Tennessee's Board of Professional Responsibility announced this morning that it has temporarily suspended the law license of Metro Councilmember at Large Jerry Maynard. The regulatory body said Maynard had "failed to respond to a complaint of ethical misconduct."
Reached today, Maynard emphasized that no client had filed a grievance against him. The complaint, he said, took the form of a query from the BPR that included copies of articles written by Nate Rau for The City Paper and Gail Kerr for The Tennessean last June.
Kerr's column revealed that Maynard had been working in a legal capacity for the Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center even though his law license had been under administrative suspension by the since 2006, after he failed to take the 18 hours of Continued Legal Education (CLE) classes annually that are required of all lawyers in the state.
The City Paper reported that the Walker Center had cuts its ties after Kerr's piece ran – and that Maynard was never its "general counsel," as he is still listed on the Council's website, but rather a consultant.
"The BPR saw articles in the newspaper, and they took action," Maynard said. And then events beyond his control came into play.
"I was given an opportunity to respond," Maynard recalled. "I went into the hospital during that time and the doctors made me go basically on bedrest for 30 days because of a serious illness I was going through, and I did not timely file a response to the BPR."
Maynard said he has not practiced law since he left the Walker Center. "I pastor a church, and I have nothing to do with the law," he said.
The board has told Maynard he is not permitted to "use any indicia of lawyer, legal assistant, or law clerk nor maintain a presence where the practice of law is conducted" while under suspension. He can petition to restore his license once he has complied with all requests from the BPR.
The Board previously censured Maynard in 2004, after he filed a notice of hearing date for a client while his license was administratively suspended for Continuing Legal Education noncompliance and failing to pay annual fees.