Attorney Douglas Neil Blackwell II of Bradley County, Tennessee received a public censure from the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Tennessee Supreme Court, a news release Monday states.
Blackwell accepted a refundable retainer fee from a client in a conservatorship proceeding without depositing the fee into his client trust account until earned, the release states. Blackwell failed to diligently represent his client's interest, failed to properly communicate with his client and failed to include critical documentation with legal pleadings, the release states.
After he was removed from representation, Blackwell failed to provide his former client with the client file. His fee affidavit was found to be unreasonable and based upon misrepresentations.
He was publicly censured for violating Rules of Professional Conduct involving competence, diligence, communication, fees, safekeeping property, terminating representation, expediting litigation, candor toward tribunal, disciplinary matters, and misconduct, the release states.
A public censure is a rebuke and warning to the attorney but does not affect the attorney's ability to practice law.