According to 67 year-old Virginia House "all she and her husband wanted were a Will and Irrevocable Trust setup for to leave their small estate" to family.
Now she has filed an Ethics Complaint against John Stevens, Huntingdon attorney and State Senate candidate, claiming the couple received no service from Stevens after he took their $500.00 fee.
House said the recommendation to go to John Stevens came from the financial counselor she and her husband David were using to plan their estate.
John Stevens' web site advertises his "law practice focuses on elder law and estate planning. He works with each client to develop a plan that honors their wishes, legally safeguards assets, and preserves family wealth for future generations."
According to Mrs. House, the initial consultation went well, but after not hearing from Stevens for 30 days she called his office. She says Stevens asked her and her husband to bring various documents to his office which she says they did. Another 30 days and according to Mrs House, Stevens once again was not in contact so again she called. House says this time Stevens asked her and her husband again to come to his office but this time it was to tell them he would not be able to help the couple with their estate planning needs.
Mrs House says in spite of requests Stevens never explained why he could not provide service and did not return the money the couple had paid him.
A call to Stevens office for a comment on the allegation was not returned. However, a statement was released from the attorney's office, who is also a candidate for State Senate, 24th District.
To a question regarding the ethics complaint, by Virginia House and her husband to the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility, Stevens had the following statement;
“My opponent continues an Obama-Pelosi Chicago-style gutter campaign. I'm not going to respond to his latest charges, except to say this- BPR complaints are confidential. All of them. Any complaint that is circulating publicly is a desperate, late and underhanded attempt to influence this election. The issue in this election is jobs. We have got to get our economy moving and help West Tennessee families get back to work. The Obama-Pelosi agenda has put our economy in a ditch, and all my opponent has to offer is negative ads. On day one, I'll go to work for the people of West Tennessee and they will always be my first priority.”
All the documents pertaining to the House's allegations and the statements regarding the complaint were provided directly to WNWS by the House family.
In response to charges from Stevens that the allegations are related to Brad Thompson's campaign for the same 24th Senate seat Stevens is seeking, House said in her complaint that she believes the treatment her family received from John Stevens was unethical and “he deserves the toughest disciplinary actions applicable under the law”.
House's complaint makes no mention of politics, campaigning, or any candidate.
In her complaint, House said she was moved by news stories relating the events of Mrs Ruth Karas.
The statement submitted to the Board of Ethics states;
“Today I am filing a formal ethical complaint against John D. Stevens, attorney of Huntingdon, Tennessee, with the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility.” It continues, “After reading news accounts relating to case of John Stevens' tearing up the will and testament of Mrs Ruth Karas while she was in a coma, I decided to file this complaint asking for an investigation.”
Brad Thompson's campaign office was contacted. Thompson's campaign manager had the following statement;
“John Stevens is a lawyer and this matter is related to his law practice, in which he claims a specialty in elder law. The matter concerning John Stevens as has been described to me is very serious and appears to indicate a pattern of how he treats seniors in his very own community. We are greatly saddened that John Stevens wants to make his own personal problems into a campaign issue when they are not. I would encourage him to take care of his personal matters before lashing out at Brad Thompson and his supporters.”
Tennessee Supreme Court Rules prevent any comment from the Board of Professional Responsibility regarding any alleged complaints against any attorney.
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