TIMOTHY P. CHINARIS (email tchinaris@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 previously 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, and sales. 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 law in Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, and Texas, and is admitted to the Bar of the United States Supreme Court.
Professor Chinaris has a bachelors 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 masters degree in Library and Information Studies from Florida State University. After graduating from law school he clerked for the Texas Court of Appeals. He was an associate with what is now the law firm of Godwin Bowman PC in Dallas before accepting a position with the Florida Bar.
Professor Chinaris served as 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 is chair of the General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm Section of the Tennessee Bar Association. He has chaired the Florida Bar Professional Ethics Committee, the Florida Bar Committee on Professionalism, the Florida Bar Out of State Division, the Alabama State Bar Alabama State Bar Disciplinary Rules and Enforcement Committee, and the Alabama State Bar Non-Resident Members Section. Professor Chinaris is a member of the Florida Bar Professional Ethics Committee, the Florida Bar Out of State Division Executive Council, the Tennessee Supreme Court 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.
Professor Chinaris has served as a public official in two states: in Alabama, as Commissioner on the State of Alabama Ethics Commission; and in Florida, as a Trustee for the Jacksonville Public Library Board. He also has served on bar unauthorized practice of law committees in Alabama, Florida, and Virginia. Professor Chinaris is a Trustee and Treasurer of the Florida Supreme Court Historical Society, a Director of the World War I Historical Association, and a member of the National Advisory Board of the Theodore Roosevelt Association.
Professor Chinaris advises lawyers and others on legal ethics, 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 as part of its Hornbook series in late 2020 or early 2021.
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