A Loudon County lawyer will no longer be allowed to practice law following a series of violations over the last year.
Arthur Wayne Henry, who previously served on the Loudon County E-911 board of directors, was officially disbarred by the Supreme Court of Tennessee on July 15 due to “ethical misconduct.” His areas of law included general civil practice, insurance defense, banking, commercial and real estate.
Henry consented to disbarment because he could not successfully defend the charges alleged in a complaint filed against him with the Board of Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee.
On July 1, the state passed an amendment order for Rule 9, sections 8, 12 and 30, which now enforces permanent disbarment.
“You may already know that for many years disbarment in Tennessee was for five years,” Rita Webb, Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee executive secretary, said in an email correspondence. “However and unfortunately, several Tennessee attorneys have experienced more than one disbarment. This has proven to be confusing to the public and most everyone in general. As of July 1 of this year, the Tennessee Supreme Court changed the rule and now any attorney disbarred will be permanently disbarred, which includes Mr. Henry. I expect that in the future there will be fewer disbarments and more long-term suspensions (30 days up to 10 years) to those who are deserving.”
On July 24, 2019, Henry was served a temporary suspension for a misappropriation of funds.
The petition to suspend Henry was linked to an affidavit by Loudon County General Sessions Court Judge Rex Dale.
According to the affidavit, Henry reported to Dale on the morning of April 17, 2019, that he had “taken client funds and used them for his own personal benefit in the Estate of Cassie B. Leonard,” which was a probate case opened Nov. 10, 2008.
The case related to a reimbursement claim of $82,905.31 was made by TennCare. The estate was to sell real estate to pay administrative expenses, “with the remainder to be paid to TennCare,” Dale said in the affidavit.
The real estate sold for $25,000 and included administrative costs of $2,337 and an executor fee of $1,500. A hearing for closing the estate was set for April 17, 2019, on which date Henry admitted to taking the remaining funds.
“The exact total amount taken by Mr. Henry is not known at this time, but appears to be between $21,000 and $22,000,” the affidavit reads. “The funds should have gone to pay the TennCare claim after the payment of administration expenses and fees.”
Henry’s latest disbarment is “unrelated to his previous disbarment on July 24, 2019, for misappropriation.” The new affidavit could not be publicly disclosed, Sandi Garrett, BPR chief disciplinary counsel, said in an email correspondence.
Henry could not be reached for comment by News-Herald presstime.