Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Carlos the Clown Censured

Carlos the Clown was sanctioned yet again.  The Tennessee Supreme Court upheld the Tennessee Bar's public censure of Grenada attorney Carlos Moore.  The Bar didn't take too kindly to Mr. Moore's placing of a lien on a client after she rejected a settlement offer.  The order states:


Carlos Eugene Moore (“Attorney”) entered into a written contingent fee agreement to represent a client in a personal injury matter. The agreement, which was signed by the client, provided that if the client refused to accept any settlement offer which Attorney advised her was reasonable and should be taken, the client was responsible for the contingency fee “on the basis of that offer” unless Attorney waived the provision. When Attorney received an offer to settle the matter, he advised the client to accept the offer. She refused.

Attorney filed a motion to withdraw which was granted. Attorney also sought to place a lien against the client’s eventual recovery for his fees and expenses “presently owe[d].” After the client filed a complaint with the Board of Professional Responsibility (“BPR”), the BPR filed a petition for discipline.

A hearing panel was appointed and, after an evidentiary hearing, the panel concluded that (1) Attorney had “made an agreement for and has sought to collect an unreasonable fee,” violating Rule of Professional Conduct (“RPC” or “Rule”) 1.5(a) and 1.5(c); and (2) Attorney had “violated Rule 1.8(i) because [the client] became obligated when [Attorney] advised [her] that the settlement offer . . . was ‘reasonable and should be taken.’”

The hearing panel imposed a sanction of public censure. Attorney sought review in chancery court, and the chancery court affirmed the hearing panel’s decision. Attorney then sought review in this Court, arguing that the hearing panel’s findings that he had violated the Rules of Professional Conduct were arbitrary and capricious and not supported by substantial and material evidence. Attorney further contends that the sanction imposed was arbitrary and capricious and not supported by substantial and material evidence. We hold that the record supports both the findings of violations and the imposition of a public censure. Accordingly, we affirm the chancery court’s ruling upholding the hearing panel’s decision.
The Bar's order stated Mr. Moore's client received a settlement offer of $12,500 in a slip and fall case in February 2015.  The attorney advised her to accept the offer.  She agreed in writing to pay him 40% of the recovery plus expenses if recovery were made and 45% if recovery were made after appeal.  The agreement stated she would be responsible for Mr. Moore's fee if she refused a reasonable settlement offer.   The client refused to accept the offer.  Mr. Moore withdrew from the case.

Carlos the Clown was gone but not departed as he asked the court to approve a "lien of $13,605 for 45 hours of work and $2,428 for expenses" against his former client.  He filed an updated lien two weeks later for $18,124.  The client filed a bar complaint against her former attorney in August 2015.  She withdrew her lawsuit and refiled it with a new attorney.   He filed yet another updated lien against her for $7.4281(40% of the settlement amount, $4,800 and expenses of $2,628.).


The Bar ruled against the Clown on August 31, 2017.  It said the fee was "unreasonable" because contingency fees are allowed only upon recovery.  Allowing attorneys to place liens if settlement offers were rejected by the client would have a "chilling effect" on the client's ability to pursue a lawsuit.  The attorney's interest should be in representing the client, not forcing the client to accept a settlement offer she that is not in her best interests.

The Bar also didn't take too kindly to the Clown's efforts to collect liens that were more than the settlement offer.  The client agreed to pay a contingency  and never agreed to pay an hourly fee despite the Clown's efforts to collect such fees.  The Supremes ruled that Mr. Moore couldn't have it both ways

The Bar issued a public censure against Mr. Moore.  He appealed the censure to the Chancery Court.  The Chancellor upheld the Bar's decision.  Moore again tried to delay justice and appealed to the Tennessee Supreme Court.  The Court cited RPC 1.5(a) in ruling a lawyer could only be compensated under a contingency fee arrangement "in the event of settlement, trial, or appeal."  The fee agreement between the Clown and his client were instead contingent upon his recommendation of a settlement offer he "deemed reasonable."  This agreement violated the rules and justified the public censure.

Kingfish note: Let's see, how many sanctions or disciplinary actions is this against Mr. Moore?  Tupelo, Montgomery County, Leflore County, Belhaven.....


8 comments:

Louis LeFleur said...

Sweet!

Anonymous said...

Apparently everywhere this clown practices is full of racists.

Anonymous said...

and the Mississippi Bar Zzzzzzzzzzzzz

Anonymous said...

Until and unless the sanctions include disbarment, they don't cancel the Carlos show. It's simply the cost of doing business, If it's public knowledge Carlos will simply claim, very loudly, that the state is trying to silence the voice of justice. For a few people this is believable. Those people are more than enough to give Carlos a client base. Seriously.

One Old Lawyer said...

Maybe Richie Schwartz should be advertising to sign up client sof the clown who have such provisions in their contracts of employment with him and sue to void the contract and become Richie's client.

Anonymous said...

How many sanctions before some state bar actually does something?

Anonymous said...

The Mississippi State Bar isn't going to do anything to a black lawyer. If they did that would make then appear racist.

Anonymous said...

@8:45, You have a very uninformed opinion. The Mississippi Bar has suspended many black attorneys. Knowledge is king.

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


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Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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