John M. Wolfe, Jr., Chattanooga attorney who competed in several primaries as a Democratic candidate for President in this election, received a public censure on Monday from the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee.
Mr. Wolfe settled a civil lawsuit without the client’s permission in exchange for the defendant paying the court costs. Mr. Wolfe then paid the client $500, which he told the client was a payment from the defendant. Mr. Wolfe entered an agreed order of dismissal and failed to provide a copy of it to the client for over a year and never otherwise informed the client the case had been settled, officials said.
The Supreme Court said, "By the above acts, John M. Wolfe, Jr. has violated Rules of Professional Conduct 1.2 (scope of representation), 1.4 (communication) and 8.4 (misconduct)."
A public censure is a rebuke and warning to the attorney, but it does not affect the attorney’s ability to practice law.