Licensure & Discipline

Disability Inactive

The law license of Knoxville lawyer Monica Joy Franklin was transferred to disability inactive status on Oct. 8. She may not practice law while on inactive status. She may return to the practice of law after reinstatement by the Tennessee Supreme Court by showing by clear and convincing evidence that the disability has been removed and she is fit to resume the practice of law.

The law license of Davidson County lawyer Lovemore Nyashadzashe Gororo was transferred to disability inactive status on Sept. 26. He may not practice law while on inactive status but may return to the practice of law after reinstatement by the Tennessee Supreme Court by showing by clear and convincing evidence that the disability has been removed and he is fit to resume the practice of law.

The law license of Davidson County lawyer Dayna A. Hulme was transferred to disability inactive status on Sept. 18. She may not practice law while on inactive status but may return to the practice of law after reinstatement by the Tennessee Supreme Court by showing by clear and convincing evidence that the disability has been removed and she is fit to resume the practice of law.

By order of the Tennessee Supreme Court entered Aug. 30, the law license of Shelby County lawyer George Ernest Skouteris was transferred to disability inactive status. The court had previously disbarred Skouteris and noted that he has not been reinstated from that disbarment. He may not practice law while on inactive status and may not return to the practice of law until (1) he is reinstated from disbarment, (2) his disability status is removed, (3) the pending disciplinary action is resolved and (4) he is determined to be fit to resume the practice of law.

The law license of Davidson County lawyer Michael Leonard Underhill was transferred to disability inactive status on Sept. 12. He may not practice law while on inactive status but may return to the practice of law after reinstatement by the Tennessee Supreme Court by showing by clear and convincing evidence that the disability has been removed and he is fit to resume the practice of law.

REINSTATED

Macon County lawyer Brent Nelson Jones was reinstated to the practice of law on Sept. 4 after filing a petition seeking reinstatement. Jones has been on inactive status for more than five years, since August 9, 2010. The Board of Professional Responsibility stated that the petition was satisfactory and Jones had met the requirements for reinstatement.

Knox County lawyer Eric Reagan was reinstated to the practice of law on Aug. 31 after filing a petition seeking reinstatement. Reagan had been placed on inactive status more than five years ago on May 17, 2010. The Board of Professional Responsibility stated that the petition was satisfactory and Reagan had met the requirements for reinstatement.

Shelby County lawyer Larry Edward Parrish was reinstated to the practice of law on Oct. 7. He was suspended from the practice of law on Aug. 14 for six months, with 30 days to be served on active suspension and the remainder to be served on probation. Parrish filed a petition for reinstatement, which was accepted by the Tennessee Supreme Court. He will serve the remaining five months on probation.

DISCIPLINARY

Disbarred

The Tennessee Supreme Court disbarred Shelby County lawyer Paul James Springer from the practice of law on Oct. 2 and ordered him to pay restitution to clients totaling $21,855. A petition for discipline containing four complaints was filed in February 2017. A supplemental petition with an additional seven complaints was filed in August 2017. The court found that Springer failed to communicate with clients, attend scheduled meetings, notify clients of court dates, respond to motions and other requests, file suits on time, notify clients of his suspension, and refund unearned retainers. The court also found that he continued to practice law while his license was suspended and that he made material misrepresentations to clients regarding the status of their cases. His actions were determined to violate Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.7, 1.16 4.2, 8.1 and 8.4.

Suspended

The Tennessee Supreme Court suspended the law license of Kentucky lawyer Jonathan Stephen Carlton after finding that he failed to respond to the Board of Professional Responsibility regarding a complaint of misconduct. He is immediately precluded from accepting any new cases, and must cease representing existing clients by Oct. 7. The suspension remains in effect until dissolution or modification by the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court of Tennessee suspended Davidson County lawyer Daphne Michelle Davis from the practice of law on Sept. 21 after finding that she failed to respond to the Board of Professional Responsibility regarding a complaint of misconduct. She is immediately precluded from accepting any new cases, and must cease representing existing clients by Oct. 21. The suspension remains in effect until dissolution or modification by the Supreme Court.

On Sept. 20, Davidson County lawyer Robert Allen Doll III was suspended from the practice of law for 90 days. The Tennessee Supreme Court found that in one case Doll failed to timely prepare a qualified domestic relations order in a divorce case after being ordered to do so, and in a second case was convicted of a serious crime. He was summarily suspended by the court on May 31, 2017, due to the conviction. He also was ordered to notify the divorce client of the suspension but he failed to do so. The first suspension remains in effect pending Doll’s appeal of the conviction. The court found that his action violated Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1 and 8.4(a) and (g).

On Sept. 13, the Supreme Court of Tennessee suspended Madison County lawyer Angela Joy Hopson from the practice of law for two years, with 30 days to be served on active suspension and the remainder to be served on probation. The court also directed Hopson to engage a practice monitor during the probationary period and pay the costs of the disciplinary proceeding. The court found that she failed to properly manage communication with a client who was incarcerated. Her actions were found to violate Rules of Professional Conduct 1.4(a)(3) and (4).

The Tennessee Supreme Court on Oct. 2 suspended Rutherford County lawyer Carla Ann Kent Ford from the practice of law for five years and ordered her to pay restitution to two former clients as a condition of reinstatement. The Board of Professional Responsibility filed three complaints of misconduct against Ford alleging that she failed to communicate with or diligently represent clients, failed to adequately notify clients of her suspension, and in two of the cases, failed to provide written fee agreements. The board also found that she failed to respond to the charges. Her actions were found to violate Rules of Professional Conduct 1.3, 1.4, 1.5(a) and (f) and 1.16(d).

The Supreme Court of Tennessee suspended Davidson County lawyer Brian Phillip Manookian from the practice of law on Sept. 21 after finding that he posed a threat of substantial harm to the public. Manookian is immediately precluded from accepting any new cases, and he must cease representing existing clients by Oct. 21.

Censured

Davidson County lawyer John Benneth Iwu received a public censure on Sept. 19. The Board of Professional Responsibility found that in December 2017, Iwu authorized two electronic payments representing filing fees from his trust account knowing that his trust account contained personal funds that would not be sufficient to cover the amount of the payments. While he anticipated depositing client funds to cover the filing fees, he forgot, resulting in an overdraft on the account. By these acts, Iwu has violated Rule of Professional Conduct 1.15, 8.4(b) and 8.4(c).

Administrative Suspensions

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

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