On Monday, February 6, 2023, the Supreme Court of Tennessee ruled on the Hearing Panel’s Judgement in relation to the petition for discipline against Brentwood Attorney Melissa Ann Baker.
The case titled “In the Matter of Melissa Ann Baker” was brought by the Board of Professional Responsibility, case no. M2022-00159-SC-BAR-BP.
The charges cited Ms. Baker’s violations of the Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1 (competence), 1.3 (diligence), 1.4(a) and (b) (communication), 3.1 (meritorious claims), 3.2 (expediting litigation), 3.3(a)(1) (candor toward tribunal), 3.4(c) (fairness to opposing party and counsel), 4.2 (communication with a person represented by counsel), 4.4(a) (respect for rights of third persons), and 8.4 (a), (c) and (d) (misconduct).
According to the Board of Professional Responsibility’s released information,
“A Petition and Supplemental Petition for Discipline containing three complaints were filed by the Board against Ms. Baker. The Hearing Panel determined that Ms. Baker failed to file responses to a motion for Rule 11 sanctions and a motion for summary judgment, made material misrepresentations to the trial court during oral argument, failed to file responses to a motion for sanctions and a motion to compel resulting in the dismissal of the client’s case and failed to timely produce information to opposing counsel and filed several inappropriate motions in the juvenile court.”
On November 18, 2021, Baker filed her Conditional Guilty Plea which the Board approved upon recommendation of the Hearing Panel to the latter, however, the Court rejected Baker’s Conditional Guilty Plea on February 15, 2022.
The hearing panel after the trial of this matter determined that Baker violated the Rules of Professional Conduct as charged and issued its Judgment ruling against Baker.
Accordingly, the Court upon consideration of the entire records, finds it appropriate to enter an Order of Enforcement suspending Baker from the practice of law for three years, with one year being active suspension, the remainder to be served on probation conditioned upon the appointment of a practice monitor and consultation with the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program (TLAP).
Ms. Melissa Ann Baker attended the Nashville School of Law. She has been licensed in Tennessee, license no. 035018. She practiced in Brentwood prior to this suspension. Baker’s info can be found on the website of the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee.
A copy of the Order of Enforcement can be found here.