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VOL. 37 | NO. 15 | Friday, April 12, 2013
Lawyer sued over handing of estate
NASHVILLE (AP) - A lawsuit against a former court-appointed conservator claims he misappropriated at least $450,000 from the estate of an elderly woman.
Nashville lawyer John E. Clemmons was appointed to handle the financial affairs of Nannie P. Malone of Nashville, who has since died.
Davidson County Probate Judge David "Randy" Kennedy appointed Clemmons to oversee Malone's estate on Jan. 29, 2008. Malone died Oct. 25, 2012.
According to The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/170cXwo ), Malone's daughter, Teresa A. Lyle, filed suit Friday, claiming breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, intentional misappropriation and repeatedly failing to account for the handling of the estate.
The 16-page civil complaint alleges Clemmons sold off at auction hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of Malone's property but had failed to properly account for where the funds went.
A telephone listing for John E. Clemmons in Nashville immediately went to a busy signal on Tuesday.
The lawsuit comes after the Tennessee Supreme Court suspended Clemmons' law license, citing him for misappropriation in a Rutherford County case.
The high court suspended Clemmons' license indefinitely, writing his continued practice of law "poses a threat of substantial harm to the public." The court cited him for misappropriation.
The court ordered Clemmons to not accept any new clients past April 2 and to stop representing existing clients by May 2.
In the Rutherford County case, Chancery Court officials found Clemmons had, without court approval, paid himself $50,400 from the estate of a nursing home resident whose estate he was to safeguard. An additional $16,500 could not be found.
The lawsuit in Nashville said Clemmons also failed to account for numerous personal items belonging to Malone, including household furnishings, antique cars, a pontoon boat, unspecified livestoc k, and jewelry and collectibles. The filing also said Malone had $322,750.60 in three separate bank accounts.
The lawsuit alleges two lots Malone owned were sold at a tax sale because Clemmons didn't pay the property taxes on them.
Court officials in Davidson County disclosed last week that Kennedy had removed Clemmons from the four active cases in which he was serving as conservator or attorney. A judge in Murfreesboro had already removed him from the Rutherford County case.