Disciplinary Actions

Reinstated

The following attorneys have been reinstated to the practice of law after complying with Section 20 of Supreme Court Rule 9, which requires the payment of annual registration fees:

Brian Alexander Konradi, Austin, Texas

Don G. Owens III, Memphis

Jeffrey Andrew Stinnett, Chattanooga

Joshua David Thomas, Memphis

Angela Jenise Williams, Silver Spring, Md.

William Edward Nethery of Decatur, Ga., was reinstated to the practice of law after complying with Supreme Court Rule 21, which requires mandatory continuing legal education, and Rule 9 Section 20, which requires the payment of annual registration fees.

Memphis attorney Warner Hodges III was reinstated to the practice of law by the Tennessee Supreme Court on June 6. Hodges was suspended Feb. 15, 2007, for practicing law while suspended and failing to comply with the terms and conditions of his monitoring agreement. In reinstating him, the court required continued compliance with a monitoring/advocacy agreement with the Tennessee Lawyer Assistance Program and continued involvement with the Georgia Lawyer's Assistance Program.

Censured

A censure declares conduct improper but does not limit the right to practice law.

Memphis attorney James D. Adams received a public censure from the Tennessee Supreme Court on May 23 for violating the Rules of Professional Conduct. The court found that he simultaneously represented a mother and her son in a domestic assault case without informing them of the implications of common representation or obtaining written consent from either. The court also found that Adams engaged in a practice of accepting representation from clients only for a limited purpose, which was both misleading and confusing to the clients. His actions, according to the court, violated Rules of Professional Conduct 1.4(a), 1.7(c) and 8.4(a)(c) and (d). Adams submitted a conditional guilty plea in exchange for the censure. The court also required him to pay the costs of the disciplinary proceedings.

Suspended

Suspension is effective 10 days after issuance, except where immediate suspension is necessary to protect the public. A suspended lawyer may not accept new clients but may continue representing current clients for 30 days. The lawyer must notify all clients, co-counsel and opposing counsel of the suspension order; return to clients any papers or property to which they are entitled; not use the indicia of lawyer, legal assistant or law clerk; and not maintain a presence where the practice of law is conducted. An attorney suspended for one year or more must prove by clear and convincing evidence that he has the moral qualifications, competency and learning required for admission to the practice of law, and that resumption of his practice would not be detrimental to the integrity and standing of the bar or the administration of justice, nor be subversive to the public interest. An attorney suspended for less than one year with conditions may resume practice after complying with those conditions. An attorney suspended for less than one year with no conditions may resume practice without reinstatement.

The Tennessee Supreme Court suspended Jackson attorney Jacques B. Glassman on May 23 for one year and ordered that he serve two years of probation if he is reinstated. The court found that Glassman provided incompetent representation, neglected client cases, failed to keep clients informed and made misrepresentations to clients and the Board of Professional Responsibility, and that these actions violated Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1, 1.3, 1.5, 3.2, 1.4, 8.2 and 8.4.

The Tennessee Supreme Court suspended Memphis attorney Melvin G. Turner on May 23 for a period of six months, retroactive to Dec. 23, 2007. The court found that he violated Rules of Professional Conduct 8.4(a)(d) and (g) by failing to (1) remove any indicia of lawyer, counselor at law, legal assistant, law clerk or similar title from his checks, and (2) safeguard or destroy trust account checks after being suspended. The court ordered Turner to pay the costs of the disciplinary proceedings.

Disbarred

In Tennessee, disbarment becomes effective 10 days after an order of the court. Under the Rules of Professional Conduct, a disbarred lawyer must notify all clients, co-counsel and opposing counsel of the disbarment; must deliver to all clients any papers or property to which they are entitled; may not use the indicia of lawyer, counselor at law, legal assistant, law clerk or similar title; and may not maintain a presence or occupy an office where the practice of law is conducted. A lawyer who has been disbarred after hearing or by consent may not apply for reinstatement for at least five years. When applying, the lawyer must prove by clear and convincing evidence that reinstatement would not be detrimental to the integrity and standing of the bar or the administration of justice, nor be subversive to the public interest.

On June 6, Memphis lawyer Thomas Keith McAlexander was disbarred for falsely representing to a plaintiff's counsel that he had authority to settle a hospital negligence claim. The court also found that he made continuous misrepresentations over the course of two years that a settlement was approved and the plaintiff would receive a monetary settlement. According to the court, McAlexander also failed to self-report his misconduct to the Board of Professional Responsibility after assuring his supervisor and plaintiff's counsel that he would do so. The court found that his actions violated Rules of Professional Conduct 3.1, 3.4, 4.1, 4.4 and 8.4 and ordered him to pay the costs of the disciplinary proceedings.

Disability Inactive

Disability inactive status precludes an attorney from practicing law in the state immediately. The designation remains in effect until further order of the court, however the attorney is entitled to petition the court for reinstatement to active status once a year (or at shorter intervals if the court allows). To return to active status, the attorney must show by clear and convincing evidence that the disability has been removed and that he or she is fit to resume the practice of law.

The law license of Memphis attorney Patricia B. Penn was transferred to disability inactive status on May 23 for an indefinite period of time and until further order from the Supreme Court. The action was taken pursuant to Section 21 of Supreme Court Rule 9.

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Compiled by Stacey Shrader from information obtained from the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Tennessee Supreme Court