Tennessee Supreme Court Affirms Three-Year Suspension for Nashville Attorney

November 18, 2021

The Tennessee Supreme Court has affirmed the three-year suspension of Nashville attorney Charles Edward Walker from the practice of law in Tennessee.

A Board of Professional Responsibility hearing panel found that Mr. Walker violated multiple provisions of the Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct in his handling of a delinquent tax sale redemption proceeding, his noncompliance with an injunction, and his failure to make certain disclosures on a federal court pro hac vice application. The hearing panel determined that these violations warranted concurrent suspensions of Mr. Walker’s license to practice law for an effective suspension of three years with two years on active suspension and one year on probation under the supervision of a practice monitor.

On appeal, the Chancery Court for Davidson County affirmed the hearing panel’s decision. Mr. Walker then appealed to the Tennessee Supreme Court, arguing that the chancery court lacked the power to modify the hearing panel’s decision and that the chancery court erred in affirming the hearing panel’s finding that he violated Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct 3.1 (Meritorious Claims and Contentions), 3.3 (Candor Toward the Tribunal), and 3.4 (Fairness to Opposing Party and Counsel) in his handling of the tax sale redemption. Mr. Walker did not appeal the hearing panel’s other findings.

The Supreme Court first noted that the chancery court affirmed but did not modify the hearing panel’s decision. The Supreme Court then concluded that the hearing panel’s finding that Mr. Walker violated Rules 3.1, 3.3, and 3.4 was supported by substantial and material evidence and was neither arbitrary nor an abuse of discretion. Thus, the Supreme Court affirmed the chancery court’s judgment upholding the hearing panel’s decision to suspend Mr. Walker’s license to practice law.

To read the unanimous opinion of the Court in Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee v. Charles Edward Walker, authored by Justice Sharon G. Lee, please visit the Opinions section of TNCourts.gov.