Rutherford County Lawyer Censured - Articles

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Posted by: Katharine Heriges on Jul 2, 2019
Rutherford County lawyer James Radford Smith on Monday received a public censure from the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Tennessee Supreme Court. Smith agreed to represent a client in a pending petition for post-conviction relief. Smith failed to obtain consent from his client before accepting fees from a third party and did not maintain good communication with his client throughout the representation. After entering appearance in the action, Smith failed to file an amended petition by the deadline prescribed by the court and filed an untimely appeal after the petition was denied. After completing the representation but still in possession of the client file, Smith decided to close his law office. The client file was inadvertently destroyed by the moving company hired by Smith in connection with the closure of his law office due to his failure to specify the client files and other office documents that needed to be preserved.