Legal Sector Jobs Steadily Increasing

According to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the legal sector has added jobs for the second straight month. The American Law Daily reports that 600 people joined the industry’s work force in October and 1,300 in September. The industry now employs 6,600 more people than it did in October 2011.

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
01 - 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


David Thomas Black, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Fred McArthur.

Thomas Ray, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, Paul Shearer.


This appeal involves an option contract under which the defendants agreed to buy a piece of property from the plaintiffs at any time. We find no error in the trial court’s determination that the option contract was supported by consideration, that the plaintiffs exercised the option within a reasonable time, and that the plaintiffs did not waive the option by pursuing an inconsistent remedy. We, therefore, affirm the judgment of the trial court.

TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Patrick Lynn Crippen, Clinton, Mississippi, Pro Se

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General, Jamie Carter, Assistant District Attorney General; and Sarah Winningham Keith, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


Defendant, Patrick Lynn Crippen, was indicted by the Knox County Grand Jury for driving under the influence (DUI), violating the implied consent law, failing to provide proper evidence of financial responsibility, and violation of state registration law. Defendant waived his right to the appointment of counsel and subsequently filed motions to dismiss for want of prosecution and to suppress evidence of his performance on field sobriety tests, which were both denied by the trial court. Following a jury trial, at which Defendant represented himself, Defendant was convicted of DUI and found in violation of the implied consent law. The remaining charges were dismissed prior to trial. Defendant was sentenced by the trial court to 11 months and 29 days to be served at 75 percent. Defendant appeals his conviction pro se and asserts that: 1) he was deprived of his constitutional right to a speedy trial; 2) the trial court erred by allowing the officer to testify about Defendant’s field sobriety tests; 3) the trial court improperly excluded evidence that the Knoxville Police Department unlawfully “stacked” charges against him; 4) that the State violated Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963); 5) that the jury should have been instructed as to the availability of audio/visual equipment in the jury room; and 6) that Defendant was not properly informed of a hearing on his motion for new trial. Finding no error, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Assistant DA Retires After 26 years

Sumner County Assistant District Attorney (DA) Sallie Wade Brown retired last week after 26 years of service to the state. She spent the majority of her career prosecuting defendants charged with abusing children and most recently handled drug-related cases. Her daughter will continue her legacy, and was sworn in Thursday as the county’s newest district attorney. Read more at the Tennessean.

LAET Receives Anonymous Donation

The Chattanooga office of Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET) has received an anonymous grant of $34,000 to help fund its work in assisting low-income Chattanoogans appeal the denial of unemployment benefits in 2013. This is the third of such anonymous awards, which helped LAET Chattanooga office win more than $1 million on appeal in unemployment insurance benefits for clients who were initially denied their claim by the state. Read the press release.

Pleasant View Judge Speaks on Ethics to Judicial Group

Pleasant View city court judge Gregory D. Smith recently spoke on judicial ethics at the Tennessee Municipal Judges Conferences Annual Conference in Nashville, the Leaf Chronicle reports. The conference had commissioned Smith to write a municipal judges’ bench book for distribution to the 250 municipal judges across Tennessee. About 120 judges were present.

Welcome to The Practice of Law

The Tennessee Bar Association today welcomed some of the state's newest attorneys to the practice of law in Tennessee with an open house and luncheon at the Tennessee Bar Center. The event was sandwiched between two Supreme Court admissions ceremonies at Nashville's War Memorial Auditorium. Other ceremonies are being held this week across the state.

Supreme Court Considers Limitations on Class-Action Suits

The Supreme Court appears divided on two cases limiting class-action lawsuits against biotech company Amgen Inc. and cable provider Comcast Corp. Class actions increase pressure on businesses to settle suits because of the cost of defending them and the potential for very large judgments. Amgen and Comcast are seeking requirements for plaintiffs to prove more of their case earlier in the process in order to reduce the number of class-action suits. The court should decide both cases by June. The Memphis Daily News has the story. 

Judge George Brown Portrait Unveiling Next Week

A ceremony to unveil a portrait of retired Judge George H. Brown, Jr. will be held on Nov. 15 at 4 p.m. in the lobby of Brinkley Plaza. Hors d’oeuvres from Felicia Suzanne’s will be served. Judge Brown was the first African-American Justice on the Tennessee Supreme Court and served as a Circuit Court Judge for the 30th Judicial District from 1983-2005. Since his retirement, he has been an active neutral in both mediation and arbitration cases. All members of the legal profession are invited to attend the ceremony.

Law Rules Public Forum

The Memphis Bar Association will host a Law Rules Public Forum on Thursday at 6 p.m. to discuss the importance of a fair and impartial justice system and the rule of law in American society. Judge Gina Higgins of the Shelby County Circuit Court and attorneys Porter Feild and Tommy Parker will be on hand to lead the discussion at the Benjamin L. Hooks Public Library.

Judicial Races Contentious in Several States

While most of public attention has been on today’s presidential election, there are also judicial elections in many states. In a handful, the ideological tilt of the state supreme court hangs in the balance. In Iowa, for example, retention elections are again contentious following the 2009 decision on same-sex marriages. See a roundup of the races in the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog.


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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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