Johnson County lawyer censured
Published 2:14 pm Thursday, July 14, 2022
On July 13, Harvey Randolph Fallin, an attorney licensed to practice law in Tennessee, received a Public Censure from the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Fallin represented a man charged with first-degree murder, and he also represented the man’s wife, who was charged with conspiracy to commit the same murder. Fallin did not have a written fee agreement with his two clients, and he did not otherwise discuss with them the potential conflict of interest in representing both of them. There was a significant risk that Fallin’s representation of the wife would be materially limited by his representation of the man charged with the murder.
Fallin’s daughter worked in his law office, and she agreed to act as the legal representative under a power of attorney for the two clients in exchange for payment. In her position as the power of attorney, Fallin’s daughter made at least one payment to Fallin for legal expenses. At no time did Fallin discuss with his clients the business relationship they entered with his daughter as power of attorney. Fallin was aware of his daughter’s conduct as addressed in Rule of Professional Conduct 5.3 (responsibilities regarding nonlawyer assistance).
By the aforementioned acts, Fallin violated Rules of Professional Conduct 1.7(c)(2)(conflict of interest), 1.8(a) (conflict of interest, business relationship), and 8.4(d) (prejudice to the administration of justice) and has been Publicly Censured for these violations.
A Public Censure is a rebuke and warning to the attorney, but it does not affect the attorney’s ability to practice law.