H. OWEN MADDUX v. BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY OF THE SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Aug 9, 2013

Court: TN Supreme Court

Attorneys 1:

W. Gerald Tidwell, Jr., Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, H. Owen Maddux.

Attorneys 2:

Krisann Hodges and Kevin D. Balkwill, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the appellee, Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee.

Judge(s): CLARK

This direct appeal involves a disciplinary proceeding against a Chattanooga lawyer arising out of his representation of two clients. With one member dissenting, a hearing panel of the Board of Professional Responsibility determined that the lawyer should be suspended from the practice of law for nine months. The lawyer appealed to the Chancery Court for Hamilton County, and the trial court upheld the nine-month suspension, concluding that the evidence supported the finding of the hearing panel’s majority that the lawyer’s misconduct caused potential injury to one of his clients. In this appeal, the lawyer argues that (1) the hearing panel erred by refusing to set aside the default judgment entered against him based on his failure to respond to the petition for discipline; (2) the record contains no evidence of potential injury resulting from his misconduct; and (3) the hearing panel ascribed too much weight to his prior history of discipline when considering aggravating and mitigating circumstances. Based on our review of the record, we, like the trial court, affirm the hearing panel’s decision to suspend the lawyer’s license to practice law for nine months.

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