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.


Attorneys Batts And Taylor Elected To Lead State Drug Court Association

The Tennessee Association of Drug Court Professionals has elected attorneys Kevin Batts and Richard Taylor to leadership positions in the statewide group. Mr. Batts will serve as president and Mr. Taylor will serve as vice president of the association in 2015. Mr. Batts is director of the Drug Court in the 23rd Judicial District, serving five counties of Middle Tennessee. He ... (click for more)

Karen Tindell And Kelly Still Join Southern Community Bank

Robert Stahl, Chattanooga city president of Southern Community Bank, announced Karen Tindell and Kelly Still have joined the Chattanooga branch. “Karen joins the staff as assistant vice president and Kelly joins the staff as a commercial lender,” said Mr. Stahl.  “Together Karen and Kelly collectively have over 50 years’ experience in the financial industry with regional ... (click for more)

2 Suspects Sought In Armed Robbery At Highway 153 Long John Silver's

Police are searching for two suspects in an armed robbery that happened Friday morning. At approximately  8:10  a.m. the Chattanooga Police Department responded to 5317 Highway 153 for a robbery at the Long John Silver's.  Officers discovered that two black men, wearing hoodies and masks, entered the Long John Silver's and forced the assistant manager ... (click for more)

Pair Charged With Beating Man With Stick, Taking His Wallet

Two men are charged with beating a man with a large stick while he slept on the steps of a downtown church, then taking his wallet. Jerry Quincy Allen, 45, and James Leo Boas, 40, both of 727 E. 11th St., are charged with aggravated robbery. In the incident on Wednesday, Bradley Casehart said he and a friend were asleep at Tompkin Chapel Church on Palmetto Street. He ... (click for more)

Please Don't Close The Piccadilly Cafeteria At Hamilton Place - And Response

Oh, no. The Piccadilly Cafeteria at Hamilton Place is closing.  Its last day is Christmas Eve.  I will miss the great food they have there but most of all I will miss their servers, cashiers and waitresses.  They are all so friendly and accommodating.  They make it like it’s a home-style restaurant. I sure wish there was some way that Hamilton Place and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Scrooge’ Of The Year

As we move into the last weekend before Christmas, the “Scrooge of the Year” has just appeared in Aurora, Ill. Actually Connie Ley has just died. She passed away on Nov. 25, but in her wake left the worst will many around the country have ever heard – her last wishes included that her nine-year-old dog should be put to death, cremated, and buried with her. Bela, a beautiful German ... (click for more)