Opinion: Tenn. Plan a National Model, Don't Change It

In an opinion piece in the Tennessean today, American Bar Association President William T. 'Bill' Robinson explains how Tennessee's system for selecting appellate court judges, the Tennessee Plan, is nationally respected as "an open process that is as free from political influence as possible." He warns that a proposed constitutional amendment would change the system "for the worse" and would "politicize the courts and diminish the perception of appellate judges as fair, impartial and well-qualified." The proposed amendment allows the governor to appoint judges who have gone through no public screening process, with no assurance that a broad candidate pool had been considered, he points out, saying "it is critical for courts to be insulated from undue political influence."

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
11 - TN Court of Appeals
08 - 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









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TN Court of Appeals

COVERED BRIDGE RESORT ON WALDENS CREEK, LLC v. JOHNSON, MURRELL & ASSOCIATES, P.C. ET AL.

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

P. Edward Pratt, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Mountain National Bank.

Lewis S. Howard, Jr., and Joshua B. Bishop, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Covered Bridge Resort on Waldens Creek, LLC.

Daryl G. Lowe, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Johnson, Murrell & Associates, P.C., Charlie R. Johnson, and Sherri E. Case.

Judge: SUSANO

Covered Bridge Resort on Waldens Creek, LLC (“Seller”) sold its interest in an ongoing resort development to Tennessee Covered Bridge, LLC (“Purchaser”). Seller agreed to finance the sale and Purchaser agreed to secure the debt with a mortgage on the property. Mountain National Bank (“the Bank”) agreed to loan Purchaser money to continue development of the property but required that its mortgage be in a first position. Seller agreed to subordinate its mortgage with the understanding that the members of Purchaser would personally guarantee the debt to Seller. Attorneys Charlie R. Johnson and Sherri E. Case of the firm of Johnson, Murrell & Associates, P.C. (collectively “the Lawyers”) prepared the documents and handled the closing. Purchaser soon defaulted and Seller learned that Purchaser’s members had refused to execute the guaranties. Seller filed this action against the Bank, the Lawyers and Purchaser . When Seller took the 1 deposition of the Bank’s loan officer, the Bank, through counsel, instructed him not to answer several categories of questions on the ground of privilege. Seller filed a motion to compel which the trial court granted upon finding that the information at issue was not privileged. The trial court granted permission for an interlocutory appeal. This Court agreed to hear the appeal. We now affirm the order of the trial court (1) granting the motion to compel and (2) holding the Bank’s motion for summary judgment in abeyance pending completion of discovery.


JENNIFER FERRARI-BULLOCK v. JUSTIN RANDALL

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Lance Brandon Mayes, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the appellant, Justin Randall.

Amanda Raye Thornton and Mark Robb Thompson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Jennifer Ferrari-Bullock.

Judge: BENNETT

This appeal involves an order of protection obtained by Wife against Husband in 2009 and the extension of that order of protection in 2010. We find no basis for Rule 60 relief with respect to the original order of protection. As to the child support provisions in the amended order of protection, we vacate and remand for a determination consistent with the child support guidelines.


IN RE ESTATE OF DANA RUTH JOHNSON GREGORY

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Monica J. Franklin and Brooke Givens, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, David Harding Gregory, executor of the estate of Dana Ruth Johnson Gregory.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; William E. Young, Solicitor General; and L. Vincent Williams and Richard Clippard, Assistant Attorneys General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tennessee Bureau of TennCare.

Judge: SUSANO

The executor of the estate of Dana Ruth Johnson Gregory waited approximately 14 months after her death before seeking to open her estate. The Bureau of TennCare filed a claim approximately four months later, shortly after receiving the executor’s notice of the death and the opening of the estate. The executor objected to the claim as untimely under the statute of limitations applicable to claims by the state. The trial court rejected the objection and held that the claim was valid. The executor appeals. We affirm.


DERRICK JOHNSON, ET AL. v. JERRY R. FLOYD, M.D., ET AL.

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Al H. Thomas and Aaron L. Thomas, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellants, Derrick Johnson, Marcus Johnson, Ozell Johnson, Odell Johnson, Terrence Johnson, children of Deborah Johnson, deceased.

J. Kimbrough Johnson and Elizabeth T. Collins, for the appellees, Jerry R. Floyd, M.D., and Mid-South Wellness Center, Inc.

Katherine M. Anderson, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tewfik Rizk, M.D.

Judge: STAFFORD

This case concerns the application of the medical malpractice notice requirement to a lawsuit that was previously nonsuited and then re-filed pursuant to the saving statute. The children of a woman who died due to alleged medical negligence filed suit against the defendant medical providers. The children subsequently nonsuited the lawsuit. Within one-year of the nonsuit, the children sent notice of a potential claim to the medical providers. Within one year and 120 days from the nonsuit, the children re-filed their claim. The medical providers moved to dismiss on the ground that the claim was not filed within the one-year period provided by the saving statute and, as such, was barred by the applicable statute of limitations. The trial court dismissed the action and the children appealed. Concluding that the saving statute, Tennessee Code Annotated Section 28-1-105(a) is not an “applicable statute[] of limitations or repose,” we hold that the saving statute is not extended by compliance with the medical malpractice notice requirement, Tennessee Code Annotated Section 29-26-121(c). Affirmed and remanded.


IN RE MATTHEW B. B. ET AL

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Jaromir B., Banner Elk, North Carolina, appellant, pro se.

Carter S. Moore, Newport, Tennessee, for the appellee, Romana B.

Judge: SUSANO

The married parents of two minor children are involved in custody/visitation litigation in the trial court. The most recent decision by the trial court was prompted by a petition filed by the children’s father. The trial court denied the father’s attempt to obtain custody and suspended his visitation rights pending his completion of anger management and parenting classes. The father appeals. Because the trial court’s judgment is not a final judgment, we dismiss the father’s appeal.


MICHAEL G. MCCALL v. JENNIFER SUE MCCALL

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Mitchell G. Tollison, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jennifer Sue McCall.

No information listed for appellee

Judge: FARMER

Father and Mother filed a joint motion to modify a parenting plan entered by the trial court in 2010. In their motion, Father and Mother asked the court to reduce Father’s child support obligation, to modify the parenting time schedule, and to amend the plan to permit a known registered sexual offender to be in the presence of their children. The trial court denied the motion with respect to allowing a sexual offender to be in the presence of the children, and otherwise granted the motion. Mother appeals. We affirm.


IN RE MONTANA R. T.

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Christopher D. Brown, Dandridge, Tennessee for Respondent Appellant, J.M.T.

Nicholas D. Bunstine, Knoxville, Tennessee for Petitioner/Appellees, D.F. and T.F.

Kathleen A. Mulvey, Del Rio, Tennessee as Guardian Ad Litem

Judge: KIRBY

This parental termination case concerns the child’s surname. The appellant biological father consented to the termination of his parental rights so that the child could be adopted by the appellee adoptive parents. At the conclusion of the telephonic hearing in which the biological father confirmed that he consented to the termination of his parental rights, the adoptive parents requested that the child’s surname be changed. This request was granted. The biological father now appeals the trial court’s decision on the child’s surname. We affirm.


IN RE SHYANN B.

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Brent Hensley, Greeneville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Louis F.B.

Douglas R. Beier, Morristown, Tennessee, for the appellee, Teresa S.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, and Lindsey O. Appiah, Assistant Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.

Judge: SUSANO

This is an adoption case involving Shyann B. (“the Child”) (DOB: April 11, 2005). We are asked to decide a jurisdictional question. At an earlier time, a juvenile court adjudicated the Child dependent and neglected. She was placed in the custody of the Department of Children’s Services (“DCS”) and placed by it in the foster care of Teresa S. (“Foster Mother”). Louis F. B. (“Uncle”), the Child’s maternal great uncle, had also sought custody, but his petition was ultimately denied. After the parental rights of the Child’s biological parents were terminated, Foster Mother filed a petition to adopt in the trial court. Uncle responded with a counterclaim seeking to intervene and adopt, or, in the alternative, to obtain custody of the Child. At trial, Foster Mother took a voluntary nonsuit of her adoption petition and, on the same day, refiled a petition for adoption in the Chancery Court for Greene County. In the trial court, Uncle contended that the trial court retained jurisdiction to adjudicate his counterclaim for custody. The trial court found that, by virtue of Foster Mother’s filing in chancery court, jurisdiction over the Child was then in chancery court. Accordingly, the trial court entered a judgment reciting “this cause is hereby dismissed.” Uncle appeals. We affirm.


KENNETH J. SIGEL, M.D. v. THE MONARCH CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, INC.

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Kenneth R. Besser, Memphis, Tennessee for the Plaintiff/Appellant Kenneth J. Sigel, M.D.

David F. Kustoff, Memphis, Tennessee for Defendant/Appellee, The Monarch Condominium Association, Inc.

Judge: KIRBY

This appeal involves the release of ballots for a condominium association election. The plaintiff condominium owner was a candidate for a position on the board of directors for the defendant condominium association. After losing the election, the plaintiff condominium owner requested to audit the vote and see the other members’ written ballots. The condominium association provided a tally sheet reflecting the number of ballots cast for each candidate but declined to release the actual ballots. The plaintiff then filed this lawsuit, contending that the condominium association had a statutory obligation to release the ballots to him. The plaintiff later filed a motion for summary judgment. The trial court denied the summary judgment motion and dismissed the lawsuit. The plaintiff condominium owner now appeals. We affirm, finding that the plaintiff condominium owner does not have a statutory right to see the association members’ written ballots.


ROBBIE BUTLER THOMAS v. D.W. POINTER, INDIVIDUALLY AND D/B/A POINTER INSURANCE AGENCY, INC., AND MARKET FINDERS INSURANCE CORPORATION

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Archie Sanders, III, Memphis, Tennessee for Plaintiff/Appellant Robbie Butler Thomas

W. Timothy Hayes, Jr. and Kimberly Cross Shields, Memphis, Tennessee for Defendant/Appellee Market Finders Insurance Corporation

Judge: KIRBY

This appeal arises from the cancellation of a homeowner’s insurance policy. The plaintiff homeowner asked the defendant insurance agent to obtain a homeowner’s insurance policy for a home that was not her residence. The agent contacted the defendant intermediary insurance agency, and an insurance policy was issued. The homeowner paid the insurance premiums to the insurance agent, who failed to pay them to the intermediary insurance agency. The policy was cancelled for nonpayment. The cancellation notice was sent to the insurance agent and to the insured address, but not to the residential address of the homeowner. A fire occurred and the homeowner’s claim was not paid. The homeowner sued the intermediary insurance agency. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant intermediary insurance agency. The homeowner appeals. We reverse in part, holding that the intermediary insurance agency did not negate the homeowner’s claim based on the apparent authority of the insurance agent.


VFS LEASING v. BRIC CONSTRUCTORS, LLC ET AL.

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Geoffrey Coston, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellants, Bric Constructors, LLC and Patricia A. McIntosh.

Courtney Hunter Gilmer and Kenneth David Waddell, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, VFS Leasing.

Judge: BENNETT

Secured party brought action against debtors and guarantors, seeking recovery of deficiency which remained after sale of collateral. The trial court granted summary judgment to secured party. Because genuine issues of material fact preclude summary judgment, we reverse.


TN Court of Criminal Appeals

DELIVETRICK DEWON BLOCKER v. DAVID OSBORNE, WARDEN

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Delivetrick Dewon Blocker, Wartburg, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; and John H. Bledsoe, Senior Counsel, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The petitioner, Delivetrick Dewon Blocker, appeals the Morgan County Criminal Court’s summary dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus. Because the petitioner has failed to state a cognizable claim for habeas corpus relief, we affirm the summary dismissal of the petition pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals.


RUSSELL CALDWELL v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Jeremy B. Epperson, Pinson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Russell Caldwell.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia Lee, Assistant Attorney General; James G. Woodall, District Attorney General; and Al Earls, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

The Petitioner, Russell Caldwell, pled guilty to facilitation of first degree felony murder and was sentenced to serve fifty years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. The Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief, alleging he received ineffective assistance of counsel. After a hearing, the post-conviction court entered an order denying post-conviction relief. Finding no error, we affirm the post-conviction court’s judgment.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. LOUIS DANCY

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Michael R. Working, Memphis, Tennessee, (on appeal); and Michael Scholl and Michael Campbell, Memphis, Tennessee, (at trial), for the appellant, Louis Dancy.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; Muriel Malone and Kirby May, Assistant District Attorneys General; for the Appellee, the State of Tennessee

Judge: WOODALL

A Shelby County Grand Jury returned an indictment against Defendant, Louis Dancy, charging him with the second degree murder of Charles Williams. Following a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of the offense and received a sentence of eighteen years and six months as a Range I, violent offender. On appeal, Defendant argues that the trial court erred in giving the jury a sequential instruction, which charged the jury that it must first acquit Defendant of the greater offense before considering any lesser offense. After a thorough review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. FREDERICK GREENE

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Robert L. Parris (on appeal and at trial) and Charles Mitchell (at trial), Memphis, Tennessee, for the Defendant-Appellant, Frederick Greene.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Senior Counsel, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; Pamela Fleming and Reginald (Reggie) Henderson, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCMULLEN

A Shelby County jury convicted the Defendant-Appellant, Frederick Greene, of first degree premeditated murder. Greene was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole according to a sentencing agreement. On appeal, he argues that (1) the evidence, specifically of premeditation and intent, was insufficient to support the jury’s verdict and (2) the trial court erred in denying his request to instruct the jury on self-defense. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


HUMBERTO LOPEZ v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Mark E. Tribble, Cookeville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Humberto Lopez.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; Randall A. York, District Attorney General; and Douglas Crawford, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The Petitioner, Humberto Lopez, appeals the Putnam County Criminal Court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his two convictions of selling .5 grams or more of cocaine and resulting effective sentence of eight years in confinement. On appeal, the Petitioner contends that he is entitled to post-conviction relief because he was not advised by trial counsel or the trial court about the immigration consequences of his pleas. Based upon the oral arguments, the record, and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the post-conviction court’s denial of the petition.


KEVIN MCDOUGLE v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

R. Todd Mosley, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kevin McDougle.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; Muriel Malone, Assistant DistrictAttorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

In two separate trials, a Shelby County jury found the Petitioner, Kevin McDougle, guilty of three counts of aggravated robbery, three counts of aggravated assault and one count of unlawful possession of a handgun. For all the convictions, the trial court sentenced him to an effective sentence of fifty-six years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. The Petitioner filed separate appeals for his cases, and this Court affirmed the judgments in both cases. State v. Kevin McDougle, No. W2009-01648-CCA-R3-CD, 2010 WL 2490752, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Jackson, June 11, 2010) no Tenn. R. App. P. 11 filed; State v. Kevin McDougle, No. W2007-01877-CCA-R3-CD, 2010 WL 2219591, at *1-3 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Jackson, May 24, 2010) no Tenn. R. App. P. 11 filed. The Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief, claiming the two attorneys who represented him on each respective case were ineffective. After an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court dismissed the petition. On appeal, the Petitioner contends that the post-conviction court erred when it dismissed his petition, maintaining that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel in both cases. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the postconviction court’s judgment.


MICHAEL PANZINI v. STATE OF TENNESSEE
CORRECTION: In original opinion the defendant's attorney's last name was misspelled. It has been changed from Hendrick to Hedrick.

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Joshua D. Hedrick, Knoxville, Tennessee for the appellee, Michael Panzini.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Randall Nichols, District Attorney General; and Joanie Stewart, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

The Petitioner, Michael Panzini, pled guilty to aggravated sexual battery, and the trial court sentenced him to ten years, to be served at 100%. The record contains two judgments of conviction, one provided by the State and one provided by the Petitioner. The judgment form in the official court file indicates the box on the judgment form showing the Petitioner was sentenced to community supervision for life as checked. The judgment submitted by the Petitioner does not contain that check mark. The Petitioner filed a petition for habeas corpus relief, contending that his sentence was illegal because he was not sentenced to community supervision for life. The trial court dismissed the petition. On appeal, the Petitioner contends that his original judgment of conviction did not include community supervision for life as required by statute and that his judgment was modified without notice, a hearing, or an order. After a thorough review of the record and applicable authorities, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ANDRE JON SIMMONS, II

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

J. Colin Morris, Jackson, Tennessee, for the Defendant-Appellant, Andre Jon Simmons, II.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; James G. (Jerry) Woodall, District Attorney General and James W. (Jim) Thompson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCMULLEN

The Defendant-Appellant, Andre Jon Simmons, II, pled guilty in the Circuit Court of Madison County to possession with intent to sell more than .5 grams of cocaine, a Class B felony, and simple possession of a controlled substance, a Class A misdemeanor. He received an effective sentence of ten years, suspended to probation. Pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 37(b)(2)(A), Simmons attempted to reserve the following certified question of law: “Whether the cocaine and oxycodone should have been suppressed by the Circuit Court for an illegal stop and search of Andre Jon Simmons.” Because the certified question fails to identify the scope and limits of the legal issue reserved, we conclude that we are without jurisdiction to consider it. The appeal, therefore, is dismissed.


Chattanooga Honors Pro Bono Achievements

2012 Pro Bono Night -- co-hosted by Legal Aid of East Tennessee, the Pro Bono Committee and the Young Lawyers Division of the Chattanooga Bar Association -- recently honored the achievements of a law firm, a philanthropist, a hospital and an attorney. Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Sharon Lee gave the keynote address, saying the United States was founded on the principle of equal justice under the law. The Firm of the Year Award was given to Chattanooga law firm Luther-Anderson. Corrine Allen, executive director of the Benwood Foundation, received the Chief Justice William M. Barker Equal Access to Justice Award. LAET also gave the inaugural Alexander Hamilton Award to Erlanger Heath System. Named after the first lawyer to devote nearly his entire practice to pro bono work, the award honored Erlanger for joining LAET in creating the first medical-legal partnership in Tennessee. Attorney Tiffany Campbell was awarded the Bruce C. Bailey Volunteer Attorney of the Year Award. The Hamilton County Herald has more


Mattice to Rule if Commissioners Have a Prayer

Hamilton County Commissioners will vote next week on a resolution that would give any organized religious group an opportunity to conduct the opening prayer for its sessions. In the meantime, U.S. District Court Judge Harry S. "Sandy" Mattice has ordered a July 26 hearing to consider whether to grant a preliminary injunction to halt the prayers until he can rule on a lawsuit filed earlier this month by two residents. The suit argues that the commission's invocations, which often close with "in Jesus' name," violate the First Amendment's Establishment Clause. The Times Free Press has the story


Annual Law Camp Teaches Students About Legal Profession

Nashville's Lipscomb University each summer hosts high school students from across the country to participate in a week-long camp that exposes them to various aspects of the legal profession. This year the Tennessee Bar Association’s Public Education Committee partnered with Lipscomb to teach lessons from the American Bar Association’s Civics & Law Academy curriculum and included topics such as distributive justice, procedural justice and corrective justice. Presenters included TBA President Jackie Dixon, Jimmie Lynn Ramsaur, Tyler Yarbro, Rebecca Blair, Shauna Billingsley, Ron Small and Alex Little. The camp closed today with a luncheon honoring the students and their parents, with remarks offered by Bob Wood, partner at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, and Jimmie Lynn Ramsaur, outgoing chair of the TBA’s Public Education Committee.


Lawyer Sues for Not Getting Court-Appointed Work

A lawyer who describes himself as "East Indian," Arun Rattan, has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against Knox County's five sessions court judges as well as the county itself, alleging he was skipped over for indigent defense work because of his race. He is asking a federal judge to award him unspecified damages and the "costs for representing himself." Knox County Law Director Joe Jarret is asking that the lawsuit be dismissed, saying Rattan has no legal grounds to sue since there is no right under the law for a private attorney to receive taxpayer-funded criminal defense work. Read the details in the News Sentinel


Case of Woman Who Inspired Conservatorship Law Dropped

A lawsuit filed by 82-year-old Jewell Tinnon over the loss of her home and possessions in a conservatorship has been dropped following a dispute with her two attorneys. The suit, which was filed earlier this year in Circuit Court, had charged that her attorney in the conservatorship had acted against her wishes when all her possessions were auctioned off. Tinnon said Tuesday that the suit was dismissed after she refused to turn over her financial records for use in the suit. Rachel Odom, one of Tinnon’s lawyers, declined to comment, but Michael Hoskins, who was co-counsel on the case, said Tinnon “was refusing to cooperate with counsel. I’m not going to take a case where the client won’t take my advice.” Tinnon’s widely publicized case helped prompt the General Assembly to approve a new law requiring those seeking to place someone in a conservatorship to disclose their relationship to the proposed ward and whether he or she had a criminal record. Read more in the Tennessean


NBA Releases Poll Results

A recent Nashville Bar Association poll for the Aug. 2 Davidson County General Election shows nearly three-quarters of respondents  "highly recommend" or "recommend" incumbent Phillip Robinson for Davidson County Circuit Court, Division III judge, outpacing John W. Heacock (8 percent) and W. Scott Rosenberg (21.4 percent). About 40 percent of the 882 respondents "highly recommended" or "recommended" Rachel L. Bell for General Session judge, while about 10 percent gave the same ranking for Michael Rowan. As to the retention of Court of Criminal Appeals Middle Section Judge Jeffrey S. Bivins, 63.5 percent recommended retention, with only 2.2 percent not recommending. See the results and details on the survey


Court Won't Rehash 'Wardrobe Malfunction' Decision

The Supreme Court decided today not to consider reinstating the government's $550,000 fine on CBS for Janet Jackson's infamous breast-baring "wardrobe malfunction" at the 2004 Super Bowl. The high court refused to hear an appeal from the Federal Communications Commission over the penalty. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals twice had thrown out the fine. WSMV has the AP story


Nation's Eye is on Roberts

In the aftermath of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts' surprising take on the Affordable Care Act as well as his role in Arizona v. U.S., the National Law Journal looks at "how he managed to stay true to his conservative roots while upholding the health care law." And on this day after the historic -- and anger-inducing in some camps -- health care decision, Roberts told the Judicial Conference of the District of Columbia Circuit that he was headed for his summer break to Malta, "an impregnable island fortress. It seemed like a good idea." News 2 has that AP story


 
 

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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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