News and Publications

The Board of Professional Responsibility provides these online resources to help keep the legal community and the public informed about the Board's actions and legal happenings throughout the state of Tennessee.

Latest News


Fall 2017 issue of Board Notes

The Fall 2017 issue of Board Notes is now available.  Board Notes is a semi-annual publication of the Board of Professional Responsibility which offers articles of interest and other information to Tennessee attorneys and judges such as recently-issued Formal Ethics Opinions and recent Disciplinary Actions.  Click here to read the Fall 2017 issue of Board Notes.

Ethics Workshop 2017

The Board of Professional Responsibility’s 2017 Ethics Workshop will be held November 3, 2017 at the Nashville School of Law. Featured topics at the workshop will include ethics in criminal law; "Raising Cain in and with the Court;" social media and professionalism; trust accounting; an attorney's competent use of technology; everyday ethical dilemmas; and Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program (TLAP).  Speakers include Justice Roger Page, Judge Brandon Gibson, Judge Joe Riley, Ed Yarbrough, William Ramsey, Ashley French, Krisann Hodges, Laura Chastain, Beverly Sharpe and Sandy Garrett.

Rule 9 Amendment

On March 13, 2017, the Board of Professional Responsibility filed a petition asking the Court to amend Rule 9, Section 32 of the Rules of the Tennessee Supreme Court. The petition proposed to amend the Rule Section in order to clarify that hearings are open to the public, unless subject to a protective order.  On August 30, 2017, the Court granted the Board’s Petition.  Click here to read the Order.

Rule 8 Amendments

On July 11, 2016, the Tennessee Bar Association filed a petition asking the Court to amend Rule 8 of the Rules of the Tennessee Supreme Court. In summary, the TBA proposed to amend selected portions of Rule 8 in light of similar revisions to the American Bar Association's Model Rules of Professional Conduct that were adopted by the ABA's House of Delegates in August, 2012. In addition, the TBA also proposed a number of housekeeping amendments to Rule 8. On August 18, 2016, the Court entered an order soliciting comments on the proposed amendments. The Court received comments from the Board of Professional Responsibility and the Knoxville Bar Association. After due consideration, the Supreme Court entered an Order on March 6, 2017, adopting the proposed amendments as set out in the Appendix attached to the Order. The amendments took effect immediately upon the filing of the Order (read Order here).

Rule 19 Amendment

On January 25, 2017, the Supreme Court of Tennessee entered an Order amending Rule 19 to eliminate a potential conflict between Rule 19 and Rule 7, section 5.01(g)(8). Read Order.

New Formal Ethics Opinion

The Board of Professional Responsibility was requested by the State of Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Department of Labor and Workforce Development to issue a Formal Ethics Opinion regarding the extent to which an ombudsman attorney may provide “limited legal advice” within the meaning of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 50-6-216(e)(3) which provides that “[a]n ombudsman who is not a licensed attorney shall not provide legal advice however, an ombudsman who is a licensed attorney may provide limited legal advice however, an ombudsman who is a licensed attorney may provide limited legal advice but shall not represent any party as the party’s attorney.  No ombudsman shall make attorney referrals.” Read Formal Ethics Opinion 2017-F-162.

New Board Members

The Board extends thanks to retiring Board members Michael Callaway, Margaret Craddock, and Wade Davies for their recent service to the Board.  The Board would also like to welcome newly-appointed Board members Ruth Ellis, Tyreece Miller, and Bridget Willhite. (Click here to read the Order.)

Special Edition Board Notes

The Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program (TLAP), the Board of Professional Responsibility, the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners and the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education have partnered to publish this Special Edition Board Notes.  The focus of this newsletter is the recently released study by the American Bar Association/Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation on substance use and other mental health concerns among American attorneys. We are hopeful this study and the related articles assist lawyers and judges by providing helpful information and tools to improve lawyer wellness and our profession.

**Notice to Fax Recipients**

Please be advised that effective immediately the Board of Professional Responsibility will be sending releases of information by email and will no longer be sending releases of information by facsimile.

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Additionally, please note that all releases can also be accessed by clicking on "Informational Releases" in the "News and Publications" section of this website.

The Board and staff appreciate your interest in the Tennessee Supreme Court's disciplinary system.

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