ABA YLD Meeting Features Tennessee Lawyers

Tennessee lawyers are sharing their insights and expertise with young lawyers from across the country at this weekend’s meeting of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division in Nashville. The capstone of the three-day meeting is a luncheon on Saturday with Tennessee Supreme Court Justice William C. Koch, Vanderbilt Law School Professor Brian T. Fitzpatrick, Tennessee Bar Association Executive Director Allan F. Ramsaur and Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jane Branstetter Stranch speaking on this year’s Law Day theme “No Courts, No Justice, No Freedom.” Other lawyers presenting seminars during the meeting include Gail Vaughn Ashworth, George Barrett, Lisa Cole, Mark Chalos, Matthew Curley, Margaret M. Huff, Anne C. Martin, Bruce McMullen, Barbara Moss, Lucian T. Pera, E. Todd Presnell, Eli J. Richardson, Lisa Rivera, Matt Sweeney, Kendrick Vaughn and Heather Howell Wright.

Today's Opinions

Click on the category of your choice to view summaries of today’s opinions from that court, or other body. A link at the end of each case summary will let you download the full opinion in PDF format.

00 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Workers Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
03 - TN Court of Appeals
12 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR
00 - TN Supreme Court - Disciplinary Orders









You can obtain full-text versions of the opinions two ways. We recommend that you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. 1) Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This should give you the option to download the original document. If not, you may need to right-click on the URL to get the option to save the file to your computer.


TN Court of Appeals

PNC MULTIFAMILY CAPITAL INSTITUTIONAL FUND XXVI LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, ET AL. v. BLUFF CITY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, ET AL.

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Robert L. Crawford, Joseph B. Reafsnyder, and Charles L. Perry , Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellants, PNC Multifamily Capital Institutional Fund XXVI Limited Partnership, PNC Multifamily Capital Institutional Fund XXX Limited Partnership, PNC Multifamily Capital Institutional Fund XXI Limited Partnership, Columbia Housing SLP Corporation, April Woods Apartments Limited Partnership, Eagles Landing Apartments Limited Partnership, and Harmony Woods Apartments Limited Partnership.

Lucian T. Pera, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, Fearnley and Califf, PLLC.

Robert A. Cox and Ronna D. Kinsella, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, Vanecia Kimbrow, Tate and Kimbrow PLLC, and Community Equity & Title, INC.

Bryan Matthew Meredith, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, April Mabry and Johnnie Briggs.

Robert L.J. Spence, Jr., Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, Jesse Briggs and Project Love Incorporated.

Judge: STAFFORD

This is an appeal from the grant of a Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 12.02(6) motion to dismiss in favor of Appellees, an attorney, her professional limited liability company (“PLLC”), a title company, and a law firm. As to the law firm, the trial court found that the causes of action, if any, sounded in legal malpractice and were barred by the applicable one-year statute of limitations found at Tennessee Code Annotated Section 28-3- 104(a)(2). As to the attorney, the PLLC, and the title company, the trial court found that any causes of action alleged against these Appellees sounded in tort and were claims for unliquidated damages; thus the court held that it lacked jurisdiction under Tennessee Code Annotated Section 16-11-102. After reviewing the Complaint, we conclude that: (1) the trial court did not apply the discovery rule in reaching its conclusion that Appellants’ claims that sound in legal malpractice are barred by the statute of limitations; (2) applying the discovery rule, there is nothing in the pleadings from which to infer that the Appellants’ knowledge of breach or misappropriation on the part of the general partner also means that Appellants knew, or should have known, about any wrongdoing on the part of the law firm, the PLLC, and the attorney; (3) therefore, any claims sounding in legal malpractice, against the law firm, the attorney, and her PLLC, survive the motion to dismiss; however, because there was no attorney-client relationship between the Appellants and the title company, claims for legal malpractice cannot lie against the title company; (4) many of the claims against the law firm, the PLLC, and the title company that sound in tort are not sufficiently pled under Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 8.01 or, where they sound in fraud, are not pled with particularity as required by Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 9.02; these claims were properly dismissed with the following exceptions: (a) the Complaint does sufficiently plead a cause of action for aiding and abetting the breach of a fiduciary duty against the title company, the law firm, the attorney, and her PLLC; to the extent that the alleged aiding and abetting was the result of a plan or design by the Appellees, conspiracy may also lie for that tort; (b) the Complaint does sufficiently plead causes of action for misappropriation or conversion and conspiracy against the Appellee attorney, individually, but not against the law firm, the title company, or the PLLC (due to lack of particularity in the pleadings as to these Appellees); (5) because the amounts of the alleged misappropriations are known, the damages sought are not all unliquidated; therefore, the chancery court has jurisdiction. Reversed in part, affirmed in part, and remanded.


WILSON REYNOLDS V. LEE ROY ROBERSON, JR.

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

John M. Jackson and Barton C. Williams, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lee Roy Roberson, Jr.

Chris Ralls, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Wilson Reynolds.

Judge: MCCLARTY

This appeal involves a contract dispute over the purchase of more than 100 acres of rustic property adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Wilson Reynolds offered to purchase the property from Lee Roy Roberson, Jr. for 3 million dollars. The parties formed a contract evidencing their agreement. Following the closing date, Wilson Reynolds filed suit, alleging breach of contract. The trial court ruled that Lee Roy Roberson, Jr. breached the contract and awarded Wilson Reynolds $600,000 in damages plus interest, attorney fees, and other costs. Lee Roy Roberson, Jr. appeals. We affirm.


BRANDI NICOLE SOSEBEE v. JOHN CHARLES SOSEBEE, JR.

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

George R. Maifair, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, John Charles Sosebee, Jr.

Laura Rule, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Brandi Nicole Sosebee.

Judge: SWINEY

In March of 2011, John Charles Sosebee, Jr. (“Husband”) was found guilty of 69 counts of criminal contempt for violating an order of protection in favor of Brandi Nicole Sosebee (“Wife”). Husband was sentenced to 10 days in jail for each violation, for a total of 690 days. Husband appeals raising several issues including whether he received proper notice that Wife was seeking criminal contempt. We find and hold that Husband did not receive proper notice that criminal contempt was being pursued and should not have been convicted and sentenced accordingly. We, however, hold that the record on appeal supports a finding that Husband violated the order of protection on 69 occasions. We, therefore, modify the judgment to reflect that Husband committed civil contempt, and remand to the Trial Court with direction to set a purge amount and proceed accordingly.


TN Court of Criminal Appeals

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. BRIAN MONTREL BRAWNER, RANDY LEON MILLER, and SAM EDWARD STEVENSON

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Roger A. Staton, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Brian Montrel Brawner; Joseph T. Howell, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Randy Leon Miller; and Mike Mosier, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Sam Edward Stevenson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; James G. (Jerry) Woodall, District Attorney General; and Jody S. Pickens, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The Madison County Grand Jury indicted the defendants, Brian Montrel Brawner, Randy Leon Miller, and Sam Edward Stevenson, with attempted first degree murder, aggravated assault, especially aggravated kidnapping, and aggravated arson for having assaulted, kidnapped, and set fire to the victim, Freddy Jones. At the conclusion of their joint trial, a Madison County jury convicted Defendants Brawner and Stevenson of aggravated assault, especially aggravated kidnapping, and facilitation of attempted first degree murder. The jury convicted Defendant Miller of aggravated assault, aggravated arson, especially aggravated kidnapping, and attempted first degree murder. The trial court merged Defendant Brawner’s and Defendant Stevenson’s aggravated assault convictions into their convictions for facilitation of attempted first degree murder and sentenced them to effective terms of thirty and fifty-three years, respectively. The trial court merged Defendant Miller’s aggravated assault conviction into his conviction for attempted first degree murder and sentenced him to an effective term of forty years in the Department of Correction. Defendant Miller raises the following four issues on appeal: (1) whether the evidence was sufficient to sustain his convictions for aggravated arson and especially aggravated kidnapping; (2) whether his dual convictions for attempted first degree murder and aggravated arson violate principles of double jeopardy; (3) whether the State should have been required to make an election of offenses for the aggravated assault charges; and (4) whether the trial court erred by ordering consecutive sentencing. Defendant Stevenson raises essentially two issues on appeal: (1) whether the evidence was sufficient to sustain his convictions for facilitation of attempted first degree murder and especially aggravated kidnapping; and (2) whether the State should have been required to elect the offenses for his aggravated assault charges. Defendant Brawner challenges the sufficiency of the evidence in support of his convictions for facilitation of attempted first degree murder and especially aggravated kidnapping. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CARLOS CANNON

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

George Morton Googe, District Public Defender; and Susan D. Korsnes, Assistant Public Defender, Tennessee, for the appellant, Carlos Cannon.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Senior Counsel; James G. (Jerry) Woodall, District Attorney General; and Rolf Hazlehurst, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Carlos Cannon, was convicted by a Madison County Circuit Court jury of aggravated robbery, a Class B felony, and was sentenced to ten years in the Department of Correction. On appeal, he challenges the sufficiency of the convicting evidence. After review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


CHARLES WAYNE DALTON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

James R. Frazier, Lawrenceburg, Tennessee (on appeal) and Craig S. Moore, Fayetteville, Tennessee (at trial) for the appellant, Charles Wayne Dalton.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clark B. Thornton, Assistant Attorney General; Charles Crawford, District Attorney General; Ann L. Filer and Hollynn Eubanks, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: PAGE

Petitioner appeals the Circuit Court for Lincoln County’s denial of post-conviction relief. He was convicted of forty-three counts, thirteen counts by a jury trial and thirty counts by guilty pleas. On the date of his scheduled sentencing hearing, petitioner agreed to sentences on the thirteen counts for which the jury convicted him and pled guilty to the remaining thirty counts. He accepted an effective sentence of twenty-five years at 100% for all forty-three counts. On appeal, petitioner alleges that trial counsel made numerous mistakes in preparing for and conducting the trial and did not adequately explain the consequences of his guilty pleas. He further alleges that the post-conviction court abused its discretion by refusing to grant his motion to remove post-conviction counsel. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JEREMIAH DAWSON

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

R. Todd Mosley (on appeal) and Ruchee Patel (at trial), Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jeremiah Dawson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Marlinee Iverson and Michael McCusker, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

A Shelby County Criminal Court Jury convicted the appellant, Jeremiah Dawson, of aggravated robbery, a Class B felony; carjacking, a Class B felony; and employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, a Class C felony. After a sentencing hearing, the appellant received an effective sentence of fourteen years in confinement. On appeal, the appellant contends that (1) his dual convictions for carjacking and employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony violate double jeopardy and (2) the evidence is insufficient to support the convictions. Based upon the oral arguments, the record, and the parties’ briefs, we conclude that dual convictions for carjacking by use of force or intimidation and employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony do not violate double jeopardy and that the evidence is sufficient to support the convictions. Nevertheless, we conclude that the appellant’s convictions for carjacking and employing a firearm must be reversed because the trial court improperly instructed the jury. Therefore, the case is remanded to the trial court for a new trial as to those offenses. The appellant’s conviction for aggravated robbery is affirmed.


JOHN HOWARD v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Barry W. Kuhn (on appeal) and Donna Armstard (at hearing), Assistant Public Defenders, for the appellant, John Howard.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Doug Carriker, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The petitioner, John Howard, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, alleging that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel at trial and on appeal. Discerning no error, we affirm.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. KENNETH NATHANIEL JONES

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Ardena J. Garth, District Public Defender, and Richard Kenneth Mabee and William Hall, Assistant District Public Defenders, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kenneth Nathaniel Jones.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, III, District Attorney General; and Blake Murchison, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

The Defendant, Kenneth Nathaniel Jones, pled guilty to facilitation of aggravated robbery, and the trial court sentenced him to four years, to be served on probation. The Defendant’s probation officer filed a probation violation warrant, alleging that the Defendant had violated the terms of his probation. After a hearing, the trial court revoked the Defendant’s probation and ordered that he serve eleven months and twenty-nine days in confinement and then return to probation for the remainder of his sentence. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred when it revoked his probation because his violations were “technical” in nature. Further, he asserts the trial court erred when it imposed jail time because this was his first petition of revocation filed against him. After reviewing the record, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.


STATE OF TENNESSEE V. RANDALL KELVIN MADISON

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Joy S. Kimbrough, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Randall Kelvin Madison.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson III, District Attorney General; Sharon Reddick and Jennifer McMillen, Assistant District Attorneys General; for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: BIVINS

A jury convicted Randall Kelvin Madison (“the Defendant”) of twenty-two counts of rape, three counts of aggravated statutory rape, and one count of forgery. The trial court subsequently merged several of the offenses so as to leave in place twelve counts of rape and one count of forgery. After a sentencing hearing, the trial court ordered the Defendant to serve an effective sentence of thirty-five years. In this appeal, the Defendant challenges (1) the trial court’s ruling under Tennessee Rule of Evidence 404(b) that evidence of his uncharged bad acts was admissible; (2) the State’s election of offenses; (3) the sufficiency of the evidence; and (4) his sentence. We hold that (1) the Defendant is not entitled to relief from the trial court’s Rule 404(b) ruling; (2) the Defendant has not demonstrated that the State’s election of offenses was fatally deficient; and (3) the evidence is sufficient to support his convictions. We also affirm the trial court’s sentencing decisions. Accordingly, we affirm the Defendant’s convictions and sentences.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ALAN BRYANT MINCHEW

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Venus Niner, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Alan Bryant Minchew.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; Kim R. Helper, District Attorney General; and Kelly Lawrence, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Alan Bryant Minchew, pleaded guilty to first offense driving under the influence of an intoxicant (“DUI”) with a blood alcohol level of .08% or more and reserved as a certified question the propriety of the vehicle stop leading to his arrest. Determining that the evidence does not preponderate against the trial court’s findings in its order denying the motion to suppress, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


DALE M. ROGERS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Dale M. Rogers, Pro Se, Pikeville, Tennessee.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; and Mike Flynn, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

In 2002, the Defendant, Dale M. Rogers, pled guilty to two counts of rape of a child, and the trial court sentenced him to fifteen years, to be served at 100%, for each conviction and ordered that the sentences run concurrently. The trial court later amended the judgements to reflect that the Petitioner was sentenced to community supervision for life after the expiration of his sentence. In 2011, the Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief, alleging that he did not have notice that his sentences were amended until 2011 and asking the court to toll the applicable statute of limitations. He further alleged that the trial court’s amending of his judgments, adding the community supervision for life provision, rendered his guilty pleas unknowingly and involuntarily entered. The post-conviction court summarily dismissed the Petitioner’s post-conviction petition based upon its finding that the petition was untimely filed. On appeal, the Petitioner contends the post-conviction court erred when it dismissed his petition. The State agrees with the Petitioner that the post-conviction court erred and asks this Court to remand the case for an evidentiary hearing to determine when the Petitioner knew that his judgments had been amended. We agree with the parties, and we reverse the post-conviction court’s order and remand the case to the trial court for appointment of counsel and an evidentiary hearing.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MICHAEL SMALL

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Lance R. Chism (on appeal), and Larry Copeland (at trial), Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael Small.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Paul Hagerman, Rachel Newton and Chris West, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

A Shelby County jury convicted the defendant, Michael Small, of two counts of aggravated robbery, Class B felonies, in case number 01-00913 and two counts of aggravated robbery, Class B felonies, in case number 01-00914. In each case, the trial court merged the convictions and sentenced the defendant as a Range II, multiple offender to twenty years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. The trial court ordered the defendant to serve his sentences in 01-00913 and 01-00914 concurrently with each other and consecutively to the defendant’s sentence in 01-00926. On appeal, the defendant argues that the trial court erred by (1) finding that the defendant’s right to a speedy trial had not been violated; (2) not striking the jury venire after a prospective juror’s outburst; and (3) not declaring a mistrial after the jury indicated it could not reach a unanimous verdict. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


JAMES WILLIAM SWAFFORD, JR. V. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Joseph F. Harrison, Blountville, Tennessee, for the appellant, James William Swafford, Jr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General; Barry P. Staubus, District Attorney General; Joseph Eugene Perrin, Assistant District Attorney General; for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: BIVINS

James William Swafford, Jr. (“the Petitioner”) filed for post-conviction relief from his multiple convictions for drug and other offenses which resulted in an effective sentence of thirty-three years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. He alleges that he received ineffective assistance of counsel in conjunction with his guilty plea and that his plea was constitutionally infirm. After an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court denied relief, and this appeal followed. Upon our careful review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CHRISTOPHER EARL WATTS

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Emma Rae Tennent (on appeal), J. Michael Engle (at trial), and Aisha McWeay (at trial), Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Christopher Earl Watts.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lindsy Paduch Stempel, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Brian Holmgren, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

A Davidson County Criminal Court Jury convicted the appellant, Christopher Earl Watts, of four counts of aggravated child abuse, two counts of aggravated child neglect, and one count of child neglect. After a sentencing hearing, the appellant received an effective sentence of seventy-five years to be served at one hundred percent. On appeal, the appellant contends that (1) the trial court erred by denying his motion to sever the offenses; (2) the trial court erred by instructing the jury that the appellant’s co-defendant was an accomplice; (3) the evidence is insufficient to support the convictions; (4) the trial court erred by failing to merge the appellant’s aggravated child neglect convictions; and (5) his effective sentence is excessive. The State concedes that the trial court erred by failing to merge the appellant’s aggravated child neglect convictions. We conclude that the trial court erred by failing to grant the appellant’s motion to sever but that the error was harmless. We also conclude that the evidence is insufficient to support one of the appellant’s convictions for aggravated child abuse, one of his convictions for aggravated child neglect, and his conviction for child neglect. The appellant’s remaining convictions and effective seventy-five-year sentence are affirmed.


LMU Appeal Will Be Heard in June

The American Bar Association notified Lincoln Memorial University's John J. Duncan Jr. School of Law two weeks ago that it would refer the school's appeal back to the organization's top accrediting body, according to court documents filed Thursday. The association said it would send certain issues back to the Council of the Section of the Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, which will consider the panel's written notice, including the opportunity for an appearance by representatives of the law school, at its June 8 meeting. In the meantime, the ABA has asked U.S. District Judge Tom Varlan to continue to stay the lawsuit Lincoln Memorial filed against the ABA until June 15, when lawyers would file another update on the appeal process. The suit alleges antitrust and due process violations. The school opted also to appeal the decision through the ABA. The News Sentinel has more


KBA Celebrates Law Day with Luncheon, Awards

The Knoxville Bar Association celebrated Law Day today with its annual luncheon, featuring a panel discussion led by University of Tennessee College of Law School Dean Douglas A. Blaze. The panel explored issues that impact the legal profession, the courts and the American justice system. Also at the event, the Young Lawyers Division recognized the Hon. Thomas W. Phillips for "his contribution to the advancement and protection of law through liberty" and awarded winners of the poster and essay contests, Liana Hu of Farragut Middle School and Gloria Yu  of Hardin Valley Academy, respectively.


Facebook 'Like' Doesn't Equal Speech

While public employees are allowed to speak as citizens on matters of public concern, U.S. District Judge Raymond Jackson ruled that clicking Facebook's “like” button did not amount to expressive speech. In other words, it’s not the same as actually writing out a message and posting it on the site. The meaning of the word "like" in this context played a part in this Virginia case involving six people who say Sheriff B.J. Roberts fired them for supporting an opponent in his 2009 re-election bid, which he won. The workers who had "liked" the sheriff's opponent, sued, saying their First Amendment rights were violated. Jackson dismissed the workers' claims, granting summary judgment to Roberts. The First Amendment Center has this AP story


Juvenile Court Garden Helps with Behavior

A unique program started by Bradley County Juvenile Judge Daniel Swafford is using a garden to help improve student behavior. Kids from county schools who are either in detention or in a day treatment center program -- part of the Bradley County school system to provide mentoring about behavior -- have an opportunity to spend time weeding and helping out in the garden. Officer Ricky Tallent said about 90 percent of the day treatment center kids go back to their regular classrooms with fewer or diminished behavior issues. The Times Free Press has this story


It's a Family Thing: Brother and Sister Graduate, Pass Bar, Practice with Dad

Jacob W. Fendley and Elizabeth Fendley Hahn made history this spring by being the first siblings to simultaneously graduate from the Nashville School of Law. Following graduation, both passed the bar exam and now they practice in Clarksville with their father, Mart G. Fendley. The Leaf-Chronicle has a picture


Dewey Gives it Up, May Close by May 15

The frantic efforts of Dewey & LeBoeuf's leaders to save the struggling firm appear to have reached a dead end, with sources inside and outside the firm familiar with its operations telling the The Am Law Daily Thursday that Dewey is poised to close by May 15 and possibly sooner.


6th Circuit Affirms Convictions of Lawyers in Fen-Phen Settlements

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has affirmed the convictions of two disbarred Kentucky lawyers for a scheme to bilk clients of settlement money in the "fen-phen" diet drug litigation. The case, which alleged that the drug caused heart valve problems, settled for about $200 million, plus an extra $450,000 to settle new claims. The  lawyers' retainer agreements with their individual clients called for each client's lawyer to collect about one-third of what the client recovered. According to the Sixth Circuit ruling, the clients ultimately received a total of about $73.5 million — less than 37 percent of the total settlement. Meanwhile, these lawyers and several others got $106.5 million. The National Law Journal has the story


Group Says Incoming Law Students Face $200k+ Debt

Watchdog organization Law School Transparency has recalculated estimates of the debt that law students stand to incur after discovering that a number of schools had low-balled the cost-of-living figures that they provided to U.S. News & World Report. On average, schools underreported those expenses by $5,000, Law School Transparency's Executive Director Kyle McEntee says. For the class of 2015 — that is, students who will enroll in the fall — the new figure is $210,796 (compared to the initial estimate of $195,265). The National Law Journal reports


Lawyers Sought for Document Review

A national law firm is seeking attorneys to start a long-term document review project in Nashville. The assignment is expected to last for at least two months. Recent law school graduates are encouraged to apply. Interested candidates should send a resume in Word format to Jeff Butler at jbutler@beaconhillstaffing.com. Beacon Hill Staffing Group provides executive search, temporary staffing, contract consulting and temp/contract-to-hire resources. Its legal division focuses on customized staffing solutions for the legal marketplace. Learn more about the Nashville opportunity on the company website


Workers' Comp Lawyer Needed

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development is seeking a staff attorney to defend second injury fund cases in Western Tennessee. The position could be located in either Jackson or Memphis. Interested candidates should send a resume and salary history to Legal Director, 220 French Landing Dr., B3, Nashville 37243 or fax to (615) 741-4169. Learn more on Joblink


Memorial for Professor Gabor is May 24

The Cecil C. Humphreys Law School will honor Professor Francis Gabor’s many contributions to the law school and the greater legal community at a memorial service on May 24 at 5 p.m. at the school. All are invited. Gabor, a Holocaust survivor, received his first law degree in Budapest, an LL.M. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, and his law degree from Tulane. He joined the law school faculty in 1976 and died in March of this year. A fund has been established in his memory at the law school. Make checks payable to University of Memphis Foundation and mail to Department 238, U of M Foundation, P.O. Box 1000, Memphis, TN 38148-0001, with designation to the Professor Francis Gabor Fund.


NSL Honors Five at 19th Recognition Dinner

At its 19th annual Recognition Dinner on June 1, Nashville School of Law will celebrate the contributions of Aubrey B. Harwell Jr., George A. Dean, Bill Stinnett, Bill Wilkinson, and the late Dean James Gilbert Lackey Jr. (1915-1987). During the gala at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel, Harwell will be presented the 2012 Community Service Award, Dean will be named the 2012 Distinguished Faculty Member, and Stinnett and Wilkinson will be jointly named 2012 Recognition Dinner Honorees. Lackey will be named the first “Legend of Nashville School of Law.”  Learn more from NSL


 
 

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About this publication: Today's News is a compilation of digests of news reports of interest to Tennessee lawyers compiled by TBA staff, links to digested press releases, and occasional stories about the TBA and other activities written by the TBA staff or members. Statements or opinions herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Tennessee Bar Association, its officers, board or staff.


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