutor during a 2015 confrontation in a judge’s chambers has been given the green light to resume practicing law.
The Louisiana Supreme Court suspended Felix "Andy" DeJean for a year and a day in January 2019 and ordered his immediate reinstatement on Tuesday.
"I am grateful to the Supreme Court and thankful to all the people who have supported me through a very difficult time," DeJean said Wednesday. "I am back and ready to help seek justice on behalf of my clients."
Justice Scott Crichton wrote that DeJean fully acknowledged his wrongdoing and recognized the "seriousness of his actions."
"He also submitted extensive evidence of counseling he had undergone and through numerous character witnesses presented compelling evidence of his good character and self-improvement," Crichton stated.
DeJean's suspension followed his 2016 misdemeanor conviction for "chest bumping" Concordia Parish District Attorney Bradley Burget during a confrontation as the two men were leaving Seventh Judicial District Judge Kathy Johnson's chambers in March 2015.
Burget alleged that DeJean exchanged words with him, physically confronted him and chest bumped him. DeJean claimed Burget instigated the altercation and he was acting in self-defense.
The Supreme Court said evidence supported the conclusion that it was DeJean who chest bumped Burget.
DeJean was given a suspended six-month sentence as a result of his conviction, put on supervised probation for 18 months, fined and ordered to complete an anger management program. He completed the program.
The Supreme Court said in its 2019 suspension order that DeJean violated ethics rules barring criminal acts that reflect adversely on a lawyer’s fitness as a lawyer, and barring conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.
The incident marked the third time DeJean had been accused of violating ethics rules as a result of overly aggressive or physically abusive behavior, the high court noted.
In the other matters, DeJean consented to a two-year probation in 2006 and was publicly reprimanded in 2013.
DeJean was admitted to the Louisiana bar in 1997.