Disciplinary Actions

Reinstated

Nashville lawyer Lynne Todd Edgerton was reinstated to the practice of law on Nov. 2 after complying with Supreme Court Rule 21, which requires mandatory continuing legal education. She was suspended on Sept. 7 for failing to meet 2009 CLE requirements.


Suspended

Knoxville attorney Nathanael Ellis Anderson was suspended on Oct. 21 based on his guilty plea for felony theft. In addition to suspending Anderson, the state Supreme Court ordered the Board of Professional Responsibility to institute a formal proceeding to determine the extent of final discipline to be imposed as a result of the conviction.

On Oct. 26, Shelbyville attorney Clarence W. Phillips was suspended from the practice of law for 60 days by the Tennessee Supreme Court. The suspension took effect on Nov. 5. The court found that Phillips sent a direct mail solicitation to a prospective client that did not include the phrase "This is an advertisement." Phillips submitted a conditional guilty plea and agreed to the temporary suspension. The court determined that his actions violated Rules of Professional Conduct 7.3 and 8.4. The court also directed Phillips to pay the cost of the disciplinary proceeding.

The Tennessee Supreme Court temporarily suspended the law license of Memphis lawyer Jack Lester Mewborn Jr. on Nov. 10. The discipline came in response to a finding that Mewborn had misappropriated funds.

On Nov. 15, the Tennessee Supreme Court suspended the law license of Martin lawyer Harry Max Speight based on his guilty plea to the crime of conspiracy to make false statements and defraud the government. In addition to suspending Speight, the court ordered the Board of Professional Responsibility to institute a formal proceeding to determine the extent of final discipline to be imposed as a result of the conviction.

On Nov. 17, the Tennessee Supreme Court temporarily suspended the law license of Nashville lawyer Bradley H. Frakes for failure to comply with his Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program agreement.


Court of Judiciary

On Nov. 29, the Court of the Judiciary publicly reprimanded Circuit Court Judge F. Lee Russell of Shelbyville for excessive delay in a bench trial, a violation of Canon 313(8), which requires a judge "to dispose of all matters promptly, efficiently, and fairly." Russell tried the case in question " a complaint for damages filed by David Reha against Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance Company " on Nov. 12, 1999, and took the matter under advisement. On March 12, 2003, and again on July 23, 2009, plaintiff's counsel filed motions to ascertain the status of the case. On Aug. 13, 2009, Russell indicated in a letter to all parties that he would enter an order in the case on Sept. 4, 2009. When this did not happen, plaintiff filed a complaint with the Court of the Judiciary. The court reported that upon learning of the complaint, Russell "promptly responded, admitted the facts of the complaint, accepted responsibility and entered a proper memorandum opinion and order." The order was issued on Oct. 12 " 10 years and 11 months after the trial. In imposing the reprimand, the court directed Russell to follow the Code of Judicial Conduct and promptly decide cases submitted to him in the future.