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Butler disciplinary hearing put off

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By Damon Lawrence

Next week’s Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility disciplinary hearing for Harriman attorney Donice Butler has been postponed.

Rita Webb, the executive secretary for the board, said a conference call will be held on Monday to set a new hearing date.

The board, which oversees the conduct of attorneys, has accused Butler of violating rules of professional conduct.

The violation allegedly touch on the areas of competence, scope of representation, termination of representation, diligence, communication, candor to a tribunal and prejudice to the administration of justice.

Butler has denied all wrongdoing and said she still expects to be exonerated.

“Hearing or no hearing, I feel good about it,” she said.

Butler tried to resolve the matter without having to go through a hearing, but she said the negotiations with the board didn’t work out.

“They asked me to do something that, in my view, doesn’t make sense,” she said.

Butler said the board wanted her to go through a lawyers assistance program.  

“If they were paying attention to the details of my case, they would know that I had already sought the assistance in my time of need and none was given,” she said. “So why should I go through it now?”

Butler is a breast cancer survivor.

She said she was prescribed oxycodone four years ago after undergoing a double mastectomy.

“I no longer take the oxycodone that I took for cancer, so there’s no reason for me to go through the program,” she said.

Butler said she only took the drug in the way it was prescribed.

“I challenge anyone to go through what I went through and not take it,” she said. “I needed it at the time, and that’s why it was prescribed for me.”  

Butler said she was able to quit the oxycodone “cold turkey.”

“My next step is to subpoena a couple of physicians that will testify that I’m being monitored by them for anti-cancer treatment, that I’m regularly drug tested,” she said. “There’s no reason for me to go through such a program.”