On Tuesday, February 6, 2024, the Supreme Court of Georgia issued a public reprimand to lawyer Coulter Clauzell Henry Jr. for violating professional conduct rules.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Coulter Clauzell Henry, Jr., “with case no. S24Y0195.

The charges cited Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct 1.15(I)(a), 1.15(II)(b), 4.1 and 8.4(a)(4).

The case stemmed from an incident in early 2018 where Henry told a client that he had filed his patent application when it had not been submitted yet. Henry did not actually file the patent application until over three months later in May 2018.

In his petition to the court, Henry admitted that falsely telling the client the application was filed in February 2018 violated the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct, which prohibits lawyers from engaging in dishonest conduct. Henry stated he was going through immense stress at the time due to the breakdown of his marriage. He was diagnosed with high blood pressure and had a stroke, which he believes was caused by marital issues.

While the typical sanction for such a violation is suspension, the court took into account several mitigating factors in Henry’s case. He showed remorse, apologized to the client, and accepted responsibility. Henry also filed the long-overdue patent application, believing it provided an adequate description of the invention. Furthermore, he offered to refund the client’s legal fees.

Both the State Bar of Georgia and the special master appointed to the case recommended a reprimand. They noted it was an isolated incident and Henry had no prior disciplinary record. Additionally, he was undergoing severe personal and health problems around the time of the misconduct.

As part of the court’s decision, Henry provided proof he refunded the $2,500 in legal fees to the former client. The Supreme Court of Georgia accepted Henry’s petition for voluntary discipline and issued a public reprimand. With this ruling, Henry will have a formal disciplinary sanction on his record but can continue practicing law in Georgia.

The Disposition states:

“Accordingly, we accept the petition for voluntary discipline and direct that Coulter Clauzell Henry, Jr. receive a public reprimand in accordance with Bar Rules 4 – 102 (b) (3) and 4 – 220 (c) for his admitted violation of Rule 8.4 (a) (4).”

According to the filing, Mr. Henry Jr acquired his law license in 2012.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.