On August 30, 2013, the Tennessee Supreme Court filed comprehensive changes to Supreme Court Rule 9 governing attorney discipline. Changes to new Rule 9 address reinstatements; confidentiality; recusal; practice monitors; attorneys convicted of crimes; incapacitated attorneys; appointment of a receiver; appeals and attorney suspensions for default of student loans.
The effective date of the Court's new Rule 9 is January 1, 2014.
Click here to read a copy of the Court's Order and the new rule in its entirety.
On August 30, 2013, the Supreme Court entered an Order amending Tennessee Supreme Court Rules 21, 33 and 43 in order to make these rules consistent with revised Rule 9. These impact the annual registration fee paid by Tennessee attorneys to the Board of Professional Responsibility.
The effective date of the amendments to Rules 21, 33 and 43 is January 1, 2014.
Click here to see a copy of the Court's Order amending Rules 21, 33 and 43.
On September 4, 2013, the Supreme Court entered an Order amending Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 13 to permit the Administrative Office of the Courts to reduce fee claims paid to attorneys owing unpaid disciplinary costs to the Board of Professional Responsibility. The effective date of this rule change is January 1, 2014.
Click here to read a copy of the Court's Order and the addition to Rule 13.
Click here to read the Board of Professional Responsibility's recently-issued Formal Ethics Opinion:
Question: May a criminal defense lawyer alleged by a former criminal client to have rendered ineffective assistance of counsel voluntarily provide information to the prosecutor defending the claim outside the court supervised setting?
Conclusion: The Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct do not strictly prohibit a former defense lawyer alleged to have rendered ineffective assistance of counsel from providing information to the prosecution prior to or outside an in-court proceeding. Exceptions to the confidentiality rules permit, but do not require, the former defense lawyer to make limited voluntary disclosures of information to the prosecution outside the in-court supervised proceeding.
Registration for the Board of Professional Responsibility's Ethics Workshop to be held November 1, 2013, at the Nashville School of Law is closed and no further registrations will be accepted. For more information about the course, click here for the agenda. If you are pre-registered for the course and have questions about your registration, email Mary McKnight at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Board of Professional Responsibility will offer the course again next year. We will announce the dates as soon as they are available.
By Orders filed on March 18, 2013; April 23, 2013; May 1, 2013; and June 21, 2013, the Supreme Court appointed or re-appointed Hearing Committee Members to assist with the disciplinary process. Hearing Committee Members review Disciplinary Counsels' recommendations regarding resolution of complaints and serve on three-member hearing panels conducting formal disciplinary hearings. Hearing Committee Members are not compensated for their service.
- Click here for the Orders filed March 18, 2013.
- Click here for the Order filed April 23, 2013.
- Click here for the Order filed May 1, 2013.
- Click here for the Order filed June 21, 2013.
The Board of Professional Responsibility regularly announces public disciplinary
actions and judgments taken by the Board and the Supreme Court of Tennessee and other
relevant information to the public and the legal community. For more
information click here.
Recent decisions by the Supreme Court of Tennessee of interest to Tennessee attorneys:
- Supreme Court upholds nine-month suspension for Chattanooga attorney continued... (August 9, 2013)
- Supreme Court denies reinstatement to suspended Williamson County attorney continued... (June 24, 2013)
- Supreme Court affirms costs assessed to disciplined attorneys; rejects challenges to disciplinary process continued... (May 24, 2013)
The Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) helps people with
questions or problems with their Tennessee lawyer. Many problems may be
resolved by providing information, contacting the lawyer, or informally
mediating the dispute.
When serious unethical conduct may be involved, complaints will be referred to
Disciplinary Counsel for consideration as to attorney discipline.