Supreme Court Broadens Scope Of Rule Protecting Clients

Saturday, August 31, 2013

A fund that all Tennessee attorneys financially support will now offer even more protection to those clients that may have suffered a financial loss as a result of the dishonest acts of any member of the profession.

“This fund is now supported entirely by Tennessee lawyers – all willing to take responsibility for the actions of the unscrupulous few,” said Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary Wade.

“Fortunately, the number of claims has been few over the years and, in consequence, the fund has grown substantially.”

The Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection was established more than three decades ago under Supreme Court Rule 25 to reimburse clients for financial losses caused by acts of conversion or theft during the attorney-client relationship. It is supported exclusively by annual fees paid by each licensed Tennessee attorney.

Based on the solid financial standing of the fund, Executive Director Judy Bond-McKissack and the fund’s governing board recommended changes in the rule designed to afford greater protections to the general public. The Supreme Court endorsed their proposal.

“The protection of client interests is an essential element in any system of lawyer regulation,” the Court order states.

The revision to the rule extends the definition of “lawyer” to include all attorneys who practice in Tennessee, regardless of the state granting licensure. Previously, the rule addressed only those attorneys licensed by the State of Tennessee.

Another significant change is to extend from one to three years the amount of time for a client to make a claim for reimbursement. The fund’s governing board pointed out that the small number of valid claims against individuals within the profession has made this extension possible.

The amendments, which are the first changes to the rule since 2009, will go into effect onOctober 1, 2013. Board members of the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection are appointed by the Supreme Court and serve without compensation.

Read the text of the new Supreme Court Rule 25 here.


TDEC Announces Public Hearing Dates For 2015-2025 Solid Waste And Materials Management Plan

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation announced October public hearing dates in its process to develop the 2015-2025 Solid Waste and Materials Management Plan. Public participation activities for this planning process began in March with a series of four special focus meetings and continued in May with four public input meetings and one Web-based conference. ... (click for more)

Local Company Seeking Chase Bank Grant

AQQOLADE, a local professional services business, has applied for a $150,000 grant from Chase Bank as part of a newly launched program, Mission Main Street Grants. AQQOLADE has submitted a questionnaire outlining a business plan that will result in growth of the business and NEEDS AT LEAST 250 votes to be eligible for a grant. Clients, fans and community members can show ... (click for more)

Witnesses In 17-Year-Old Murder Case Say They Saw Hollingsworth Threaten, Mistreat Wife

Two potential witnesses in a 17-year-old murder testified Monday that they saw Adolphus Lebron Hollingsworth threaten and mistreat his wife Vicky before she disappeared in 1997. Hollingsworth, who is under $200,000 bond, is set for trial on Nov. 4. Orville Hughes said he lived around the corner from Vicky when he was on Chamberlain Avenue and they were on Duncan Avenue. ... (click for more)

Family Makes Treasure Trove Of Early Chattanooga Photographs Available For Book; Stokes Collection Has Been Passed Down To Descendants

A treasure trove of Chattanooga photographs that have been passed down in the Stokes family for generations has now been assembled in an upcoming book. Chattanooga Around The Turn Of The Century: The Remarkable Stokes Collection will be published by Chattanoogan.com. Pre-orders are now being taken for the book, which includes over 700 photos on large-size pages. Publisher ... (click for more)

How To Reform The City Industrial Development Board - And Response (3)

My aims is to bring to the public’s attention the need for procedural changes that, if implemented, would significantly improve the information available the public, to the City Council and to the City Industrial Development Board about the verifiable benefits and costs of tax incentive financing structures and to make the entire process transparent. The public, the City ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: He Can Never Go Home

When Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston sparked top-ranked Florida State to a 56-41 comeback over N.C. State last Saturday, you would have thought the world had forgotten and virtually excused his vulgar rant from the week before. His inexcusable mid-week antics kept him sidelined during the Clemson game and brought down the nation’s scorn but less than a week later he was ... (click for more)