Former TV judge Joe Brown unable to practice law in Tennessee

Judge Joe Brown (Photo Credit: Shelby County Sheriff’s Office mugshot)
Judge Joe Brown (Photo credit: Shelby County Sheriff’s Office)

Sad news has come out of Tennessee as famous jurist and former TV judge Joe Brown has been suspended from practicing law in the state of Tennessee.

The move comes after a medical crisis for Brown during an investigation that could see him censured or lose his law license after his arrest and courtroom outburst during a juvenile trial in 2014.

During that trial Brown was defending his client regarding a child support issue when he found out that his case was mistakenly not on the docket. He engaged in a tirade that disrupted the court and angered the presiding judge. The magistrate judge found Brown in contempt and sentenced him to five days in the Memphis Criminal Justice Center. At the time, Brown was running for Shelby County District Attorney in a heated contest that he eventually lost.  When asked about being sentenced for contempt, Brown responded, “You might have asked Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Reverend [Joseph] Lowery, Stokely Carmichael. You might ask those people that just got arrested in Ferguson what it’s all about. Sometimes, you have to do what you have to do and stand up for justice.”

He turned himself in to the Shelby County Sheriff’s office to serve his sentence in protective custody for his outburst.

But that was not the end of his legal issues, because of his outburst Brown had a petition for discipline pending against him from October 2015. Now it has been revealed that he is suffering from type 2 diabetes and is unable to properly defend himself in the legal matter. Because of this, the state Supreme Court placed him on disability inactive status. This is a temporary status that means a lawyer is temporarily disabled and incapacitated from practicing law. Brown can resume practice if he proves to the court that the disability has been removed.

“Judge Brown is suffering from what hopefully will prove to be a temporary disability as a result of complications following from type II diabetes and the effects of prescribed medication for the condition combined with hypertension and stress. Judge Brown urges others to preserve their health by having regular check-ups, following their doctor’s instructions, dieting properly and exercising regularly. He also wishes to thank his friends and fans for their expressions of concern and support,” read a statement issued by Brown’s production company, Celebritunity.

If his medical condition stabilizes, the petition for discipline will then be continued once he is able to defend himself. Brown’s popular courtroom reality show ran for 15 seasons until it was canceled in 2012.

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