Douglas Neil Blackwell, II, an attorney licensed to practice law in Tennessee, has received a public censure from the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Officials said, "Mr. Blackwell accepted a refundable retainer fee from a client in a conservatorship proceeding without depositing the fee into his client trust account until earned. Mr.
Blackwell failed to diligently represent his client’s interest and failed to properly communicate with his client. Mr. Blackwell failed to include critical documentation with legal pleadings. After he was removed from representation, Mr. Blackwell failed to provide his former client with the client file. Mr. Blackwell’s fee affidavit was found to be unreasonable and based upon misrepresentations.
"By these acts, Douglas Neil Blackwell, II, has violated Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1 (competence), 1.3 (diligence), 1.4 (communication), 1.5 (fees), 1.15 (safekeeping property), 1.16 (terminating representation), 3.2 (expediting litigation), 3.3 (candor toward tribunal), 8.1(b) (disciplinary matters), and 8.4(a)(c)(d) (misconduct) 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.