sunEthics 

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

                                                                    TIMOTHY P. CHINARIS  (email tchinaris@ChinarisLaw.com or tchinaris@SmithTozian.com)

          Tim Chinaris is Professor Emeritus of Law with Belmont University College of Law in Nashville, Tennessee, where he taught courses in legal ethics, insurance law, torts, and other subjects.  Professor Chinaris also held administrative posts at Belmont, serving as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and as Associate Dean for Information Services.  Before joining Belmont he held similar faculty and administrative 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 has chaired bar ethics committees in three states.  He currently chairs the Tennessee Bar Association Ethics and Professional Responsibility Committee.  He previously chaired the Florida Bar Professional Ethics Committee, the Florida Bar Committee on Professionalism, the Florida Bar Out of State Division, the General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm Section of the Tennessee Bar Association, the 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 Committee on Professionalism, the Florida Bar Student Education and Admissions to the Bar Committee, the Florida Bar Out of State Division Executive Council, the Tennessee Supreme Court Tennessee Law Course Committee, the Executive Council of the Tennessee Bar Association General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm Section, and the Alabama State Bar UPL Committee.

          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 served on bar unauthorized practice of law committees in Alabama, Florida, and Virginia.  Professor Chinaris is President of the Florida Supreme Court Historical Society, a member of the Theodore Roosevelt Association National Advisory Board, and a former Director of the World War I Historical 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 for the prevailing party in the first case decided under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.  Effective July 1, 2023, Professor Chinaris joined the law firm of Smith, Tozian, Daniel & Davis, P.A. as "of counsel."

          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.

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