Settlement Date, Trial Date Set In Case In Which Lawyer Is Charged With Forging Name Of Judge Peoples

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

An Aug. 22 settlement date has been set in the case in which Chattanooga attorney Jeffrey A. Stinnett is charged with forging the name of former Chancellor Howell Peoples.

Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern also set a possible trial date of Nov. 13.

Stinnett was indicted by the Grand Jury on the forgery charge in March of 2011.

The indictment says on June 23, 2008, Stinnett forged the name of Judge Peoples on a protective order.

An afidavit in the case says his client states that Stinnett told him, "I'm friends with Judge Peoples so we don't need to go back to court.


Instead, Judge Peoples began cooperating with investigators.

The indictment says the affidavit of complaint was sworn to in General Sessions Court by investigator Larry Lockmiller on Sept. 25, 2009, but "his whereabouts have remained unknown until shortly before the finding of this indictment."  

Last year, Stinnett was suspended by order of the Tennessee Supreme Court for a period of two years, with six months served as an active suspension and the remaining 18 months to be served on probation.

The active suspension started last Sept. 1.

Attorney Stinnett was ordered to engage a practice monitor during his probationary period and to contact the Tennessee Lawyer’s Assistance Program. He was required to pay restitution to two former clients and to pay the board’s costs of the disciplinary proceeding.

The Board of Professional Responsibility filed a Petition for Discipline on Sept. 7, 2010, containing three complaints of disciplinary misconduct alleging that attorney Stinnett failed to inform clients that he was temporarily suspended. He continued to practice law and accept fees during his suspension. Additionally, he continued to practice law after being temporarily suspended by appearing before the Juvenile Court of Hamilton County. Attorney Stinnett did not refund legal fees despite being unable to perform any work on the cases, it was stated.


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