Supreme Court Upholds Knoxville Attorney’s 6-Month Suspension

March 31, 2014

A suspension of Knoxville attorney Roger D. Hyman’s law license has been upheld by a unanimous opinion of the Tennessee Supreme Court.

In 2010, the Board of Professional Responsibility filed a petition for discipline against Mr. Hyman for two unrelated complaints. The petition charged that Mr. Hyman communicated with a person who he knew was represented by counsel, threatened a litigant, filed a lien against a litigant that was later declared void, failed to appear at a hearing, and failed to timely pay sanctions required by a court order.

In 2011, a hearing panel found that Mr. Hyman violated multiple Rules of Professional conduct and that he showed a “complete disregard for the Rules.”

Mr. Hyman appealed the hearing panel’s decision to the Knox County Circuit Court, which affirmed the judgment of the hearing panel. Mr. Hyman then appealed to the Supreme Court, challenging the method for selecting the hearing panel, the admission of prior discipline, and the standards that the panel used to determine the sanctions.

The Supreme Court upheld the decision of the hearing panel, noting that attorneys subject to discipline do not have a right to participate in the selection of the hearing panel, that Mr. Hyman’s five prior incidents of discipline were relevant to the imposition of current sanctions, and that the hearing panel applied the proper standards for determining Mr. Hyman’s sanction.  The Court affirmed Mr. Hyman’s six-month suspension from the practice of law.

Read the opinion in Roger David Hyman v. Board of Professional Responsibility authored by Justice Janice M. Holder.