TBA Law Blog


Posted by: BPR Reports on Jan 1, 2017

Journal Issue Date: Jan 2017

Journal Name: January 2017 - Vol. 53, No. 1

REINSTATED

Davidson County lawyer William Ashby Smith has been reinstated to the practice of law after taking inactive status in March 2007. The Tennessee Supreme Court reports that Smith filed a petition seeking reinstatement in November and demonstrated that he has met the requirements for reinstatement.

Nashville lawyer Donald Walter Fisher. was reinstated to the practice of law Dec. 15, 2016, with conditions including working with a practice monitor and the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program. He was suspended Aug. 21, 2015.

Disability Inactive

The Tennessee Supreme Court recently transferred the law licenses of several Tennessee lawyers to disability inactive status. While on inactive status, a lawyer may not practice law. The lawyer may petition for reinstatement by showing by clear and convincing evidence that the disability has been removed and he or she is fit to resume the practice of law. Those transferred and the date of the order, are:

  • Davidson County lawyer Sue McKnight Evans, Dec. 8.
  • Williamson County lawyer Robert Keith Good, Dec. 9
  • Knox County lawyer Roy Patrick Neuenschwander, Nov. 28
  • Hawkins County attorney Duane Sidney Snodgrass, Nov. 4.

DISCIPLINARY

Censured

Cheatham County lawyer James Kirby was censured Nov. 14 after the Tennessee Supreme Court found that he violated Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4(c). The court determined that while acting as executive director of the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference, Kirby engaged in an act of misconduct in the hiring and supervising of a part-time prosecutor pro tem.

Suspended

Hamilton County lawyer Keith Alan Black was suspended temporarily on Nov. 8. The Tennessee Supreme Court took the action after determining that he failed to respond to the Board of Professional Responsibility (BPR) about a complaint of misconduct, violating Section 12.3 of Supreme Court Rule 9. Black was required to notify all clients being represented in pending matters, as well as co-counsel and opposing counsel of the Supreme Court’s order suspending his law license. The suspension remains in effect until dissolution or modification by the Supreme Court.

The Tennessee Supreme Court suspended Williamson County lawyer John Jay Clark from the practice of law on Nov. 2 following his conviction for forgery by the Davidson County Criminal Court, violating Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9, Section 22.3. The court also directed the BPR to institute a formal proceeding to determine final discipline. The suspension will remain in effect until further order of the court.

The Tennessee Supreme Court suspended Terence Joseph Fairfax from the practice of law until further notice on Nov. 18. The court took the action after Fairfax was convicted of felony theft, violating Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9, Section 22.3. The court also directed the BPR to institute a formal proceeding to determine the extent of final discipline to be imposed. Fairfax must comply with Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9, Section 28 regarding the obligations and responsibilities of suspended attorneys.

Disbarred

The Tennessee Supreme Court disbarred Marshall Scott Smith from the practice of law on Nov. 18 and directed him to make restitution to former clients. The court took the action after determining that Smith failed to deposit settlement funds into his trust account, misappropriated funds from his clients, accepted fees for little or no work, used his trust account for personal expenses, failed to adequately communicate with clients, settled a case without the client’s authority, borrowed money from a client without advising the client of a conflict of interest or obtaining written informed consent, and failed to timely respond to complaints filed against him. His actions were determined to violate Rules of Professional Conduct 1.2, 1.4, 1.5, 1.8(a), 1.15, 8.1 and 8.4(a) and (c). Smith is not eligible for reinstatement to the practice of law because he was previously disbarred and reinstated.


Compiled by Stacey Shrader Joslin and 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 www.tbpr.org/consumers/attorneysearch.