Knoxville lawyer jailed for 'egregious' behavior

A Knoxville lawyer is behind bars in Union County after he prepared to represent an alleged child rapist at trial although his license to practice law had been suspended more than two months ago.

Eighth Judicial District Criminal Court Judge Shayne Sexton, whose jurisdiction includes Union County, has jailed attorney Nathan Anderson for three days for "egregious" behavior that represented a "potential endangerment to the public and the justice system," according to an order Sexton filed in the case.

According to Union County court records and information from the state Board of Professional Responsibility, Anderson's law license was suspended Sept. 21 for failing to provide documentation of required continuing legal education. On Tuesday, alleged child rapist Daniel Haynes was set to stand trial in Union County Criminal Court. Anderson was his attorney.

The court file shows that Anderson had filed few motions in a case that should have spurred several. He arrived to court Tuesday 15 minutes late.

With a jury picked but not yet sworn, Sexton learned that Anderson's license had been suspended, which means he cannot and should not be practicing law.

If jurors had been sworn in, prosecutors might have faced the risk of not being able to try Haynes again because of double jeopardy concerns.

Because jurors had not yet been sworn, Haynes can still be tried. His case has now been delayed.

Anderson initially insisted he had corrected his license woes, but board records showed otherwise. Sexton also learned, according to court records, that Anderson had sent to Haynes' arraignment a legal novice who was not yet approved to practice in a criminal court without being accompanied by a licensed attorney.

Sexton ordered Anderson jailed. He also is requiring Anderson to pay Union County "all fees and expenses associated with the calling and impaneling of the jury," the order stated. He also must pay "all cost associated with this contempt action."

Sexton will file a complaint with the board, which licenses and disciplines attorneys, as he is required to do by law, the judge confirmed today.

Anderson is set to be freed from jail tomorrow.

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Comments » 14

kayr writes:

justicegirl, what are you talking about? does this have anything to do with the article? i think you're being a nut.

Lawdawg writes:

I agree. BTW, who is Long?

kayr writes:

justice, i just don't understand what your rant has to do with this article. are you a party or a relation to a party named in the article? or was lori long your lawyer in a completely different case and you are posting your comments about her here because anderson happens to be mentioned? i don't know her. i do know that nothing you have said is germane to this article.

gonnasue writes:

For any who wonder, justice girl's name dropping has given her away. She is a long exposed and avid conspiracy theorist with quite the imagination. From what I've gathered (called facts justicegirl) there is no "anderson and long", they apparently split due to Long's "issues" mentioned by justicegirl.

As for Anderson. Not sure about the charges here, but the suspension listed says for CLE credits. That means he missed a class people, not that he's a bad lawyer in any way. Let's be careful about condemning people's professions without some perspective as to the violation.

And yes paone, I see very specific language, right above your username, that says "You agree not to post comments that are OFF TOPIC, defamatory, obscene, abusive...etc." Reading is a great skill for newspaper subscribers...

kayr writes:

Paone and justicegirl, asinine for wanting to know what the heck that post had to do with the article? i was trying to understand her better. the comment would have better read "this has nothing to do with the article but here's my personal experience with anderson..."

instead, justicegirl just starts off with serious allegations about some folks who aren't even mentioned in the article. that a bit nutty to me.

if the comment is tangential to rather than directly about the article, you should state so.

and yes, her statement is off topic. the article is about anderson's issues, not justicegirl's case. if your english teacher said "sum up this article", would you say it was about anything that justicegirl has mentioned?

lovelife07 writes:

Anderson was not on “Justicegirl’s” case. It was Long. Long did not work at Anderson Law Firm when she was the attorney for this case. Long is no longer at Anderson's Firm for reasons that do not need to be mentioned. This issue that “Justicegirl” has with Long has nothing to do with Anderson or this case. She even stated that “nathan anderson became PARTNERS with lori long right after our case” and “She took our case when she allegedly worked at Held law firm”. As you can see by all of her writings in both articles that have been posted, this has nothing to do with Anderson.

sutherngirl79 writes:

Okay people... look at the facts written above. His license was not suspended because of some corrupt behaivor. It was suspended because some paperwork did not get filed correctly. Something that has happened to all of us at one time or another. Justicegirl, don't you think it is inappropriate to call people names on this news site? What do you think he is going to be exposed for; having so much paperwork to do (he is after all a lawyer) that there is a possibility that documentation did not get where it was suppose to go? He is human, not a "pathedic criminal" like you earlier suggested.

kayr writes:

lovelife07, thanks for the info but heavens, i'm itching to know more about this lori long.

anyway... justicegirl, with your over zealous name, take the cape off and fight "crimes" with less randomness.

knox_me_up writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

gonnasue writes:

Knox,

No one should have a problem with the prior appearances because once the paperwork is fixed the license will be marked as never suspended. It never should have been, thus, once reinstated, it should be retro active.

I agree Anderson is slow and has oft poor communication, but that is drastically different from being a horrible attorney. let's everyone back a little down from the hyper-drama, can we?

eddiehaskel writes:

gonnasue,

if you want to chastise for drama, maybe you should refer your targets to the other blog going on entitled "attorney jailed...". for those interested, GS is quite animated in her defense of the lawyer (and that's ok) but also her attack on the judge and the media (which was uncalled-for).

everyone should go take a look.

blueducks writes:

He's still at it. Mr. Anderson's license is currently under suspension and he's representing clients all over the place. When will the board of professional responsiblity step in?

Mr. Anderson is a disgrace to his profession, as a person sworn to uphold the law he is unable to meet the rules of his own game? And the early comment suggesting that since Mr. Anderson's unprofessionalism isn't a brutal crime that somehow that makes it "not so bad" that Mr. Anderson clearly beleives he is above the rules that apply to everyone else in his line of work.

blueducks writes:

Thank you for the suggestion justicegirl. We've since had our legal counsel report Mr. Anderson's misconduct to the board to protect our legal standing should he somehow be able to do again what he almost got away with in Unicoi County. We did not want to jeapordize our own legal action with Mr. Anderson's client supposedly "unknowingly" being represented by an unlicensed individual. Evidently the BOPR was already on the case with complaints from three judges and, as of March 24, at least eight attorneys. Unfortunately, many potential clients just don't know either how to check an attorney's licesnse status or that you should. Even if you're not the side who has hired an unlicensed person, it could be grounds for appeal if the client can prove he or she didn't know they were being misrepresented. Seems like there should be some kind of board rule that a sactioned attorney must notify his current client roster in writing of the board's action...or provide the board with a list of current clients so the board can notify the those clients. That would be a nice article to read...how every-day people can protect themselves from the Nathan Andersons of the world!

teritajmp#611050 writes:

in response to blueducks:

Thank you for the suggestion justicegirl. We've since had our legal counsel report Mr. Anderson's misconduct to the board to protect our legal standing should he somehow be able to do again what he almost got away with in Unicoi County. We did not want to jeapordize our own legal action with Mr. Anderson's client supposedly "unknowingly" being represented by an unlicensed individual. Evidently the BOPR was already on the case with complaints from three judges and, as of March 24, at least eight attorneys. Unfortunately, many potential clients just don't know either how to check an attorney's licesnse status or that you should. Even if you're not the side who has hired an unlicensed person, it could be grounds for appeal if the client can prove he or she didn't know they were being misrepresented. Seems like there should be some kind of board rule that a sactioned attorney must notify his current client roster in writing of the board's action...or provide the board with a list of current clients so the board can notify the those clients. That would be a nice article to read...how every-day people can protect themselves from the Nathan Andersons of the world!

Someone in my family recently paid this man for a divorce and now they cannot find him. This man has not returned any of their calls and has kept their money. Wonder what his status is as of today, is he an attorney or not?

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