Thursday, December 8, 2022
The Mississippi Supreme Court has imposed a reciprocal censure based on a Tennessee sanction
Petty’s public censure resulted from a text-message exchange with a client. The client was indigent, and Petty represented her in a dependent and neglect matter in juvenile court. The Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee found that Petty had sent text messages that were “sexual in nature” and that there “was a significant risk that [Petty’s] personal interests materially limited his representation of his client.” Petty was found to have “created a concurrent conflict of interest in his representation of [the] client in volation [sic] of [Tennessee] Rule of Professional Conduct 1.7(a)(2) (concurrent conflict of interest).” Petty was publicly censured for the violation.
We cannot find any “extraordinary circumstances which compel, justify or support variance from the foreign jurisdiction’s sanction.” Id. We find that a public reprimand is the appropriate punishment in Mississippi. The reprimand shall be read in open court on the first day of the next term of the Circuit Court of Alcorn County, with Petty present, and shall include the reading of this Court’s opinion in full. Petty is further assessed the Bar’s costs and expenses in bringing this action.