TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Katharine Heriges on Aug 14, 2018
The Tennessee Supreme Court on Monday suspended Michael Gibbs Sheppard from the practice of law for 60 days, followed by two years of probation under the supervision of a practice monitor. The Board of Professional Responsibility (BPR) filed a petition for discipline against Sheppard based upon two complaints of ethical misconduct. A hearing panel found that he failed to properly maintain and monitor client trust accounts, which resulted in the commingling of client funds, use of client funds to pay for operating expenses, and a diminished balance of client funds in the trust account. Sheppard also knowingly mislead at least one client about the status of the client’s trust funds; however, the hearing panel found his acts were not intentional and did not seriously injure any clients. The BPR, seeing the need for additional punishment, appealed the hearing panel's decision but the Tennessee Supreme Court sided with the panel.