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:
John Alley, Hixson; Stephanie Derrick Gray, Franklin; K. Karl Spalvins, Knoxville; Venus Michelle Stanek, Murfreesboro.

DISCIPLINARY

Suspended
James A. Meaney III of Dalton, Georgia, was suspended from the practice of law in Tennessee on June 2 for engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. The Tennessee Supreme Court found that Meaney continued to represent clients, sign and enter pleadings, and make appearances in court while suspended for failure to comply with continuing legal education requirements and failure to pay professional privilege taxes. The court also found that Meaney did not respond to complaints, which resulted in a temporary suspension from March 6, 2012, to Dec. 3, 2013. The court imposed a suspension of 11 months and 29 days with three months to be served on active suspension and the remainder to be served on probation, subject to use of a practice monitor and compliance with state licensure rules. Meaney appealed the disciplinary decision to the Davidson County Chancery Court, which found affirmed the suspension. He then filed notice of appeal with the Tennessee Supreme Court, however, the appeal was rejected due to his failure to pay the litigation tax and to respond to a show cause order. In affirming the suspension, the court found that Meaney’s conduct violated Rules of Professional Conduct 1.4, 5.5, 8.1(b) and 8.4(a), (d) and (g).

Spring Hill lawyer James Michael Marshall was suspended from the practice of law on June 13 for 60 days. The action was taken after the Tennessee Supreme Court determined that Marshall ignored a court order to prepare and file a statement of the evidence, which resulted in dismissal of his client’s appeal; waited a year before setting a motion for argument before the trial court; and notarized documents when he did not hold an active notary commission. Marshall pleaded guilty to six Class C misdemeanors of acting after the expiration of his notary commission and was placed on probation. He also entered a conditional guilty plea admitting his conduct violated Rules of Professional Conduct. 1.3, 3.3(a) and (h), 3.4(c), 4.1 and 8.4.

On June 30, Sumner County lawyer Mary Jeanette Clement was suspended for two years with nine months to be served on an active suspension and 15 months to be served on probation subject to conditions. In imposing the discipline, the Tennessee Supreme Court found that Clement engaged in misconduct in three cases. In the first case, she knowingly hired a suspended attorney and allowed him to draft legal pleadings, billed a client for work he did and allowed him to work on his own defense. In the second case, she negotiated a plea for her client but failed to include the agreed restitution in the written plea agreement, rejected the client’s attempts to correct the plea and failed to appear in court on the client’s behalf. Those actions resulted in a bench warrant being issued for the client and a delay in his release from jail. In the third case, Clement quoted and received a flat fee for taking a case but after incurring more time than anticipated, she billed the client for additional fees. The court found that her conduct in these cases violated Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 5.3, 5.5 and 8.4(a).

Jon David Rogers of Sumner County was suspended by the Tennessee Supreme Court on July 3 for 366 days, all of which is to be served on probation so long as he engages a practice monitor and pays restitution and costs. The court found that Rogers committed several errors in Bankruptcy Court including accepting clients who did not qualify for bankruptcy protection, failing to advise clients to obtain credit counseling, and paying filing fees in installments when the client had paid the fee in full. Rogers entered a conditional guilty plea admitting he violated Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 1.15, 1.16, 3.2, 3.4 and 8.4.

Disbarred
William A. Lane of Thompsons Station was disbarred on June 9 for submitting false and deceptive fee claims to the Administrative Office of the Courts. The Tennessee Supreme Court found that Lane failed to keep time records for work done on behalf of indigent defendants, billed out-of-court time as if it were in-court time, and failed to prorate his time when appearing on multiple cases during one hearing. Lane did not file an answer to the disciplinary petition nor did he appear for the final hearing. The court determined that he violated Rules of Professional Conduct 1.5, 3.3(a)(1), 3.4(c) and 8.4(a), (c) 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/consumers/attorneysearch.