TBA Law Blog


Posted by: Katharine Heriges on Jul 18, 2019
Mississippi lawyer Wanda X. Abioto today received a public censure from the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Tennessee Supreme Court. Abioto is licensed to practice law in Mississippi and is only authorized to practice in Tennessee before the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. Abioto was retained to represent a Mississippi family in a claim for injuries which occurred in Mississippi against a food manufacturer and distributor which sold the product in Mississippi. Abioto used business cards and letterhead with addresses in Memphis and which listed a variety of practice areas, but did not contain a disclaimer indicating she was not licensed to practice in Tennessee. Abioto filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, which was not an appropriate venue. She failed to comply with a court order setting a deadline for service upon the defendants and the civil action was dismissed. Abioto subsequently re-filed the complaint in the same court and successfully served the defendants, but it was dismissed because Abioto relied upon Mississippi’s longer statute of limitations deadlines instead of Tennessee’s deadlines which had expired at the time the action was filed. Abioto then filed the only remaining cause of action in Mississippi state court without the knowledge or consent of her clients and formally withdrew from the representation without serving any of the defendants in the case.     
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