On Wednesday, October 18, 2023, the Disciplinary District II of the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee publicly censured Attorney Matthew Hollingshead-Cook for certain acts of misconduct.
The case is titled ‘In Re: Matthew Hollingshead-Cook, #025939’ with case nos. 71843-2-ES and 74404-2-ES.
According to the filing, Attorney Hollingshead-Cook violated the following rules of the Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct:: 1.15 (safekeeping funds), 1.3 (diligence), 1.4 (communication), and 1.16 (termination of representation).
The Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.
The censure stems from two separate client matters. In the first matter, Mr. Hollingshead-Cook received settlement funds from a client and deposited them into his trust account as required. However, he then took a break from practicing law and failed to distribute the settlement funds to the client for over three years, even though the funds remained in trust the whole time.
In the second matter, Mr. Hollingshead-Cook received client funds from an estate distribution that he deposited into his trust account. However, he failed to distribute those funds to the client for almost two years, though again the funds stayed in trust during that period. Additionally, Mr. Hollingshead-Cook inadvertently wrote a $100 personal check from his trust account, commingling personal and client funds.
The Board of Professional Responsibility found that Hollingshead-Cook’s actions violated the Rules of Professional. As a result, he was publicly censured.
According to Avvo.com, Attorney Matthew Hollingshead-Cook is a juvenile law attorney based in Knoxville, Tennessee. He attended the University of Memphis-Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and acquired his license in Tennessee in 2007.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.