published Thursday, September 27th, 2012

State Supreme Court upholds suspension of Chattanooga lawyer's license

The Tennessee Supreme Court has unanimously upheld the 45-day suspension of a Chattanooga attorney’s law license.

Fred T. Hanzelik was disciplined by the Board of Professional Responsibility after he attempted to bill one client twice for the same services and repeatedly failed to properly inform and assist another client, according to a news release.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court agreed that Hanzelik violated ethical rules regarding the collection of fees, communication with clients, expediting legislation and cooperating with investigations.

In one case, the release said, a client paid Hanzelik for his services in a property dispute. The client later died and Hanzelik filed a claim against the estate for payment on the same services. The claim was not withdrawn until the estate gave Hanzelik evidence that he had already been paid in full, the release said.

In another case, a physician represented by Hanzelik was held in contempt of court because he was not told about mandatory court appearances. The doctor also wanted to file a wrongful termination suit against former employers, but Hanzelik did not file it for more than a year, nor did he tell the physician that he never planned on filing it, the release said.

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