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Lawyer receives 60-day suspension

Stemmed from paying fee late, man says

POSTED: November 1, 2012 12:01 a.m.

Cumming lawyer Warner Russell Hodges said a late administration fee led to his being suspended from the State Bar of Georgia for 60 days.

The Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday to suspend Hodges as reciprocal discipline for violating rules of the Tennessee Bar Association.

Though Hodges was already suspended for 60 days in Tennessee, the disciplinary action allows for lawyers to be held accountable for their actions in all states where they’re licensed to practice.

According to the Georgia bar association, an attorney under suspension is completely barred from the practice of law in the state until the suspension is lifted or until related conditions are met.

The Georgia court said Hodges was in violation in 2011 by “undertaking to represent a client in a Tennessee divorce proceeding while his Tennessee law license was inactive,” according to the ruling.

The ruling continued, stating “Hodges thereby held himself out as authorized to practice law in Tennessee when, in fact, he was not.”

Hodges, who began practicing law in Georgia in 2009, said the suspension came because “I was about 10 days late in paying an administrative fee which covered me for an entire year in Tennessee.”

“I moved to Georgia and left it inactive,” he said. “Then I told them I wanted to activate it and about three weeks later I got the bill and paid it.”

Hodges is not the only Cumming attorney to have been disciplined this year by the state bar association. Scott Chandler Huggins, admitted to the bar in 1997, received a six-month suspension with conditions in May.

Over a one-year period from May 2011 to April, the Supreme Court suspended 36 practicing attorneys and disbarred 29 statewide.



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