Conservatorship Hearings Continue

Public hearings on conservatorship law continue this week, with sessions planned for Tuesday in Morristown and Wednesday in Chattanooga. The sessions are taking place to help improve practice and procedure in dealing with adults with diminished capacity, including frail elders, persons with developmental disabilities, individuals with physical disabilities, and persons with mental health or addiction issues. The Morristown session will be held tomorrow at the Hamblen County Courthouse, 511 W. Second North St., from 1 to 5 p.m. Eastern time. The Chattanooga session will be Wednesday at the Hamilton County Courthouse, 625 Georgia Ave., also from 1 to 5 p.m. Eastern 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.

00 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Workers Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
00 - 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 Criminal Appeals


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


William C. Barnes, Jr. (at hearings), Columbia, Tennessee, and Jody Lee Lindsey (on appeal), Whiteville, Tennessee, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Senior Counsel; Charles F. Crawford, Jr., District Attorney General; Weakley E. Barnard, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Jody Lee Lindsey, pled guilty to one count of violating the Habitual Motor Vehicle Offender (“HMVO”) law, one count of third offense driving on a revoked license, and one count of felony failure to appear. After a sentencing hearing, the trial court found the Defendant to be a Range III offender and merged the driving on a revoked license conviction with the HMVO conviction. It then sentenced the Defendant to five years for both the HMVO conviction and the felony failure to appear conviction. The trial court ordered the sentences to run consecutively based upon the Defendant’s extensive criminal history, for an effective sentence of ten years. On appeal, the Defendant argues that: (1) the trial court erred when it imposed consecutive sentences; (2) his convictions were based upon an unlawfully induced guilty plea; (3) the evidence is insufficient to sustain his convictions; and (4) the counsel representing him at the guilty plea hearing and sentencing hearing was ineffective. After a thorough review of the record and the applicable law, we affirm the trial court’s judgments.


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Eric D. Wallace, Tiptonville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; and Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


Eric D. Wallace (“the Petitioner”), proceeding pro se, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, alleging that (1) his indictment for attempted first degree murder is defective because it was amended improperly to include a factual basis for aggravated assault; (2) the judgment and sentence imposed for felony murder and attempted first degree murder are void; and (3) the felony murder conviction must be dismissed. The habeas corpus court summarily denied relief, and this appeal followed. We affirm the habeas corpus court’s judgment pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals.

Federal Judicial Post Drawing Interest in East Tenn.

Who will succeed U.S. District Judge Thomas W. Phillips when he retires in 2013? Speculation is already running high in East Tennessee, where the Knoxville New Sentinel’s Georgiana Vines tosses out the names of several candidates, including former TBA President Pamela Reeves, TBA President-Elect Cynthia Richardson Wyrick and Knoxville lawyer Dawn Coppock.

No Changes Coming for Open Records, Haslam Says

Gov. Bill Haslam will not make any changes to open records policies, the Columbia Daily Herald reports. The governor had studied the processes for eight months, looking at inconsistencies among departments and potential abuses. After the study, he told the Associated Press that his initial fears of potential abuse of the laws had been allayed and that he has instructed his cabinet to expedite records production to the public and the media, and to try to keep costs as low as possible.

Lawyer Who Morphed Images as Exhibit in Child Porn Trial Must Pay Damages

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a $300,000 award against an Ohio lawyer, rejecting arguments that he had a First Amendment right to morph stock photos into child pornography as part of a defense trial exhibit and that no one was harmed by his doing so, the ABA Journal reports. Dean Boland was trying to show that overbroad laws against child pornography could entrap a defendant who didn't know whether the images were real or fake. But he wound up in trouble himself.

N.J. Lawyers, New York Court Step Up to Help Storm Victims

New Jersey attorneys have stepped up to assist victims of Hurricane Sandy. reports that the New Jersey State Bar Association opened up a hotline today to give legal assistance for those dealing with the aftermath of the super storm. “As they have in other disasters, our volunteer attorneys are ready to help people whose lives have been forever altered by this storm,” State Bar Association President Kevin P. McCann said. In New York, the Court Families Assistance Fund has been set up in partnership with the Center for Court Innovation and the Fund for the City of New York, the New York Law Journal reports. The fund will help New York's court employees whose "homes, cars, possessions and way of life were swept away by Sandy." Donations can be made to the fund at the New York State Unified Court System’s website.

Services Sunday for Memphis Attorney Ross Clark

Retired Memphis attorney Ross Bert Clark II died Thursday (Nov. 8) at his home. He was 79. Mr. Clark was a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law and was active in the Tennessee legal community for many years, serving as a partner in the law firms of Laughlin Halle, Apperson Crump and Armstrong Allen. He also served as president of the Memphis & Shelby County Bar Association and was a co-founder of Memphis Area Legal Services and of the Memphis Bar Foundation. At the state level, Mr. Ross served as an officer of the Tennessee Bar Association and was a founder and president of the Tennessee Bar Foundation. He was also a fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Services will be on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Calvary Episcopal Church, 102 North Second Street in Memphis. A reception will follow. In lieu of flowers, Mr. Clark suggested gifts in his memory be sent to Calvary Church; Sewanee, the University of the South, 735 University Ave., Sewanee, TN 37383; The Baylor School, 171 Baylor School Road, Chattanooga, TN 37405; or a charity of the donor's choice.

Kingsport Attorney Ken Wright Remembered

Longtime Kingsport attorney Julian Kenneth Wright died Oct. 22 in his home. He was 88. Known by his friends and colleagues as Ken and recognized by his ever-present pipe, Mr. Wright was a native of Glen, Miss., graduated from Vanderbilt Law School and earned a Purple Heart in World War II, where he was injured in the Battle of the Bulge. His law practice spanned 61 years, which his family says brought him great pride and satisfaction. Learn more from Carter-Trent Funeral Home.

DOJ Civil Rights Head to Speak at UT

Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general and head of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, will speak Thursday at 7 p.m. at the University of Tennessee as part of the university’s Civility and Diversity Program. The law school community is invited to a reception for Perez at 4:45 in the Faculty Lounge, where Perez will make brief remarks and answer questions. Learn more from UT

CLE Programs Underway Across State

The Tennessee Bar Association will host continuing legal education programs across the state this week. Avoid Malpractice: The Risks and Opportunities of Social Media will be held Tuesday in Knoxville, followed by sessions in Nashville on Wednesday and Memphis on Thursday. Also on Thursday, the Family Law Forum will take place at the Tennessee Bar Center in Nashville and on Friday, the TBA's Dispute Resolution Section will host Getting the Arbitration Process You Want and Need, also in Nashville. A webcast on Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act: More Small Business Capital in Tennessee? will also take place on Friday at noon.


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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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