TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Katharine Heriges on Jul 22, 2019
Davidson County lawyer John Terence Tennyson on Friday received a public censure from the Board of Professional Responsibility. Tennyson entered into a written agreement with his client for representation in a civil matter to be specifically filed in federal court. The agreement required payment of a $5,000 fee plus a contingent fee based upon recovery by settlement or judgment. The fee was not designated as a non-refundable fee and a penalty provision required his client to pay Tennyson at the rate of $370 per hour for his time if the representation was terminated. Tennyson was not diligent in the preparation and filing of the civil action despite regular assurances that it would be filed soon. Tennyson’s non-lawyer assistant inappropriately discussed legal matters directly with his client. After his client terminated the legal representation, Tennyson filed a civil action in state court without the client’s consent. Tennyson failed to timely serve summons upon the defendants and failed to formally withdraw from the action. The case was ultimately dismissed for lack of prosecution.