Supreme Court Upholds Suspension Of Attorney Owen Maddux

Friday, August 9, 2013

In a unanimous Opinion, the Tennessee Supreme Court has affirmed the nine-month suspension of a Chattanooga attorney’s law license for violation of the Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct in his representation of two clients. 

H. Owen Maddux, a solo practitioner, represented a Hamilton County mother and son in a dispute with a business associate. As part of that proceeding, Mr. Maddux collected funds owed to the business by various customers. Despite sending a letter to customers stating the funds would be deposited with the court while the legal case played out, Mr. Maddux released more than $35,000 of the collected funds to his client the son, without notifying any other parties, including the customers, the mother, the court, or the business associate.

 An attorney for the business associate filed a complaint with the Board of Professional Responsibility, citing Mr. Maddux’s actions regarding the funds in question. After an investigation, a petition for discipline was filed, but Mr. Maddux failed to answer.

 A board panel then filed a default judgment against Mr. Maddux, which he later sought to set aside. In a hearing, Mr. Maddux stipulated to the facts regarding his work, but disputed the appropriateness of the nine-month suspension the board’s panel imposed.

 The board upheld the nine-month suspension, which Mr. Maddux appealed to the Hamilton County Circuit Court, which also affirmed. Mr. Maddux then brought his appeal to the Tennessee Supreme Court.

 The Court found that the hearing panel’s imposition of a nine-month suspension was not arbitrary and was supported by the evidence. The Court determined that the punishment was appropriate considering Mr. Maddux’s violation of duties owed to his client, to third persons, and to the legal profession, as well as Mr. Maddux’s experience, failure to answer the petition filed against him, and his disciplinary history, which includes two prior suspensions of his law license.

 To read the H. Owen Maddux v. Board of Professional Responsibility Opinion, authored by Justice Cornelia A. Clark, visit TNCourts.gov.

 

 


Sound Living Counseling Celebrates Grand Opening Aug. 30

Sound Living Counseling will celebrate its Open House and Dedication with ribbon cutting ceremony on Aug. 30 from  11:30 a.m. –4 p.m.  The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce will coordinate this event, taking place at 6727 Heritage Business Court, Suite 720. Sound Living Counseling is a center expanding to serve the needs of people in the community. The mission ... (click for more)

UNUM Hosts Back To School Bash For Chambliss Children

UNUM hosted its annual Back to School Bash for the school-aged children spending the summer at Chambliss Center for Children.   This year more than 175 UNUM employees came out to host a special day on our campus that included inflatables, games, a petting zoo, snow cones, face painting, hot dogs, burgers and more. They also stuffed 125 backpacks full of the required ... (click for more)

Man, 28, Shot And Killed In East Chattanooga

A 28-year-old man was shot and killed in East Chattanooga early Friday morning. The victim was identified as Jeremy Clark, a brother of House candidate Dennis Clark. Dennis Clark said, "Jeremy, a beloved son, my younger brother and dear friend to many, was taken from us too soon. The pain from our sudden and tragic loss is Indescribable. He was a compassionate and fun-loving ... (click for more)

Siedlecki Files Amended Financial Disclosure After GOP Files Complaint; Lists Personal Loan Rather Than In-Kind Contribution

Democratic assessor of property candidate Mark Siedlecki filed an amended financial disclosure form on Friday afternoon after county Republicans said he accepted far above the legal limit from a corporation he heads. The new disclosure said he made personal loans totaling $38,288 to the campaign. It does not include any in-kind contributions. The earlier forms listed ... (click for more)

Olympic Events On The Ocoee River Made History – But It Wasn’t Easy

It started with a simple “what if” question while Atlanta officials were working on a bid to host the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.  A group of amateur kayakers from the city began asking themselves: “What if Atlanta’s bid is successful? Then where would the Olympic whitewater canoe and kayak races be held?”  To some of the members of that group, the answer was obvious. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Don’t Kick A Man’s Neck

From the minute my brothers and I each became cognizant, my dad started teaching us the rules of becoming a man. Dad was from deep in Mississippi and he’d been taught a lot of life’s secrets from his father. These lessons have been passed for generations and, the older I have become, I’m convinced a lot of them were borne from The Sermon on the Mount. Our favorite, back in the ... (click for more)