Attorney in Vanderbilt rape case suspended

Friday November 21st, 2014

John Edward Herbison, a defense attorney in the Vanderbilt rape case, has been suspended from practicing law for 18 months, according to The Tennessean

The first 60 days will be an active suspension and Herbison will be on probation for the remaining 16 months, meaning he could return to the case after the active suspension is over. 

Herbison represents former Vanderbilt football player Brandon Vandenburg, whose trial is set to begin in fewer than 60 days on Jan. 12.

• James Franklin says he lied about seeing Vanderbilt rape case video

Vandenburg is one of four former Commodores players who have been charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery after allegedly raping an unconscious female student on June 23, 2013. They were later dismissed by the school and have pleaded not guilty.

The trial has already been delayed once after an attorney had surgery on his torn shoulder and required recovery during the week the trial was originally scheduled. 

Herbison's trial partner, Fletcher Long, told The Tennessean he is prepared to move ahead with the case without Herbison, who will rejoin it when he can. 

INSIDE READ: New climate alters how schools handle sexual assault cases

The complaints that led to Herbison's suspension include failure to communicate with a client and failure to file a notice of appeal with the Court of Criminal Appeals. None of the complaints were related to the Vanderbilt rape case.

- Molly Geary

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