Chattanooga Lawyer Paul Campbell Jr., 96, Dies

Lawyer Paul Campbell Jr. died this morning in Chattanooga. He was 96. A graduate of George Washington University Law School, Mr. Campbell was admitted to the Tennessee bar in 1940, was a special agent for the FBI and also served in the United States Navy Reserve. He joined his father in law practice in 1951 in the firm the elder Mr. Campbell founded in 1908, which continues today as Campbell & Campbell. He was the father of former Tennessee Bar Association President Paul Campbell III. Arrangements are not available at this time.

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

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TN Supreme Court

CORRECTION: On page seventeen (17), at third line, capitalized the word 'Defendant'.

Court: TN Supreme Court


Gary Antrican, District Public Defender; and Parker O. Dixon, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Guy Alvin Williamson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; William E. Young, Solicitor General; David H. Findley, Senior Counsel; D. Michael Dunavant, District Attorney General; and James Walter Freeland, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WADE

After an investigatory stop and frisk, the defendant was charged with the unlawful possession of a handgun after a felony conviction and the unlawful possession of a handgun while under the influence of alcohol and was convicted on both counts. The trial court imposed probationary sentences of three years and eleven months, twenty-nine days, respectively. The defendant appealed, arguing that his motion to suppress evidence should have been granted. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed. This Court granted the defendant’s application for permission to appeal. Because the investigatory stop and frisk of the defendant was not supported by specific and articulable facts establishing reasonable suspicion that a criminal act was being or about to be committed, the trial court erred by failing to suppress the handgun found by the police and presented as evidence at trial. The judgments of conviction are, therefore, reversed and the cause dismissed.

TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Wayne R. Stambaugh, Morristown, Tennessee, for the appellant, Robert Eric Collins.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; C. Berkeley Bell, Jr., District Attorney General; and Alex Pearson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Petitioner, Robert Eric Collins, appeals from the Hawkins County Criminal Court’s denial of post-conviction relief from his two guilty plea convictions for possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, Class C felonies, and his effective three-year community corrections sentence. On appeal, the Petitioner contends that counsel provided ineffective assistance by (1) failing to advise him properly of potential conflicts of interest and (2) forcing him to plead guilty by telling him that he could not receive a fair trial in Hawkins County. We affirm the judgement of the trial court.


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Mark Stephens, District Public Defender, and Nathaniel Evans, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, James Basil Conner.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Meredith DeVault, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Debbie Malone, Assistant District Attorney General; for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The defendant pled guilty to two counts of aggravated burglary, Class C felonies, and was sentenced as a range I, standard offender to two concurrent three-year sentences, to be served on probation. The defendant requested judicial diversion, but the trial court denied this request. The defendant now appeals, claiming that the trial court abused its discretion by failing to grant him judicial diversion. After carefully reviewing the record and the arguments of the parties, we conclude that the trial court failed to expressly consider numerous criteria that it was required to consider in making the determination of whether to grant or deny judicial diversion. Consequently, the judgments of the trial court are reversed and the case is remanded to the trial court for reconsideration in light of all relevant factors in a manner consistent with this opinion.


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Dan R. Smith, Johnson City, Tennessee (on appeal); Ricky A. W. Curtis and Teresa Murray Smith, Blountville, Tennessee (at trial) for the appellant, Allan Pope.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; and Barry P. Staubus, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: PAGE

In presentments by a Sullivan County Grand Jury, appellant, Allan Pope, was charged with four counts of theft of services more than $1,000 but less than $10,000; one count of official misconduct; one count of using public equipment for private purposes; and one count of theft of services more than $10,000 but less than $60,000. A jury found appellant not guilty of all counts of theft of services more than $1,000 but less than $10,000. He was found guilty of the remaining counts. The trial court imposed a one-year suspended sentence for official misconduct and a three-year suspended sentence for theft of services more than $10,000 but less than $60,000 and placed appellant on probation for six years. On 1 appeal, appellant raises the following issues: (1) whether the trial court erred in denying appellant’s motion for judgment of acquittal or motion for new trial; (2) whether the evidence was sufficient to sustain a conviction for official misconduct; (3) whether the evidence was sufficient to sustain a conviction for private use of county equipment; (4) whether the evidence was sufficient to sustain a conviction for theft of services more than $10,000 but less than $60,000, and; (5) whether the trial court erred in ordering restitution. Upon review of the record, we agree with appellant and conclude that the evidence was insufficient to sustain the convictions for official misconduct and private use of public property, therefore we reverse the judgments of conviction and dismiss those counts of the indictment. We affirm the judgment of the trial court on theft of services more than $10,000 but less than $60,000 and remand the matter for entry of judgments consistent with this opinion.


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Robert L. Vogel, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Billie Joe Welch.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; Russell Johnson, District Attorney General; and Frank Harvey, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

The Petitioner, Billie Joe Welch, appeals as of right from the Roane County Criminal Court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. The Petitioner was convicted of second degree murder, a Class A felony. He received a sentence of eighteen years as a Range I, violent offender. The Petitioner challenges the denial of his petition for postconviction relief as well as the performance of trial and appellate counsel. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Judge May Be First Meningitis Casualty

Kentucky Circuit Court Judge Eddie Lovelace may be the first meningitis outbreak victim in Tennessee, the Tennessean reports. The 78-year-old died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center on Sept. 17, and although representatives from Vanderbilt have not confirmed that Lovelace died from the outbreak, they have confirmed the first reported casualty was a 78-year-old man who died there on Sept. 17. Reports claim that Lovelace’s symptoms and condition were consistent with symptoms of fungal meningitis. Lovelace’s lawyer is working to confirm cause of death.

Nashville Lawyer Builds City’s Global Connections

Attorney Tracy Kane’s childhood interest in foreign language and international affairs has shaped her career and broadened the global reach of the city of Nashville. The Tennessean spoke with the Franklin native about her work with Sister Cities of Nashville, an organization that links Nashville with cities across the world through civic exchanges, professional or business connections, and the arts. “Our mission in essence is to promote peace and mutual respect and understanding amongst diverse cultures through citizen diplomacy,” Kane says.

Komisar Named Panel Lawyer of the Year

The Federal Public Defenders Office recognized Nashville attorney David Komisar as Panel Lawyer of the Year at the 21st Annual Panel Appreciation Banquet, which honors court-appointed private attorneys who represent federal defendants. Komisar is a Nashville native and graduate of the University of Memphis law school. The Tennessean has the full story.

Court: Re-Filed Suits Must Adhere to New State Laws

Re-filed malpractice lawsuits must comply with state laws currently in effect at the time of the re-filing, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled Thursday. The court unanimously voted to dismiss Curtis Myers' re-filed malpractice complaint based on failure to adhere to new state laws, the Chattanoogan reports. Myers dismissed his suit on Oct. 21, 2008, and re-filed in September 2009. However, the new statutes went into effect on Oct. 1, 2008, and were amended in July 2009. Read the full opinion here. 

Legal Issues Surround Employer Health Care

Tennessee is one of 24 states that has not determined a position on whether to choose state, federal or federal/state partnership-operated health exchange to facilitate individual purchases of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, attorney Dick Cowart writes in a column. The individual and Medicaid mandates have been much in the news and in the courts already, but Cowart explains that the "employer mandate" will be the next hurdle, and some employers are worried. Read his column in the Tennessean.

Differing Solutions to Legal Ed Problems

University of California at Hastings law dean Frank Wu and University of Cincinnati tax law professor Paul Caron agree that law schools need reform but they disagree on the best solution, the ABA Journal reports. While Wu stated in a Huffington Post editorial that schools should reduce class size and increase tuition, Caron opposed the idea in his blog TaxProf stating law school is twice as expensive as 20 years ago but students are not receiving legal education that is twice as good.

Medicare Fraud Ruling Overturned

A federal appeals court overturned an $82.6 million judgment and civil charges against Renal Care Group, Renal Care Group Supply Co., and Fresneius Medical Care Holding Inc. for improperly billing Medicare from 1999-2005. According to the Memphis Daily News, Judge R. Guy Cook concluded the companies did not intentionally disregard legal mandates related to Medicare submissions. The three-judge panel also sent back five other allegations stemming from a whistleblowing lawsuit to be heard by U.S. District Judge William J. Haynes Jr. in Nashville.

Brentwood Ponzi Scheme Victims Share Stories at DOJ Summit

The Department of Justice Investment Fraud Summit series kicked off yesterday at Vanderbilt Law School on the heels of a major Brentwood financial scam, News Channel 5 reports. Aaron Vallett pled guilty and was sentenced on Tuesday to 10 years in federal prison and ordered to repay $5.4 million for running a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme. Vallet’s victims shared their stories at the summit Thursday.

Traffic Court Judge Arrested for Suspended License reports LaFollette traffic court judge Wes Hatmaker of Jacksboro was arrested after police pulled him over for a minor traffic violation and found him driving with a license that had been suspended since 1998. Hatmaker, a lawyer, says he did not know his license was suspended until a month before his arrest. A court date has not been set.

Group Asks Sevier Commission to Stop Lord's Prayer, Again

A group called Americans United for Separation of Church and State has once again asked the Sevier County Commission to stop opening its meetings by reciting the Lord's Prayer and to remove a picture of the 10 Commandments from a wall inside the courthouse. Lawyers for the group sent a letter to County Mayor Larry Waters and members of the commission on Oct. 3 demanding the commission comply within 30 days. Americans United maintains that the prayer and poster are a clear violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The group first complained in 2010 but the commission has continued the practice. Attorney Ian Smith says if there is no action in 30 days they will consider litigation. The Mountain Press has more

Open-Door Legal Clinic Set for Monday

Legal Aid of East Tennessee will host an “Open-Door” intake clinic in Cleveland on Oct. 8, in which citizens can meet with attorneys and receive free legal counsel. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. at 1075 Blythe Ave., SE, Suite 8, Cleveland, TN 37311. Contact Charlie McDaniel for more information. See a list of all this month's Celebrate Pro Bono events

Bradley County Hosts Annual Walk in Memory of Child Abuse Victim

On Oct.11, the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Bradley County will host its third annual Moonlight Walk in memory of Melisha Gipson, a four-year-old Cleveland girl who died tragically in 1976 from child abuse. The case gained national exposure and resulted in increased child abuse laws in Tennessee and across the country, the Chattanoogan reports.


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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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