Board of Professional Responsibility Of The Supreme Court of Tennessee v. Michael Gibbs Sheppard

Board of Professional Responsibility Of The Supreme Court of Tennessee v. Michael Gibbs Sheppard
M2017-00804-SC-R3-BP

This is a direct appeal of a disciplinary proceeding against a Brentwood attorney arising out of the mismanagement of client funds held in trust. A hearing panel of the Board of Professional Responsibility determined that the attorney had violated Rules 1.15 (safekeeping property and funds) and 8.4 (misconduct) of the Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct. The hearing panel recommended that the attorney be suspended for sixty days, to be followed by two years of probation under the supervision of a practice monitor, and that he complete fifteen hours of continuing legal education on law office management and trust accounting procedures. The chancery court modified the hearing panel’s decision by increasing the periods of suspension and probation and by imposing additional conditions of probation. We hold that the hearing panel’s decision was supported by material and substantial evidence and was not arbitrary, capricious, or an abuse of discretion. The chancery court, therefore, erred in modifying the hearing panel’s decision. We reverse the judgment of the chancery court and affirm the hearing panel’s decision.

Authoring Judge: 
Justice Sharon G. Lee
Originating Judge: 
Judge Robert L. Jones
Date Filed: 
Monday, August 13, 2018