The Tennessee Supreme Court has temporarily suspended Chattanooga attorney Michael Lee West from the practice of law "upon finding that Mr. West misappropriated funds to his own use, and his continued practice of law poses a threat of substantial harm to the public."
Officials said, "Section 4.3 of Supreme Court Rule 9 provides for the immediate summary suspension of an attorney’s license to practice law in matters where an attorney’s continued practice of law poses a threat of substantial harm to the public.
"Effective March 18, Mr. West is precluded from accepting any new cases, and he must cease representing existing clients by April 17. After April 17, he "shall not use any indicia of lawyer, legal assistant, or law clerk nor maintain a presence where the practice of law is conducted. Further, Mr. West must provide the location and account number for any trust accounts for which he has signatory authority or control and is enjoined from making any withdrawals from said trust accounts without advance approval of Disciplinary Counsel.
"Mr. West must notify all clients being represented in pending matters, as well as co-counsel and opposing counsel of the Supreme Court’s Order suspending his law license. Mr. West is required to deliver to all clients any papers or property to which they are entitled.
"This suspension remains in effect until dissolution or modification by the Supreme Court. Mr. West may for good cause request dissolution or modification of the suspension by petition to the Supreme Court."