Six months added to former city solicitor's suspension

ALBANY, Ga. — The Georgia Supreme Court has accepted a petition from a local attorney, adding six months to his 18-month suspension from practicing law.

Tony C. Jones is a former city of Albany solicitor and Municipal Court judge for the city of Edison. He has offered to the Georgia Supreme Court a petition for voluntary discipline, a petition that was accepted Monday morning. The justices also doled out another six-month suspension to be tacked onto his 18-month suspension.

In October, the justices determined that Jones should be suspended after they determined that he abandoned a client who hired him to pursue a civil claim against the client’s ex-wife.

In their opinion Monday, the justices state that Jones had stipulated that he violated four rules of judicial conduct stemming from three different instances.

In the first incident, Jones admits that he took a $2,500 fee from a client but failed to communicate with his client, all but abandoning the client to the client's detriment. In the second matter, he failed to file a notice of appeal or transcript order form as directed by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The third matter involves a fee dispute with a client over negotiations of a divorce decree and land settlement.

"By this conduct, Jones admits that he violated Rules 1.3, 1.4, 3.2, and 3.5(c) of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct found in Bar Rule 4-102 (d) and acknowledges that probable cause was found to believe he violated Rule 1.16," the justices write. "In mitigation he offers that he should have limited his practice to those areas of law with which he was most familiar, such as criminal cases. He acknowledges that his problems were avoidable and self-inflicted, he should have maintained an adequate staff, and his actions have harmed himself, his family, the Bar, and the profession."

The State Bar had originally recommended that Jones be disbarred for what Supreme Court justices referred to as the “wholesale abandonment” of a client who hired Jones to represent him in a civil matter. Instead, the justices suspended Jones from the practice of law for 18 months. He also must repay any money he accepted from his client. In Monday's ruling, the justices accepted Jones' recommendation that he be suspended for an additional six months from practicing law.

The State Bar agreed with Jones' requested punishment, the opinion Monday stated.

In the October opinion by the Georgia Supreme Court, Jones admitted that he was hired by a client in 2007 to file a civil contempt suit against the client’s ex-wife. Jones filed the suit, but following that action he failed to communicate with his client, didn’t return phone calls or emails to the client, and even failed to the tell the client that the ex-wife had filed a counter-suit against him.

The opinion further states that when a hearing was set on the matter in October 2008, Jones not only didn’t tell the client about the hearing, but failed to show up to represent the client’s interests. Subsequently, the court ruled in the ex-wife’s favor.

The client didn’t become aware of the judgment against him, according to the opinion, until after his wages were already being garnished.


FryarTuk 2 years, 10 months ago

This guy is a judge. The supreme court backed their own. It must be a character disease endemic to judging. You just seep like pus to the lowest level of professional integrity. Our society has little to brag on in the third pillar of the republic. The GA bar ass. says get rid of him and the justices say we like him. The rascal ought to have to pay his client's obligations. No surprise he works for a local government agency as well.


Sister_Ruby 2 years, 10 months ago

It's a good thing that Obama got another year of so-called "unemployment insurance" in the fiscal cliff deal so this guy's gonna be OK. He might learn to like getting paid to do nothing. Lots of folks in Albany do already.


Royalstar 2 years, 10 months ago

Not surprised. Should have been disbarred. A drunk driver hit one of my insured's and totaled her car. I called Jones several times to make him aware and to ask him to make sure the drunk driver had to make restitution to the insured. He never returned my call so I gave his number to the insured and she called him several times and he never returned her call. When someone in his capacity won't even return a phone call, that is pretty sorry. Who does he think pays his salary?


danielle1 2 years, 10 months ago

I wish somebody would tell me what i need to do to get the money i gave him to represent a family member. Maybe i should file a complaint bc he has basically taken my money and i have recieved nothing in return. Tony Jones, if you read this please call the clients you accepted money from before you have another complaint filed.


KaosinAlbany 2 years, 10 months ago

Contact the Georgia Bar Association and file the complaint. They do the investigation.


chinaberry25 2 years, 10 months ago

Filed a complaint with Georgia state boards. He probably should be disbarred, but that does not mean he has to give up being a judge. A judge is like a preacher, they should be held to higher standards. I know that their contract must state a moral turpitude clause, but that never seems to get enforced.


RedEric 2 years, 10 months ago

This sounds like theft to me. You know a criminal offense where people go before a judge who determines their fate or do laws only apply to the little people. This guy needs to be tied to a tree at the lake and use the alligator call. Nothing clarifies the mind like imminent death.


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