Veteran Jackson Attorney Disbarred - - Jackson, MS

Jackson 08/21/08

Veteran Jackson Attorney Disbarred

By Jon Kalahar

Long time Jackson attorney James McIntyre has been disbarred.

Probably best know for representing Edgar Ray Killen in the 2005 trial, McIntyre's 45-year career as a lawyer may be over.

"I don't know what I'm going to do," said James McIntyre, Jackson attorney.

You can't blame James McIntyre for being a little out of sorts.  After over four decades of working in the only job he ever wanted, he's now out of work.

"It's hard to go out this way," said McIntyre.

This opinion and ruling from a three person tribunal convened by the Mississippi Bar finds McIntyre guilty of commingling his personal and business funds with those of his clients, saying:

 "Mr. McIntyre's client and/or third party funds were not safe from being appropriated by Mr. McIntyre and others for personal or business purposes."

They even quote a state Supreme court ruling:

"The moment the lawyer succumbs to a temptation to appropriate for his own use any of his client's money entrusted to his safekeeping is the moment he shows his unfitness to be a practicing lawyer."

"I am extremely embarrassed.  I have a lot of sorrow about my conduct, have a lot of remorse," said McIntyre.

This past May, McIntyre's collection of files, newspaper clippings and artifacts from the 1967 trial of Neshoba County Sheriff Lawrence Rainey as well as the Edgar Ray Killen trial were donated to the Department of Archives and History to be displayed in the new civil rights museum.

"Of course three fourths of the people don't even remember it.  They weren't even born at the time, and bringing up things that happened 40 and 50 and 60 years ago, I thought those wounds had been healed," said McIntyre.

McIntyre says no clients lost any money, in fact, several signed affidavits saying so.  He even got a CPA to testify on his behalf.  Now McIntyre has to decide whether he wants to appeal the bar's ruling.

The ruling cites previous disciplinary action by the bar against McIntyre and the fact the commingling went on for a four year period as reasons for his disbarment.

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