Monday, October 27, 2008
The Tennessee Supreme Court affirmed a decision of the Chancery Court to suspend an attorney for six months. The attorney had served as public guardian for Davidson County, reviewing hundreds of cases involving conservatorships and guardianships. The disciplinary charges involved three cases. In one, he repeatedly transferred funds from his escrow account to the consevatorship account "in a hodge podge manner without proper documentation of the ownership of the funds." He engaged in multiple transactions that led to him owing $25,000 to the conservatorship. He had failed to act with reasonable diligence in the other two matters.
The court rejected a due process claim based on the purported finding that the attorney had violated an bar ethics opinion: "A Formal Ethics Opinion is not a disciplinary rule." the court found that aggravating factors such as a pattern of misconduct and substantial experience justified the suspension. (Mike Frisch)