2nd Annual TBA Diversity Job Fair Set for Fall

The 2nd Annual TBA Diversity Job Fair is set for Sept. 7-8 in Nashville. Building on the success of last year’s event, this year’s job fair will provide legal employers the opportunity to interview diverse 2L and 3L law students from law schools in Tennessee and surrounding states. More than 25 schools have already signed up. All legal employers in Tennessee are invited to take part, regardless of size or sector. Participants are asked to consider candidates for summer associate positions, clerkships and associate attorney openings.

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
01 - TN Court of Appeals
00 - 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


Court: TN Court of Appeals


Dennis E. Burnett, Mountain City, Tennessee, for the appellant, pro se.

Doris A. Matthews, Madisonville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Dawn Louise Burnett.


This case involves the sufficiency of notice given to an incarcerated party in a divorce proceeding. Wife filed for divorce and sent Husband notice of a hearing for approval of Wife’s temporary parenting plan. Although Father was not present at the hearing, the trial court entered a final decree of divorce in favor of Wife, assigning the majority of the marital debt to Husband. Husband appealed, asserting that he was not properly notified that the hearing would concern issues other than a temporary parenting plan. Vacated and remanded.

Today's News

Hearing Set to Argue Opening Witherspoon Case

Davidson County Probate Court Judge Randy Kennedy indicated Monday that he may be willing to open at least portions of a conservatorship case involving actress Reese Witherspoon’s father. Kennedy set a June 1 hearing for arguments from the Tennessean and WSMV-Channel 4, which are both seeking to have the case opened to the public. On May 11 Kennedy ejected the news media from court and ruled that all files and proceedings involving Witherspoon would be closed to the public as his daughter sought to have him placed under a conservator. In an editorial, the Tennessean says the public's right to know is more important than privacy, and closing the proceedings was "an attempt to skirt the First Amendment."

Sequestered Jurors Save Drowning Girl

Two members of a sequestered jury --  a pediatrician and a nurse -- and the deputies escorting them saved a 6-year-old girl from drowing in a hotel pool last week in Memphis.  Hearing screams for help from the girl's aunt, the jurors, Dr. Jara Best and Sheila Dalrymple, ran to help the girl who was floating face-down in the water. Deputy Amy Chaffin called for back-up, while another deputy escorted the rest of the jury members to their rooms. The little girl was transported to LeBonheur Children’s Hospital in critical condition, but recovered quickly and was released on Sunday. WREG has the story

Editorial: Positive Steps for Integrity of Judicial System

In an editorial, the News Sentinel says that recent events regarding former Knox County Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner are "positive steps for the integrity of the Knox County judicial system." The first step was when the state Supreme Court on May 15 released an order signaling its possible willingness to review three overturned murder convictions from Baumgartner's court stemming from a brutal double murder. The second step was when, on the same day, Baumgarter was arrested and arraigned in federal court on seven counts of failing to report felonious acts. "We are confident that justice, in the end, will be served," the paper says.

Federal Judges Under Fire for Hawaii Trip

Federal judges in the western U.S. circuit are catching flak from Congress for a meeting in Maui that could cost taxpayers more than $1 million, Fox News reports.

Law School Debt Discharged for Asperger's Sufferer

A former law student has won a bid in bankruptcy court to discharge nearly $340,000 in education debt because her diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome rendered her unable to repay the loans. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland last week found that Carol Todd, who attended the University of Baltimore School of Law, met the difficult burden of showing that she would suffer undue hardship if forced to repay her debt. Read about it in the National Law Journal

Trainer Pleads Guilty, Federal Prosecutors Step Up Horse-Soring Actions

Former U.S. Sen. Joseph Tydings, D-Maryland, wrote the Horse Protection Act when he served in the U.S. Senate from 1965 to 1971. With little funding, however, the act has not been widely enforced, as the Tennessean reports. Tydings said he hopes things are finally about to change, not only because of the release last week of undercover video showing soring and other abuses, but also because of federal prosecutors’ willingness to pursue violations of the act. Bill Killian, U.S. attorney for East Tennessee, and Jerry E. Martin, U.S. attorney for Middle Tennessee, are supportive. “If we get wind of soring, we are going to vigorously pursue the case," says Martin. Today in Chattanooga, Jackie L. McConnell, the horse trainer featured in the video, pleaded guilty to violating the act. He could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Neff said, but prosecutors are recommending probation. 


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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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