Crystal Gavel Awards
Ryan E. Gatti
Ryan E. Gatti maintains a solo practice in Bossier City, Louisiana. He was selected to receive a Crystal Gavel Award due to his commendable efforts in aiding the administration of justice by gathering and reviewing a significant numbers of cases on behalf of the 26th Judicial District Court.
Two separate Bossier solo practitioners within a six-week period were suspended from the practice of law and the Court was asked to appoint an attorney to take possession of their files and contact their clients. The situation was exacerbated by months of neglect of the files by the suspended attorneys, as well as the fact that one of the attorneys had relocated to Texas and the other suffered from psychological and substance abuse problems. After the first attorney’s suspension, the Court reached out to the Bossier Bar Association in hopes of forming a committee to address the predicament, so that the burden would not fall on the shoulders of one attorney alone. Mr. Gatti’s immediate response was that he’d be happy to assume responsibility for the gathering and review of the files. When the second attorney was suspended within six weeks, Mr. Gatti again immediately stepped up to volunteer his services to the Court by taking possession of the client files.
Mr. Gatti quickly began the task of collecting the files, which were spread over several locations and storage areas. He thoroughly reviewed the records and contacted each of the clients by mail to inform them of the situation and of the need to seek out additional legal representation. A conservative estimate is that he and his staff spent over 40 hours to accomplish this notification. Subsequently, he spoke with former clients of the affected attorneys as they made contact with him.
“This Court was extremely impressed, but not surprised, by the professional and ethical manner in which Mr. Gatti performed,” said Hon. Parker Self, Chief Judge of the Twenty Sixth Judicial District Court. “Mr. Gatti’s sense of honor and duty are well known in this community. I am certain that his efforts served to restore the faith in the legal profession of those persons who had been adversely affected by the actions of these attorneys.”
Mr. Gatti earned his law degree from the Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center.