Yesterday, the Tennessee Supreme Court disbarred two attorneys for dishonesty

On November 15, 2017, the Tennessee Supreme Court disbarred a Montgomery County lawyer and a Davidson County lawyer over issues that primarily involved dishonesty.

The Montgomery County lawyer had four complaints.  First, he received a retainer, failed to complete the work, and then misrepresented that another attorney would assume the client’s representation.  Similarly, his second complaint involved accepting a fee to represent a client and then failing to provide the professional service he was hired to complete.  In the third complaint, the lawyer received a refundable fee, failed to file a cause of action within the statute of limitations, didn’t maintain client funds, and didn’t disclose to the client his indictment for embezzlement.  In his final complaint, the lawyer accepted a fee without disclosing his indictment for embezzlement and, once again, failed to provide the professional service for which he had been retained.  The Court found that the lawyer’s conduct violated Rules of Professional Conduct 1.2(a) (scope of representation); 1.3 (competency); 1.4(a) and (b) (communication); 1.5(a), (b), (e), and (f) (fees); 1.15(a)-(e) (safekeeping of property and funds); 1.16(a) and (d) declining or termination representation); 8.1(b) (bar admissions and disciplinary matters); and 8.4(a), (c), and (d) (misconduct).

The Davidson County lawyer was suspended because he agreed to testify falsely at a bond source hearing, testified falsely at the hearing, and coerced a witness from testifying.  The Court determined that the lawyer’s actions violated Rules of Professional Conduct 3.3(a)(1) (candor toward the tribunal); 3.4(a), (f), and (g) (fairness to opposing party and counsel); and 8.4(a), (b), and (d) (misconduct).

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