On January 25, 2024, the Supreme Court of Tennessee permanently disbarred Knoxville attorney Thomas Fleming Mabry for multiple violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Thomas Fleming Mabry.”

The high court took this rare and severe disciplinary action in response to six separate complaints alleging various ethical violations committed by Mabry. A Hearing Panel determined that Mabry violated Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1 (competence), 1.3 (diligence), 1.4 (communication), 1.5 (fees), 1.16 (terminating representation), 5.5(a) (unauthorized practice of law), and 8.4(a), (b), (c) and (g) (misconduct).

According to a press release from the Board of Professional Responsibility, Mabry failed to properly notify the IRS during a client foreclosure matter. He also did not timely inform clients of his previous suspension from practice. The board further found Mabry engaged in the unauthorized practice of law in North Carolina.

Additional violations involved charging unreasonable fees, failing to refund unearned money, and improperly holding client funds. Mabry did not adequately account for prepaid expenses or promptly provide client files and withdraw from representations. Further, the board determined Mabry made false statements to a client and misappropriated third-party funds.

A Hearing Panel examined Mabry’s conduct and agreed it constituted violations of various Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct covering competency, diligence, communication, fees, client relations, and more. The Tennessee Supreme Court then reviewed and upheld the panel’s decision, as well as a subsequent ruling from the trial court.

As a result of these findings, Mabry faces the most severe penalty – permanent disbarment from practicing law. The court also ordered him to provide restitution. Going forward, Mabry must abide by post-disbarment rules like notifying clients or courts about his status.

According to avvo.com, Mr. Thomas Fleming Mabry was an attorney in Knoxville, Tennessee. He had been licensed to practice in Tennessee in 1980.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.