TIMOTHY P. CHINARIS (email tim@ChinarisLaw.com)
Tim Chinaris is Associate Dean for Information Services and Professor of Law at Belmont University College of Law in Nashville, Tennessee. Professor Chinaris has also served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Belmont, where he had operational responsibility for the law school's academic program. He teaches courses in legal ethics, insurance law, torts, sales, and other subjects. Before joining the Belmont faculty he held similar positions at Faulkner University (Jones School of Law) in Montgomery, Alabama, Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia, and Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, Florida. Professor Chinaris is licensed to practice in Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, and Texas, and is admitted to the Bar of the United States Supreme Court.
Professor Chinaris has a bachelor's degree cum laude in Business Administration from Florida State University, earned his J.D. With Honors from the University of Texas School of Law, and received his master's degree in Library and Information Studies from Florida State University. After graduating from law school he clerked for the Texas Court of Appeals. Prior to accepting a position with the Florida Bar, he was an associate with what is now the law firm of Godwin Bowman & Martinez in Dallas.
Professor Chinaris was Ethics Director of the Florida Bar from 1989-1997. His responsibilities included managing the Bar's popular "ethics hotline" service, which answers more than 25,000 phone calls per year from Florida lawyers.
Active in professional organizations, Professor Chinaris has chaired the Florida Bar Professional Ethics Committee, the Florida Bar Committee on Professionalism, the Alabama State Bar Alabama State Bar Disciplinary Rules and Enforcement Committee, and the Alabama State Bar Non-Resident Members Section. He is chair-elect of the General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm Section of the Tennessee Bar Association. Professor Chinaris is a member of the Florida Bar Professional Ethics Committee, the Florida Bar Committee on Professionalism, the Tennessee Supreme Court's Tennessee Law Course Committee, the Tennessee Bar Association Ethics and Professional Responsibility Committee, the Executive Council of the Tennessee Bar Association General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm Section, the Tennessee Bar Association Attorney Well-Being Committee, the Alabama State Bar UPL Committee, the Alabama State Bar Lawyer Referral Board of Trustees Committee, and the Alabama State Bar Non-Resident Members Section Executive Council.
Additionally, Professor Chinaris previously served as Commissioner on the Alabama Ethics Commission and President of the Florida Bar Out of State Division. He has served on state bar unauthorized practice of law committees in Alabama, Florida, and Virginia. He is a Trustee of the Florida Supreme Court Historical Society, a Director of the World War I Historical Association, a member of the National Advisory Board of the Theodore Roosevelt Association. He previously served on the Jacksonville, Florida Public Library Board of Trustees.
Professor Chinaris advises lawyers and others on professional responsibility, bar admission, and law library matters. He serves as an expert witness in federal and state courts, bar proceedings, and arbitrations. He was an expert witness in the first case decided under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
Professor Chinaris writes on legal ethics and speaks to local, state, and national organizations on a wide range of professional responsibility issues. He co-authored the comprehensive ethics treatise Florida Legal Malpractice and Attorney Ethics. His forthcoming book, Florida Legal Ethics, will be published by West Academic Publishing in 2020.
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