Professional Liability

Electronic Discovery, or “E-Discovery”, is not considered the “novel issue” it once was. However, E-Discovery still presents problems that litigants and courts struggle with. Below is a summary of recent Louisiana Federal Court opinions dealing with the issues surrounding E-Discovery.

In Frees, Inc. v. McMillian, 2007 WL 184889 (W.D. La. Jan. 22, 2007), the Western District of Louisiana granted the plaintiff’s motion to compel. In an unfair competition and trade secret theft action, the plaintiff claimed that the defendant, a former employee, had stolen various data files. Plaintiff had unsuccessfully requested production of defendant’s laptop and desktop. The Court granted the motion to compel the defendant to produce these two items because they were the most likely places that the data files would be located. The Court did institute protective measures so as to prevent the disclosure of any irrelevant or personal information.Continue Reading Recent Developments in E-Discovery in Louisiana

In 1997, the Louisiana Legislature adopted a claims review panel procedure involving “claims” against certified public accountants and firms.  “Claims” as contemplated by the Act are broadly defined as:

(1) “Claim” means any cause of action against a certified public accountant or firm, regardless of the legal basis of the claim, including but not limited to tort, fraud, breach of contract, or any other legal basis, arising out of any engagement to provide professional services, including but not limited to the following:

(a) The providing of attest services as defined in R.S. 37:73(1)(a).
(b) The providing of business or financial advice.
(c) Advice relative to plans or actions to qualify for tax benefits or otherwise reduce the amounts of
tax owed.
(d) Advice relative to the structuring of pension or retirement or insurance plans or other employee
(e) The provision, including design, of computer software for accounting or bookkeeping functions.
(f) Any other advice relative to the conduct of any business whether conducted for profit or not.Continue Reading Professional Liability Claims Against Louisiana Certified Public Accountants

The declared purpose of the Louisiana Accountancy Law, is to promote the reliability of information that is used for guidance in financial transactions or for accounting for or assessing the financial status of private and public clients. To that end, the Louisiana Legislature has decided that it is in the public interest to regulate the qualifications and conduct of those with special competency and skill in the field of accounting and has created the State Board of Certified Public Accountants of Louisiana and given it the responsibility to regulate entry into the practice, the continuum of practice and enforce the provisions of the law with respect to violations of the various prohibitory provisions. In addition to the statutory grants of authority, in carrying out its duties, the Board has promulgated an extensive set of regulations.
Continue Reading Duties and Responsibilities of the State Board of Certified Accountants of Louisiana

This is the first of a three-part series related to Louisiana law and regulations pertaining to the accounting profession. This part focuses on the historical licensing and regulation of the profession by the State of Louisiana.

The Louisiana statutes and regulations governing accountants have become much more sophisticated and comprehensive through the years. In the early 1900s the State’s emphasis was on the qualifications and admission to the practice of public accounting. This continues to be a focus of the state¹s efforts; however, like other learned professions, the Louisiana legislature has adopted additional provisions recognizing the inevitable fact of life that: “Professions once seemingly inviolate from litigation are no longer sacrosanct. The age old axiom that physicians bury their mistakes, while attorneys and accountants file theirs away, has little relevance in modern day America.”

The purpose of this article is to provide an analysis of Louisiana statutes, regulations and jurisprudence regarding the accounting profession, as accountants, like others who practice skilled professions, are now full members of the “Krewe of Defendants” in the Louisiana litigation parade. The article does not include an analysis of other state or federal jurisdictions, regulatory bodies or professional standards and requirements.Continue Reading Regulation and Liability of Accountants Pursuant to Louisiana Law