Licensure & Discipline

Disability Inactive

The law license of Davidson County lawyer John Edward Herbison was transferred to disability inactive status on December 30. He may not practice law while on inactive status but may petition the court for reinstatement by showing clear and convincing evidence that the disability has been removed and he is fit to resume the practice of law.

Disciplinary

Suspended
Rutherford County lawyer Carla Ann Kent Ford was suspended from the practice of law for four years, effective December 22. The Tennessee Supreme Court took the action based on Ford’s felony conviction for theft of property valued between $1,000 and $10,000. The court determined her actions violated Rules of Professional Conduct 8.4(b) and (c).

Disbarred
Florida Lawyer Frank Alfred Baker was disbarred by the Tennessee Supreme Court on December 22. The court made the disbarment retroactive to July 25, the date Baker was suspended based on his conviction on two counts of making a false statement to the FDIC, making a false claim against the United States, and four counts of wire fraud. Baker violated the Rules of Professional Conduct 8.4 (a) and (b). Baker agreed to the disbarment and to making restitution.

Williamson County lawyer John Jay Clark was disbarred Dec. 14, 2016, pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9, Section 12.1. The court took the action based on five complaints. In two cases, the court found that Clark abandoned his clients. In a third case, the court found that Clark obtained a default judgment in a divorce, but failed to file an order memorializing the default and failed to get a final decree. In a fourth case, Clark never filed divorce documents with the court and misrepresented the status of the case to his client. In a fifth case, the court found that Clark sent his client a divorce decree on which he forged the signature of the judge. Clark was found to have violated Rules of Professional Conduct 1.3 (diligence), 1.4 (communication), 1.5 (fees), 1.16 (terminating representation), 3.2 (expediting litigation), 5.5 (unauthorized practice of law), 8.1 (disciplinary matters) and 8.4 (a) (misconduct) and Rule 8.4 (a), (b) and (c) (misconduct, criminal conduct and conduct involving dishonesty). The court also noted that Clark was suspended from the practice of law while representing some of these clients. A previous four-year suspension imposed in 2015 remains in effect.

Nashville lawyer John Lyndon Lowery was disbarred from the practice of law on December 15. The state Supreme Court made the disbarment retroactive to the date of a prior disbarment on June 24 and directed Lowery to make restitution to clients as a condition of reinstatement. The court took the action after finding that Lowery settled a case without his clients’ knowledge or consent, signed their names to a settlement check without their permission, misappropriated settlement funds and made misrepresentations to clients that their cases were progressing normally. He was found to have violated the Rules of Professional Conduct 1.2, 1.4, 1.15 and 8.4. A suspension imposed on Lowery in 2015 for failure to pay the professional privilege tax also remains in effect..


Compiled by Stacey Shrader Joslin and Katharine Heriges from information provided by the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Tennessee Supreme Court. Licensure and disciplinary notices are included in this publication as a member service. The official record of an attorney’s status is maintained by the board. Current information about a particular attorney may be found on the board’s website at www.tbpr.org/consumers/attorneysearch.

          | TBA Law Blog