Supreme Court Approves Revised Rules For Attorney Discipline

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Tennessee Supreme Court has adopted substantial changes to the rule that governs the discipline of attorneys in this state.

Supreme Court Rule 9 is one of nearly 60 rules that the Court enforces regarding everything from how court records are kept to rules of professional conduct. The revisions to Rule 9 come about after more than two years of work that included input from attorneys and professional organizations from throughout the state.

The changes are so substantial that the Court is adopting a new 56-page rule in its entirety, rather than amending portions of the previous rule, which is the customary practice.

Some of the most extensive changes to the rule concern procedures for reinstatement of a law license after an attorney is suspended from practice. Reinstatement from all attorney suspensions, regardless of the type, now requires an order of the Supreme Court, and administrative suspensions also require payment of a reinstatement fee.

The new rule also spells out more clearly provisions regarding confidentiality of documents related to disciplinary proceedings. In addition, the selection process for board members and recusal standards for both disciplinary hearing panel members and board members have been clarified in the new rule.

What the new rule does not change is grounds for attorney discipline and the forms of discipline that attorneys are subject to, such as private reprimand, public censure, suspension, and disbarment.

The rule regarding administration of discipline to attorneys was last revised in 2006. The new Supreme Court Rule 9 goes into effect Jan. 1, 2014.

More details regarding the changes to the rule can be found on the Supreme Court’s website. Click here to read a copy of the Court’s Order and the new rule in its entirety.


Chattanooga Business Calendar Jan. 31-Feb. 7

MO/2 Entrepreneur Bookkeeping Noon to 1:00 p.m. TN Small Business Development Center: 100 Cherokee Blvd. Presenter: Lynn Talbott, PHR, HR Business Solutions, LLC The instructor will review the top 10 bookkeeping mistakes, as well as practical solutions to overcome these issues and ideas on office efficiency. Other topics include how to set up your QuickBooks or accounts ... (click for more)

Varner Elected Tennessee Bar Foundation Fellow

Christopher T. Varner has recently been elected a Fellow of the Tennessee Bar Foundation, an association of 801 attorneys across the state.  Invitations to membership, which is a position of honor, were extended to 29 attorneys this year by the Board of Trustees.  The introduction of new Fellows took place at the annual Fellows' Dinner in Nashville. The Bar Foundation's ... (click for more)

Chief Fletcher Gives Maximum Punishment To Patrol Officer Who Fired 4 Shots Toward Vehicle That Backed Toward Him

Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher has given a maximum punishment to an officer who fired four shots toward a vehicle after he said the driver backed into his vehicle with him standing behind it. Chief Fletcher sustained a finding of “improper use of force – discharge of firearm.” He suspended Officer Alex Olson for 30 days without pay – the maximum suspension allowed ... (click for more)

Van Found On Its Side Off Burkhalter Gap Road; Woman's Remains Nearby; May Be Trenton Woman Missing Since June 4

A van was found on its side off Burkhalter Gap Road on the side of Lookout Mountain near Trenton, Ga., on Wednesday with a woman's body nearby. Authorities said the woman may be a missing Trenton woman. Justine Marie Creech had been missing since June 4. The discovery was made by a woman out hiking. A skull and remains were near the rear tire, authorities said.  ... (click for more)

Shelley Andrews Will Be Missed

Shelley Andrews was one of the kindest, most thoughtful and most effective laborers in our community.  Her work with the Friends of Moccasin Bend was exemplary.  She listened, she learned and she led with dignity and class. Her brave battle with ovarian cancer was a testament to her positive spirit and commitment to her work on behalf of the people of this region. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: This One’s For ‘Grifter’

Back in October of 2013 a Facebook page called “OAF Nation” was created to “boost the morale” of the heroes who make up our nation’s military.” It was tongue-in-cheek satire, putting funny captions on every-day pictures that showed members of the Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard as they defended our country. Our fighting men and women loved it. It quickly went viral and today ... (click for more)