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Licensure & Discipline
The following lawyers were transferred to disability inactive status pursuant to Section 21 of Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9. They may not practice law while on disability inactive status but may petition the Tennessee Supreme Court for reinstatement upon showing by clear and convincing evidence that the disability has been removed and they are fit to resume the practice of law.
C. Kinian Cosner, Nashville
Christopher Joseph Larkin, Nashville
Bryan Bradley Martin, Johnson City
Paul Leland Smith, Athens
Davidson County lawyer Scott David Johannessen received a public censure from the Board of Professional Responsibility on July 29 for practicing law while on administrative suspension. On Nov. 29, 2012, Johannessen was suspended for failure to pay his professional privilege tax for two or more years. Though his license was reinstated on Dec. 19, 2012, the board found that he engaged in the unauthorized practice of law during the suspension period. His actions violated Rule of Professional Conduct 5.5.
Nashville lawyer Barbara S. Freemon was suspended from the practice of law on July 5 for one year and directed to pay restitution to a former client. A petition for discipline was filed against Freemon on March 8, based on two complaints. The first complaint alleged that Freemon, who agreed to serve as trustee for an inter vivos trust set up to manage her brother’s assets, did not return the trust assets to the named beneficiaries upon his death. The second complaint alleged that Freemon accepted a non-refundable fee to represent clients in a codes dispute, promising to file an action within 45 days, but failed to file any action and refused to refund the fee. The court also found that Freemon failed to respond to inquiries from the Board of Professional Responsibility. It determined that her actions violated Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1, 1.2, 1.4, 1.5, 1.15, 8.1 and 8.4(a). Freemon agreed to a conditional guilty plea admitting to the misconduct.
Memphis lawyer Timothy Darnell Flowers was suspended on Aug. 1 for three years, retroactive to June 27, 2010. He also was ordered to pay restitution to former clients. The Tennessee Supreme Court found that Flowers, who already was on suspension from orders entered in 2010 and 2011, committed ethical misconduct while representing clients from 2005 to 2009 in his solo immigration practice. Specific violations included failing to (1) advise a client of a telephonic court date, (2) file a brief in support of a client’s appeal, (3) advise a client of a change of venue and (4) introduce proof regarding relocation in an asylum matter. In each of these situations, his actions resulted in the dismissal of cases or negative action being taken against his clients. The court determined that Flowers violated Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5(a), 1.16(d), 3.2 and 8.4(a) and (d).
The Tennessee Supreme Court issued an order on Aug. 6 summarily and temporarily suspending former Nashville lawyer Robin Kathleen Barry from the practice of law after finding that she failed to respond to the Board of Professional Responsibility regarding a complaint of misconduct. The suspension remains in effect until dissolution or modification by the court.
Administrative Suspensions Now Online
Notice of attorneys suspended for, and reinstated from, administrative violations — including failure to pay the Board of Professional Responsibility fee, file the IOLTA report, comply with continuing legal education requirements and pay the Tennessee professional privilege tax — is now available exclusively on the TBA website.
Visit http://www.tba.org/directory-listing/administrative-suspension-lists to see administrative suspensions imposed since 2006.