Convention Continues with Inspirational Message from ‘Undefeated’ Coach

Tennessee Bar Association Convention activities continued today in Memphis with the annual Bench Bar program and lunch. Lawyers heard from a panel of speakers on two current hot topics: the handling of matters involving pro se litigants and the state's ever-growing sets of local court rules. Following the program, football coach and Memphis businessman Bill Courtney inspired the group with a recounting of his experience at Manassas High School, which was featured in the Academy Award winning documentary "Undefeated," and highlighted six key components of leadership: moving out of one's comfort zone, taking the time to really listen, developing a servant's heart, not worrying about who gets the credit, being willing to make "the ask" and building a personal legacy.

Tomorrow, lawyers will gather for the TBA's annual meeting and awards luncheon, and President Danny Van Horn will pass the gavel to incoming president Jackie Dixon of Nashville. Also, members of the 2012 TBA Leadership Law class will visit the National Civil Rights Museum for a program on the Memphis Sanitation Strike – the fateful event that brought Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to the city in 1968 -- and gather in the evening for a graduation and awards ceremony. Stay up-to-date on all convention activities

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
00 - TN Court of Appeals
04 - 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


Jeffrey P. Boyd and Laura Ann E. Bailey, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Steven Ratliff.

Michael L. Mansfield and Nathan E. Shelby, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellee, Gerdau Ameristeel, Inc.


An employee viewed the bodies of co-workers who had died as a result of work accidents on two separate occasions in February and April 2008. On June 23, 2008, the employee was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder caused by the two incidents. On June 23, 2009, the employee requested a benefit review conference. The employer filed a complaint to determine the amount of workers’ compensation benefits due. The employer subsequently filed a motion for summary judgment contending that the statute of limitations commenced on the date of the second accident and that the claim was therefore barred. The employee contended that the statute did not begin to run until the date of his diagnosis and that his claim was timely. The trial court granted the employer’s motion. The employee appealed. We reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for entry of a judgment consistent with the trial court’s alternative findings.

TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Blake D. Ballin, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Evan Deyo.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Edie Sellers, Assistant District Attorney General; for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.


After being indicted for driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUI), reckless driving, and violation of the implied consent law, Defendant, Evan Deyo, entered into a negotiated plea agreement and reserved a certified question of law for appeal. The question reserved for appeal specifically states the issue as: “whether the Court erred in denying the Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss based on the fact that his pre-trial detention was not for a valid remedial purpose but rather was punitive.” After review of the record and the briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Beau E. Pemberton, Dresden, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jesse Wade Glover.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; Thomas A. Thomas, District Attorney General; and Kevin McAlpine, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.


Petitioner, Jesse Wade Glover, appeals from the post-conviction court’s denial of postconviction relief. Petitioner was convicted following a jury trial of facilitation of the promotion of methamphetamine manufacture, a Class E felony, and sentenced by the trial court as a Range II, multiple offender, to four years incarceration. This Court affirmed Petitioner’s conviction on direct appeal. State v. Jesse Wade Glover, No. W2008-00185- CCA-R3-CD, 2009 WL 2015230 (Tenn. Crim. App. at Jackson, filed July 13, 2009), perm. app. denied (Tenn., Nov. 23, 2009). A summary of the facts underlying Defendant’s conviction can be found in this Court’s opinion cited above. Defendant timely filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief, asserting as grounds that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel at trial. Petitioner was appointed counsel to represent him. Following an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court denied relief. After a careful review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Elaine Heard, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ricky Lee Morgan.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson III, District Attorney General; and Sarah Davis, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

Much aggrieved by his convictions of aggravated rape and robbery and resulting 23-year sentence of imprisonment, the petitioner, Ricky Lee Morgan, filed a timely petition for postconviction relief alleging that his guilty pleas were involuntarily and unknowingly entered due to the ineffective assistance of counsel. Following the appointment of counsel and an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court denied relief. Discerning no error, we affirm the post-conviction court’s order.


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Ryan C. Caldwell, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, William E. Wright.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson III, District Attorney General; and Bret Gunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

Following his Davidson County Criminal Court jury convictions of conspiracy to possess with the intent to sell 26 grams or more of cocaine, two counts of facilitation of the sale of 26 grams or more of cocaine, and possession of 26 grams or more of cocaine for resale, the petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief alleging that his convictions were caused by the ineffective assistance of counsel. After an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court denied relief. Discerning no error, we affirm the order of the post-conviction court.

Today's News

37 Moving from Miller & Martin to Butler Snow

Thirty seven attorneys are leaving the Nashville office of Miller & Martin to join Butler Snow O'Mara Stevens & Cannada PLLC, the Nashville Business Journal reports. With this expansion, Butler Snow becomes one of the largest firms in the state and among the largest in the country, with more than 220 attorneys practicing in 12 offices nationwide. Read more from the firm and see a list of those making the move.

In a second article about the departures from Miller & Martin, one Nashville lawyer cites Butler Snow’s alternative billing practices, technology, and free flow of attorneys and resources as a key reason for making the move, while others referenced “different philosophies" about how to build a practice.

New Charges Filed Against Former Judge Taylor

Former General Sessions Judge James Taylor, already facing criminal charges in Davidson County, was indicted earlier this week by a Hawkins County Grand Jury on multiple theft and money laundering charges. The 12 new charges bring the total charges against him to 53. The earlier counts related to fraudulent payment claims he made to the state while serving as judge. These new charges are related to alleged thefts that occurred in his private practice. Among the alleged victims are three Hawkins County churches that made donations for a heritage display at the justice center, two of his employees and two fellow lawyers. Bond on the new charges was set at $150,000. Taylor remains in custody in Davidson County on a $175,000 bond. Read more from the Rogersville Review

Mosque Opponents Ask for Injunction

Opponents of a Murfreesboro mosque have asked a judge for an injunction to stop further construction. Lead attorney Joe Brandon Jr. said the filing asks Chancellor Robert Corlew III “to put some teeth in his ruling,” which last week found that the local government failed to provide adequate public notice for a site plan meeting. “If you have a void site plan application, you don’t have a valid building permit,” Brandon said. The Daily News Journal reports

PA System Failed During Bomb Threat

According to local officials, the public address system in the Rutherford County Judicial Building didn’t operate properly last Thursday when a bomb threat forced evacuation of the building. In addition, according to witnesses, the fire alarm was not activated and the courtroom communication system wasn’t used. Officials acknowledge that the public address system, which can be heard in the hallways, has not operated properly in years. With regard to the courtroom system, the Daily News Journal reports that local officials have provided conflicting reports this week about how it works.

Pillsbury Picks AT&T Building for Nashville Office

New York-based law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman has selected Nashville's AT&T Building as its new downtown home. According to a news release, the firm has signed a seven-year lease for two and a half floors. Pillsbury announced in October that it planned to expand into Nashville with a new 150-person office. The Nashville Business Journal has more on the site selection.

Connecticut Case Tests Sleepwalking Defense

A Connecticut man accused of attempting to rob a woman at knifepoint says he was sleepwalking at the time. His lawyer says he plans to use the claim as a medical defense, and is busy gathering records in an attempt to convince prosecutors they should take the claim seriously. WRCB-TV reports

TJC Reception on Tap for Friday

A reception supporting the Tennessee Justice Center will take place Friday from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Hollander Club Room at The Peabody in downtown Memphis. Local lawyers, as well as those in town for the TBA Convention, are invited to attend the event, which is sponsored by SunTrust, Counsel on Call, Adams & Reese LLP and Wiseman Ashworth Law Group PC. Download more information


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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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