Report Shows Female Lawyers Still Lag in Pay

Female attorneys continue to lag their male colleagues in salary and leadership roles at firms, a new study from the National Association of Women Lawyers found. As reported in the Boston Business Journal, the study showed that compensation for women is lower at all levels, but especially in equity partner ranks, where women earn about 89 percent of what men make.

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
03 - 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 Court of Appeals


Court: TN Court of Appeals


Jonathan Lionel Stein, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kanina Y. Hazlett.

Stephanie J. Williams, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Samuel L. Howard.


This case involves a petition filed in the Davidson County Juvenile Court to change custody of a minor child from his father to his mother. The Juvenile Court Magistrate conducted an extensive hearing, and ruled at the conclusion of the proof that there had been a material change of circumstances, but that it was in the child’s best interest that the father remain the child’s primary residential parent. The mother filed a timely request for a re-hearing before the Juvenile Court Judge. She appeared pro se at the de novo hearing, and did not present any witnesses or any proof. The Juvenile Court Judge declared that no material change of circumstances had been proved, but that the magistrate’s order should be affirmed. Because we cannot reconcile the internal inconsistencies in the Juvenile Court’s order, we vacate that order.


Court: TN Court of Appeals


Cynthia D. Hall and H. Richard Marcus, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Southern Trust Insurance Company

Joseph Bernard Klockenkemper, II, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and State Farm Fire and Casualty Company


This is a dispute between insurance companies over coverage related to a car accident. We conclude that the trial court erred in finding that the driver’s auto policy covered damages resulting from the independent acts of negligence of the car owner.


Court: TN Court of Appeals


Kenneth James Phillips, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Shawn M. Wylie and Roy Wylie.

Adam F. Driscoll did not file a brief.


A mother and her husband filed a petition to enroll a foreign judgment regarding her former husband’s visitation rights with her child for the purpose of extinguishing her former husband’s rights to see the child. The former husband resides in Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin court declined to relinquish jurisdiction over the case. The trial court determined it did not have subject matter jurisdiction and dismissed the petition. We affirm the trial court’s judgment.

TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Marvin Ballin and Richard S. Townley, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tommy Gayden.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Senior Counsel; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Chris West and Dean DeCandia, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Tommy Gayden, was convicted by a Shelby County Criminal Court jury of second degree murder, a Class A felony. See T.C.A. § 39-13-210 (2010). The trial court sentenced the Defendant as a Range III, multiple offender to thirty years’ confinement at 100% service as a violent offender. On appeal, the Defendant contends that (1) the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction, (2) the trial court erred by allowing the State to argue during opening statements that the Defendant was calm and collected at the time of the shooting, (3) the trial court erred by allowing the State to argue facts not in evidence during closing arguments, and (4) the trial court erred by not granting the Defendant’s requested jury instruction. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Mark E. Stephens, District Public Defender; and Jessica Greene, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Demetree Tyon Harris.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Jeffrey D. Zentner, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Jeff Blevins, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Demetree Tyon Harris appeals the Knox County Criminal Court’s order revoking his probation for aggravated assault and misdemeanor theft and ordering the remainder of his five-year sentence into execution. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Paul Julius Walwyn, Madison, Tennessee, for appellant, Abbas H. Nejat a.k.a. Abbas H. Nejad.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lindsy Paduch Stempel, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Rachel Marie Sobrero and Jennifer McMillen, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

A Davidson County Criminal Court Jury found the appellant, Abbas H. Nejat a.k.a. Abbas H. Nejad, guilty of retaliation for past action, a Class E felony. The trial court sentenced the appellant to six years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the appellant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence sustaining his conviction. The appellant also challenges the trial court’s ruling regarding the admissibility of evidence concerning the appellant’s membership in the Kurdish Pride Gang. Finally, the appellant challenges the sentence imposed by the trial court. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Randall Turner, Pikeville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; James Michael Taylor, District Attorney General; and James W. Pope, III, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: PAGE

Petitioner, Randall Turner, filed a petition for habeas corpus relief seeking relief from several convictions in the Hamilton County Criminal Court. The habeas corpus court dismissed the petition without an evidentiary hearing. We affirm the judgment of the habeas corpus court pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee.

Jury Selected for Baumgartner Trial

Ten women and two men were picked this evening after two days of jury selection to hear the federal case against former Knox County Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner, Knox News reports. The panel consists of primarily middle-age people, with one African American woman. Two alternatives, a man and a woman, were also chosen. Opening statements begin Thursday in U.S. District Court in Knoxville.

Vet Goes on Trial in Animal Abuse, Starvation Case

Jurors saw photos of dogs who were allegedly starved to death as the trial of a former Memphis Animal Services veterinarian got underway this week, the Commercial Appeal reports.  Angela Middleton faces six counts of cruelty to animals for her part in the case, which has already seen two former employees receive jail time for aggravated animal cruelty charges. Shelby County Sheriff's Office deputies raided the animal shelter in 2009 after tipsters complained of abuse and cruelty there.

LMU Law Dean Steps Down Amid Accreditation Woes

Duncan School of Law Dean Sydney Beckman has stepped down and will return to teaching amid uncertainty with the school’s latest appeal for accreditation. Knox News reports that the American Bar Association denied an appeal from the law school in July, but offered a second opportunity to appeal. The Tennessee Board of Law Examiners granted the school an extension of its provisional state approval, giving it until 2017 to earn ABA accreditation. The federal lawsuit LMU filed against the ABA alleging antitrust and due process violations has been stayed pending the outcome of the latest appeal.

School Board Split on Filing Suit

The Metro Nashville school board is split on the decision whether to sue the state to force the return of $3.4 million the district didn’t receive last month as penalty for rejecting the charter application for Great Hearts Academy. The board came to no decision during a Tuesday meeting on whether it will move forward without the money or sue to get the funding restored. The board’s next regularly scheduled meeting is Nov. 13, The Tennessean reports.

TBA Holds Conservatorship Hearing in Memphis

The Tennessee Bar Association Tuesday night held a second public hearing on how current conservatorship law is working or could be improved. The event was held in the Historic Courtroom at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humprheys School of Law. See photos of some of those who appeared to offer their thoughts, opinions and experiences with the law. Additional hearings are scheduled across the state.

DOJ Sues Bank of America for Alleged Fraud

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is suing Bank of America for $1 billion alleging the bank committed fraud by selling defective mortgages to government-backed mortgage finance firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, resulting in over $1 billion in losses for taxpayers and countless foreclosures. CNN has the full story.

NY Court Rules Lap Dances Taxable

The New York Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that since lap dancing does not promote community culture in the way dance such as ballet does, it is taxable the ABA Journal reports. Albany establishment Nite Moves challenged the state tax law when they were ordered to pay $400,000 in back taxes, claiming the law does not make a distinction between “highbrow dance and lowbrow dance.”

Justice for Our Neighbors Clinic Thursday

Connexion Americas will host the Justice for Our Neighbors clinic at 800 18th Avenue South, Suite A, in Nashville on Thursday. The event is free, but by appointment only. For more information or to register, contact Adrienne Schlichtemeir.

Fashion Show to Benefit Community Legal Center

The Community Legal Center will host Strut! Memphis, a fashion show fundraiser hosted by Mercedes-Benz of Memphis. The event will take place Thursday from 6-8 p.m. at 5389 Poplar Ave. To purchase tickets, visit the CLC website.

Murfreesboro Clinic Set for Thursday

The Rutherford-Cannon County Bar Association will host its weekly free legal clinic from 4 – 6 p.m. on Thursday at Greenhouse Ministries, 309 South Spring St, Murfreesboro. Contact Andrae Crismon for more information.

Memphis Law to Host Pro Bono Fair

The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and Public Action Law Society will host a Pro Bono Fair Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the School of Law Student Lounge. Contact Callie Caldwell for more information.

Cleveland Community Legal Clinic Set for Thursday

The Bradley County Bar Association and Cleveland Bradley County Public Library will host a Community Legal Forum to discuss issues related to deed transfers and reverse mortgages. The event will be Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Community Room of the Cleveland Bradley County Public Library, Main Branch, 795 Church St NE. For more information, call (423) 472-2163, etc. 126.

LAET to Host Divorce Clinic

Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET) will host a Divorce Clinic Thursday at 3 p.m. free and open to the public. It will be located at 535 Chestnut St, Suite 360 in Chattanooga. For more information, contact Charlie McDaniel. View a full list of Celebrate Pro Bono Month events.


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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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