TBA Law Blog

Posted by: BPR Reports on Nov 1, 2013

Journal Issue Date: Nov 2013

Journal Name: November 2013 - Vol. 49, No. 11


Waverly lawyer James Phillips Bradley was reinstated to the practice of law on Aug. 4 after serving his suspension and satisfying conditions that were to be completed prior to reinstatement.


The Tennessee Supreme Court transferred the law license of Davidson County lawyer Donald Ashworth Cox Jr. to disability inactive status on Sept. 6 pursuant to Section 21 of Supreme Court Rule 9. Cox may not practice law while on disability status. He may petition for reinstatement by showing by clear and convincing evidence that the disability has been removed and he is fit to resume the practice of law.


Lebanon lawyer Adam W. Parrish was censured by the Tennessee Supreme Court on Sept. 23. He was appointed to represent an indigent criminal defendant through initial appeal of the case. Following a ruling by the Court of Criminal Appeals, Parrish sought and received from his client’s relative a fee to file a petition seeking to appeal the case to the Supreme Court. Tennessee Supreme Court rules require appointed counsel to move to withdraw from a case within 14 days of the intermediate court’s judgment. More than 14 days after the Court of Criminal Appeals ruled, Parrish had not done so. Therefore, the court determined, he was not entitled to charge a fee for further appellate work. Parrish made restitution and submitted a conditional guilty plea acknowledging he violated Rules of Professional Conduct 1.16(c) and 8.4.

Sumner County lawyer Kenneth Scott Williamson was immediately and temporarily suspended on Sept. 6 after the Tennessee Supreme Court found that his continued practice of law posed a threat of substantial harm to the public. In 2010, Williamson began working with the U.S. Freedom Foundation, an organization claiming to assist federal prisoners with legal services. Williamson drafted pleadings and appeared in court on behalf of several clients. Williamson alleged he left the foundation in 2011, however, the organization continued to accept fees and file pleadings under his signature. In addition, Williams has not withdrawn from the cases in which he entered appearances. The court directed that the suspension remain in effect until it is dissolved or modified.

The Tennessee Supreme Court summarily and temporarily suspended Knoxville lawyer Steven Edward Sams on Sept. 12 after finding that he failed to respond to the Board of Professional Responsibility regarding a complaint of misconduct. The court directed that the suspension remain in effect until it is dissolved or modified.

Knoxville lawyer Raymond Andrew Shirley was suspended on Sept. 23 for one year for failing to diligently prosecute a case on behalf of his clients,  comply with court-ordered discovery and settle a pending lawsuit as requested by clients. As a result of his inactions in the matter, the case was dismissed by the trial court, a fact that Shirley failed to disclose to his clients. In addition to the suspension, the court ordered Shirley to undergo an assessment by the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program and engage a practice monitor for one year following any reinstatement of his license. Shirley entered a conditional guilty plea admitting he violated Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 3.2 and 8.4 (a) and (c).

Memphis lawyer Christopher Lee Brown was suspended by the state Supreme Court for three years on Sept. 27. The court found that he failed to act diligently on behalf of five clients; failed to communicate adequately with clients; accepted referrals from an unregistered intermediary organization; failed to comply with an order from a hearing panel of the Board of Professional Responsibility; and made a false statement to the panel. The court directed Brown to make restitution to two clients and consult with the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program. His actions were found to violate Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1, 1.2(a), 1.3, 1.4, 1.16(d), 3.2, 4.1(a), 7.1, 7.3(b)(2), 7.6(b)(1)(iv), and 8.4(a), (c) and (d). In addition to the court’s findings, the hearing panel found that Brown violated Rules 3.3, 8.1(b) and 8.4(g) while representing himself in the disciplinary hearing.

Compiled by Stacey Shrader Joslin 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.