Licensure & Discipline - Articles

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Posted by: BPR Reports on Feb 1, 2018

Journal Issue Date: Feb 2018

Journal Name: February 2018 - Vol. 54, No. 2


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 to see administrative suspensions imposed since 2006.


The law licenses of these attorneys have been transferred to disability inactive status. Pursuant to Section 27.3 of Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9, they cannot practice law while on disability inactive status. They each may return to the practice of law after reinstatement by the Tennessee Supreme Court upon showing clear and convincing evidence that the disability has been removed, and they are fit to resume the practice of law. They are: George Griffin Boyte Sr. of Humboldt, Dec. 19, 2017; Keith Lane Edmiston of Knoxville, Dec. 15, 2017; and Georganne Brown Taylor of Johnson City, Dec. 13, 2017.



Campbell County lawyer Donald Brent Gray was suspended on Dec. 28, 2017, from the practice of law for two years, retroactive to March 10, 2017, with one year active suspension and one year on probation. Gray was suspended for three matters. In one, he failed to appear for a court date. In a second matter, he failed to deposit an unearned fee to a trust account and failed to refund the unearned portion of his fee after his representation terminated. In a third matter, he failed to appear for a court date and failed to deposit an unearned fee to a trust account. In all matters, he failed to respond to the Board’s requests for information. As conditions of his probation, Gray must engage a practice monitor, obtain an evaluation by the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program and enter into a monitoring agreement if appropriate, make restitution to two clients, and commit no further acts of misconduct resulting in a recommendation of discipline. Gray’s ethical misconduct violated the Rules of Professional Conduct 1.3, diligence; 1.15 (c), safekeeping property and funds; 1.16 (d), declining and terminating representation; 8.1 (b), bar admissions and disciplinary matters; and 8.4 (a), misconduct.

The Supreme Court of Tennessee on Dec. 27, 2017, entered an order of reciprocal discipline suspending the law license of William N. Hulsey III of Texas for 30 months with the suspension being fully probated, beginning Sept. 1, 2017, and ending Feb. 28, 2020, as specified by the agreed judgment of probated suspension entered Aug. 30, 2017, by the State Bar of Texas. Upon receiving notification by the Board of Professional Responsibility that Hulsey was subject to attorney discipline in Texas, the Supreme Court of Tennessee entered a notice requiring Hulsey to show cause why reciprocal discipline should not be imposed in Tennessee. He failed to file a response to the Tennessee Supreme Court’s notice and the court found it appropriate to enter the order against Hulsey.

George Avery Mott of Nashville was suspended on Dec. 27, 2017, from the practice of law for one year, with 30 days active suspension and the remaining time to be served on probation. The Board of Professional Responsibility filed a Petition for Discipline because of two complaints arising out of Mott’s conduct in Bankruptcy Court. In the first complaint, Mott incorrectly informed his client that his annuity would not become property of the trustee if he filed a Chapter 7 petition. The second complaint came from a trustee, who alleged that Mott failed to pay filing fees or file motions for filing fees to be paid in installments, failed to file a pre-trial brief and exhibit list in one case, failed to submit an order to reopen a case once a motion to reopen was unopposed, and failed to show good communication with his clients.

Capp Peterson Taylor of Dandridge was suspended on Dec. 19, 2017, effective immediately, for six months. Further, Taylor must pay the Board of Professional Responsibility’s costs and expenses and the court costs within 90 days. A hearing panel determined that Taylor was in an improper partnership with a non-lawyer, shared legal fees with a non-lawyer, failed to deposit retainers to a trust account and engaged in deceptive advertising. He was suspended by the Tennessee Supreme Court on Aug. 17, 2017, for failing to comply with continuing legal education requirements, which remains in effect. Taylor’s actions violated the following Rules of Professional Conduct: 1.15 (a) and (c), safekeeping property and funds; 5.4 (a) and (b), professional independence of a lawyer; 7.1, communications concerning a lawyer’s services; 7.2 (d), advertising; and 8.4 (a), misconduct.


The Supreme Court of Tennessee conditionally reinstated Shelby County lawyer Mark L. Pittman to the practice of law on Dec. 19, 2017. A hearing panel found that Pittman, disbarred in 2006, had complied with the terms and conditions of his disbarment, and further found that he had demonstrated the moral qualifications required for the practice of law. Prior to his reinstatement becoming effective, Pittman must successfully complete the Tennessee Bar Examination and the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination. He must have a practice monitor for one year, a Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program monitoring agreement for one year, and pay $2,500 to the Tennessee Lawyers Fund for Client Protection.

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