An attorney who once beat the odds is facing dire straits in Louisiana.
Koby D. Boyett, 59, is licensed to practice law in the Pelican State despite the presence of a federal drug conviction on his record. The Committee on Bar Admissions repeatedly opposed his admission to practice law. In 2001, the bureaucracy won out, according to a state supreme court opinion. In 2006, however, Boyett was admitted to the bar over one judge’s loud and angry dissent.
Now, Boyett stands accused of attempted murder in the second degree over an alleged road rage incident last weekend that is said to have left a sheriff’s deputy with non-life-threatening injuries, according to Lafayette, La. ABC affiliate KATC.
The shooting reportedly occurred on Interstate Highway 49 during the late afternoon hours on Saturday, July 9, 2022.
According to the Lafayette Daily Advertiser, the victim was an off-duty member of the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office and is currently “doing well at home,” the newspaper said while citing the agency. He is not being named.
Details regarding the incident presently scarce.
An initial narrative was established that suggested the assailant may have intentionally targeted the deputy for some reason or another. That storyline was later disputed by law enforcement.
“The reports that one of our deputies was shot by a suspect who drove up to the deputy and open [sic] fire was false,” St. Landry Sheriff Bobby Guidroz told Alexandria, La. NBC/CBS/CW affiliate KALB.
Boyett was detained in the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center on $300,000 bond; jail records reviewed by Law&Crime suggest he has since made bail.
The defendant graduated from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law in 2000, but it was several years before he was allowed to practice.
The 2006 per curiam opinion authorizing the troubled attorney’s licensure by the Louisiana Supreme Court explains:
The Committee on Bar Admissions (“Committee”) opposed the application of petitioner, Koby Dean Boyett, to sit for the Louisiana Bar Examination based on character and fitness concerns relating to his 1989 federal felony conviction of aiding and abetting the manufacture of methamphetamine. We subsequently granted petitioner permission to sit for the bar exam, with the condition that upon his successful completion of the exam, he apply to the court for the appointment of a commissioner to take character and fitness evidence.
Petitioner thereafter successfully passed the essay portion of the bar exam, and upon his application, we appointed a commissioner to take evidence and report to this court whether petitioner possesses the appropriate character and fitness to be admitted to the bar and allowed to practice law in the State of Louisiana. We also authorized the Office of Disciplinary Counsel to conduct an investigation into petitioner’s qualifications to be admitted to the bar.
The commissioner conducted a character and fitness hearing in November 2004, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule XVII, § 9(B). At the conclusion of the hearing, the commissioner filed his report with this court, recommending that petitioner be admitted to the practice of law. In his report, the commissioner concluded that petitioner “has demonstrated sufficient evidence of rehabilitation” and that “he has the requisite character, maturity and emotional make-up to be admitted to the bar.”
Since-retired justice Jeffrey P. Victory‘s dissent raised an alarm about Boyett’s admission to the bar:
Not only was Boyett convicted by a unanimous jury of aiding and abetting the manufacture of methamphetamine and sent to federal prison, he has since stated that he committed perjury at his federal trial at the suggestion of his attorney. This Court was so concerned about these matters that it unanimously denied him admission in 2001. Further, perjury is so serious that it is a grounds for permanent disbarment for a lawyer . . .
As for his rehabilitation, Boyett testified at his character and fitness hearing on January 16, 2001, as follows: “[r]ehabilitation means to me that you’ve learned from 2 your mistakes, and you’re going to try to do–you’re going to try to conform to the norm now. I may have made a mistake in judgment, but I don’t think I made any mistakes that warranted any type of rehabilitation.” [Emphasis added]
In my view this Court makes an enormous mistake in admitting this applicant to the practice of law.
Boyett remains listed as “eligible” in the Louisiana State Bar Association’s online membership directory; his law office is listed under an Alexandria, La., address. His website says he “[n]ever waivers from the highest standards” and that his clients “are eager to recommend him” to others.
Boyett did not immediately respond to a Law&Crime telephone call for comment that was placed to his law office on Friday afternoon. He also did not respond to a written request for comment submitted via a contact form on his law firm’s website on Friday afternoon.
[image via Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office]
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