Legal Ethics

Were Divorce Lawyer's Reasons for Seeking Recusal of 3 Judges in One Case Frivolous?

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Cyndi Cheatham says she was simply seeking to see that her client, who is married to a man in a well-known Franklin County, Tenn., family, got a fair divorce trial.

The client, Marla Byrum says she couldn’t find a lawyer in Franklin County willing to represent her, and Cheatham says she sought the recusal of three judges because the first is close to her client’s husband’s family, the second is a friend of Byrum’s husband’s lawyer and the third was appointed by the second, reports WSMV.

However, Cheatham is now facing a potential public censure for a legal ethics violation. The Board of Professional Responsibility contends in a complaint that she was “unable to state any reasonable basis for the accusations against members of the judiciary” and “should take this as a lesson learned and refrain from seeking to recuse a judge on frivolous grounds.”

A panel of judges must now decide whether the complaint is correct and the censure recommended by the board is merited.

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