Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Latest disciplinary actions by the Mississippi Bar

Here are the latest disciplinary actions taken against wayward lawyers by the Mississippi Bar as reported in the most recent online issue of its publication, The Mississippi Lawyer:

Ed Peters: Disbarred. 'nuff said.

Joseph Sams of Columbus, MS. Public reprimand. Mr. Sams represented a client in bankruptcy. Unfortunately for the client, the shyster neglected to do simple things like informing her of the creditors' meeting or informing her the bankruptcy petition was dismissed because she didn't show up for the creditors' meeting. Mr. Sams also blew off the Bar and failed to respond to the bar complaint. For all of this, Mr. Sams received only a public reprimand. I would've suspended him for sixty days just for ignoring the bar but that's just me.

Edwin Pittman, Jr. of Hattiesburg, MS. Public reprimand. Mr. Pittman decided to engage in some inside dealing of sorts. He first signed a defendant's arrest warrant and set his bail as a municipal court judge for the crimes of DUI Mayhem and two counts of DUI Manslaughter. Apparently Mr. Pittman decided the defendant would best be served by having a lawyer that already knew his case soooo.... Mr. Pittman then represented the defendant in the same case. The Bar investigated and made some erroneous findings, which Mr. Pittman failed to correct. Read the rest of this case. Its rather interesting.

William Don Ketner, Jr. of Jackson, MS. Public reprimand. Mr. Ketner apparently liked being a lawyer so much he decided to represent someone in a divorce case while on suspension from the Bar. He was suspended for nonpayment of annual dues but claimed he knew nothing, NOTHING, of the suspension.

The attorney with no name: Private reprimand. This one had a conflict of interest as a trustee and engaged in some shenanigans in administering the trust.

The attorney with no name: Private reprimand. Didn't pay client her share of a products liability settlement. Attorney later claimed there were deficiencies and that the claim couldn't be paid and that he had told the client. Bar found he had not told the client and was not diligent in performing his duties and was suspended for the same things in 2007. Apparently the Bar has no problem with lawyers repeatedly thumbing their noses in the Bar's face.

Look on page 33 for disciplinary actions.


Anonymous said...

Love it KF. And because you don't have enough to do, keep updating this as the records are disclosed 'publicly' in the lawyer mag.

Anonymous said...

i don't understand this comment at 10:24. they are disclosed publicly.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I heard the last FIVE issues are available on the site. I say "highlight" them here for easy access!

Anonymous said...

For 11:20, what I meant was disclosing this information publicly would mean (at least from a common sense standpoint) for the Bar to publish this information on their website, not some obscure trade publication. It would be real easy. You could have a section devoted to sanctions, as well as being able to view any/all sanctions under an atty's name. That's disclosure to the general public. Bet the average Joe out there has never heard of this mag, nor would he know that's where he needs to look to view any sanction info.

Anonymous said...

I'm a physician, having practiced in four states, and I have never heard of an anonymous, "private reprimand" for physician wronddoing. Then again, we don't write the laws ;-)

Anonymous said...

Oops - that's "wrongdoing"

Anonymous said...

Sorry Doc, lawyers deliver your reprimand in the form of a letter demanding settlement for their grieved client, meritorious or not, most likely you settle. Lawyers win again! And they are the oversight on our medical system??? No wonder medical costs are OUT OF CONTROL. Attorneys cannot back away from their actions have had a direct impact on the practice of "defensive medicine" and the correlated increase in medical expenses.

Anonymous said...

Nothing prohibits physicians from writing laws. Run for office.

Anonymous said...

1) My point was that ALL physican reprimands for any reason (trivial or gravely serious) are PUBLIC in all states where I have practiced. Why should lawyers' transgressions be shielded from public scutiny?

2) I'm the only physician in the state (also AL, TN & LA) who practices what I do. If I stop who will take care of my patients? Why would I a) put my family through the public scrutiny and character assassination that accompanies apparently all political campaigns; b) give up doing something that I enjoy doing, is essential for society, and that I've spent decades learning to do; and c) all to trade horses with the worm farmer and his ilk? Thanks but no thanks.

Anonymous said...

Doc, I was completely agreeing with you.

I too believe that lawyers' transgressions should be made public, completely public. This scolding behind the cloak of anonymity does nothing for self-policing of their profession. How can it be that the legal profession can make punishable mistakes and it not be made public. Shame on the profession's self-governance. Its a protected industry and one that rewards mistakes by never making an example of "poor" practice. Judges do sure feel OK with handing out high sentences for petty drug offenses, I wonder how the profession deals with situations like this internally? We all know that substance abuse runs high in professional practices.

Anonymous said...

@2:17-since you are obviously a specialist in a small field, creating the straw man that I asserted that YOU have to run is not a reasonable response given the context of the exchange and that I had no means of possessing that critical information prior to your own disclosure. What you do is obviously not the same as areas of medicine that are more populated with physicians.

You, yourself, do not have to run; however, the mantra repeated endlessly by physicians is something to the effect of "we don't hold office" and/or "we don't write the laws". If physicians' livelihoods are threatened by lawyers (as all my doc friends swear to me they are), I find it astonishing that so few decide to try change the system. That is why someone might give up what they love doing.

As for physician's transgressions-are you telling me that every doc who gets caught playing with their own script pad get a public punishment? (That is not a loaded question, I really want to know.)

You complain about public scrutiny? I thought transparency was the issue that you were complaining about regarding lawyers. Moreover, you don't want elected officials put through a public ringer to determine if they are qualified or have skeletons in their closets that may be things voters should be aware of (and no, I am not saying that it completely protects society against bad public officials)?

Anyway, and despite all the above bloviating, I don't understand the doc v. lawyer thing and probably never will.

Anonymous said...

Lawyers are scum. Bottom line.

Anonymous said...

Ahh, a layer, ahem, lawyer responds. Such prose, what did you charge for that flowery, pretentious, frankly boring response 7:07pm? Sure you can't charge that to a client some way? Maybe we will see you on the list someday, or hidden in a PDF long lost on a site that the general public has no knowledge of, or maybe we will se you here. I've been thinking a great deal about consolidating all lawyer disbars, punishments, admonishments, etc. for public scrutiny. I've been talking to doctors.

Anonymous said...

@8:02, that was my point in my earlier post today. TheBar should post ALL sanction actions on their shouldn't be up to the public to keep a 'public' record.

Anonymous said...

Miss Bar is a joke.

Anonymous said...


My name is Jarrod Taylor, and I don't hide behind anything. The documents I file bear my name and signature, for good or ill. So, be my guest and search all you want. Nothing is "hidden".

And, seeing whereas I wrote my response holding a 3 month old, I will take you sardonic remarks as high praise.

Now, would you introduce yourself to the crowd?

Anonymous said...

Good try.

Anonymous said...

Neither profession polices itself very well. Both professions are well aware of the those within their ranks in this community who ought not be practicing. Neither publishes punishment in such a way as for the general public to have easy access...there's no full page ads or billboards out there.

Doctor, you know that over 100000 Americans die every year from mistakes in hospitals, right? You know or should know of monetarily successful groups and doctors here that are better at marketing than medicine. Did a one of you lawyers think the above mentioned colleagues weren't sleazy? I've heard about Peters and Pittman for decades.
I'm neither a doctor or a lawyer but someone who has socialized with both. I've heard y'all talk about your colleagues so give me a break and stop sniping at each other and tend to your own houses first.
But, the good news lawyers, is when you screw up or someone in your profession screws up, the client doesn't DIE.

Anonymous said...

By the way, none of you have to run for office to change laws. You have professional associations with people you employ to lobby for you. More than a few of you likely give money to some PAC or party.
If you didn't golf, hunt, fish or have family social connections with the incompetent in your professions, you'd have run the incompetent off long ago.
You don't rock the boat because you are afraid of the professional and social consequences. Well, the guys you love to hate have the same fears.
To both groups, I say, put up or shut up. All you've succeeded in doing by attacking each other is to lower the respect for both professions. Way to go.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't "trying" anything. People were posting without using their names while complaining about transparency.

In law school our dean gave a lecture to our whole class after he received an bitching letter sent anonymously. To quote his truthful statement, "If you are going to be sending anonymous letter, you won't be much of a lawyer." I would modify that from "lawyer" to "anything".

Unless you are trying for regime change against the mullahs. Then anonymity is the only responsible policy.

Jarrod Taylor

Anonymous said...

I'm posting boo-boo...


Anonymous said...

And another thing, the subject at hand is professional transparency. This site is about jackassery. As such I retain the ability, no the right, to publish anonymously. However, with regards to professional transparency, if you hold the responsibility to represent someone and profit, you are held to a higher standard. You cannot impose your responsibility on others, especially others who are not LICENSED to practice law and PROFIT from it.

Anonymous said...

9:26, publish however you feel like it. I am simply stating that it is rather odd to complain about transparency and then write from an opaque corner (when we are not talking about security issues-that is different).

However, 8:02 made a personal remark to me insinuating that I may have something to "hide". I list my name so 8:02 can satisfy themselves.


Anonymous said...

8:02 here...Nothing personal, my comment was meant to be a general condemnation typical of the legal profession in MS. I am aware there are many great attorneys in MS, but there are plenty who are not so "great". I do commend you for speaking up and self identifying. You got cred with me. Peace.

Anonymous said...

8:02, kudos to you for you.

Peace to you as well and happy holidays.


Anonymous said...

8:02, sorry that supposed to be "Kudos to you for your honesty."


May EVERYONE (lawyer, physician, salesman, painter, etc.) have happy holidays. It is sad we have gotten to this point.

Anonymous said...

Aw, heck, JT we're just havin' fun!

Curt Crowley said...

Doc @ 2:17pm: "My point was that ALL physican reprimands for any reason (trivial or gravely serious) are PUBLIC in all states where I have practiced."

Doc, it seems blatantly unfair to me there is no such thing as a private reprimand or censure for physicians. Not all misconduct rises to such a level that it should warrant a public record. For example, where a doc develops a substance abuse problem, but no patient is ever harmed, why is a public record necessary? It seems a more appropriate sanction would be private censure, probation, treatment, monitoring, etc.

That result would serve the interest of the public and the ends of justice.

Anon @7:50 p.m.: "Lawyers are scum. Bottom line."

After 10 years of practicing law, I'm inclined to concur.

Anonymous said...

4:17 A public record of physician substance abuse " when no patient has been harmed" is necessary because a patient not only COULD be harmed in the future... including fatally, but it's impossible to know that patients haven't already been harmed by missed diagnoses.

Those who abuse substances don't stop abusing easily and doctors have access to both substances and the means to better hide their substance abuse.

As a patient, I should get to decide whether or not I want to take the risk that sobriety " took" and be aware that the lack of sobriety may have affected the quality of the care I had received.

Anonymous said...

7:42, I respectfully disagree.

Could does not equal will.

Further, think about it-a person goes to a doc for treatment and does not disclose past abuse issues. The doc works with the best knowledge they have, and complications can occur (think people on the edge of AFLD-and doc prescribes something say that is not be used by people with any liver complications-and this stuff happens all the time). Doc then gets sued. Doc's fault? NO. Will doc get sued? I bet there is a good chance as if the abuse problems have been hidden by the patient.


Anonymous said...

unless a doctor is writing prescriptions of oxycontin in exchange for sex or a specialty group tries to corner a market to the exclusion of others within the same specialty, the Mississippi Board of Medical Licensure doesn't give a rip. Good lawyers police the bad doctors. As for the bad lawyers...well, as someone said earlier, at least no one dies when they screw up.

Anonymous said...

Isn't there a new report here?

Anonymous said...

I understand that a Jackson realtor is being investigated for fradulent practices. Do you know if this is true or not?

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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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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.

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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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