The Tennessee Supreme Court suspended Martin Howie's license to practice law, but he hopes to have his license restored within the next few weeks.
The Dyersburg lawyer reportedly failed to respond to a disciplinary complaint of ethical misconduct, according to a press release from the court's Board of Professional Responsibility.
Howie said he had completed a divorce complaint but failed to file it in a timely manner. That prompted the complaint of ethical misconduct.
Howie explained that he has experienced complications with his diabetes and had missed some time from work. By the time he received the board's letter about the complaint, Howie said it was already too late to halt the suspension.
A temporary suspension went into effect Sept. 16. Howie was not allowed to accept new clients but could continue representing existing clients for a month. That month ended Friday, and Howie cannot represent any clients until the suspension is dissolved or modified.
On Friday afternoon, Howie said he had sent a letter explaining the situation and showing the board that he had completed the divorce complaint. He said he hoped Monday or Tuesday to file a petition to dissolve the suspension. He was told that a hearing would be scheduled within two or three weeks.
Howie, who is working out of his home these days, also received an administrative suspension on Aug. 31 for failing to get his required continuing legal education hours. That suspension ended on Oct. 7, according to Sandy Garrett of the Board of Professional Responsibility. During that administrative suspension, Garrett said Howie was not allowed to practice law.