VOL. 9 | NO. 26 | Saturday, June 25, 2016
Joe Brown Placed on Disability Inactive Status as an Attorney
Attorney and former Shelby County Criminal Court Judge Joe Brown – perhaps best known as the host of the syndicated “Judge Joe Brown” show – has been placed on disability inactive status by the Tennessee Supreme Court and barred from practicing law in Tennessee.
The Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility petitioned the court to declare Brown incapacitated. It is unclear whether Brown then asked to be transferred to disability inactive status or the court reached its own conclusion that such status was necessary.
The Tennessee Supreme Court rule governing such proceedings says the board can petition when it believes an attorney is “incapacitated from continuing the practice of law by reason of mental infirmity or illness or because of addiction to drugs or intoxicants.”
Another court rule makes any information about the investigation of the complaints “confidential and privileged.”
Before the “Judge Joe Brown” show began in the late 1990s, Brown was a defense attorney in Memphis and was elected Shelby County Criminal Court judge. After the show ended, Brown ran as the Democratic nominee for Shelby County District Attorney General in 2014, losing to incumbent Republican Amy Weirich.
Brown, who is also an attorney in California, could return to active status in Tennessee by petitioning the state Supreme Court for reinstatement. He would have to show evidence that the disability no longer exists and he is fit to resume practicing law.