Bar panel drops Scruggs' complaint against Farese

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

ASHLAND – A Mississippi Bar ethics complaint against Ashland attorney Tony Farese has been dismissed.
News of the decision came Monday when Farese announced the Committee on Professional Responsibility’s action via email.
“I am gratified by the Bar’s decision,” he wrote.
Farese said the decision on a complaint by his former client, Zach Scruggs of Oxford, finds “no clear and convincing evidence” that he violated professional conduct rules.
The Bar letter uses the same phrase.
A Bar rule prevents a lawyer from representing a client, if that representation “will be directly adverse to another client,” unless each client has “given knowing and informed consent” to do so.
In 2010, Scruggs told the Bar that Farese unethically represented him during 2007 at the same time he was attorney for then-Booneville lawyer Joey Langston in two judicial bribery cases.
Scruggs insisted Farese used his Scruggs representation to leverage a plea deal for Langston.
Farese denied the accusations.
The Bar committee met March 10 and considered the case, along with others. The dismissal cannot be appealed.
Monday, Scruggs said he was disappointed with the decision.
“I based my complaint on an ethics opinion directly addressing the issues I raised written by a former Bar president and one of Mississippi’s top experts in legal ethics,” he said. “I did my duty by reporting Mr. Farese’s conduct to the Bar.”