The Supreme Court of Tennessee has temporarily suspended James Thomas Neal from the practice of law upon finding that Mr. Neal "misappropriated funds and poses a threat of substantial harm to the public."
The high court said Mr. Neal "also represented a client in a medical malpractice case that was dismissed. Instead of telling the client that the case had been dismissed, he falsely stated that the case had settled and gave the client a worthless check for the client’s share of the fictitious settlement. Section 12.3 of Supreme Court Rule 9 provides for the immediate summary suspension of an attorney’s license to practice law in cases of an attorney misappropriating funds or otherwise posing a threat of substantial harm to the public.
Neal is immediately precluded from accepting any new cases, and he must cease representing existing clients by March 31, 2018.
After March 31, 2018, Mr. Neal shall not use any indicia of lawyer, legal assistant, or law clerk nor maintain a presence where the practice of law is conducted.
"Mr. Neal 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. Neal is required to deliver to all clients any papers or property to which they are entitled.
"Mr. Neal must comply with the requirements of Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9, Sections 28 and 12.3(d), regarding the obligations and responsibilities of temporarily suspended attorneys and the procedure for reinstatement.
"This suspension remains in effect until dissolution or modification by the Supreme Court. Mr. Neal may for good cause request dissolution or modification of the suspension by petition to the Supreme Court."