|Loudon lawyer censured by state board
Jonathan Herrmann news-herald.net
The Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee handed down a public censure April 11 to local attorney Arthur Wayne Henry.
“In February of 2015, Mr. Henry was retained to represent a client in his suit to establish the paternity of his minor son,” according to a BPR release. “Mr. Henry filed the appropriate documents to establish paternity, including a motion for paternity testing.
However, when the
opposing party became uncooperative with regard to the paternity
testing, Mr. Henry ceased working on the case, and would not respond
to his client’s repeated requests for information about his case.
Therefore, his client was forced to hire a new attorney.”
Henry, whose law office is located in Loudon, was cited in the censure for violating rules of conduct related to diligence, communication and expediting litigation.
A censure serves as a rebuke and warning for an attorney but does not affect an attorney’s ability to practice law.
“Obviously, this office is tasked with investigating complaints against an attorney,” Sandy Garrett, chief disciplinary counsel for the BPR, said. “So we investigated complaints and decided a censure was the appropriate measure.”
Henry was censured in January 2016 for violating rules of competence, diligence, communication and expediting litigation when he “failed to take reasonable steps to move the case forward,” after being hired in a tort lawsuit for damages.
He was also censured in April 2010 for violating rules for diligence, communication, declining and terminating representation and failure to comply with disciplinary requests when he was he was hired by two clients for a lawsuit against a subdivision developer but “after he was informed by an expert that the damages in the case were minimal, he did not want to pursue the case. He ceased communicating with his two clients” and “failed to comply with the board’s repeated requests for additional information.”
“Obviously, it is important,” Garrett said. “If you look … our annual report, which is on our website, will show that diligence and failure to communicate unfortunately is the No. 1 reason that folks file complaints.”
Past censures are taken into consideration when considering discipline for those practicing law, Garrett said, and the most recent censure will be taken into consideration if there are further complaints against Henry.
Henry did not return requests for comment.