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Nashville Law Firm Scandal
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A prestigious law firm in Nashville is dealing with a scandalous lawsuit. The law firm, Willis & Knight, claims that former managing partner, Tyree B. Harris IV, stole over $200,000 from the firm and used the money to cut the cost of his child support that he was ordered to pay each month. The firm was already suffering because of the deaths of both law firm founders and this scandal is only continuing to bring the law firm down.

Willis & Knight is a well-known law firm in Nashville because they have taken on some high-profile cases over the years. The law firm has dealt with major desegregation cases, law violations, and federal investigation cases. Robert L. Delaney, a representative for Willis & Knight during the lawsuit, is deeply saddened for the firm. He says, “For a law firm with that kind of history and heritage to lose its driving forces and now be engaged in this kind of lawsuit makes me sad.” The lawsuit shows that the firm has been unable to pay rent since 2010 and owes over $50,000.

  
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A retired lawyer and best friend of the late Al Knight, John Wagster, is the one who started the lawsuit. He says that he chose to do this for his best friend who recently passed away. Al Knight retired in 2006 due to his health condition. Wagster says, “This issue in the lawsuit is whether he (Harris) improperly took money from the law firm that was not his.” He also says, “The position in the lawsuit is that he did, and that he did it pursuant to a plan of his to cheat the mother of his child out of child support.”

While Harris faces these allegations, he continues to deny that any of this is true and plans to sue partners at the firm. Harris says he was shocked to learn about the allegations made and is in disbelief over the lawsuit. When asked about the payment he received, Harris says, “This money was distributed exactly in a manner to which the partners agreed. No different at all.”

In the lawsuit, there are claims that Harris received a fee, which consisted of around $335,000. Harris claims that he put the money into the trust account of the law firm instead of the usual operating account. The three partners at the law firm had apparently made an agreement that they would split the money between them. In late January, Harris wrote out a check from the trust account, which was written out to himself for the approximate amount of $225,000. Money is not supposed to come directly out of the trust account of a law firm.
Delaney says, “The allegation is that the money was withdrawn in the fashion it was withdrawn not only to avoid paying legitimate expenses of the law firm, but also to create a circumstance where the income was not immediately recognizable to the court in the child support matter Mr. Harris was involved in.”

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