Gerald D. Waggoner, Jr. v. Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee

Case Number

A Board of Professional Responsibility hearing panel found that a Shelby County
attorney’s law license should be suspended for four years based on multiple violations of
the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPCs), including RPC 5.5(a). The attorney appealed
part of the hearing panel’s decision, and the trial court affirmed in part, reversed in part,
and modified the sanction to one year. The Board appeals the trial court’s decision that the
attorney did not violate RPC 5.5(a) by practicing law while his license was suspended. We
find that the attorney violated RPC 5.5(a) by continuing to manage and market his law
practice; by directly or indirectly communicating with office staff, attorneys, and former
clients; and by recruiting and hiring attorneys while his law license was suspended. The
hearing panel’s decision that the attorney violated RPC 5.5(a) is supported by substantial
and material evidence. We hold that the attorney’s law license shall be suspended for two
years, with eighteen months served on active suspension. This sanction is based on the
RPC 5.5(a) violation, as well as the hearing panel’s findings that he violated additional
RPCs, which he did not appeal, the American Bar Association’s Standards for Imposing
Lawyer Sanctions (ABA Standards), five aggravating factors, and no mitigating factors.
The attorney shall also make appropriate restitution, obtain additional continuing education
as ordered by the trial court, and engage a practice monitor during his probated suspension.

Authoring Judge
Justice Sharon G. Lee
Originating Judge
Senior Judge William B. Acree
Date Filed
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