Licensure & Discipline

Disability Inactive

The license of Shelby County lawyer Ronald Kent Brooks was transferred to disability inactive status by the Board of Professional Responsibility on April 18, pursuant to Section 27.3 of Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9. Brooks cannot practice law until he proves to the Tennessee Supreme Court that the disability has been removed.

The law license of David Lamar Maddox was transferred to disability inactive status on April 7, pursuant to Section 27.3 of Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9. Maddox may not practice law while on disability inactive status and only may return upon showing clear and convincing evidence that the disability has been removed.

The license of Warren County lawyer Stevie Ray Roller was transferred to disability inactive status by the Board of Professional Responsibility on April 17, pursuant to Section 27.3 of Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9. Roller cannot practice law until he proves to the Tennessee Supreme Court that the disability has been removed.

DISCIPLINARY

Censured

Blount County attorney Charles Alphonso Carpenter was publicly censured by the Board of Professional Responsibility on April 11. Carpenter was found to have neglected his clients’ cases in two separate matters. Carpenter failed to respond to calls, emails and text messages from clients, and even changed offices without notifying a client. Carpenter also failed to appear for court hearings and depositions. He was found to have violated Rule 1.3 (diligence) and 1.4 (communication). The censure does not affect his ability to practice law.

On April 20, Rutherford County lawyer Kirk D. Catron received a public censure from the Board of Professional Responsibility. In June 2016, Catron complained in court about the actions of a special master, demonstrating disrespectful and obstreperous conduct. He went on to complain that the special master had treated him unfairly in three other cases and must have a personal problem with him. He was found to have violated Rule 3.5(e) (engaging in conduct intended to disrupt a tribunal), 8.2(a) (impugning integrity of judicial officers) and 8.4(d) (misconduct). The censure is a warning but does not affect Catron’s ability to practice law.

Francis Michael Deslauriers, of Tipton County, received a public censure on April 20 from the Board of Professional Responsibility. Deslauriers was hired to represent a client in a suit against an insurance company, but in more than three years he took little action other than filing the suit and routinely failed to communicate with his client. Later the suit was dismissed. Deslauriers was found to have violated Rule 1.1 (competence), 1.3 (diligence), 1.4 (communication), 3.2 (expediting litigation) and 8.4 (misconduct). The censure is a warning but does not affect Deslauriers’ ability to practice law.

Loudon County attorney Arthur Wayne Henry was publicly censured by the Board of Professional Responsibility on April 11. Henry was found to have failed to respond to his client’s requests for information in a paternity suit after the opposing party became uncooperative with regard to the paternity testing. Henry ceased working on the case and his client was forced to hire a new attorney. He was found to have violated Rule 1.3 (diligence), 1.4 (communication) and 3.2 (expediting litigation).This censure does not affect Henry’s ability to practice law.

Nashville attorney Walter Searcy was publicly censured by the Tennessee Supreme Court on April 26, and was ordered to pay restitution. A complaint alleged that Searcy improperly held himself out as a licensed lawyer, despite the fact that he was suspended from the practice of law in 1992 and has never been reinstated. Searcy entered into a conditional guilty plea admitting to violating Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 8, Rules of Professional Conduct 7.1 (communications concerning lawyers services) and 8.4(a) (misconduct).

Suspended

Charles David Deas was suspended from the practice of law on April 17 for six months, with 60 days to be served as an active suspension and the remainder to be served on probation. Deas self-reported that he had been arrested for driving under the influence and possession of a firearm while intoxicated, and a petition for discipline was filed in response on May 9, 2016. He was found to have violated the Rules of Professional Conduct 8.4(b). He was ordered to contact the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program (TLAP) for potential monitoring and comply with any recommendations.

John Martin Drake of Nashville was suspended for two years from the practice of law by the Tennessee Supreme Court on April 28. Drake was found to have knowingly made a series of telephone calls to the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex identifying himself as an attorney and representing himself as the attorney for an inmate in the facility, despite the fact that he was previously suspended in 2015. He violated Rule 5.5 (unauthorized practice of law), 8.1(b) (bar admissions and disciplinary matters) and 8.4(b) and (c) (misconduct).

The Tennessee Supreme Court suspended Texas attorney Richard Kent Harris from the practice of law in Tennessee on April 28. Harris was suspended pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9, Section 22.3, based upon his guilty plea to conspiracy to commit bankruptcy fraud. The Board of Professional Responsibility will institute a formal proceeding to determine the extent of the final discipline to be imposed on Harris.

Disbarred

The Tennessee Supreme Court disbarred Everett Hoge Mechem from the practice of law on April 28. Mechem was disciplined following a felony conviction for wire fraud, supplemental security income fraud, making false statements and theft of public money. His conduct violated Rule 8.4(b) and (c) (misconduct). Mechem may not return to the active practice of law until an order of reinstatement has been entered by the Supreme Court.


Compiled by Katharine Heriges 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.

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