Fields, Accused "Snake" in Anti-Herenton Plot, Censured by State Supreme Court Board 

Lawyer Richard Fields, accused by Mayor Willie Herenton of masterminding a blackmail plot against him last year, has been censured by the state Supreme Court's Board of Professional Responsibility on two counts unrelated to the conspiracy charge, including one for "conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice."

In an action that so far has gone almost unnoticed, Fields' censure this spring was formalized by the Board in an April 25 statement.

The statement noted that Fields had not requested a hearing on its original censure notice against him, dated March 17, and that therefore the censure finding was made final.

The Board ’s statement said in part:

"The censure was based on two complaints. In the first complaint, Mr. Fields informed the Court that he would dismiss a case but failed to do so as promised. This resulted in a show cause Order. In the same matter, he failed to inform his client that he was dismissing the case and made misrepresentations to his client about the disposition. Finally, he neglected to provide the file to his client until the disciplinary complaint was filed.

"In the second complaint, Mr. Fields neglected a case and failed to respond to his client in a regular and timely manner. Further, he failed to withdraw at the client's request and failed to provide the file to the client until the disciplinary complaint was filed."

At least one of the cases was that of a Memphis schoolteacher, Florida Garmon, who had engaged Fields to assist her in litigation against the Memphis City Schools. Garmon declined to elaborate on the particulars of the case "because I am still involved in the lawsuit ..."

Upholding the complaints, the Board ruled against Fields in the areas of "adequate attorney-client communication” and “conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice." The censure, said the Board, should be regarded as "a rebuke and warning" to Fields but did not prohibit his right to practice law.

In June of last year, Fields, a former political associate of Herenton, was accused by the mayor of attempting to arrange a sexual liaison between himself and cocktail waitress Gwen Smith. The point, said Herenton, citing statements made to him by Smith, was to create grounds for blackmail so as to force the mayor not to run for reelection.

Joe Baugh, a special prosecutor who investigated Herenton's complaint, later issued a statement corroborating the "veracity" of Smith but said "Although a request may have been made of Ms. Smith to gain information concerning embarrassing material about you, it was apparent from the interviews that she never intended to even attempt such action."

Accordingly, Baugh did not recommend submitting the case to a grand jury for prosecution. Herenton objected at the time and did so again in a June 6 letter to Baugh which states "...that justice will be served in the end by a thorough investigation and examination of this matter with a grand jury."

Herenton's letter also upbraids a justice system "...that routinely turns a blind eye to blatant criminal conduct if it has its origin in the white community."

click to enlarge Richard Fields - JB
  • jb
  • Richard Fields

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Reinventing the Wheel

      Democrats start with the basics as they strive to recreate an official party for Shelby County.
    • GOP’s Lee Puts His Hat In

      The 2018 gubernatorial field expands, with more likely on the way.

Blogs

Hungry Memphis

On the Scene at Barbecue Fest

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Twin Peaks and American Gods Bring Surrealism To TV

News Blog

Beale Street Bucks Gets Heated Debate

News Blog

Garner Recovery Fund Surpasses Goal in One Day

From My Seat

Lord Stanley Comes to Tennessee

News Blog

'Sun Records' Pitched to Amazon, CW

News Blog

Shelby Co. Sites Added to Historic Register

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Music Video Monday: Snowglobe

Politics Beat Blog

Luttrell Praises Press, Hints at Picking Successor

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Jackson Baker

Readers also liked…

  • Filling the Space

    For all the in-fighting, we’re all looking for the same thing, and sometimes we can realize it.
    • Jul 14, 2016
  • Was Bush on Guard or AWOL?

    The Flyer’s groundbreaking 2004 story of ANG pilot George W. Bush’s failure to report to an assigned duty station in 1972 is the basis of events portrayed in the new movie Truth.
    • Nov 5, 2015
  • Donald Trump's No Pussy: Jackson Baker in New Hampshire

    Win or lose, the New York billionaire has expanded and democratized the language of politics.
    • Feb 9, 2016
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation