Judicial Vacancy Announced in Shelby Co.

The Judicial Nominating Commission is now accepting applications for a criminal court vacancy in the 30th Judicial District, which covers Shelby County. The vacancy was created by the appointment of Judge John T. Fowlkes Jr. to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. Interested lawyers must complete an application and submit it to the Administrative Office of the Courts by Aug. 2 at 12 noon CST. Learn more here

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
02 - 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 Supreme Court


Court: TN Supreme Court

TN Court of Appeals

With Concurring Opinion

Court: TN Court of Appeals


Ricky A.W. Curtis, Blountville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Nicholas Galloway.

Judith R. Whitfield, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, for the appellee, Amber D. Brewster.


This appeal arises out of a custody dispute over Amber D. Brewster and Nicholas Galloway’s minor child. When presented with a petition to establish paternity and set child support, Nicholas Galloway acknowledged paternity but filed a petition to be named the primary residential parent. The trial court denied Nicholas Galloway’s petition, designated Amber D. Brewster as the primary residential parent, and granted Nicholas Galloway co-parenting time. We affirm the decision of the trial court.


Court: TN Court of Appeals


Sam R. Marney, III, Matthew S. Russell, Germantown,Tennessee, for the appellant, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company.

Jeffrey D. Germany, M. Shawn Cardwell, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Robert Mears.


This appeal focuses on State Farm’s ability to claim an offset of uninsured motorist coverage for workers’ compensation benefits paid to its insured. The trial court construed the case of State Farm Insurance Company v. Schubert, et al., No. E2000-02054-COA-R3-CV, 2001 WL 584206 (Tenn. Ct. App. May, 31, 2001) so as to preclude offset. We reverse and we remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Audit: Problems Abound in Drug Task Force

An annual audit of drug task force offices by the state comptroller’s office finds that problems abound at the Third Judicial District’s Drug Task Force. The report paints a picture of an office filled with unopened, unpaid telephone bills and overflowing evidence lockers, vehicle seizures that were not recorded, overdrawn bank accounts, and seized cash that was not deposited. The Hawkins County sheriff has responded by reassigning the director to another position. Learn more from WPLN

Defense Attorneys Asks Judge to Reconsider New Trial

Knoxville attorneys David Eldridge and Doug Trant have asked Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood to reconsider his decision to vacate a previous order granting a new trial for Lemaricus Davidson, one of the four defendants charged in the January 2007 murders of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom. In the filing, the pair ask Blackwood to reconsider his June 19 decision to vacate his previous order, which had granted new trials. Blackwood has set a hearing date of Aug. 17 on the case. WBIR reports

Texas Switches to One-Drug Execution

Texas, the nation's most active death penalty state, announced Tuesday that it would become the latest to switch to single-drug executions amid a drug shortage that has left states scrambling for acceptable alternatives. The state now will use a single dose of the sedative pentobarbital to carry out death sentences. Learn more from CBS

DCS Slow to Comply With Reform

A report shows issues with a new computer system are preventing the Tennessee Department of Children's Services from fully complying with a court-ordered plan to improve foster care across the state. The Memphis Daily News reports that the new computer system has prevented the collection of DCS data in over 20 areas of court-ordered reform, including response times, compliance with caseload standards and compliance with required visits between case workers and foster care children.

Scruggs Asks that Guilty Plea be Vacated

Former Mississippi attorney Richard "Dickie" Scruggs asked a federal appeals court Monday to vacate his 2008 guilty plea in a judicial bribery case that also resulted in a prison sentence for his once-powerful father and law partner. Scruggs argued that his guilty plea should be thrown out because his conduct didn't constitute a crime in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 ruling that an anti-fraud law was improperly used to help convict former Enron chief executive Jeffrey Skilling. A three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans did not immediately rule on the case, according to the Commercial Appeal.

Planners Consider New Vote on Mosque

Planning commission members are exploring a new vote on construction of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro while they appeal a court ruling that stopped occupancy of the nearly finished mosque. A commissioner told the Daily News Journal that legal counsel indicated the body could revisit the matter any time as long as public notice is adequate. A judge in May overturned the commission's approval of the mosque because public notice wasn't sufficient. Meanwhile, the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro intends to ask for a certificate of occupancy for the new mosque soon despite a court order banning the county from issuing the document. The paper has more on that issue

Court Grants Review in 5 Cases

The Tennessee Supreme Court has granted review in five new cases, the most recent Raybin-Perkey Hot List reports. The two civil cases concern modification of grandparent visitation and an interpretation of the teachers’ tenure act. The criminal appeals address the consequences of the state’s failure to preserve evidence, a potential violation of the Interstate Agreement on Detainers and a sufficiency of evidence review of a conviction for tampering with evidence.

Retired General Sessions Judge Dies

Retired Memphis lawyer E. Tucker Dickerson died Sunday (July 8) at the age of 83. A graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School, Mr. Tucker practiced law in Manchester and served as a city alderman and Coffee County general sessions judge. After stepping down from the bench, he moved to Memphis where he practiced law as a solo practitioner for a short time before being employed by General Innkeeping Acceptance Corporation (GIAC), a subsidiary of Holiday Inns. While with GIAC, he rose from in-house counsel to president of the company – a position he held until he retired. Tucker’s family will receive visitors at Family Funeral Care on Friday from 5 to 8 p.m., with a family time of remembrance at 7 p.m. A memorial service will be held July 24 at 6 p.m. at the First Unitarian Church, Church of the River. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the church's health center. Read more from his obituary

Board of Law Examiners Seeks Administrator

The Board of Law Examiners is seeking an administrator to oversee its day-to-day operations and manage a staff of three. Duties of the position include administering the bar examination, screening exam applicants, handling financial and business matters of the office, and supporting the members of the board. An active Tennessee law license is preferred but not required. Regulatory or managerial experience in a legal setting involving multiple complex issues also is desired. Applicants should submit a resume and cover letter – including salary requirements and summary of management and supervisory experience – to human.resources@tncourts.gov by July 20. Learn more

Federal Practice for Tennessee Lawyers

The TBA's annual Federal Practice CLE will be held this Friday at the Tennessee Bar Center. Topics include whistleblower laws, recent developments in the Sixth Circuit, and evidence and admissibility issues related to social medial and electronic communications. Learn more or register here.


Questions, comments: Email us at TBAToday@tnbar.org

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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