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.