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.

 

 


Chattanooga Chamber Calendar Of Events Feb. 27-March 3

TUES/28 LCAA Candidate Forum 7:30-9 a.m. EPB Building: MLK Boulevard The Leadership Chattanooga Alumni Association hosts a meet and greet with candidates for City Council and Chattanooga Mayor.   TUES/28 East Brainerd Chamber Council Meeting 11:30a-1 p.m. Car Barn: 6721 Heritage Business Ct. Speaker: James McKissic $12   TUES/28 Action/Priority Matrix: ... (click for more)

Attorney Virgil Duane Parker Goes On Disability Status

 By Order of the Tennessee Supreme Court entered February 23, 2017, the law license of Hamilton County attorney Virgil Duane Parker was transferred to disability inactive status pursuant to Section 27.3 of Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9. Mr. Parker cannot practice law while on disability inactive status. He may return to the practice of law after reinstatement by the Tennessee ... (click for more)

St. Elmo Woman, 45, Dies At County Workhouse On Wednesday Night; Investigation Underway

An inmate died at the county workhouse at Silverdale on Wednesday night, and an investigation is underway.   She was identified as  Dana Shunice Palmer, 45, of St. Elmo.   Ms. Palmer was booked into the Hamilton County Jail from the Chattanooga Police Department on Feb. 14 on a public Intoxication charge. She was transferred from the jail to CoreCivic ... (click for more)

Shannon Whitfield Raising Rates At Money-Losing Walker County Landfill; Moratorium Placed On Fracking, Deep Well Drilling, Tiny Homes

New Walker County Sole Commissioner Shannon Whitfield is raising rates at the money-losing Walker County Landfill. The higher charges go into effect on March 1. Mr. Whitfield, during his campaign, said the landfill had been losing about $500,000 per year for many years. He said other area landfills were making a profit, but Walker County was having to subsidize its landfill. ... (click for more)

CVB Should Share Financials With The Home Folks

The recent debate over the Convention and Visitor's Bureau's funding and budget has gotten ugly. A Hamilton County commissioner has asked questions and made comments about the CVB. The director of the CVB has organized a campaign to dismiss the commissioner's questions and comments. The children on the playground are choosing sides and nothing useful seems to be happening. It's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Haggling Must Stop

Far be it for me to suggest the Hamilton County Commission and the School Board need to spend more time at recess but it was obvious this week the two groups need to work at being better friends. We have nine county commissioners and just as many corresponding school board members to work together for the betterment of one entity – Hamilton County. Everybody who thinks that is happening ... (click for more)