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Board Notes - Summer 2006

In this Issue:

The Legacies of Justices Drowota, Anderson and Birch In The Tennessee Supreme Court’s Impact On Professional Ethics - By Lance Bracy
Many significant benchmarks in the development of professional ethics in Tennessee have resulted from the stewardship and legacies of Justices Drowota, Anderson and Birch.

The first, and likely the most significant, development occurred in 1980, the year that Justice Drowota was elected to the Supreme Court. This is the year the Court empowered the Board of Professional Responsibility (Board) to issue ethics opinions. The concept of providing guidance to lawyers about ethical dilemmas came about due to the compounding increase of ethical complaints, which had been increasing at a rate of approximately 15 percent each year since the Board’s inception in 1976. The objective was to preemptively assist lawyers in identifying and resolving ethical issues and thereby avoid complaints being filed.   continued...
Ethics Opinion Spotlight
On June 16, 2006, the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee issued a new Formal Ethics Opinion that the activities of R. W. Lynch Co. (Injury Helpline) do not constitute activities of an intermediary organization as defined in the Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 44 and /rule 8, Rules of Professional Conduct 7.6.

The Opinion holds that Lynch performs the same function as an advertising agency.

The entire opinion is available here.
Disciplinary Actions - By William W. "Tripp" Hunt, III
Changes to Supreme Court Rule 9
The Rule that regulates attorney disciplinary procedures has been updated.  continued...
Dark Secrets - By Charles Bloeser
As a young prosecutor, one of my responsibilities was to pursue the involuntary commitment of men and women with mental illness. If it could be shown that they were a danger to themselves or others, more often than not they would be sent to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation and treatment. At that time, it did not even occur to me that my own profession would, according to a Johns Hopkins study, be the most likely of 105 professions to produce severe depression. I did not know that attorneys are six times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population. And I could not then have known that since Christmas of 2005, six of our Tennessee colleagues would die by suicide.  continued...
Continuing Legal Education
Join the Board of Professional Responsibility for its 10th Annual Ethics Workshop. Attorney-client relations, law practice management and avoiding conflicts are some of the fundamental issues that will be discussed by Disciplinary Counsel and actively practicing attorneys.  continued...

Board Notes
Board Notes is a publication of the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee

Letters, comments, or questions should be addressed to:
Board of Professional Responsibility, 1101 Kermit Dr., Suite 730,
Nashville, TN 37217,
615-361-7500, 800-486-5714, FAX: 615-367-2480
E-mail: ethics@tbpr.org

Lance B. Bracy
Chief Disciplinary Counsel

Laura L. Chastain
Deputy Chief Disciplinary Counsel

Inside Board Notes
Disciplinary Actions - By William W. "Tripp" hunt, III
Dark Secrets - By Charles Bloeser

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