Tarpley to Chair ABA Journal Board

John Tarpley of Lewis King in Nashville has been named Chair of the Editorial Board for the American Bar Association Journal. Tarpley, former president of the Tennessee Bar Association, will assume the role in August for a three-year term.

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
04 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
04 - 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


Manuel Benjamin Russ, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael Wayne Davis.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Meredith Devault, Senior Counsel; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Pamela Anderson and Jennifer McMillen, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

A Davidson County Criminal Court Jury convicted the appellant, Michael Wayne Davis, of attempted second degree murder and aggravated assault. The trial court merged the convictions and sentenced the appellant to nineteen years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the appellant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence sustaining his attempted second degree murder conviction, the trial court’s denial of his motion for continuance based upon an unavailable witness, the trial court’s admission of an alleged hearsay statement by a witness, and the trial court’s admission of his statement that was not timely disclosed during discovery. Upon review, we conclude that there is no error. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Dennis J. Garvey, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Stephanie Rena Holt.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Senior Counsel; Kim R. Helper, District Attorney General; and Terry E. Wood, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Stephanie Rena Holt, after pleading guilty to various offenses, was granted probation and placed into the Williamson County Drug Court program, with a condition of probation being that she complete the program. While serving an initial seventy-day period of incarceration, she received write-ups for infractions of several jail rules, resulting in her termination from the drug court program. Following a revocation hearing, her probation was revoked because she had not completed the drug court program. On appeal, she argues that the trial court abused its discretion in revoking her probation and requiring that she be incarcerated for the remainder of her sentence. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Keith E. Lowe (at sentencing and on appeal) and Leslie M. Jeffress (at trial), for the appellant, Jerry Kirkpatrick.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Andrew C. Coulam, Assistant Attorney General; Randy Nichols, District Attorney General; and Kenneth F. Irvine, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The defendant was convicted of burglary and theft, both Class D felonies. The defendant was sentenced to two concurrent seven-year terms in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred by admitting evidence of the defendant’s participation in an additional burglary and by ordering him to serve his sentence in confinement. After review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Mario Morris, Whiteville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Jeffrey D. Zentner, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Betsy Wiseman, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The pro se petitioner, Mario Morris, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, arguing that the post-conviction court erred in finding that he received effective assistance of counsel at trial and on appeal. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court denying the petition.

TN Attorney General Opinions

Sales Tax on Gold and Silver Coins

Court: TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2012-12-28

Opinion Number: 110

Liability for Infants Born with Narcotic Drug Dependency

Court: TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2013-01-09

Opinion Number: 1

Homeowners’ Association’s Restrictive Covenants on Beekeeping

Court: TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2013-01-07

Opinion Number: 2

Sheriff’s Fee for Issuance and Acceptance of Bail Bond

Court: TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2013-01-07

Opinion Number: 3

Court Considers Blood Alcohol Warrant Requirement

The Supreme Court heard arguments today in a case testing whether police must get a warrant before forcing a drunk driving suspect to have her blood drawn, NPR reports. The court has long held that search warrants are required when government officials order intrusions into the body, such as drawing blood. However, opponents of the law state that time is of the essence since a person’s blood alcohol starts to dissipate after they stop drinking so the need for quick blood-alcohol testing is necessary.

Court Rules on Mental Competency in Death Penalty Case

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that federal judges may not delay executions indefinitely on the chance that condemned prisoners will become mentally competent enough to help their court-appointed attorneys mount new appeals. “At some point, the state must be allowed to defend its judgment of conviction,” Clarence Thomas wrote for the unanimous court. The decision will hasten the end for two death row inmates, Arizona’s Ernest Gonzales and Ohio’s Sean Carter.

Supreme Court Denies Review of Stem Cell, Abortion Suits

In a wrapup of Supreme Court activity over the past few days, ScotusBlog reports that the court denied review in several notable cases including Sherley v. Sebelius, in which the Court said it will not stop the government’s funding of embryonic stem cell research. The court also refused to hear an appeal from anti-abortion group The Real Truth About Abortion, which wanted to stop the Federal Election Commission and the Justice Department from enforcing fundraising and advertising regulations against it.

Supreme Court Clerk to Retire

William K. Suter, the clerk of the U.S. Supreme Court, will retire at the end of August after 22 years of service, the Blog of the Legal Times reports. Suter is the 19th person to serve as clerk. Before taking that position, he was an Army major general and served in numerous positions around the world including appellate judge, deputy staff judge advocate of the U.S. Army in Vietnam, staff judge advocate of the 101st Airborne Division, commandant of the JAG school, and assistant judge advocate general of the Army. He has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, the Bronze Star Medal, and the Parachutist Badge. 

15th Judicial Bar Association Elects Officers

The 15th Judicial District Bar Association recently elected new officers for 2013: President Jennifer Porth of Stephen Brown PC, Vice President Lisa A. Tomlinson of MacPherson & Youmans, Secretary Karen Parker-Casey of Agee & Agee, and Jonathan M. Tinsley of Tressler and Associates.

Magazine Names Tenn. Firms Among Top for Working Mothers

Working Mother magazine recently named three law firms with Tennessee offices among the best in the country for working mothers. Bradley Arant Boult Cummings in Nashville, Husch Blackwell in Chattanooga and Memphis, and Littler Mendelson in Memphis and Nashville all were noted for leading the way in attracting, retaining, and promoting women lawyers.

AIG Will Not Join Bailout Lawsuit

American International Group (AIG) announced it will not be joining the $25 billion shareholder lawsuit against the U.S. government over the terms of its bailout at the height of the 2008 financial crisis, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports. Facing certain backlash and outrage from Washington and beyond, AIG declined to join the lawsuit especially amidst the "Thank You America" ad campaign it is currently running to show gratitude for being rescued from the brink of collapse. 

Review: Lawyers, CEOs Top Jobs for Psychopaths

The Nashville Business Journal offers a top 10 list of jobs where you are more likely to find psychopaths, based on an AOL.com review of the book “The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success.” Lawyers rank number two on the list, right behind CEOs, the newspaper reports.

Attorney Parlays Private Firm Experience Into Nonprofit Practice

Memphis attorney Lauri Prather decided to parlay her private firm experience into the nonprofit arena when she left Martin Tate Morrow & Marston PC after 12 years to become in-house counsel with ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. A graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law, Prather said losing her mother in 2010 to cancer was an impetus to become more familiar with the mission of the hospital. The Memphis Daily News has the feature. 

BPR to Fill Disciplinary Counsel Position

The Board of Professional Responsibility has an opening for Disciplinary Counsel in the Litigation Section. Applicants must be licensed in Tennessee and have a minimum of seven years litigation experience. Excellent written and oral communication skills and ability to handle difficult people or highly emotional situations with diplomacy and efficiency are necessary. Learn more or download an application form.


Questions, comments: Email us at TBAToday@tnbar.org

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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