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VOL. 38 | NO. 47 | Friday, November 21, 2014

Defense attorney in Vanderbilt rape case suspended

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NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee Supreme Court has suspended one of the defense attorneys in the Vanderbilt rape case.

Media report John Herbison was suspended Thursday after three complaints alleging misconduct.

Herbison is part of the defense team representing Brandon Vandenburg, who is one of four former Vanderbilt football players charged with raping a woman in a campus dorm.

The Supreme Court's Board of Professional Responsibility, which regulates lawyers in Tennessee, said in a statement that Herbison's suspension will begin on Nov. 30. He'll be on active suspension for 60 days, and then be on probation for the remainder of the time.

Vandenburg's trial is set to begin Jan. 12, meaning the trial is scheduled to begin a week before Herbison can practice law again.

Herbison's partner, Fletcher Long, said he's prepared to move forward with the trial and have Herbison rejoin the case when he can.

"What we have coming up is trial, and that's what I do," Long said.

According to the Board of Professional Responsibility, Herbison failed to communicate with two clients and didn't file an appeal for a third.

In addition to the suspension, Herbison is required to pay about $3,900 in fines.

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