Chattanooga Jury Finds Texas Law Firm Unlawfully Solicited Families Of Deadly Woodmore School Bus Crash

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

A Chattanooga jury unanimously found a Texas law firm, its owner, and agents liable for consumer protection violations and the unauthorized practice of law arising out of their actions in soliciting families of the fatal 2016 school bus crash in Chattanooga.

 

The jury found in favor of the state and against the Witherspoon Law Group, owner Nuru Witherspoon, and law firm representatives Glenn Smith and Alphonso McClendon.

 

Both Smith and McClendon, who are not licensed attorneys, solicited parents whose children had died in accidents.

McClendon also falsely held himself out as a lawyer, the State Attorney General's Office said.

 

Witherspoon was found responsible for the conduct of his firm’s representatives.

 

The defendants were also found to have violated the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act for causing confusion about their services, their association with lenders, and for contacting consumers at a funeral home while they were making final arrangements for their children.

 

For these violations, the jury ordered civil penalties against the defendants:

 

  • $90,000 for the unauthorized practice of law
  • $6,000 for violations of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act

“These individuals - who did not even live or work in Tennessee - preyed upon victims’ families while in the darkest days of their grief,” said Attorney General Herbert Slatery. “We appreciate the jury’s unanimous decision in this matter and our team of attorneys who worked to hold the defendants accountable for the last five years.

 

"This should send a message: misrepresenting yourself and attempting to practice law when you are not licensed here, will not be tolerated. From the outset we were determined to take this to trial. We will do the same thing again if confronted with this type of behavior.”

 

The State has also filed a motion for permanent injunction and a motion for attorney’s fees.

 


Police Blotter: Woman Rants In Hotel Lobby Over Stopped Up Toilet; Former Cleaning Employee Won't Get Final Paycheck Til She Returns Vaccum And Step-Ladder

Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Huge, 2-Story House At Cameron Hill's 517 W. 7th Street Functioned As An Oversized Duplex


The manager of the Baymont by Wyndham, 7017 Shallowford Road, requested that officers ask a woman to leave the property. The manager said the woman was yelling and using profanity in the lobby ... (click for more)

Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: ABRAMS, JOE BOB 727 E 11TH STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37403 Age at Arrest: 46 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga PD POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED ... (click for more)

A huge two-story house at the corner of West Seventh Street and Cypress on the side of Cameron Hill functioned throughout its short life as an over-sized duplex. Many of the fine homes on ... (click for more)



Breaking News

Police Blotter: Woman Rants In Hotel Lobby Over Stopped Up Toilet; Former Cleaning Employee Won't Get Final Paycheck Til She Returns Vaccum And Step-Ladder

The manager of the Baymont by Wyndham, 7017 Shallowford Road, requested that officers ask a woman to leave the property. The manager said the woman was yelling and using profanity in the lobby while other guests were trying to eat breakfast. The woman told police she was upset because she was a guest of the hotel and her toilet was stopped up. The woman said she asked a maintenance ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: ABRAMS, JOE BOB 727 E 11TH STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37403 Age at Arrest: 46 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga PD POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE ALLEE, HANNAH MARIE 7477 COMMONS BLVD CHATTANOOGA, 37421 Age at Arrest: 23 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga PD THEFT UNDER $1,000 APPLEBERRY, XAIVIER ... (click for more)

Opinion

Soddy Daisy: Home To Bad Food, Worse Roads, And No Gasoline - And Response

I enjoy Soddy Daisy. Truly I do. But over the past six years or so, everything in the town has been going downhill, and quite fast. There is simply no place to eat in Soddy Daisy that offers any nutritional value or variety. Burger King, McDonald's, Sonic, KFC, Taco Bell, Wendy's, Bojangles. This is what we have to feed our children. Now a couple people may say what about ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Yes, Coach Can Pray

In 2015 Joe Kennedy, a career Marine, was told by a “woke” crowd of educators that he could no longer be an assistant high school football coach in Seattle, Washington. The problem was that he publicly knelt and prayed on the field’s 50-yard line after every game and there were some school administrators that felt he was an undue influence on non-religious students. On Monday ... (click for more)

Sports

Homer-Happy Lookouts Bounce Back To Win

Oh, the difference a day makes. The Chattanooga Lookouts were shocked and stunned on Tuesday night when the Birmingham Barons scored 10 unanswered runs for a come-from-behind 12-9 victory at AT&T Field. There was no such late comeback on Wednesday as the Lookouts took advantage of four home runs to post a 5-4 victory to even their second-half record at 1-1. Relief pitching ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Kayakers Compete At World Championships

Two kayakers from Chattanooga are representing the United States of America in the Kayak Freestyle World Championships in Nottingham, England, UK from June 27 to July 2. Taft Sibley, 35, and Bennett Smith, 25, were both selected to represent the USA in the men’s squirt boat and men’s kayak category respectively. They are now both stalwarts of the US Freestyle Team in their ... (click for more)