In a recent post, the due process of the Tennessee lawyer discipline system was an issue in discipline system case. The court held that due process was not denied a lawyer where lawyer investigation, investigation, prosecution and adjudication were in the hands of the Tennessee Supreme Court, one entity.
The discipline system created by Supreme Court is found in Supreme Court Rule 9. Nowhere is a Tennessee bar association mentioned. That is to say, Rule 9 does not require the involvement a bar association in the operation of Rule 9.
It should also be noted that the rules of professional responsibility are also found in a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule – Rule 8.
The due process issue might be decided differently if the discipline system was in the hands of a bar association regarding the investigation, prosecution and adjudication of lawyers. Or, is the presence of a bar association a distinction without a difference?
The American Bar Association states that in 2013 there were 17,203 Active Resident Lawyers in Tennessee. In Washington there were in 2013, 24,032. American Bar Association, Number of Lawyers by State 2011, 2013.