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.



Senators Tell Administration To Abandon Plan To Sell Federal Transmission Lines

Senators Lamar Alexander and Maria Cantwell (D-Wa.) said the administration’s plan, announced on Thursday in a proposal to reorganize federal agencies, to sell the federal electric transmission assets of the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Power Marketing Administrations will increase electric bills for ratepayers.   “TVA’s continued success and ability to provide ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Chamber Calendar Of Events June 25-29

June 25, Beginner Squarespace 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The Edney, Floor Five: 1100 Market St. This class is for anyone getting started with Squarespace. No previous experience required. Topics will include setting up the site, choosing a template and entering content. Register at thechattery.org . $25   June 26, East Brainerd Chamber Council Meeting ... (click for more)

Former City Education Commissioner John P. Franklin Dies

John Porter Franklin, long a leading figure in Chattanooga city government, has died.  He was the city's first, elected black official, post Jim Crow laws, in 1971. Mr. Franklin's father, G.W. Franklin, was a pioneer funeral home director and John Franklin continued in that line. He was first an official in Franklin-Strickland Funeral Home, then he started John P. Franklin ... (click for more)

All School Board Members But Rhonda Thurman Approve Going Ahead With Equity Study

All County School Board members except Rhonda Thurman said Thursday afternoon they are in favor of pushing ahead with an equity study sought by new Supt. Bryan Johnson. Ms. Thurman said she was "tired of bullying tactics by outside groups" such as UnifiEd and Chattanooga 2.0. She said the 132 people who signed a letter in support of the study include people "with deep pockets" ... (click for more)

The Boss, Claude Ramsey

I try not to overuse the word great, but we lost a great man today, Claude Ramsey. I had the pleasure of serving under him as director of Commercial and Industrial Properties for 14 years while he was the Hamilton County Assessor of Property. He was probably the smartest person I have ever known. He was tough but patient, kind, caring and compassionate. He knew how to get ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Not A Blessed One

When I read, to no great surprise, that 132 of Chattanooga’s “leaders” had signed a letter in support of “socioeconomic integration” in Thursday’s Times Free Press, there were two things that were immediately obvious to me: Not a blessed one would have (a) written such a letter on their personal stationery, and (b) not a blessed one would have ever voted for the current president ... (click for more)