Shelby Juvenile Defense to Move to PD's Office

Shelby County Juvenile Court defense operations will be transferred to the Public Defender's Office in response to a federal investigation that found juvenile court "discriminates against black children," WMC-TV reports. Court officials say they will move the juvenile defense system from Juvenile Court oversight and place it under the office in charge of defending adults. Chief Public Defender Stephen Bush will head up the attorneys handling cases ranging from vandalism and minor theft to aggravated assault and murder, said Bill Powell, the county's criminal justice coordinator. The public defender's office in Memphis hasn't held that role in 35 years, Bush said. The Commercial Appeal has more

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
01 - TN Court of Appeals
03 - 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 Supreme Court


Court: TN Supreme Court

TN Court of Appeals


Court: TN Court of Appeals


George E. Copple, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

John Lyons Meadows, Lebanon, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Valerie Manning.


Attorney representing the husband in a divorce proceeding claimed a statutory lien on funds in his trust account to secure payment of his fee; the attorney filed a separate action seeking a determination of his rights to funds held in his trust account. The trial court dismissed the action for failure to state a claim. Finding that the court dismissed the case employing an erroneous legal standard, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.

TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Donna Miller, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Krystal Bowman.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, District Attorney General; and Neal Pinkston, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Krystal Bowman, appeals the Hamilton County Criminal Court’s denial of judicial diversion for her conviction of theft of property valued at $10,000 or more but less than $60,000. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Jon J. Tucci, Nashville, Tennessee, for appellant, Gregory Darnell Valentine.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; Lawrence Ray Whitley, District Attorney General; and Thomas Dean, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


Defendant, Gregory D. Valentine, appeals from the trial court’s summary dismissal, without an evidentiary hearing, of Defendant’s motion to withdraw his guilty pleas. After a thorough review of the record, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand for a hearing on Defendant’s motion.


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Donna Orr Hargrove, District Public Defender; and Michael J. Collins, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Walter Lavar Wright.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; Charles Frank Crawford, Jr., District Attorney General; and Michael D. Randles, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Walter Lavar Wright, pleaded guilty to two counts of sale of .5 grams or more of cocaine and one count of possession with the intent to sell .5 grams or more of cocaine and received a Range I sentence of nine years’ incarceration. Following the successful completion of “boot camp,” the defendant was placed on probation. On January 20, 2011, a probation violation warrant issued alleging that the defendant violated the terms of his release by garnering a new arrest, failing to report to his probation officer, failing to maintain employment, and failing to pay fines and costs. At the hearing, the defendant admitted to many of the allegations. The trial court revoked the defendant’s probation and ordered him to serve his sentence in confinement. In this timely appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred in ordering him into confinement. Because the record supports the trial court’s order, we affirm.

Car Death Charges Often Different Based on Income, Gender

The Tennessean looks at two recent cases of where children died after their mothers left them in hot cars. Beneath the obvious common elements, the unrelated cases showed signs of heading down divergent paths. A law professor at Wake Forest University who analyzes deaths of children in hot cars and the resulting prosecutions found that mothers face charges more often than fathers, nonfamily caregivers more often than parents, and low-income parents more often than high-income ones. And when charges are brought, more than 80 percent of those cases end in conviction.

Clarksville Judge Selected for National Judicial College

Clarksville lawyer and part-time judge Gregory D. Smith has been selected for to participate in the "Train The Trainers" seminar in Washington, D.C., Aug. 20-23, which is a program of the National Judicial College. Complete expenses for this seminar and its participants are paid for by a grant from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. After completing the training for this seminar, Smith will present the program to judges in Tennessee. The Leaf Chronicle has details

Conference on Juvenile Justice Held, Officers Elected

Putnam County Judge Nolan Goolsby was elected president of the Tennessee Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the Tennessee Juvenile Court Services Association last week during the 29th Joint Conference on Juvenile Justice in Nashville. Those elected to the TCJFCJ executive committee are Judge Robert Lincoln, vice-president, Washington County; Judge Dennis Humphrey, secretary-treasurer, Roane County; and Judge Ray Grimes, vice-president, Montgomery County. Those elected to the council are Judge Tim Brock, Coffee County; Judge Tim Irwin, Knox County; Judge Christy Little, Madison County; Judge Jeff Rader, Sevier County; Judge Vicki Snyder, Henry County; and Judge John Whitworth, Benton County. Learn more from the AOC.

Editorial: It's an Honor for Wade to be Chief

In an editorial, the Mountain Press praises newly named Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary Wade, calling it an honor not just for him, but for his community.

Motion Filed in Williams' False Light Case

News Channel 5 is challenging a recent court opinion that found that reporter Phil Williams did not defame General Session judge Daniel Eisenstein, but stated that Williams may have cast the judge in a false light. Williams’ attorney Ron Harris filed a motion on Thursday saying that the court “misapprehended some of the facts” in its opinion. The Tennessean reported the news

Study on Voter ID Fraud Turns Up Few Cases

A group that's part of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education focused on investigative reporting, analyzed 2,608 alleged election-fraud cases back to 2000 in all 50 states. In all, they found just 10 cases of voter impersonation. In Tennessee, the study turned up 14 total cases of reported fraud since 2000, none of which were cases of voter impersonation. The city of Memphis filed a lawsuit last week challenging the state's voter ID law on constitutional grounds. The Nashville Scene has more

Memphis Lawyer Changes to Healthy Lifestyle

Memphis lawyer Larry Rice talks about his decision to lose weight and lead a healthier life in a the Commercial Appeal article. "When they tell you you shouldn't eat sweets and you should exercise or your toes are going to rot off and you'll go blind, diet and exercise suddenly goes from being a good idea to a well-motivated part of your life," Rice says.

House Committee Sues Attorney General Holder

The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform filed a civil complaint today against Attorney General Eric Holder Jr., just over a month after the House of Representatives voted to find Holder in contempt of Congress for not turning over documents about the botched Operation Fast and Furious gun-smuggling sting operation. The complaint, filed this morning in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, chastised Holder for his "contumacious refusal" to comply with a subpoena and sets the stage for a court battle over the scope of executive privilege. The Blog of Legal Times reports

UT Law Grad Deborah Hyden Dies

Georgia attorney and University of Tennessee College of Law graduate Deborah Hyden died July 31. She was 59. She graduated in 2001, was a member of the Law Review, and was nationally published. After passing the bar in both Georgia and Tennessee, Ms. Hyden became a professor of law at John Marshall Law School in Atlanta. She served as a prosecutor for the Office of the Gwinnett County Solicitor General before opening her own criminal defense law practice. Services were Aug. 3. Read her obituary

Clayton and Campfield Team Up

Mark Clayton, who was disavowed by the state Democratic Party after winning the Senate primary, held a news conference in Nashville today with an unlikely companion. He and Republican state Sen. Stacey Campfield teamed up, with Campfield telling reporters that he had previously tried, but failed, to recruit Clayton to run as a Republican. Campfield is the sponsor of a bill seeking to bar teaching about gay issues; Clayton found disfavor with his party over his anti-gay stance.  The News Sentinel has the 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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