ABA YLD Presents Legal Clinic, Awards

The ABA YLD Spring Meeting wrapped up this past weekend with a legal clinic for veterans, a presentation by the TBA YLD, and an award ceremony honoring two Tennessee lawyers. Attorneys from across the country in Nashville for the meeting helped serve 20 veterans during Project Salute. Later, Memphis lawyer and YLD Diversity Committee Chair Ahsaki Baptist spoke to attendees about the group’s Diversity Leadership Institute, which was named one of four finalists for the ABA’s Next Steps Challenge Grant. The conference wrapped up Saturday with a panel discussion featuring Tennessee Supreme Court Justice William C. Koch, Vanderbilt Law School Professor Brian T. Fitzpatrick and Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jane Branstetter Stranch speaking about recent funding cuts and attacks on the judicary. TBA Executive Director Allan F. Ramsaur moderated the discussion.

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.

01 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Workers Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
03 - TN Court of Appeals
01 - 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 Supreme Court


Court: TN Supreme Court

TN Court of Appeals


Court: TN Court of Appeals


David E. Caywood and Joshua A. Wallis, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jeffery Wayne Goodman.

J. Steven Anderson, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Teresa Ann Barrett Goodman.


This divorce case deals primarily with child support. The parties entered into a consent order on the amount of child support to be paid. Father subsequently lost his job and sought modification of his obligation. The divorce referee modified the support based on Father’s alleged earning capacity rather than on his actual income. Father appealed the ruling of the referee, but did not file a transcript of the hearing with the trial court. The trial court entered a final decree of divorce, finding all property to be marital, affirming the ruling of the referee, setting permanent child support based on Father’s alleged earning capacity, and awarding attorney fees to Mother. We reverse the judgment setting child support based on Father’s earning capacity and remand for a determination of Father’s child support based on his actual income. Additionally, we vacate the judgment of the trial court awarding Mother $35,000.00 in attorney fees, award Mother $7,675.00 in attorney fees and remand to the trial court for reconsideration of the remaining portion of the attorney fees in light of this opinion. This case is affirmed in all other respects. Reversed in part, vacated in part, affirmed in part, and remanded.


Court: TN Court of Appeals


J. Gilbert Parrish, Jr., Savannah, Tennessee, for the appellants, Jerry L. Edmonds and wife, Susan D. Edmonds

Terry Abernathy, Selmer, Tennessee, for the appellees, Tommy Hinton and wife, Jean Marie Hinton


Adjoining property owners dispute the validity of an Agreement which placed restrictions upon a roadway across one property which provided access to the other property. The trial court, after making specific factual findings, found the Agreement invalid and non-binding upon the parties. We affirm the trial court’s factual findings as well as its ultimate determination of invalidity.


Court: TN Court of Appeals


Shelley S. Breeding, and Allison Starnes-Anglea, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Gregory Alan Richmond.

Jeffrey A. Vires, Crossville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Christina K. Deweese Richmond.


Christina K. Deweese Richmond (“Wife”) and Gregory Alan Richmond (“Husband”) were divorced in June of 1999. In March of 2011, Wife filed a motion to clarify the parties’ Final Decree of Divorce. After a hearing, the Trial Court entered its order holding, inter alia, that Wife was awarded 42.5% of Husband’s disposable military retired pay. The Trial Court also ordered that Husband shall pay to Wife her share of his military retirement accruing from August 2010 through June 2011 in the amount of $4,915.90 less federal taxes. Husband appeals raising issues regarding whether Husband should be entitled to the protection of the unclean hands doctrine and whether Wife waived her rights to past payments of Husband’s military retirement. We find neither unclean hands nor waiver, and we affirm.

TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Dwight E. Scott, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Defendant-Appellant, Nicholas Short.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Meredith Devault, Senior Counsel; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson, III, District Attorney General; Jennifer McMillen and Pamela Anderson, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.


A Davidson County jury convicted the Defendant-Appellant, Nicholas Short, of one count of first degree premeditated murder and one count of second degree murder. The trial court merged the convictions and sentenced Short to life imprisonment. The sole issue presented for our review is whether the evidence is sufficient to establish his convictions given Short’s theory of self-defense. Upon review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

MTSU Murder Trial Begins, Self-Defense the Issue

Jury selection was to begin today in Chattanooga in the trial of Shanterrica Madden, accused of killing MTSU basketball guard Tina Stewart. Madden’s claim of self-defense comes at a time of intense national debate over what are known as Stand Your Ground self-defense laws, resulting from the fallout of the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin. MTSU Criminal Justice professor and Murfreesboro lawyer Lance Selva explains the law and the issues a jury will have to consider when deciding whether to believe a claim of self-defense. The Tennessean has the story

Law Jobs Up Again

The legal sector rebounded from some of its recent employment woes last month by adding 3,900 jobs, according to preliminary data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Revised data released by the bureau at the same time showed that those gains came on the heels of the legal sector losing 1,700 jobs in March -- 400 more than originally estimated. Factoring in last month's increase, the legal sector's total number currently stands at 1,120,900 -- the industry's highest total since June 2009 and 6,900 jobs ahead of last year's total through April. The Am Law Daily reports

Are Cameras That Help Fight Crime Also Invading Privacy?

High-tech cameras that create a detailed picture of the whereabouts of cars, regardless of whether they are suspected of any link to criminal activity, are being used in Tennessee. This type of government surveillance is also raising privacy concerns across the country and is pushing police departments to consider how the cameras and records should be used. “I’m sure that there’s going to be people out there that say this is an invasion of privacy,” said Gallatin Detective James Kemp. But “the possibilities are endless there for solving crimes." The Tennessean has more

Overcrowding Fix Would Move Women's Jail

A Putnam County commissioner has a plan to fix the current overcrowding situation at the Putnam County Justice Center. It starts with remodeling the old jail/clerk's office and making it a women's jail annex. The Herald Citizen has details

Opinion: Why You Must Have a Will

A Washington Post columnist explains what happened when her brother and grandmother died without having wills. Michelle Singletary knows excuses -- to expensvie, too much paperwork -- and points out why those things are not true. The News Sentenel has it

Judicial Vacancies Prompt Lawyers to Lobby

Lawyers and legal experts from 27 states traveled to Washington to meet with White House and Capitol Hill officials today to shake up what they see as a stalled process to fill federal judicial vacancies across the country. The Blog of Legal Times reports

ETLAW Hosts Supreme Court for Law Day Lunch

The East Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women (ETLAW) will celebrate Law Day with a luncheon on Wednesday at noon, with the justices of the Tennessee Supreme Court. The event will take place at the Foundry, 747 Worlds Fair Park Drive in Knoxville. The guest speaker is Judge Jane Branstetter Stranch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Email Terry Woods or call 865-384-2175 for more information. Download a copy of the invitation

Many Incumbent Lawmakers Face Primary Opposition

Of the 33 legislative primary races this year, the majority involve GOP incumbants, the TNReport says. There are 26 GOP legislators facing challengers, while only 10 sitting Democratic lawmakers face primary opposition. As a result of redistricting, however, four of these races will pit incumbent against incumbent. The primary election is Aug. 2.

Editorial: Linking Welfare to Drug Tests a Good Idea

In an editorial, the Times-Free Press says "it is entirely reasonable that Tennessee lawmakers have passed a bill linking welfare benefits to drug tests for recipients" who are suspected of using drugs. The paper says multigenerational dependence on welfare is a serious enough problem already and the move should help "stop subsidizing lifestyles of drug abusers."


Questions, comments: Email us at TBAToday@tnbar.org

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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