Posted on March 25, 2011

Board Suspends Law License of Baumgartner

Jamie Satterfield, Knoxville News Sentinel, March 25, 2011

He stepped down from his judicial post in disgrace while keeping his pension intact, but now former Knox County Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner could lose his livelihood.


When Baumgartner admitted buying pills from felon Christopher Gibson, he agreed to give up his judgeship. {snip}

Because he is no longer a judge, the Court of the Judiciary, which polices judges, lost any say in the matter. But Baumgartner remained a licensed lawyer and could return to private practice. Now, however, the Board of Professional Responsibility could seek to strip him of his right to practice law.

With his guilty plea, Baumgartner now admits popping hundreds of opiate-based drugs while presiding over such high-profile cases as the torture slayings of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom, accused black widow Raynella Dossett-Leath and convicted mall shooter William Norman Johnson. The fallout to those cases and others remains unknown, although there will be a status conference today in the torture slaying cases.