Attorney Barry Abbott has filed a complaint with the Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission of the Tennessee Supreme Court against City Councilwoman Carol Berz.
The complaint says Ms. Berz "has held herself out to the public as an attorney," but is not licensed by the state as an attorney.
Attorney Ferber Tracy, who represents Ms. Berz, said she "has never engaged in the practice of law in any circumstance. She is the founder and current operator of a mediation service and has obtained certification pursuant to Rule 31.
"However, there is no requirement that one must be an attorney in order to be certified pursuant to Rule 31."
Attorney Abbott said in his complaint, "By misrepresenting to the public that she is an attorney, Ms. Berz has failed to promote public confidence in the ADR process by conducting herself in a manner which does not merit that confidence.
"By misrepresenting to the public that she is an attorney, Ms. Berz has violated the requirement that a neutral shall adhere to the highest standard of integrity.
"By misrepresenting to the public that she is an attorney, Ms. Berz has violated the provisions of this section which prohibit a neutral from undertaking any act which would compromise the neutral's integrity.
"By misrepresenting to the public that she is an attorney, Ms. Berz has failed to observe all statutes, particularly TCA 39-16-302, which provides that impersonating a licensed professional is a Class E felony."
Hayden Lait, who heads the ADR Commission, appointed a grievance committee to look into the matter. It is headed by attorney Ben Cantrell of Nashville.
Attorney Robin Flores joined in the complaint with attorney Abbott.