Sunday, September 9, 2018

Tennessee Twosome

A bar discipline oral argument day for the Tennessee Supreme Court last week

Thursday, September 6, 2018

  • Nathan E. Brooks v. Board of Professional Responsibility.Nathan E. Brooks, a suspended Tennessee attorney, appeals from a decision dismissing his petition for reinstatement of his law license.  The hearing panel dismissed Attorney Brooks’ petition due to his failure to pay a $2,000.00 advance cost deposit as required by Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9 section 30.4(d)(9).  Mr. Brooks argues that Tennessee Code Annotated section 20-12-127, the Pauper’s Oath, is applicable and excuses him from paying the advanced cost deposit because of his indigent status.  In the alternative, Mr. Brooks argues that if section 20-12-127 is not applicable, he will be denied his procedural due process rights because he will be denied the opportunity to litigate his claims in the only forum available.  The BPR argues that the Pauper’s Oath does not apply to reinstatement proceedings and that, because the license to practice law is a privilege and not a right, the required payment of an advanced cost deposit does not amount to a procedural due process violation.
  • Thomas F. Mabry v. Board of Professional Responsibility. – In this case, Mr. Mabry, a licensed Tennessee attorney, is challenging the denial of his request to be placed on disability inactive status under Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9, section 27.4.  The hearing panel determined that Mr. Mabry had failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that he had a qualifying disability.  The Chancery Court for Knox County affirmed the hearing panel’s decision.  On appeal to this Court, Mr. Mabry argues that the hearing panel used the incorrect standard of proof for determining whether he had a disability preventing him from responding to or defending against pending disciplinary proceedings.  Mr. Mabry also questions the accuracy of the chancery court’s taking of judicial notice of certain facts.

Interesting cases. (Mike Frisch)

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