sunEthics 

Covering legal ethics, judicial ethics, bar admissions in Florida, Tennessee, and nationally.  See our Subject Index to past postings.

                                                                    TIMOTHY P. CHINARIS  (email tim@sunethics.com)

          Tim Chinaris is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law at Belmont University College of Law in Nashville, Tennessee.  Professor Chinaris has operational responsibility for the academic program and teaches courses in legal ethics, insurance law, and other subjects.  Before joining the Belmont faculty, he held similar positions at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama, Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia, and Florida Coastal School of Law in  Jacksonville, Florida.  He 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 20,000 phone calls per year from Florida lawyers.

         Active in professional organizations, Professor Chinaris is immediate past chair of the Florida Bar Committee on Professionalism and the Alabama State Bar Non-Resident Members Section.  He is a member of the Florida Bar Professional Ethics Committee, the Florida Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, the Florida Bar Committee on Professionalism, 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 Alabama State Bar UPL Committee, and the Alabama State Bar Non-Resident Members Section Executive Council.

          Additionally, Professor Chinaris previously served as Commissioner on the Alabama Ethics Commission, chair of the Florida Bar Professional Ethics Committee, past president of the Florida Bar Out of State Division, member and chair of the Alabama State Bar Disciplinary Rules and Enforcement Committee, and chair of the Alabama State Bar Non-Resident Members Section, and member of the Alabama State Bar UPL Committee.  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 and is on the National Advisory Board of the Theodore Roosevelt Association.

          Professor Chinaris advises lawyers and others on professional responsibility, bar admission, and law library matters.  He serves as an expert witness on legal ethics matters in federal and state courts and in bar matters, and 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-authors the comprehensive ethics treatise Florida Legal Malpractice and Attorney Ethics.

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