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Board of Judicial Conduct issues reprimand to suspended Hawkins judge

Jeff Bobo • Updated Jan 24, 2018 at 3:19 PM

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct (BJC) issued a letter of reprimand to suspended Hawkins County Juvenile Judge Daniel Boyd last week on the heels of his law license suspension taking affect Jan. 10.

Boyd’s 120-day law license suspension and three years of probation were for admitted "dishonesty" in his private law practice.

While the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility polices all attorneys licensed to practice in the state, the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct (BJC) polices judges.

On Jan. 17, BJC presiding judge Chris Craft issued Boyd a letter of reprimand for violating two rules:

1. Compliance with law.

A judge shall comply with the law, including the Code of Judicial Conduct.

2. Promoting confidence in the judiciary.

A judge shall act at all time in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.

On Sept. 29, Boyd agreed to plead guilty to ethical misconduct violations related to diligence, truthfulness in statements to others, and misconduct in regard to admitted “dishonesty” in his private law practice.

In one matter, Boyd represented a widow suffering from dementia concerning her husband’s estate. Over approximately five years, Boyd made false statements to the daughters of his client leading them to believe that he was taking actions in furtherance of his representation of their mother that he was not.

In another matter, Boyd represented an employee in a worker’s compensation claim. Other than filing a request for assistance, he took no action over a period of approximately five years to further her claim, and he made false statements to his client over that period leading her to believe that he was taking actions that he was not.

Boyd, who has been juvenile judge since 2011, can resume serving as juvenile judge when the 120-day suspension is complete. Only the Tennessee General Assembly can permanently remove a sitting judge through the impeachment process.

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