Morristown Lawyers Start Monthly Legal Clinic

Morristown attorneys will host a free legal clinic, called Hamblen Legal Link, on Thursday (June 7) from 5 to 7 p.m. This is the first in a series of clinics to be held on the first Thursday of each month. "The mission is to connect residents with local lawyers and social service organizations that are willing to provide free informatin and basic guidance to those who need it," Aaron Chapman says. Chapman and fellow Morristown attorney Dale Darby have organized the events, with the help of Beth Boniface who is providing her office for the clinics, at 1125 West First North Street. For more information visit or email

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
02 - 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


Jerry E. Mitchell, Justin E. Mitchell, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Alan C. Cartwright

David Wade, Andrew Gardella, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, Jackson Capital, et al


This appeal involves various claims by a beneficiary of several trusts against his sister and her husband, who serve as the trustee and co-trustee of some of the trusts. The defendants/trustees filed a motion for partial summary judgment, claiming that they had followed the terms of the trusts and paid the beneficiary all distributions to which he was entitled pursuant to the trust documents. In response, the beneficiary asserted that the trust documents were void either because they were fabricated, or because he executed them due to undue influence. The trial court granted the defendants’ motion for partial summary judgment, and the beneficiary voluntarily dismissed all of his remaining claims. The beneficiary appeals. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand for further proceedings.

TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Mike Whalen, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Weldon Christopher Frazier.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Senior Counsel; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Steven W. Sword, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Weldon Christopher Frazier, was found guilty by a Knox County Criminal Court jury of two counts of aggravated sexual battery, a Class B felony. See T.C.A. § 39-13- 504 (2010). The trial court merged the convictions and sentenced the Defendant as a Range I, standard offender to eight years’ confinement. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred by (1) denying his motion to suppress his initial statements to the police, (2) not granting a mistrial after a witness for the State mentioned polygraphs, plea negotiations, and used the word “confession” to characterize the Defendant’s statements to the police, and (3) refusing to give a jury instruction regarding his not fleeing. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


William E. Griffith, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Dwight Randy Rowe.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Nicholas W. Spangler, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; Rachel Sobrero, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Petitioner, Dwight Randy Rowe, pled guilty to sale of a controlled substance in a drug-free school zone and to possession of a weapon during the commission of a dangerous felony. The trial court sentenced him to an effective sentence of eleven years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. The Petitioner filed a petition for postconviction relief, claiming his trial counsel was ineffective because he incorrectly advised him of parole eligibility and failed to throughly investigate the case or prepare a defense. After an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court dismissed the petition. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the post-conviction court’s judgment.

Blackwood Emails Suggest Effort to Operate Under Radar

Special Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood removed motions from a court file, ordered prosecutors to make no public mention of them, used email communication in lieu of orders and hearings and favored meetings in chambers over public hearings — all to avoid public scrutiny of his handling of the Christian-Newsom torture-slaying cases, documents reviewed by the Knoxville News Sentinel suggest. Blackwood's efforts to keep proceedings from the public eye are detailed in emails made public as part of an effort by Knox County District Attorney General Randy Nichols' office to request that Blackwood step down from the case, the News Sentinel reports.

Ruling in Mosque Case Raises More Questions

Rutherford County Chancellor Robert Corlew's decision last week that county officials violated Tennessee's Open Meetings Act regarding plans to build the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro has thrown open the issue of whether government officials have a special duty to tell constituents about matters that might upset them — even if there have not yet been any complaints. The ruling also could fan an ongoing debate in the legislature over whether paid advertisements in newspapers, particularly those with low circulations, should continue to be the main way local governments tell the public what they're doing. Read more from the News Sentinel

Federal Employees Back in Courthouse After Bomb Threat

Employees at the Estes Kefauver Federal Building & Courthouse Annex in downtown Nashville were allowed back into the building at about 9:30 a.m. today after a caller said that a bomb would go off in it at 9 a.m. Homeland Security was called in with bomb-sniffing dogs to search the building, but did not find anything. NewsChannel5 reported

DOJ Attorneys Argue Over Recordings From Watergate Wiretaps

The U.S. Justice Department has asked a federal judge in Washington to keep sealed illegal wiretap recordings rooted in the Watergate scandal. It is not opposing release of some court papers sealed in the 1972 prosecution of G. Gordon Liddy. That information, DOJ lawyers said, includes bench conferences about evidentiary disputes and pretrial meetings in chambers. The agency is responding to a history professor's request seeking access to materials he believes could help answer lingering questions about the burglary that led to President Richard Nixon's resignation. DOJ lawyers argue that there is no First Amendment or public right of access to illegally obtained wiretaps, The Blog of Legal Times reports.

Firm Honors More Lawyers For Pro Bono Service

Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC has recognized more attorneys within the firm for their commitment to pro bono service. Tennessee lawyers honored are Marlene J. Bidelman, Chattanooga; Jennifer P. Keller, Johnson City and LeAnn Mynatt, Knoxville. Five in the Memphis office were honored earlier as the firm's Pro Bono Attorneys of the Year. Read more about each winner's work

Ex-Lawyer Gets Stiff Penalty for Insider Trading

Former attorney Matthew Kluger was sentenced Monday to 12 years in prison for his role in a massive insider trading scheme that netted a combined total of more than $37 million and spanned nearly two decades. Prosecutors say the crimes were made possible in large part by his position as an associate with a series of Am Law 100 firms. In handing down what she acknowledged was a harsh sentence, U.S. District Judge Katharine Hayden in Newark said that Kluger's crime warranted such a stiff penalty because "it allows greedy, arrogant people to make money off others." The AmLaw Daily reports

Federal PD Sought for Memphis Office

The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is soliciting applications from persons interested in appointment as federal public defender for the Western District of Tennessee at Memphis. This is a vacancy created by the retirement of the previous incumbent. Applications are due by June 15. Download information from the court

TBA Convention Opening in Memphis

The 131st Annual TBA Convention opens tomorrow (Wednesday) at The Peabody in Memphis. Registration opens at 1 p.m., and programs, events and meetings continue through Saturday. Walk up registrations are welcome. The gathering will take place at the same time as meetings of the Tennessee Judicial Conference, the Tennessee Association for Justice, the Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women and the Tennessee Alliance for Black Lawyers.


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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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