'Celebrate Pro Month' to Offer More Than 50 Events

Today kicks off Celebrate Pro Bono Month in Tennessee. In its fourth year, the initiative brings together bar associations, law schools, law firms, legal services providers and individual lawyers to offer free services to those unable to afford a lawyer. This year, more than 300 volunteers -- including lawyers, law students, paralegals and language interpreters -- are expected to participate in dozens of events and activities across the state. Here is what's on tap for Tuesday:

• Legal Aid of East Tennessee hosts a Seniors Education and Outreach Program at noon at 535 Chestnut St., in Chattanooga. Contact Charlie McDaniel for more information.

• The Nashville Pro Bono Program and lawyers from Waller will staff an Assisted Pro Se Divorce Clinic at the Nashville office of the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee & the Cumberlands. Clients should arrive at 4:30 p.m. for the clinic that runs 5 to 7 p.m. For more information, contact Lucinda Smith.

• The Nashville Bar Association hosts its monthly Dial-A-Lawyer program, where volunteer lawyers answer questions from anyone calling (615) 242-9272 from 6 to 8 p.m. For more information contact Wendy Cozby.

• The Nashville Pro Bono Program, with lawyers from Community Health Systems and the Williamson County Bar Assocation, will provide advice/counsel and referral to people with low incomes at the Williamson County Public Library, 1314 Columbia Ave., Franklin. Clients should arrive at 5:30 p.m. for the event that runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m. For more information, contact Lucinda Smith.

See more than 50 events planned for the month 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.

03 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Workers Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
07 - TN Court of Appeals
07 - 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

SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS Grants & Denials List

Court: TN Supreme Court


TINA MARIE HODGE v. CHADWICK CRAIG

Court: TN Supreme Court

Attorneys:

J. Russell Parkes, Wesley Mack Bryant, and Charles M. Molder, Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellant, Chadwick Craig.

L. Samuel Patterson, Jr., Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tina Marie Hodge.

Judge: KOCH

This appeal requires the Court to determine whether current Tennessee law permits the former husband of a child’s mother to pursue a claim against his former spouse for intentional or negligent misrepresentation regarding the identity of the child’s biological father. Following the dissolution of their nine-year marriage, the former husband of the child’s mother discovered that he was not the child’s biological father. He filed suit against the child’s mother in the Chancery Court for Maury County, alleging that she had intentionally misled him into believing that he was the child’s biological father. Following a bench trial, the trial court found that the mother’s former husband had proved that his former wife had intentionally misrepresented the parentage of the child and awarded him $134,877.90 in compensatory damages for the child support, medical expenses, and insurance premiums he had paid following the divorce, emotional distress, and attorney’s fees. The child’s mother appealed. Even though the Court of Appeals determined that the evidence supported the trial court’s finding that the child’s mother had intentionally misrepresented the identity of the child’s biological father, it (1) reversed the damage award based on the post-divorce payments for child support, medical expenses, and insurance expenses on the ground that these damages amounted to a prohibited retroactive modification of a child support order, (2) reversed the damage award for emotional distress, and (3) reversed the award for attorney’s fees. Hodge v. Craig, No. M2009-00930-COA-R3-CV, 2010 WL 4024990, at *12 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 13, 2010). The former husband filed an application for permission to appeal arguing that Tennessee should permit recovery in cases of this sort for intentional or negligent misrepresentation of a child’s paternity. We have determined that the existing common-law action for intentional misrepresentation encompasses the claims made in this case by the former husband and that the trial court’s damage award based on the former husband’s post-divorce payments for child support, medical expenses, and insurance premiums is not an improper retroactive modification of the former husband’s child support obligation.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WANDA F. RUSSELL

Court: TN Supreme Court

Attorneys:

Russell Nelson Perkins (at trial and on appeal) and Gerald L. Melton (on appeal), Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Wanda F. Russell

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Gordon W. Smith, Associate Solicitor General; Lacy Elaine Wilber, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee

Judge: HOLDER

A defendant was indicted on four counts of theft. At trial, the trial court ruled that the defendant’s prior misdemeanor convictions for passing worthless checks were admissible to impeach her credibility pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Evidence 609, which states that a conviction punishable by less than one year of imprisonment is admissible if the crime involves dishonesty or false statement. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-14-121 (2010). The defendant elected not to testify, and the jury convicted her on three of the four counts of theft. We hold that the crime of passing worthless checks involves an element of dishonesty or false statement and that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it determined that the defendant’s prior convictions could be used to impeach her credibility if she testified. We affirm the decision of the trial court.


TN Court of Appeals

W. STANFORD BLALOCK v. PRESTON LAW GROUP, P.C., ET AL.

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Robert L. Delaney, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, W. Stanford Blalock.

Winston S. Evans, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Preston Law Group, P.C. and G. Kline Preston, IV.

Judge: COTTRELL

A plastic surgeon entered into a five year lease on office space, and defaulted on the lease after the first month. The landlord’s attorney filed separate lawsuits in general sessions court for breach of the lease contracts against the lessee, who had personally guaranteed the lease, and against the lessee’s personal corporation. The landlord obtained duplicate judgments for unpaid rent as well as for attorney fees. The general sessions judge informed the landlord that he was only entitled to collect one judgment. The lessee appealed to the circuit court, but paid the general sessions judgment in full while the circuit court action was still pending. The landlord’s attorney then filed a “partial satisfaction of judgment” and another complaint for attorney fees in general sessions court, followed by another complaint in circuit court, alleging that additional rents had accrued while the litigation continued. The lessee responded by filing a complaint for abuse of process against the landlord’s attorney, alleging that the attorney filed meritless complaints in order to drive up the fees he could collect. The landlord’s attorney filed a motion for summary judgment on the ground that the statute of limitations for abuse of process had passed, and that in any case no abuse of process could be shown. The trial court granted the motion. We affirm.


EARL THOMAS BURGESS v. FORD MOTOR COMPANY

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Stanley Eugene Graham, Bahar Azhdari, John J. Park, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ford Motor Company.

David W. Garrison, Donald N. Caparella, Scott Patton Tift, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Earl Thomas Burgess.

Judge: COTTRELL

A management employee working for Ford Motor Company was to become an employee of Ford’s wholly owned subsidiary when the subsidiary was made an independent company. The manager wanted to remain employed by Ford and sought to transfer back to an hourly position before the spinoff took effect. The manager’s supervisor promised the manager his benefits and pay would not change as an employee of the subsidiary and that he could return to an hourly position with Ford after the spinoff until such time that the subsidiary was purchased by a third party. The subsidiary was purchased by a third party five years later, but Ford did not permit the employee to transfer back to Ford at that point. After the employee asked to transfer back to Ford, Ford offered its hourly employees a special retirement plan whereby they were offered lifetime health and pension benefits. The employee would have been eligible to participate in this plan if he had been allowed to transfer back to Ford. The employee filed suit against Ford, claiming promissory estoppel and seeking damages based on the amount he would have received under the special retirement plan. A jury found Ford liable for promissory estoppel and awarded the employee damages. Ford appealed, arguing (1) the employee’s claim was preempted by the Labor Management Relations Act and (2) the employee failed to prove all the elements of promissory estoppel. We affirm the trial court’s judgment.


SUSAN DANIEL V. BRITTANY SMITH

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Henry S. Queener, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Susan Daniel

Gerald L. Ewell, Jr., Tullahoma, Tennessee, for the appellee, Brittany Smith

Judge: BENNETT

In this negligence case, the jury returned a verdict in the amount of the plaintiff’s medical evaluation and treatment immediately following the accident as well as pain and suffering. We find material evidence to support the verdict and, therefore, affirm the judgment of the trial court.


IN RE DAYSIA D. ET AL.

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Tracy Lynn Harwell, Waverly, Tennessee for the appellant, Tina Marie H. D.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, and Martha A. Campbell, Deputy Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.

Judge: BENNETT

Mother appeals the trial court’s termination of her parental rights. She asserts the trial court erred in holding that she engaged in conduct exhibiting a wanton disregard for the welfare of the children prior to her incarceration and that termination was in the children’s best interest. We have determined there is clear and convincing evidence in the record to support the trial court’s finding that Mother abandoned her children as proscribed by Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-1-102(1)(A)(iv) and that terminating her parental rights is in the children’s best interest. We affirm.


METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY, TENNESSEE v. JAMES E. BROWN

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

James E. Brown, Madison, Tennessee, Pro Se.

J. Brooks Fox, Assistant Metropolitan Attorney; Christopher M. Lackey, Assistant Metropolitan Attorney, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee.

Judge: DINKINS

Defendant in suit to recover property taxes appeals from the trial court’s grant of summary judgment to Plaintiff. Finding no error, we affirm.


MITZI BAYNE RUTH, executrix of the Estate of FRED W. BAYNE, et al., v. HOME HEALTH CARE OF MIDDLE TENNESSEE, LLC, et al.

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Robert R. Stone, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Home Health Care of Middle Tennessee, LLC and B. Fred Allred, III.

C. Crews Townsend and Thomas E. Hayes, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellees, Mitzi Bayne Ruth, executrix for the Estate of Fred W. Bayne, the Estate of Fred W. Bayne, and Home Health Care of East Tennessee, Inc.

Judge: FRANKS

This action was appealed before to this Court and this appeal follows our remand back to the Trial Court for determination of the ambiguous terms found in the contract between the parties. Upon remand, the Trial Court conducted an evidentiary hearing and made a finding as to what the parties intended as to the terms of the contract previously found ambiguous. On appeal, we affirm the Judgment of the Trial Court's determination of what the document provided and determined the rights of the parties, and remand.


KAREN STONER, EXECUTRIX OF THE ESTATE OF IRMA M. COLLINS v. BRITTANY C. AMBURN

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

R. Deno Cole, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Brittany C. Bradley, formerly Amburn.

Michael S. Kelley, Kathy D. Aslinger, Briton S. Collins, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Karen Stoner.

Judge: SUSANO

Karen Stoner (“the Executrix”), in her capacity as the Executrix of the Estate of Irma M. Collins, brought suit against Brittany C. Amburn seeking to divest ownership of certain real property out of Amburn and into her name in her representative capacity. The suit was grounded in the Executrix’s claim that the subject property was fraudulently conveyed to Amburn by the latter’s stepfather, Larry C. Collins (“the Judgment Debtor”), a judgment debtor of the Estate. The Executrix alleged that the transfer was made for the purpose of shielding the property from execution on her judgment. At the conclusion of the proof in a jury trial, the court held that no reasonable minds could reach a conclusion other than that the conveyance was fraudulent in nature. The court directed a verdict in favor of the Executrix. The court vested all right, title and interest to the property in the Executrix. Amburn appeals. We affirm.


TN Court of Criminal Appeals

WILLIAM FISHER v. JERRY LESTER, WARDEN

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

James O. Martin, III, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, William Fisher.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Mark A. Fulks, Senior Counsel; Kim R. Helper, District Attorney General; and Michael J. Fahey, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The Petitioner, William Fisher, appeals from the Hickman County Circuit Court’s denial of his petition for the writ of habeas corpus. He contends that his sentence has expired. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.


FRANCISCO MIQUEL JOSE v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

William F. Roberson, Jr., Cookeville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Francisco Miguel Jose.

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

Judge: TIPTON

The Petitioner, Francisco Miquel Jose, appeals from the 1 Putnam County Criminal Court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. On appeal, he contends that his 2004 guilty plea to misdemeanor theft of property was not knowingly made because he was not advised of the immigration consequences of his guilty plea, that the statute of limitations should be tolled because Padilla v. Kentucky, 130 S. Ct. 1473 (2010), announced a new rule of constitutional law that did not exist at the time of his plea, and that due process requires tolling of the statute of limitations due to the circumstances surrounding his guilty plea. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.


ALDRICK D. LILLARD v. STATE OF TENNESSEE
With dissenting opinion

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Benjamin L. Parsley, III, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the Petitioner, Aldrick D. Lillard.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; Bill Whitesell, District Attorney General; and Trevor Lynch, Assistant District Attorney General, for the State of Tennessee.

Judge: THOMAS

The Petitioner, Aldrick D. Lillard, appeals as of right from the post-conviction court’s denial of relief from his convictions for first degree murder, especially aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary, and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery. The Petitioner alleges that the post-conviction court committed reversible errors by (1) refusing to allow the Petitioner to amend his petition for postconviction relief during the evidentiary hearing; (2) finding that the post-conviction hearing testimony from the assistant district attorney regarding his discussions during trial with the Petitioner’s trial counsel was irrelevant; and (3) concluding that the Petitioner failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that his trial attorneys were ineffective. After an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court merged the Petitioner’s two conspiracy convictions but found that the Petitioner failed to prove any additional allegations in his petition for relief. Following our review, we reverse the post-conviction court’s ruling prohibiting the Petitioner from amending his petition during the evidentiary hearing. We also conclude that the post-conviction court’s finding that the prosecutor’s testimony was irrelevant was in error, albeit harmless. In all other respects, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DEVARICK D. NICKS

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

B. Nathan Hunt, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Devarick D. Nicks.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, Meredith DeVault, Assistant Attorney General; John Wesley Carney, Jr., District Attorney General; and John Finklea, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The appellant, Devarick D. Nicks, pled guilty in the Montgomery County Circuit Court to two counts of possession of .5 grams or more of cocaine with intent to sell or deliver. Pursuant to the plea agreement, the trial court was to determine the length and manner of service of the sentences. After a sentencing hearing, the appellant received an effective eight-year sentence to be served in the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC). The appellant contends on appeal that the trial court erred by ordering him to serve his sentences in confinement. Based upon the record and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


CALVIN D. NORRIS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Ashley Preston, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Calvin D. Norris.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Meredith DeVault, Senior Counsel; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Deborah M. Housel, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The Petitioner, Calvin D. Norris, appeals the Davidson County Criminal Court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his 2007 conviction for possession with intent to sell one-half gram or less of cocaine and his ten-year sentence. On appeal, the Petitioner contends that his guilty plea was unknowing, involuntary, and unintelligent because he was denied the effective assistance of counsel. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.


ANTWAIN TAPAIGE SALES v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Antwain Tapaige Sales, Pikeville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clark B. Thornton, Assistant Attorney General; and Robert Carter, District Attorney General; and Michael D. Randles, Assistant District Attorney General for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The Petitioner, Antwain Tapaige Sales, appeals the Bedford County Circuit Court’s summary dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief from his conviction for second degree murder and resulting forty-year sentence. On appeal, he contends that the trial court erred in determining that he failed to satisfy the threshold burden to warrant an additional hearing regarding whether the statute of limitations should have been tolled due to his mental incompetence. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. LARRY A. WADE

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Lanni Marchant and Lee Davis, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Larry Wade.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, III, District Attorney General; and Neal Pinkston, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Defendant, Larry Wade, was indicted by the Hamilton County Grand Jury for premeditated murder, felony murder, and especially aggravated robbery. Following a pretrial hearing on Defendant’s motion to suppress, which the trial court took under advisement, Defendant entered a guilty plea to second degree murder on the same day as the suppression hearing. Defendant subsequently filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea, which the trial court denied after two separate hearings. On appeal, Defendant asserts that the trial court’s failure to rule on his motion to suppress prior to accepting his guilty plea violated his due process rights, and consequently, Defendant’s guilty plea was unknowingly and involuntarily entered, and Defendant asserts that it was a manifest injustice to deny Defendant’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea. After a careful review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


3 Magistrates Run for Davidson Juvenile Judge

Three county magistrates hope to replace Judge Betty Adams Green to serve on the bench of the Davidson County Juvenile Court, the Tennessean reports. Sheila Calloway, who served under Green as magistrate; Sophia Crawford, a magistrate in juvenile court; and Carlton Lewis, also a magistrate in the juvenile court, are all in the running. Green announced her retirement last month after 14 years in the post.


Apply Now for Eastern Division Court of Appeals Seat

The Judicial Nominating Commission is now accepting applications for the Court of Appeals vacancy in the Eastern Division, which will be created by the Dec. 31 retirement of Judge Herschel P. Franks. Applications must be in by Oct. 22 at noon Central time. The commission will set a date to interview all qualified applicants, along with a public hearing where anyone may express  opinions about the applicants. The interview, public hearing and deliberation process will be open to the public. The commission then will select three candidates to recommend to the governor. Get the details from the Administrative Office of the Courts


Two Firms Increase Numbers in Florida

Two firms with Tennessee ties are expanding in Florida. Adams and Reese has opened a new office in Tallahassee, increasing its size to more than 50 attorneys in Florida, and more than 300 attorneys and advisors firmwide. In addition to offices in four other states and Washington, DC, Adams and Reese is also in Memphis and Nashville. Meanwhile, Burr & Forman LLP will combine with Tampa law firm Williams Schifino Mangione & Steady PA, marking the firm's entrance into the Tampa market. With the addition of 23 attorneys from Williams Schifino, Burr & Forman now has  277 lawyers in nine offices in five Southeastern states, including Nashville.


Sales Tax Dispute to Be Argued This Week

Oral arguments are scheduled for Wednesday morning in the Tennessee Court of Appeals Eastern Division to settle the sales-tax dispute between the city of Cleveland and Bradley County. The city will continue its argument that the proceeds of the 1967, 1972 and 1982 sales taxes should be divided between the city and county based on the point of the sale as stated in Tennessee Code. The county asserts the proceeds of each local option sales tax should be divided between the two local governments in accordance with the formula established in the 1967 contract, which is based on school population. The Cleveland Daily Banner has the story


EJU Presents Awards, Provides Education

More than 150 lawyers and advocates involved in providing civil legal assistance across Tennessee gathered last week at Paris Landing State Park for Equal Justice University, an annual educational program sponsored by the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS) and the Tennessee Bar Association (TBA). The event also celebrated two individuals dedicated to providing access to justice in Tennessee -- Nashville lawyer Margaret L. Behm and Adrienne Kittos from Justice for Our Neighbors.


Former Prosecutor Convicted in Sex-for-Leniency Scandal

Former Hawkins County assistant prosecutor John Douglas Godbee was convicted of felony official misconduct this morning, Knoxnews.com reports. He had been accused of soliciting sex from female defendants for leniency.


Real Property, Employment Law Headline October 'Journal'

The Tennessee Bar Journal this month studies the state’s real property rules and the available tools in an article by Chancellor Telford E. Forgety Jr., George W. Kuney and Devin P. Lyon. Also, Mark C. Travis explains the T.E.A.M Act, involving public sector employment law. President Jackie Dixon stresses the importance of civility, especially for lawyers, and columnists Don Paine, Edward G. Phillips and Monica J. Franklin update you on evidence, the Tennessee Lawful Employment Act, and Medicaid in Estate Recovery, respectively. Bill Haltom explores the thinking of jurors who in a recent case dressed alike or with a coordinated theme every day of the trial. Look in your mailbox for the October issue, or read the Journal online


Court: Don't Lie About Who Child's Father Is

The Tennessee Supreme Court today upheld a trial court’s damage award against a mother who misled her boyfriend by telling him he was the child’s father when he was not. In its ruling, the court stated that an intentional misrepresentation claim, which is already recognized in Tennessee’s courts, is broad enough to apply to circumstances where a mother intentionally misrepresents the parentage of her child. Learn more about the case


Court: Conviction on Bad Checks Can Be Used to Impeach Credibility

The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled today that passing worthless checks could be used to impeach a defendant's credibility. In a trial against Wanda F. Russell, who was indicted on four counts of theft, the court stated that the prior misdemeanor conviction was admissible to impeach her credibility since it involves dishonesty. Learn more from the Administrative Office of the Courts


LSC Group Recommends New Ways to Enhance Pro Bono

A task force charged with finding innovative ways to enhance pro bono service in the face of decreasing legal aid funding is presenting the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) with a list of proposals that include: forming a professional association of pro bono coordinators at LSC-funded organizations; asking Congress to create a new Pro Bono Innovation/Incubation Fund; and developing a fellowship program for new graduates and emeritus lawyers designed to build support for civil legal services and pro bono within firms, law schools and the legal profession. The task force also recommends asking bar leaders, the judiciary, and others to permit judges to recruit and recognize pro bono attorneys, consistent with their ethical obligations; allow lawyers to take on limited-representation matters or unbundle services; and allowing lawyers to take on pro bono matters in jurisdictions other than those in which they are licensed to practice. Learn more from the LSC


Boot Camp Gives Front-Row Seat to Supreme Court Action

The Tennessee Bar Associaiton's Supreme Court Boot Camp allows lawyers to learn by watching two oral arguments before the Tennessee Supreme Court, followed by a debriefing with the attorneys who argued them. The course offers 6.5 hours of CLE in Nashville this Thursday.


Alternative Fee Pricing Puts Focus on Client Satisfaction

Many law firms are offering legal fee alternatives to the traditional billable hours, thanks to a new breed of law firm executives known as pricing directors. Value-based pricing is the new billing model where the focus is on producing outcomes such as client satisfaction and repeat business instead of racking up hours to succeed. “Change your firm’s conversation from hours and revenue, to revenue and profit," Toby Brown tells ABAJournal.com. "If you succeed in doing that, then everything else follows.”


Affirmative Action, Same-Sex Marriage, Voter Rights on Agenda for New Term

Today is the first day of the U.S. Supreme Court's fall term and court watchers say this term may be just as exciting as the last one, Law.com reports. Subjects the justices will cover include affirmative action, same-sex marriage and possibly erecting new obstacles to class actions. Also waiting in the wings are cases questioning the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and voter ID laws.  Refresh your memory on the justices --  the AP shows you the justices' order of seniority, age, the presidents who appointed them, and when they took their seats on the high court.


 
 

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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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