NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — A Kingsport lawyer who was indicted on felony charges has been banned from practicing law in Tennessee.
The Tennessee Supreme Court permanently disbarred attorney Jason Ray McLellan effective Wednesday. According to the court’s Board of Professional Responsibility, McLellan consented to his disbarment because he could not successfully defend the accusations made against him.
A Sullivan County grand jury indicted McLellan in December on felony charges of financial exploitation of an elderly or vulnerable person and theft of property, according to court documents. The indictments accuse him of financially exploiting a 78-year-old woman by “making numerous monetary transactions to himself totaling $341,193.23” from an estate without the effective consent of the estate’s representative.
Both charges are Class A felonies.
Court documents show that McLellan was arraigned and pleaded not guilty in January.
He appeared in Judge Davis’ courtroom Thursday, July 7, where he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 16 years in prison.
The Board of Professional Responsibility outlined multiple accusations against McLellan in an announcement Wednesday.
“In the pending disciplinary matters, Mr. McLellan misappropriated estate funds in the representation of a client and attempted to conceal the misappropriation, made misrepresentations to a court, engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, and misrepresentation, failed to abide by a client’s decision regarding the dismissal of a pending lawsuit, failed to reasonably consult with a client about the means by which the client’s objectives were to be accomplished, and failed to obtain the client’s informed consent before taking action. He also failed to keep client information confidential, failed to withdraw after a conflict of interest developed, allowed a third person to direct his professional judgement, failed to comply with his ethical requirements upon discharge from representation, and failed to comply with the requirements of a suspended attorney. Finally he failed to comply with court orders, and failed to respond to disciplinary complaints.”Board of Professional Responsibility of the Tennessee Supreme Court
In addition to being disbarred, McLellan was ordered to reimburse the Tennessee Lawyers Fund for Client Protection for any money paid to claimants “for losses caused by one or more of Mr. McLellan’s ethical violations.”