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Don't miss the TBA's “Growing Your Practice and Your Career: Law Practice Management and Business Development” CLE set for next Friday, Oct. 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Tennessee Bar Center in Nashville. Register by the end of the day tomorrow to avoid late penalties. Learn more about the program 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.

00 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Workers Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
01 - TN Court of Appeals
02 - 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 Court of Appeals


Court: TN Court of Appeals


Robert J. Notestine, III, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Susan Elaine Dunlap, Lady Bug Corporation, Trustee for BLF Land Trust, BLF Land Trust

Raymond G. Prince, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, CadleRock Joint Venture II, L.P.


A judgment creditor sued the owners of two parcels of real property, who received the property from the ex-wife of debtor, and the ex-wife, to enforce a judgment lien on property previously owned by debtor; debtor’s ex-wife, who was awarded the property in a final divorce decree entered subsequent to the recording of the judgment lien, claimed that her interest in the property had priority over that of the judgment creditor. The trial court granted summary judgment to creditor; ex-wife and grantees appeal. Finding no error, we affirm the trial court.

TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Elaine Heard, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Marques Sanchez Johnson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, District Attorney General, and Pamela Anderson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Appellant, Marques Sanchez Johnson, was indicted by the Davidson County Grand Jury for four counts of burglary of a motor vehicle, six counts of theft of property, and one count of evading arrest in two separate cases. Appellant pled guilty to two counts of burglary of a motor vehicle and one count of theft in each case in exchange for a total effective sentence of six years in the first case and twelve years in the second case as a Range IV, career offender, with the trial court to determine after a sentencing hearing whether the sentences would run concurrently or consecutively. After a hearing, the trial court ordered the sentences to run consecutively, for a total effective sentence of eighteen years as a Range IV, career offender. Appellant insists that the trial court erred by ordering consecutive sentences. After a review of the record, the briefs, and the applicable authorities, we conclude that the record supports the trial court’s determination that consecutive sentences were warranted because Appellant had an extensive criminal record and was a professional criminal. Consequently, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Jamie Scott Moore, Pro Se, Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Nicholas W. Spangler, Assistant Attorney General; William Whitesell, District Attorney General, and Jennings Jones, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Petitioner, Jamie Scott Moore, pled guilty in Rutherford County to two counts of attempted sale of methamphetamine on October 6, 2006. As a result, he was sentenced to six years at thirty percent as a Range I, standard offender on each offense, to be served concurrently with each other. Petitioner was to serve 270 days prior to release on probation. As part of the plea agreement, Petitioner agreed that on his first violation of probation he would waive any application for a suspended sentence and serve the sentence in its entirety. Petitioner filed a petition for writ of mandamus in which he argued that he was “prematurely and illegally released” before serving all 270 days of the agreed sentence. After a hearing on the petition, the trial court denied the petition. Petitioner appeals. After a review of the record, we determine that Petitioner has failed to support his argument with authority, failed to present the court with an adequate record for review, and sought an appeal to this court from the denial of a writ of mandamus, a right not prescribed in Tennessee Rule of Appellate Procedure 3(b). Consequently, the appeal is dismissed, and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

Knox County GOP Chair to Resign

Knox County Republican Party Chairman Ray H. Jenkins plans to resign from his position next week to become a candidate for the circuit court vacancy created by Judge Wheeler Rosenbalm’s retirement, Knox News reports. "The judicial canon holds a judicial candidate to the same standards as a judge. I cannot hold an office in a political party. I'm interpreting that to mean as soon as I put in an application that will pretty much be my date" to leave the party office, Jenkins said Thursday.

Morgan Keegan Settles $62 Million Class-Action Suit

Memphis-based Morgan Keegan & Co. investment firm and more than 10,000 clients nationwide have settled a class-action lawsuit filed after the meltdown of the firm's mutual funds in 2008, the Commercial Appeal reports. The firm will pay out $62 million without admitting any wrongdoing.

Appeals Court Strikes Down DOMA

The Second U.S Circuit Court of Appeals, based in New York state, became the nation's second appellate court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), finding that the law's denial of federal benefits to married same-sex couples is unconstitutional. The ruling Thursday found in favor of  widow Edith Windsor, an 83-year-old who sued the federal government for charging her more than $363,000 in estate taxes after being denied the benefit of spousal deductions. has the story.

Women Lag In Law Review Leadership

According to New York Law School and the nonprofit organization Ms. JD, women remain largely underrepresented in top law review leadership roles. The National Law Journal reports that data shows just 31 percent of editors-in-chief at flagship journals of American Bar Association-accredited law schools last year were women, and that figure declined by five percent from the previous year.

'Justice for our Neighbors' Legal Clinic Tomorrow

TIRRC and Connexion Americas will host the Justice for Our Neighbors free legal clinic Saturday at the Hillcrest United Methodist Church, 5112 Raywood Ln. in Nashville. Appointments are required. Contact Adrienne Schlichtemeir to register.

Free Legal Clinics on Tap in Cleveland, Murfreesboro

The Bradley County Bar Association will host its monthly free legal clinic tomorrow from 10 a.m. to noon at the Refuse Community Center, 1075 Blythe Ave. Suite 8 in Cleveland. Contact Charlie McDaniel for more information. Also tomorrow, the Rutherford-Cannon County Bar Association and Legal Aid Society will host a clinic at Higher Ground Worship Center, 2424 Yearwood Ave. in Murfreesboro. For more information about that event, contact Andrae Crismon. Both events are free and open to the public.

TBA, Belmont to Host Entertainment Law Clinic

The TBA Entertainment & Sports Law Section and Belmont Law School will hold a free Arts & Entertainment Law Clinic on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will take place at Portland Brew in East Nashville, 1921 Eastland Ave. For more information, contact Casey Summar.

'Bringing Justice to You' Forum this Saturday

This Saturday at 9 a.m., Metro Nashville Public Schools, the criminal court clerk and the public defender's office will host a forum titled “Bringing Justice to You” at Pearl Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School, 904 26th Ave. North. This general information session is free and open to the public but you must pre-register for individual consultations. Contact Robin Trollinger for more information.

View the full list of Celebrate Pro Bono Month events

Lawyer Suspended, Jailed on Meth Charges

The Tennessee Supreme Court on Oct. 18 suspended the law license of Crocket County lawyer Shannon Jones for three years after he was convicted of conspiracy to manufacture and possess methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. The court also directed Jones to remain compliant with his Tennessee Lawyer’s Assistance Program monitoring agreement throughout the length of the suspension. In addition to suspension from the practice of law, Jones was sentenced to six months in prison followed by three years probation. Download the BPR notice

Chattanooga Lawyer Suspended

Chattanooga lawyer Fred T. Hanzelik was suspended on Oct. 18 for one year, with six months to be served on actual suspension and six months to be served on probation. In imposing the disciplinary action, the Tennessee Supreme Court found that he had neglected clients’ cases, failed to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing clients, and failed to adequately communicate with clients. Download the BPR notice

Anderson County Lawyer Suspended

Anderson County attorney Samuel Lain was suspended from the practice of law on Oct. 17 for appearing in court in an impaired state, appearing in court while suspended and failing to competently represent clients. The one-year suspension was made retroactive to Aug. 22, 2011, but will run for an indefinite period thereafter until certain conditions are met. These include participation with the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program, payment of costs, payment of registration fees and compliance with continuing legal education.  Download the BPR notice


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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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