On Monday, July 31, 2023, the Disciplinary District V of the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee publicly censured attorney Michael L. Freeman for his failure to meet multiple deadlines for filing an appellate brief.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Michael L. Freeman,” with case no. 70732c-5-ES.
The charges cited Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct 1.3, 3.4(c), and 8.4(d) which states:
The Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.
According to the filing,t Mr. Freeman was appointed by the trial court to represent a client in a post-conviction petition case. Following the petition hearing, he promptly initiated an appeal in response to the denial of the petition. However, he failed to meet the deadline for submitting his appellate brief. Upon receiving notice from the court, the same submitted a request for an extension of time, albeit after the initial deadline had passed. Fortunately, the court granted this extension. Despite being granted more time, Mr. Freeman again missed the extended deadline and subsequently filed a motion to stay the appeal, which the court rejected.
The court then established a new deadline for the brief’s submission, which Mr. Freeman failed to meet. Subsequently, the court imposed another deadline, which Mr. Freeman also failed to adhere to. As a final measure, the court ordered Mr. Freeman to submit the brief on a specified date, along with a motion explaining the delay. Although Mr. Freeman did eventually submit the brief, he did not provide an accompanying explanation in the motion. Nevertheless, the court accepted Mr. Freeman’s brief.
By the aforementioned acts, Michael L. Freeman was found in violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct regarding diligence, fairness to the opposing party and counsel, and prejudice to the administration of justice. As a consequence, the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility censured him publicly.
Mr. Freeman practices in Nashville, Tennessee. He is licensed in Tennessee. His info can be found on avvo.com.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.