McCallie Places in top 20 at National Mock Trial

The McCallie School of Chattanooga finished in the top 20 at the 2012 National High School Mock Trial Championship in Albuquerque last week, placing 16th out of 46 teams. In addition, McCallie student Christian Talley was named one of seven outstanding attorneys in the competition. The case, which students had just a month to learn, centered on the assassination of a Department of Homeland Security agent by a former CIA operative who had taken up contracting work. Following apprehension, the assassin turned informant and testified against a U.S. congressman accused of covering up a million-dollar fraud involving the theft of natural gas. Read more about the team's experience in The Chattanoogan

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
00 - TN Court of Appeals
01 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
01 - 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 Criminal Appeals


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


R. Scott Carpenter and Sarah Heath Olesiuk (on appeal), Knoxville, Tennessee, and Nate Evans (at trial), Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Gail Lynn Padgett.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; Kyle Hixson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


A Knox County jury convicted the Defendant, Gail Lynn Padgett, of driving under the influence of an intoxicant (“DUI”), fourth offense, a Class E felony, and driving on a revoked license. The trial court sentenced the Defendant to one year of incarceration for felony DUI with 150 days to be served in confinement and the remainder to be served on probation. The trial court sentenced the Defendant to six months probation for driving on a revoked license, to be served concurrently with the DUI sentence. The trial court also revoked the Defendant’s license for five years, ordering the Defendant to attend DUI school. On appeal, the Defendant contends that: (1) the evidence is insufficient to sustain her conviction for DUI, fourth offense; (2) the trial court erred in denying the Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss for the State’s failure to preserve evidence; and (3) the trial court erred by denying the Defendant’s Motion to Suppress evidence of her actions and statements to police due to the lack of probable cause to effectuate the arrest. After a thorough review of the record and relevant authorities, we affirm the trial court’s judgments.

TN Attorney General Opinions

Department of Labor/Wage Regulations

Court: TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2012-05-08

Opinion Number: 50

TBA Webcasting Earns Top Award

Tennessee Bar Association members captured a second-straight international award for excellence in webcast programming when the Rich Media Impact Award was presented today in Madison, Wisc. The award recognized the TBA’s All Access Network, which features short videos presented by TBA members on a broad range of topics, ranging from tips for starting a practice, to an overview of practice areas, to suggestions for advancing a legal career. The short programs are all available free.

Justice Dept. Raised Concerns about State Juvenile Laws

In its continuing coverage of the U.S. Justice Department’s report identifying issues with the Shelby County Juvenile Court, the Memphis Daily News focuses on concerns about state law in an article today. The paper quotes Juvenile Court Chief Administrative Officer Larry Scroggs as saying the court was aware that federal officials had concerns about the state’s 72-hour time frame for detention hearings. During conversations with the department, according to Scroggs, it became clear that officials came to believe Tennessee laws conflict with the U.S. Constitution. Such an interpretation certainly would have implications beyond Memphis, and could result in discussions between the department and state officials, according to the paper.

Sheriff's Department Settles Civil Rights Lawsuit

The Humphreys County Sheriff's Department has settled a federal case involving the beating and Tasering of an unarmed man in January 2011. The U.S. Department of Justice had criminally indicted the department earlier this year for violating the civil rights of Darrin Ring, who reportedly was beaten and Tasered for 19 minutes – sustaining broken ribs and a punctured lung. Ring will be paid $350,000. The settlement resolves all charges except those pending against a Waverly police officer, who allegedly performed the Tasering. WSMV has more

Disgraced Judge's Pill Supplier Back in Custody

Christopher Lee Gibson, who gained notoriety as the pill supplier to former Knox County Judge Richard Baumgartner, is back behind bars after being arrested for a probation violation, according to the News Sentinel. Gibson had been free on bond pending appeal of a four-year sentence imposed for a probation violation that stemmed from his involvement with Baumgartner. He was arrested Monday for possession of oxycodone and failure to report the incident to his probation officer. Gibson was a felon on probation in Baumgartner's court when he began selling prescription painkillers to the judge.

Cohen Speaks on LSC Funding

U.S. Representative Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, spoke on the House floor this week about the importance of preserving and strengthening legal services, especially in tough economic times. Cohen appealed to his colleagues' sense of justice and compassion to not cut funding for the Legal Services Corporation. Watch his remarks

House Panel Debates Changes to Lacey Act

An environmental law that has Nashville-based Gibson Guitar mired in legal trouble was up for debate Tuesday in Washington. A House subcommittee heard arguments for and against the RELIEF Act, which would rewrite the century-old Lacey Act, which only recently began governing the importation of wood. Musical instruments are the concern of the bill’s sponsors, which include Rep. Jim Cooper. The Nashville Democrat says artists fear their guitars could be confiscated when they reenter the U.S. if they can’t document that all of the wood was legally harvested. Nashville Public Radio reports

Law School Graduations on Tap This Week

 The University of Tennessee College of Law will hold its spring hooding ceremony Friday at Thompson Boling Arena beginning at 5 p.m. Approximately 150 graduates will receive law degrees and hear from Ray Mabus, the U.S. Secretary of the Navy. Also on Friday, commencement exercises will take place beginning at 9 a.m. at Vanderbilt University Law School in Nashville. The ceremony will take place on the Alumni Lawn or in case of inclement weather in the Memorial Gymnasium. On Thursday afternoon, the law school will host several receptions and an open house from 3 to 4:30 p.m. On Saturday, commencement ceremonies for 128 students from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law will begin at 3 p.m. at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. Addressing the graduates will be 2000 alumna Caroline Hunter, chair of the Federal Election Commission.

Montgomery County Bar Hosts Golf Scramble

The Montgomery County Bar Association will host the annual Pat McCutchen Big Spittoon Golf Scramble this Friday. The event will be held at the Swan Lake Golf Course in Clarksville. Start time will be at 1:30 p.m. Contact MCBA President Erin S. Poland by email or phone at (931) 552-3475 to learn more.

Longest Serving Federal Appeals Judge Dies

Judge James Browning of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals died Saturday (May 5) at the age of 93. Browning, reportedly the nation's longest serving federal appeals judge, was appointed to the court in 1961 by President John Kennedy. He served as chief judge from 1976 to 1988 and took senior status in 2000. Browning once said his greatest contribution was helping persuade Congress not to split the appeals court. University of Pittsburgh law professor Arthur Hellman called Browning "the architect of the modern 9th Circuit" saying he created innovations in case management, persuaded judges to work together despite differing views, and helped create the disciplinary system for federal judges. The ABA Journal has links to several stories

Former AG, Civil Rights Advocate Dies

Nicholas deB. Katzenbach, who helped shape the political history of the 1960s -- facing down segregationists, shepherding historic civil rights legislation and helping to map Vietnam War strategy, died Tuesday at age 90. Katzenbach advised President John F. Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis and negotiated the release of Cuban prisoners captured during the Bay of Pigs invasion. He was Robert F. Kennedy’s second-in-charge at the Justice Department and took on F.B.I. director J. Edgar Hoover over the wiretapping of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Perhaps his most public moment came when he confronted then-Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace on the steps of the University of Alabama over the governor’s resistance to desegregation. Flanked by a federal marshal and a U.S. attorney, Katzenbach read a presidential proclamation ordering that two African American students be admitted to the school. He later escorted the students to register for classes. The New York Times looks at his life


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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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