Licensure & Discipline

REINSTATED

The Tennessee Supreme Court reinstated the law license of Murfreesboro lawyer Brandon Michael Booten on Nov. 27, 2013. Booten had been suspended Nov. 1, 2013, for failing to respond to the Board of Professional Responsibility regarding a complaint of misconduct. After responding, Booten petitioned the court to remove the suspension. A hearing panel recommended that the suspension be set aside so long as Booten complies with Supreme Court Rule 9, Section 19; continues consultation with, and adheres to any recommendations from, the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program; and provides disciplinary counsel with a copy of any and all assessments and/or monitoring agreements.

DISABILITY INACTIVE

The Tennessee Supreme Court transferred the law license of Blount County lawyer Keith Lane Edmiston to disability inactive status on Dec. 2, 2013, pursuant to Section 21 of Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9. Edmiston may not practice law while on inactive status. He may return to the practice of law after showing by clear and convincing evidence that the disability has been removed and he is fit to resume the practice of law.

DISCIPLINARY

Censured
Monroe County lawyer Barry Keith Maxwell was publicly censured on Nov. 14, 2013, and ordered to pay restitution to his client after the Board of Professional Responsibility found that he did not promptly refund an advance payment of fees when the work he had been retained to do was deemed unnecessary. Maxwell submitted a conditional guilty plea acknowledging a violation of Rule 1.16 of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Montgomery County lawyer John Minor Richardson was publicly censured on Nov. 1, 2013, for failing to adequately supervise a non-lawyer employee. The Board of Professional Responsibility found that the employee did not follow internal accounting procedures, resulting in a monetary loss to a client. When Richardson discovered the problem, he terminated the employee and conducted an extensive internal audit of his accounts. He also repaid the client for the loss. He submitted a conditional guilty plea acknowledging violating Rules of Professional Conduct 1.3, 5.3 and 8.4(a).

Suspended
Knoxville lawyer M. Josiah Hoover III was suspended on Nov. 15, 2013, for one year for charging  excessive fees and practicing law while his license was suspended. Hoover previously was disbarred on Nov. 15, 2012. In imposing the new discipline, the Tennessee Supreme Court mandated that the suspension run concurrently with the disbarment. Hoover’s actions were found to violate Rules of Professional Conduct 1.5(a), 5.5 and 8.4(a).   

The Tennessee Supreme Court suspended Davidson County lawyer Hal Wilkes Wilkins on Dec. 2, 2013, after finding that he failed to respond to the Board of Professional Responsibility regarding a complaint of misconduct.

Disbarred
Murfreesboro lawyer Derek A. Artrip was disbarred Nov. 14, 2013, by the Tennessee Supreme Court based on two complaints that he neglected client matters and abandoned his law practice. In the first complaint, the client alleged that he failed to adequately communicate with her regarding the status of the case and the use of the retainer fee, and failed to have the matter heard by a court within 30 days as promised. In the second complaint, the client alleged that Artrip did not return the case file or provide any information about the status of the matter. In addition, the court found that Artrip did not respond to the petition for discipline and did not appear for the final hearing. His actions were determined to violate Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.16(d), 3.2, 8.1(b) and 8.4(a) and (d). The disbarment comes in addition to a suspension that was imposed in 2012 and remains in place for failure to respond to complaints of misconduct.

Lance William Parr of Birmingham, Ala., was disbarred by the Tennessee Supreme Court on Nov. 18, 2013, and ordered to pay restitution to his former clients as a condition of reinstatement. The Board of Professional Responsibility brought charges against Parr after he was suspended from practicing law before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. The board found that he neglected cases, failed to communicate with clients and opposing counsel, failed to protect clients’ interests, demonstrated incompetence, and abandoned his practice. Parr did not respond to the petition for discipline and did not appear for the final hearing. The Supreme Court determined that his actions violated Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 1.16, 3.2, 3.4 and 8.4(a) and (d).

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.