Judges recuse themselves from suspended attorney's case - WSMV News 4

Sumner County judges recuse themselves from suspended attorney's case

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Attorney Andy Allman (WSMV file photo) Attorney Andy Allman (WSMV file photo)

A popular local attorney was recently suspended for allegedly misusing his clients' money.

On Thursday, some of those clients showed up in court. Allman was not present. Instead, his attorney, Thomas Boyers, attended the hearing on his behalf.

Lola Kincaid traveled all the way from Florida to learn that the case would have to be postponed after all the judges in the Sumner County courthouse recused themselves from the case. Many say they have presided over Allman's cases.

Like many other clients, Kincaid claims Allman took her retainer fee, and dropped communication for months. It all started in 2012 for Kincaid. She needed to fight a wrongful termination case. She reached out to Allman after conducting research online.

"I saw some reviews which were good reviews," Kincaid said. "I saw he had a television commercial and everything seemed really positive so I contacted him and even referred one of my good friends to him."

Kincaid said Allman requested a $4,500 retainer fee up front before he could begin work on her case. 

"I ended up paying the $4,500. Actually, it came out of my social security earnings. It's something I really needed," said Kincaid, who is on disability and battling autoimmune diseases. 

"He filed a complaint in court and basically had two meetings and he disappeared," she said. Kincaid said it she called and emailed Allman for months and never heard back. She said she even sent a certified letter in the mail, but still didn't get a response. She says she ended up going on Google looking for information on her case. "In March of 2016, I realized that there was a summary judgment a summary judgment. It had been issued in March, so that means the case had been thrown out of court and he didn't inform me about it." Frustrated and worried she would miss the deadline for an appeal Kincaid said she emailed Allman stating she did not want him to represent her due to sub-par communication and other shortcomings.

She said he responded almost immediately, but she is now filing an appeal on her own.

"I hope his suspension will lead to disbarment because he is a harm to the community. The community can't trust someone that's mishandling their funds," Kincaid said.

Kincaid wasn't alone. Tony Flores, another client of Allman's, was also told he would have to wait for a new judge to hear the case -- a judge that doesn't know Allman.

"I contacted Mr. Allman for contract work," Flores said. "He was supposed to draft several contracts for my company. I met with him, told him exactly what I needed. He agreed to it, took my retainer and then failed to deliver on his promise."

Flores said he paid a $3,500 retainer. 

"I told him that I had about four to six weeks that I needed these contracts," Flores said. "When the time came, I was not able to get these contracts and could barely even get in contact with Mr. Allman himself."

Flores said he had to use older contracts he had drafted on his own. Weeks later he said he was told Allman had appointed an associate to handle the contract work. Flores filed a complaint with the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility.

"I have a letter from the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility from Mr. Allman saying he has instructed his bookkeeper to refund my retainer in full," Flores said. "That was in January of 2016, and I've tried several times to reach Mr. Allman's office to receive the retainer-- to this day absolutely nothing," he added, shaking his head.

There was another former clients outside the courthouse claiming the same things, holding stacks of documents and case files.

For now, the courts need to find a new judge that has not worked with Allman or presided over his cases. The next court date in this case is scheduled for Dec. 15, but this could change.

Allman's license was temporarily suspended in September. He is not allowed to practice law or work with any clients.

Channel 4 talked to Allman shortly before air time. His attorney Thomas Boyers V said he would not address each individual case pending against Allman, but said "Mr. Allman denies Kincaid's allegations completely. He plans to present those allegations and defeat them in court."

Boyers said Allman does not believe Flores' case has any merit.

"His services were delivered to him and only after that he complained," Boyers said.

"A lot of this has been stirred up by one person contacting everyone," Boyers said, explaining that he believes a disgruntled ex-client is calling other clients to speak out against Allman.

Channel 4 has received dozens of phone calls and emails from disgruntled clients of Allman's, who all say he took their money and didn't deliver on the work.

The TN Board of Professional responsibility temporarily suspended Allman's license in September, outlining poor communication, misuse of client's funds, writing bad checks and other money mismanagement. In one case the board claims Allman won a settlement for a client, but didn't pay the client. When a $33,000 check was sent to the board, it declined due to insufficient funds. 

There are four other cases pending against Allman in Sumner County Civil Court.

Inquiries and complaints about attorneys or judges can be made on the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility's website.

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