Licensure & Discipline

Reinstated

On June 20, the Supreme Court of Tennessee reinstated Campbell County lawyer Timothy Paul Webb to the practice of law, effective immediately. Webb had been suspended by the Supreme Court of Tennessee for five years on Sept. 26, 2016, with two years active suspension and the remainder on probation with conditions. Webb filed a petition for reinstatement to the practice of law pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9, Section 30.4. A hearing panel found that Webb complied with the terms and conditions of his suspension, and further found that he had demonstrated the moral qualifications, competency and learning in the law required for the practice of law, and that his resumption of the practice of law will not be detrimental to the integrity or standing of the bar or administration of justice, or subversive to the public interest.

Disability Inactive

On May 25, the law license of Davidson County lawyer James Jasper Fason III was transferred to disability inactive status, pursuant to Section 27.3 of Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9. Fason cannot practice law while on disability inactive status. He may return to the practice of law after reinstatement by the Tennessee Supreme Court upon showing of clear and convincing evidence that the disability has been removed and he is fit to resume the practice of law.

Disciplinary

Disbarred

On June 19, the Supreme Court of Tennessee disbarred Sumner County lawyer Andy Lamar Allman from the practice of law and ordered him to pay restitution in the amount of $320,050 and costs of the disciplinary proceeding. A petition for discipline was filed against Allman consisting of 79 separate complaints from individual clients. The hearing panel found that Allman knowingly, intentionally and systematically failed to provide the substantive professional services for which he was retained, misappropriated unearned retainer fees provided by those clients and converted the funds to his personal or business use, and misled clients regarding the status of their cases and the filing of pleadings. The panel further found Allman failed to notify his clients of his temporary suspension, engaged in the unauthorized practice of law and failed to respond to the Board of Professional Responsibility regarding a disciplinary complaint. Allman’s misconduct violated Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1, competence; 1.2, scope of representation and allocation of authority; 1.3, diligence; 1.4, communication; 1.5, fees; 1.15, safekeeping property and funds; 1.16, declining or terminating representation; 3.2, expediting litigation; 3.4, fairness to opposing party and counsel; 5.5, unauthorized practice of law; 8.1, bar admissions and disciplinary matters; and 8.4(a), (b), (c) and (d), misconduct.

Suspended

On June 14, the Supreme Court of Tennessee suspended Chattanooga lawyer Keith Alan Black from the practice of law for three years, ordered restitution be paid in the amount of $2,250 and costs of the disciplinary proceeding be paid to the Board. Black failed to reasonably communicate with and diligently represent his clients, failed to notify clients of his temporary suspension from the practice of law, failed to withdraw as attorney of record in pending cases and abandoned his practice. He also failed to respond to the board regarding the disciplinary complaints. Black’s unethical conduct violated Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1, competence; 1.3 diligence; 1.5, fees; 1.16, declining and terminating representation; 3.2, expediting litigation; 3.4, fairness to opposing party and counsel; 8.1, bar admission and disciplinary matters; and 8.4, misconduct.

Davidson County lawyer Jamaal L. Boykin was suspended on June 19 from the practice of law for two years, with six months active suspension and the remainder on probation. In the representation of five clients, Boykin failed to act with diligence in handling client matters, failed to adequately communicate with the clients, failed to deposit unearned fees in a trust account and failed to timely refund unearned fees. Boykin’s ethical misconduct violated rules of professional conduct 1.3, diligence; 1.4, communication; 1.15, safekeeping property and funds; 1.16, declining and terminating representation; 3.2, expediting litigation; and 8.4, misconduct.

Blount County lawyer Ted Austin Burkhalter Jr., was suspended on June 19 for three years, with one-year active suspension and the remainder on probation. Burkhalter represented the executrix of an estate and prepared a waiver of accounting and inventory calling for the signatures of three persons. He notarized the three signatures appearing on the waiver, but one of those signatures was not made by the person whose signature it purports to be. Burkhalter filed the pleading with the court. Burkhalter’s actions violated the Rules of Professional Conduct 3.3, candor toward the tribunal, and 8.4, misconduct.

The Supreme Court of Tennessee on June 8 suspended Knoxville attorney Charles Edward Daniel from the practice of law for three years, with one year to be served on active suspension and the remaining two years on probation. Daniel made unauthorized deposits of funds from his law partnership into his personal account over a three-year period while he managed the partnership’s accounting books. Daniel claimed that his partners were aware of these deposits and that he was entitled to all of the funds that he took because of expense advances he had made to the partnership. A hearing panel found that Daniel intentionally concealed the transactions from his law partners and misappropriated funds from his law firm partnership. The hearing panel imposed a three-year probation. The Board of Professional Responsibility appealed the decision. The Tennessee Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the hearing panel, but concluded that the hearing panel acted arbitrarily and capriciously by probating the entirety of Daniel’s suspension. The court modified the disciplinary sanction by including a period of active suspension for one year. Daniel was found to have violated Rules of Professional conduct 8.4 (b) and (c), misconduct.

On June 21, the Supreme Court of Tennessee temporarily suspended Lauderdale County lawyer Jennifer Lynn Mayham from the practice of law upon finding that Mayham poses a threat of substantial harm to the public. Section 12.3 of Supreme Court Rule 9 provides for the immediate summary suspension of an attorney’s license to practice law if an attorney poses a threat of substantial harm to the public. Mayham was immediately precluded from accepting any new cases, and she was to cease representing existing clients by July 21.

The Supreme Court of Tennessee on July 2 temporarily suspended Davidson County lawyer Travis Waymon Tipton from the practice of law upon finding that he was in substantial non-compliance with the terms of the monitoring agreement with the Tennessee Lawyer’s Assistance Program. Section 12.3 of Supreme Court Rule 9 provides for the immediate summary suspension of an attorney’s license to practice law in cases of an attorney’s noncompliance with TLAP’s monitoring agreement. Tipton is immediately precluded from accepting any new cases, and he must cease representing existing clients by Aug. 1.

Davidson County lawyer Hal Wilkes Wilkins was suspended on June 6 for one year. The Board of Professional Responsibility filed a petition for discipline arising from one complaint of ethical misconduct alleging that Wilkins, who was disbarred on July 22, 2014, and again on Jan. 28, 2015, sought and opened a lawyer’s trust account during the period of disbarment. Wilkins held himself out as a lawyer admitted to practice in this jurisdiction. The court ordered Wilkins to close the bank account within 30 days, or be subject to contempt proceedings. Wilkins held himself out as a lawyer admitted to practice in this jurisdiction in violation of Rules of Professional Conduct 5.5, unauthorized practice of law, and Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9, Section 18 and Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9, Section 30.4, which require disbarred lawyers to “take such action as is necessary to cause the removal of any indicia of lawyer, counselor at law, legal assistant, law clerk, or similar title.”

Censured

On June 15, Madison County lawyer Bede O. M. Anyanwu was publicly censured by the Tennessee Supreme Court. The court ordered Anyanwu to pay costs and expenses to the Board of Professional Responsibility. On May 8, 2017, a petition for discipline containing one complaint was filed against Anyanwu. Prior to the final hearing, Anyanwu executed a conditional guilty plea acknowledging he delayed for a period of 15 months taking the steps necessary to perfect service of a divorce complaint on the non-resident defendant. Anyanwu’s conduct violated Rule of Professional Conduct 1.3, diligence.

Administrative Suspensions

Notice of attorneys suspended for, and reinstated from, administrative violations — including failure to pay the Board of Professional Responsibility fee, file the IOLTA report, comply with continuing legal education requirements and pay the Tennessee professional privilege tax — is on the TBA website at www.tba.org/directory-listing/administrative-suspension-lists.


Compiled by 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.

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