Disciplinary Actions

Reinstated

The following attorneys were reinstated to the practice of law after complying with Supreme Court Rule 21, which requires mandatory continuing legal education: Winsome Ann Henry, St. Louis, Mo., and Cherry Dawn Williams, Nashville.

The following attorneys were reinstated to the practice of law after complying with Section 20 of Supreme Court Rule 9, which requires the payment of annual registration fees to the Board of Professional Responsibility, and Supreme Court Rule 43, which requires certification that a lawyer’s funds are held in an account participating in the Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program: Jonathan Kenneth Borsodi, Knoxville; James Benjamin Earthman, Aurora, Colo.; Russell S. Glass, Alexandria, Va.; M. Josiah Hoover III, Knoxville; Curtis D. Johnson, Memphis; and Phillip Wade Richardson, Orlando, Fla.

Jackson Wayne Seal of Birmingham, Ala., was reinstated to the practice of law after complying with Section 20 of Supreme Court Rule 9, which requires the payment of annual registration fees to the Board of Professional Responsibility.

Sally Marney Ridenour of Atlanta, Ga., was reinstated to the practice of law after complying with Supreme Court Rule 43, which requires certification that a lawyer’s funds are held in an account participating in the Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program.

Karen Marie Smith of Eustis, Fla., was reinstated to the practice of law on Sept. 13 after complying with Supreme Court Rule 9, Section 32, which requires the payment of an annual state professional privilege tax and Section 20, which requires the payment of annual registration fees to the Board of Professional Responsibility.


Censured

Shelby County lawyer David P. Burlison was censured on Sept. 16 for using his attorney trust account for personal transactions. In addition to imposing the censure, the court directed Burlison to pay $708.33 to the Board of Professional Responsibility to cover the cost of the disciplinary proceeding and to pay the clerk of the court all costs incurred. The court also noted that he is currently suspended for failing to meet continuing legal education requirements. His actions were determined to violate Rule 1.15 of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

On Sept. 22, Knoxville lawyer Robert M. Asbury was censured by the Tennessee Supreme Court for depositing funds into his business account rather than his trust account though the court found that none of his clients suffered loss or injury. Asbury submitted a conditional guilty plea acknowledging violating Rules of Professional Conduct 1.4, 1.5 and 8.4. In addition to imposing the censure, the court directed Asbury to pay $1,130.17 to the Board of Professional Responsibility to cover the cost of the disciplinary proceeding and to pay the clerk of the court all costs incurred.

On Sept. 22, Columbia lawyer Rhonda D. Hooks was censured by the Tennessee Supreme Court for violating Rules of Professional Conduct dealing with diligence and promptness in representing clients, communication with clients and expeditiously handling litigation. Hooks submitted a conditional guilty plea acknowledging violating Rules of Professional Conduct 1.3, 1.4, 3.2 and 8.4. In addition to imposing the censure, the court directed Hooks to pay $2,577.20 to the Board of Professional Responsibility to cover the cost of the disciplinary proceeding and to pay the clerk of the court all costs incurred.

Nashville lawyer Jennifer Meehan was publicly censured by the Tennessee Supreme Court on Sept. 23 for submitting a false résumé to a potential employer and making false statements to the Board of Professional Responsibility. The court determined that she violated Rules of Professional Conduct 7.1, 8.1 and 8.4. In addition to imposing the censure, the court directed Hooks to pay the cost of her disciplinary proceeding.

On Sept. 27, Howard Robert Orfield of Bristol was censured by the state Supreme Court for failing to diligently represent and adequately communicate with clients. The court determined that his actions violated Rules of Professional Conduct 1.3 and 1.4 and ordered him to pay the cost of his disciplinary proceeding.


Suspended

On Sept. 2, the Tennessee Supreme Court entered an order of reciprocal discipline suspending Texas lawyer Jimmy Vallejo Delgado for five years, with two years to be served on active suspension and three years to be served on probation. Delgado also was ordered to comply with conditions imposed by the State Bar of Texas, including paying the costs of his disciplinary proceeding, providing an accounting of funds received on behalf of his client, hiring an accountant to review his accounts, providing reports of his accounts on a quarterly basis, and complying with registration and continuing legal education requirements. Also, the Tennessee Supreme Court directed Delgado to pay the Board of Professional Responsibility the cost of his disciplinary proceeding. The court took action after the State Bar of Texas found that Delgado failed to hold settlement funds in trust, failed to promptly deliver settlement funds, and failed to keep clients informed as to the status of their cases.

On Sept. 13, Chattanooga lawyer Barbara Sims Arthur was suspended from the practice of law for 18 months for engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. On Sept. 26, 2005, Arthur was suspended in Tennessee for failing to pay registration fees. She also was suspended on four occasions for not paying similar fees in Georgia. While suspended, Arthur filed numerous bankruptcy cases and continued to represent clients. The Tennessee Supreme Court determined that her actions violated Disciplinary Rules 1-102(A)(1), (5), and (6) and Rule of Professional Conduct 5.5. In imposing the suspension, the court directed that Arthur serve six months on active suspension with the remainder to be served on probation subject to several conditions. The conditions include (1) ensuring that she does not establish or maintain an office in Georgia or indicate in advertisements that she is licensed in that state; (2) staying current with all licensing fees and CLE requirements; and (3) engaging a practice monitor. Finally, the court directed Arthur to pay the Board of Professional Responsibility $5,850.45 to cover the cost of her disciplinary proceeding and to pay the clerk of the court all costs incurred.

Franklin lawyer Thomas Holland McKinnie was suspended for two years on Sept. 13 for improperly depositing checks between his trust account and a personal account, which resulted in insufficient funds in both accounts and a loss of $7,500 for First Tennessee Bank. However, the court allowed McKinnie to serve the entire time on probation so long as he performs three hours of pro bono service each month and attends an additional three hours of continuing legal education each year. The court noted that no clients were harmed by the misconduct and that McKinnie has complied with an order from the Williamson County Circuit Court to pay restitution and complete 100 hours of community service. In addition to imposing the suspension, the court directed McKinney to pay the cost of the disciplinary proceeding and of all costs incurred. His actions were determined to violate Rules of Professional Conduct 1.15(a) and 8.4(a) and (c).

On Sept. 13, the Supreme Court suspended Nashville lawyer Glenn Douglas Tackett Jr. for 60 days after finding that he practiced law from Aug. 27, 2008, until March 10, 2011, while his license was suspended for failure to comply with continuing legal education requirements. The court also ordered him to pay the cost of the disciplinary proceeding and all court costs incurred. Tackett submitted a conditional guilty plea admitting that he violated Rules of Professional Conduct 5.5(a) and 8.4(a), (c) and (d).

The state Supreme Court suspended Nashville lawyer Richard A. Demonbreun on Sept. 16 for four months for violating an order of protection and submitting a false pleading. The court also directed him to (1) comply with orders of protection and retirement, (2) resume psychiatric and/or psychological therapy, (3) work with the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program, and (4) pay the Board of Professional Responsibility $6,098.03 to cover the cost of his disciplinary proceeding and pay the clerk of the court all costs incurred. Finally, the court ruled that Demonbreun must produce a letter from his therapist indicating he is mentally fit to resume the practice of law before pursuing reinstatement. His actions were determined to have violated Rules of Professional Conduct 3.3, 3.4 and 8.4.

On Sept. 19, the Tennessee Supreme Court issued an order summarily and temporarily suspending Davidson County lawyer James A. Hewitt from the practice of law after finding that he posed a threat of substantial harm to the public. The suspension remains in effect until dissolution or modification by the court.

On Sept. 21, the Tennessee Supreme Court suspended the law license of Savannah lawyer James Strong Powell after he pled guilty to the serious crime of aggravated perjury. The court also 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. The suspension remains in effect until it is dissolved or amended by the court.

Knoxville lawyer Lisa Anne Temple was suspended on Sept. 21 for four years (retroactive to a temporary suspension imposed on March 19, 2010) and ordered to enter into a monitoring agreement with the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program. The action was based on complaints that Temple practiced law while suspended, made misrepresentations to a client, failed to advise a client of her suspension, neglected a client’s case, and forged her former partner’s signature on a settlement agreement and an agreed order filed with the Anderson County Chancery Court. The court also ordered her to pay the cost of the disciplinary proceeding and all court costs incurred.  Her actions were determined to violate Rules of Professional Conduct 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.16, 5.5, 8.1 and 8.4.

On Sept. 27, the Supreme Court suspended Shelby County attorney Darren James Scoggins for five years after he pled guilty to false imprisonment, aggravated burglary, aggravated assault, possession of a weapon, prescription drug fraud, forgery and identity theft. Scoggins agreed to a conditional guilty plea and accepted the five-year suspension. The court also ordered him to pay the cost of his disciplinary proceeding. The suspension will begin immediately following his release from prison. 

Suspension for Failure to Pay 2011 Annual Fee

On Sept. 12, the Supreme Court of Tennessee suspended the following attorneys for failure to pay the 2011 annual fee to the Board of Professional Responsibility. The order supplements an order filed on Aug. 22. Attorneys who complied with the rule by press time are noted as reinstated.

Tennessee
Jackson: John Ramsey Moss
Memphis: Kimberly Bell Heuer (reinstated), Amy Marie Robertson (reinstated)
Nashville: Claude Benton Patton (reinstated)
Waynesboro: John Wilburn Castleman Jr.

Out of State/Out of Country
Alabama: Jackson Wayne Seal (reinstated)
Florida: Philip Wade Richardson
South Carolina: Eric Paul Kelley
Utah: LeGrand Gold, Lane Ryan Pas Waters
Korea: Hyesook Kim
Northern Mariana Islands: Shelli L. Neal

Suspension for Failure to File 2011 IOLTA Report

On Sept. 12, the Supreme Court of Tennessee suspended the following attorneys for failure to submit the 2011 Mandatory IOLTA Compliance Statement certifying that all eligible client funds are held in an IOLTA account. The order supplements an order filed on Aug. 22. Attorneys who complied with the requirements by press time are noted as reinstated.
Goodlettsville: Homer R. Ayers (reinstated)
Memphis: Curtis Douglas Johnson (reinstated)  

Suspension for Failure to Comply with 2010 CLE Requirements

On Aug. 31, the Tennessee Supreme Court suspended 149 lawyers for failing in 2010 to comply with Rule 21 of the Rules of the Tennessee Supreme Court, which requires mandatory continuing legal education. Those who complied with the rule by press time are noted as reinstated.

Tennessee
Alamo: Shannon Allen Jones
Antioch: Diana Doreen Shuck
Arlington: Marie Holly Hall
Bartlett: Sharon Davonne Bishop
Blountville: Jennifer Pennington Guthrie
Brentwood: Lance Brandon Mayes (reinstated)
Bristol: John Andrew Allen Bellamy (reinstated), David Garrett Mullins (reinstated)
Camden: Woodward Taylor Jordan
Chattanooga: Tammie Sue Belcher, Kevin Lee Featherston, Michael Gregory Williams, Walter Francis Williams (reinstated)
Clarksville: Christopher Wayne Barber, Donrua Darlene Barnes-Hulsey, Michael R. Haggard, Kari M. Morton
Columbia: Gerald Roy Maki
Cordova: Bradley Aaron Teplitsky
Cottontown: Rebecca Ann Bell-Houchin
Franklin: Charles Joseph Eades Jr., Ronald Claiborne Richards Jr.
Germantown: Marcus Neal Hanna, Carol Mills Hayden, Steven Curtis Limbrick
Grandview: David Craig Lee
Hixson: Steven Matthew Roderick (reinstated)
Jacksboro: Michael Glen Hatmaker (reinstated)
Jackson: Gayden Drew IV, Rex E. Leatherwood, Jack Colin Morris (reinstated)
Johnson City: Richard Lee Burnette, Vance W. Cheek Jr.
Jonesborough: Aleania Christian Smith (reinstated)
Knoxville: Johnathan Kenneth Borsodi, Charles Phillip Carter, C. Coulter Gilbert, Lisa Belle Hatfield, Willis Jackson Jr., Robert Carter Joyner, William Soaper Lockett Jr., Michael McClamroch, James M. Moore Jr., Marleen Colominas Naab, Joshua Niles Nash, Thomas Alan Snapp, Wendy A. Walker
La Vergne: William Claude Collins Jr., James Horner Ortale
Lakeland: Terrye Lane Traylor
Lenoir City: Micah Shannon Littleton
Madison: Bobby Dean Davis
Maryville: Gary Michael Pritchard
McMinnville: Quentin Scott Horton (reinstated)
Memphis: Karl Jospeph Amelchenko, Audrey Dattel Belvin, Patricia Anne Collier Crowell, Virgil Paul Everhart, Richard Bryan Fields (reinstated), Melvin Lucius Ford, John Robert Hershberger, Holly Melinda Judd, Marti Lee Kaufman, Quitman Robins Ledyard II, Thomas Mark Lee, Patricia Bryan Mauldin, John Ramsey McCarroll III (reinstated), Donnie Ray McFerren (reinstated), David Earl McKinney (reinstated), Sarah Elizabeth Meltzer, Carson L. Owen, Peggie Antionette Russell, Larry Michael Sargent, Mark David Talley, Elise Nicole Trail
Mount Juliet: Samuel Marion Mingledorff
Murfreesboro: Benjamin Douglas Groce, John David Hays, Andrew Lee Messick, Brian Keith Roberts, Venus Michelle Stanek (reinstated)
Nashville: Anthony Adrian Adgent (reinstated), William Alan Alder, Ted Austin Burkhalter, John Thomas Feeney III (reinstated), Elizabeth Byrne Fox, Leo P. Haffey Jr., James Anthony Hewitt, Daniel Patrick Hull (reinstated), Andre Philip Johnson, Jerry Alan Kennon, Allison Mayre LaRue (reinstated), Matthew Fort Mayo, Thomas Summers McNiel, Jennifer Renée Rich Mueller, William Vincent Parsons III (reinstated), Randall W. Pierce, Ashley Denise Preston (reinstated), Charles Edwin Reed, Aundreas W. Smith, Quentin I. White
Oak Ridge: Samuel Franklin Lain
Ooltewah: John Luther Lee III
Pinson: Jennifer Segars Johnson
Rutledge: Agnes Sipple Trujillo (reinstated; relocated to Jefferson City)
Signal Mountain: Lori Lee Smith
Springfield: Robert Ray Galbreath

Out of State
Alabama: Janet Monique Okoye, Ashley Fallon Ragsdale, Tyrus Bernard Sturgis
Arkansas: Joe David Hamblen, Dannell Lynn Patrick
California: Stephanie Claire Williams
District of Columbia: Marci Dale Harris, Courtney Donlin Trombly
Florida: Patricia Renae Dills, David Shawn O’Quinn, Karen Marie Smith (reinstated)
Georgia: Matthew Frank Miller, Kristy Georgette Offitt, Adam Michael Ruf, Arthur Conley Walton
Illinois: Kellen Elizabeth Keaty
Indiana: William Thomas Winchester
Kentucky: Michael C. Bratcher, Terri Renee Farris Mussetter, Kelly Randolph Nuckols
Maryland: Mavanee Anderson, Timothy Allen Price
Missouri: Scot Craig Allen, David Edward Roland
Mississippi: Denvil F. Crowe Jr., Halbert Edwin Dockins Jr., John Curtis Hall II, Giles Wade King, Clay Spencer Nails, Michael Leander Prewitt, James Keith Treadway, Calvin C. Williams Jr.
New York: Kevin James Moore
North Carolina: Joseph Randall Martin
Pennsylvania: James Blake Craft
South Carolina: Jonathan Wolfe Yarborough
Texas: Janie Garrett
Utah: Darren Todd Cole
Virginia: Kristen Katherine Shea