Supreme Court Denies Reinstatement To Suspended Williamson County Attorney

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that Williamson County attorney Walter Ray Culp, III is not entitled to reinstatement of his law license, which was suspended in 2006 after he pleaded guilty to the crime of attempted extortion in federal court. 

The Supreme Court suspended Mr.

Culp from practicing law for five years based on his extortion conviction, which arose out of Mr. Culp’s attempt to broker the testimony of a witness in a civil trial for a multimillion-dollar fee. Any attorney suspended for one year or more is required to petition the Supreme Court for reinstatement to the practice of law.  Mr. Culp filed such a petition in January 2011. 

A hearing panel of the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility ruled that Mr. Culp’s law license should not be reinstated. Mr. Culp appealed to the Chancery Court for Williamson County, which affirmed the hearing panel’s decision. On further review, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the trial court, ruling that Mr. Culp failed to show by clear and convincing evidence that he possessed the moral qualifications, competency and learning in law, and that his reinstatement would not be detrimental to the integrity of the legal profession or the administration of justice. 

The Court noted that attorneys who have been suspended or disbarred may petition for reinstatement, but Mr. Culp’s attempt to extort millions of dollars for the testimony of a witness was “threatening to the very core of a legal system based on probity and honor.” Based on the egregious nature of the conduct and Mr. Culp’s lack of credibility, the Court ruled that Mr. Culp should not be readmitted to the practice of law in Tennessee.

 


Metro Dalton’s Unemployment Rate Rises To 10.4 Percent In July

The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that Metro Dalton’s unemployment rate for July was 10.4 percent, up 1.1 percent from 9.3 percent in June. The rate in July of last year was 11.7 percent. The July rate increased as initial claims jumped 111 percent, up by 857 to 1,629 from 772 in June. Most of the increase was due to temporary layoffs in manufacturing. There were ... (click for more)

Northwest Georgia’s Unemployment Rate Rises To 8.5 Percent In July

The Georgia Department of Labor announced that the unemployment rate in the Northwest Georgia region increased to 8.5 percent in July, up eight-tenths of a percentage point from 7.7 percent in June. The rate was 9.0 percent in July a year ago. The July rate increase is primarily due to seasonal factors, such as temporary layoffs in educational services and manufacturing. However ... (click for more)

East Ridge, Red Bank Mayors Facing Opposition In Upcoming Election

Mayors of East Ridge and Red Bank are facing opposition in the upcoming election. East Ridge Mayor Brent Lambert is being opposed by the vice mayor, Jim Bethune, and by citizen activist Frances Pope. Red Bank Mayor John Roberts will be going up against Commissioner Rick Causer in the at-large race. Commissioner Causer, even if he loses, will be able to keep his current District ... (click for more)

Man Charged In Westview Elementary Rampage Under Treatment At Moccasin Bend

The 22-year-old charged with a rampage through Westview Elementary School is under treatment at Moccasin Bend Psychiatric Hospital, officials said. Aaron Roden had been set for his first court appearance on Thursday morning. Attorney Allen Dunn of the public defender's office said the hearing needed to be delayed. A status court appearance will be Sept. 23 at 1:30 p.m. Sheriff ... (click for more)

Black Creek TIF Decision-Who Guards The Hen House?

Citizens of Chattanooga were invited to give public comment before their own Industrial Development Board Aug. 15. They arrived to find foxes guarding their hen house.  Many thought the meeting was their opportunity to seek redress in the ill-conceived Black Creek Tax Increment Financing plan. However, they learned it was a sham orchestrated by both the past and present ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Coaches Vs. ‘Top 25’ Foes

The long-accepted measuring stick for a college football coach has been his win-loss record, with an after-glance at his win-loss record within his conference. But in Wednesday’s editions of the Wall Street Journal, writer David Everson, with the help of Stats LLC, used a much-tougher litmus test when he revealed the records of 65 major-college coaches against opponents that were ... (click for more)