Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility
Hawkins attorney's law license suspended for 45 days
Jan 10, 2020 at 9:30 AM
ROGERSVILLE — The Tennessee Supreme Court issued an order Wednesday suspending the law license of Hawkins County Attorney Whitney Bailey for violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct pertaining to Diligence, Communication, Declining and Terminating Representation, and Misconduct.
According to a Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility report, four complaints were filed against Bailey in 2017 and 2018 — three by clients and one by the Tennessee Court of Appeals which found Bailey in contempt of court.
Bailey admitted to violating the Rules of Professional Conduct in four client matters.
In the first complaint: Bailey was accused of abandoning her client’s case by failing to file a motion to have her clients ex-husband resume making car payments.
Bailey then failed to respond to her client's communications, and failed to promptly refund the unearned portion of her fee.
In the second complaint: Bailey took no action after being retained to represent the complainant in a divorce action.
Her client asked Bailey to have divorce papers served on an abusive husband while he was incarcerated, and then lied to her client by telling her that the divorce papers had been filed.
In the third complaint: Bailey failed to file adoption paperwork for her client and then lied to the client stating the the paperwork had been filed, and failed to promptly respond to the client's attempt to communicate with her.
She also failed to return the unearned portion of her fee, and returned her client’s file almost four months after her client terminated representation.
In the fourth complaint: Bailey was held in contempt of court by the Court of Criminal Appeals for ignoring the Court’s orders to file a brief, as well as a motion seeking permission to file a late brief with an explanation for the untimeliness.
Aside from the 45 day suspensions her law license will be on probation for two years.