Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Shut Up, Go to Jail!

Michael Sneed (pic) is a Tennessee lawyer who just can't return a phone call or stop practicing law even when ordered to--so he's going to jail.  This is from the 

"A Nashville attorney has been disbarred and ordered to serve jail time over contempt charges and several allegations that he mistreated clientsThe Tennessee Supreme Court disbarred Michael Sneed for numerous ethical violations and ordered him to serve 50 days in jail for criminal contempt because he disobeyed a court order to stop practicing law after a suspension last year.  Sneed, reached by phone Tuesday, said he didn't believe the complaints against him had any merit and he plans to proceed with a federal suit that says he was improperly suspended and his constitutional rights were violated.

Sneed said he had not seen the order.

'I will admit, I made mistakes,' Sneed said. 'I had a large number of clients I represented … I'm not saying I was not an effective attorney. I think I did a good job for 99 percent of the people I represented.'

A disciplinary panel recommended in 2008 that Sneed be disbarred after clients and other attorneys complained that he acted unethically or failed to keep his clients informed. He was suspended the next year. The court found that he continued to practice law, and in an order issued Tuesday, the state Supreme Court put in place a sentence of 50 days jail time for 50 counts of criminal contempt related to his law practice. Sneed had already been disciplined by the Board of Professional Responsibility — the panel that disciplines lawyers — eight times by 2002, and five newer complaints for failing to communicate or keep accurate financial records for clients led to his suspension early last year." 

The article really focuses in on what seems to be a pretty cut and dried case of a lawyer who loved to be in court, but hated every other aspect of practicing law.  Sneed hated talking to his clients, and he was notorious as so many lawyers are--at returning phone calls (a subject I plan to return to in the near future.)  Apparently, Sneed can now begin his jailhouse practice. 
When your disciplinary authorities tell you to stop practicing law--um, stop practicing law. 


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. That's the right thing to do. Because if he's also doing that to his client, then he's not doing it right. Because as client, they have the authority to know what was happening to the case filed.

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