Licensure & Discipline

DISABILITY INACTIVE

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.
James Prentice DeRossitt IV, Memphis
Jean Norris Crowe, Nashville

DISCIPLINARY

Censured
Hendersonville lawyer Tonya Hunt Crownover was publicly censured on Oct. 8 for engaging in the unauthorized practice of law when she represented a client after she was administratively suspended for failing to comply with continuing legal education requirements. Her actions violated Rule 5.5 of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Davidson County Michael Lloyd Freeman received a public censure on Oct. 16 for keeping personal funds in his client trust account and using those funds to pay his office rent. The Board of Professional Responsibility also found that Freeman failed to maintain reasonable communication with a client, failed to provide subsequent counsel, and neglected a different client by failing to communicate and act with reasonable diligence. The board found that Freeman’s actions violated Rules of Professional Conduct 1.3, 1.4, 1.15, 1.16 and 3.2.

Samuel Jones of Memphis was publicly censured on Oct. 16 for failing to adequately communicate with and diligently represent a client in a divorce proceeding. The Board of Professional Responsibility found that these actions led to dismissal of the case on two separate occasions for lack of prosecution. His actions were determined to violate Rules of Professional Conduct 1.3, 1.4, 3.2 and 8.4(a) and (d).

Bradley County lawyer James Franklin Logan Jr. received a public censure from the Board of Professional Responsibility on Oct. 16. Logan, on behalf of a limited partnership in which he and his client were principals, attempted to foreclose on his client’s residence to recover money the client owed to the partnership. The Board of Professional Responsibility found that this action violated Rules of Professional Conduct 1.7 and 1.8 because Logan’s actions were adverse to the interests of his client. Additionally, the board found that Logan violated Rule 1.6 by discussing his client’s finances with his client’s ex-wife without the client’s consent.

Fentress County lawyer Thomas Harding Potter received a public censure on Oct. 16 for disclosing confidential, prejudicial information about his client in a motion to withdraw. The Board of Professional Responsibility found that his actions violated Rules of Professional Conduct 1.6 and 1.16(d).

Suspended
The Tennessee Supreme Court suspended the law license of Knox County lawyer Thomas Francis diLustro on Oct. 9 after finding that he failed to respond to a complaint of misconduct. The suspension remains in effect until dissolution or modification by the court, though diLustro may request such action for good cause.

Nashville lawyer Dana L. Nero was suspended from the practice of law on Oct. 22 for three years retroactive to June 11, 2012. The Tennessee Supreme Court directed that Nero serve 11 months and 29 days on active suspension, with the remainder of the time to be served on probation. A petition for discipline filed last April alleged that Nero advised a witness that she did not have to appear in court even though she had been subpoenaed, and failed to communicate with a client, failed to provide the client his file following conviction, and accepted a fee though she did not perform any service. Nero entered into a conditional guilty plea admitting to violating Rules of Professional Responsibility 1.3, 1.4, 1.16(a) and (d), 3.4 (g), 4.3, 4.4 (a)(1), 8.1(a) and 8.4(a), (d) and (g). In addition to imposing the suspension, the court ordered Nero to comply with her Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program monitoring agreement signed Nov. 29, 2012.

Disbarred
The Tennessee Supreme Court disbarred Campbell County lawyer Johnny Von Dunaway on Oct. 28 for filing a false statement with the Internal Revenue Service for the 2008 tax year — a violation of 26 U.S.C. Sec. 7206(1). The court reported that Dunaway consented to the disbarment because he could not successfully defend himself against the charges. His actions were determined to violate Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 8, Section 8.4.


Compiled by Stacey Shrader Joslin from information provided by the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Tennessee Supreme Court. Licensure and disciplinary notices are included in this publication as a member service. The official record of an attorney’s status is maintained by the board. Current information about a particular attorney may be found on the board’s website at www.tbpr.org.