IN RE: JAMES CARL COPE, BPR #03340 - Articles

All Content

Posted by: Landry Butler on May 4, 2018

Court: TN Supreme Court

Attorneys 1:

Aubrey B. Harwell, Jr.; Jon D. Ross; and Marie T. Scott, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, James Carl Cope.

Attorneys 2:

Krisann Hodges, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the appellee, Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee.

Judge(s): PAGE

This Court suspended attorney James Carl Cope pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9, section 22.3, based on his federal felony conviction for insider trading and referred the matter to the Board of Professional Responsibility (“Board”) to initiate proceedings to determine his final discipline. A hearing panel (“Panel”) imposed a final discipline of twenty-five months’ suspension, retroactive to the date of his initial suspension by this Court, which was on October 25, 2016. Neither the Board nor Mr. Cope appealed this judgment. The Board petitioned this Court for an order enforcing the Panel’s judgment. Pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9, section 15.4(b) and (c), we determined that the punishment imposed by the Panel appeared inadequate and proposed that it be increased. Mr. Cope subsequently requested oral argument, which we granted. We now consider whether the punishment imposed by the Panel is appropriate under the circumstances of this case and is in uniformity with prior disciplinary decisions in this state. Following a thorough review of the record and the law, we conclude that it is not. Therefore, we modify the Panel’s judgment to impose the twenty-five-month suspension prospectively from the filing of this opinion.