Hamilton County Lawyer John Meldorf Censured

Friday, October 13, 2017

John R. Meldorf, an attorney licensed to practice law in Tennessee, received a Public Censure on Thursday, from the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Tennessee Supreme Court.

Mr. Meldorf represented the wife who was awarded attorney fees from her husband in the final decree of divorce. At the conclusion of the divorce, the wife owed Mr. Meldorf a small balance for his fees.  The ex-husband subsequently filed bankruptcy and listed Mr. Meldorf as creditor instead of his ex-wife. Mr. Meldorf collected funds as a creditor from the bankruptcy trustee even though such funds were properly owed to his former client. He failed to promptly notify his former client upon receipt of such funds and paid himself fees owed by the former client without her knowledge or consent.

By these acts, John R. Meldorf has violated Rules of Professional Conduct 1.15(d) and (e) (safekeeping property) and is hereby Publicly Censured for these violations.   

A Public Censure is a rebuke and warning to the attorney, but it does not affect the attorney’s ability to practice law.



Supreme Court Holds Personal Signature Of Party Appealing In Parental Termination Case Not Required

The Tennessee Supreme Court concluded that a father’s notice of appeal, signed by his attorney, but not the father personally, satisfies the statutory signature requirement for appeals in parental termination cases.  The Court remanded the case to the Court of Appeals for consideration of the father’s appeal on the merits.    In this parental termination case, ... (click for more)

Tennessee Supreme Court Clarifies Standards For Contesting A Will

The Tennessee Supreme Court reversed previous rulings that dismissed a lawsuit contesting the October 1, 2013 Will (“2013 Will”) of Dr. J. Don Brock, a resident of Hamilton County.  Dr. Brock died March 10, 2015, leaving a sizable estate. He is survived by his wife, seven children he and his former wife adopted, and two stepdaughters. Dr. Brock’s 2013 Will was admitted to ... (click for more)

5 Disinherited Adopted Children Of Dr. J. Don Brock May Share In Rich Estate After All

Five disinherited adopted children of the late Chattanooga businessman J. Don Brock may share in his large estate after all. After losing at the trial court and appeals court level, the plaintiffs won a victory at the Tennessee Supreme Court. Justice Cornelia Clark ruled in favor of the adopted children and remanded the case to the trial court for settlement of the estate. ... (click for more)

Walker County Asks Dismissal Of Erlanger Lawsuit Asking Court To Order New Taxes For Payment Of $8.7 Million Debt

Walker County, Ga., is asking the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by Erlanger Health System that asks a federal judge to order the levying of taxes to pay an $8.7 million debt. Walker County noted that new Commissioner Shannon Whitfield has imposed a special tax levy on its citizens designed to satisfy the debt. It also says that Commissioner Whitfield held several meetings with ... (click for more)

Stormwater Fiasco And East Ridge Camping

When did the Chattanooga City Council get replaced by members of the East Ridge City Council? I don't recall a time in Chattanooga where they've voted to shoot the city in the foot more than they have lately.  If this goes through despite the environmental impact warnings and then Camp Jordan has increased flooding after spending millions on sports ball fields, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why I Am Thankful

You would think that after 40 years of publishing an annual list of things for which I am thankful, I’d be getting to the bottom of it, but it seems the older I get I have found I appreciate so much more around me. I take absolute delight in planting a flower, feeding the birds and throwing a ball for my dog. I find that the more people who I come to know the more who I come to ... (click for more)