New 888 Line Offers Free Legal Information, Referrals

A coalition of Tennessee legal groups today announced a new toll-free phone line offering free legal information and referrals to low income Tenneseans. The service, known as aLEGALz, will help callers find resources to deal with civil legal issues. Those who cannot afford a lawyer may call the line at 888-aLEGALz (1-888-253-4259) and leave a message. Calls will be returned by a licensed Tennessee lawyer who will provide referrals to appropriate legal service providers, pro bono assistance programs, free legal clinics and social service providers.

aLEGALz is made possible through a grant from International Paper and funding from the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization. The phone line, which was donated by AT&T, will be managed by the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS) in coordination with the Tennessee Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission. The new service is the next step in an ongoing effort to improve access to the legal system for all Tennesseans. It will complement the existing web-based resource – a joint project of TALS and the Tennessee Bar Association – which allows users to post legal questions and receive answers from volunteer attorneys through a secure online messaging service. Read more from the Supreme Court or download a description of aLEGALz.

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.

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


Court: TN Supreme Court

TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Joseph B. Freedle, Gallatin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Gene Earl Stanley.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; L. Ray Whitley, District Attorney General; and Lytle A James, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.


A Sumner County jury convicted the Defendant, Gene Earl Stanley, of one count of burglary, two counts of theft of property, felony evading arrest, reckless endangerment, driving under the influence of an intoxicant, and driving on a canceled, revoked, or suspended license. The trial court sentenced the Defendant as a Career Offender to an effective sentence of fortyeight years. Three months after the jury’s verdict and one month after sentencing, the Defendant filed a motion for new trial, which the trial court ultimately denied. On appeal, the Defendant contends that he was denied due process when the State failed to provide him “potentially exculpatory evidence” that was in the State’s possession. The State counters that the Defendant’s motion for new trial was untimely filed. After a thorough review of the record and relevant law, we affirm the trial court’s judgments.

Tennessee Still Lacks Key Lethal Injection Drugs

It's been three years since Tennessee put an inmate to death, and problems with obtaining lethal injection drugs make it unlikely executions will resume anytime soon, says. The state's supply of sodium thiopental, one of three drugs used in lethal injections, was turned over to the federal government in 2011 over questions about how it was imported. The short supply of the drug has led many states to seek out alternatives. Tennessee officials, however, are staying tight-lipped about their plans. According to the Department of Correction, the agency is looking at options while monitoring steps being taken by other states. Records obtained by the Associated Press also show that the state has no supply of pancuronium bromide, a strong muscle relaxant given before the final injection of potassium chloride.

Legal Aid Names 2013 Fundraising Team

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings partner and Nashville Pro Bono Program Chair Thor Urness will serve as community chair of the Legal Aid Society’s 2013 Campaign for Equal Justice fundraising effort. Urness has assembled a leadership team for the campaign that includes large firm co-chairs Dan Elrod with Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens & Cannada and Riney Green with Bass, Berry & Sims; small firm co-chairs Edgar Rothschild with Rothschild & Ausbrooks and Emily Shouse with Waddey & Patterson; government attorneys chair Henry Martin with the federal Public Defender’s Office; judges co-chairs Chancellor Carol McCoy and Judge Dan Eisenstein; corporate attorneys chair Rachel Seifert with Community Health Systems Professional Services Corp.; and Williamson County attorneys chair Tara Swafford with The Swafford Law Firm. The Tennessean reported the appointments.

Chattanooga Court Clerk Appointment Raising Eyebrows

Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield says his plan to name his deputy, Anita Ebersole, as city court clerk this month is a move designed to help the clerk’s office transition to modern times and implement a paperless system. But critics question why he's in such a rush to install Ebersole in the position just weeks before he leaves office. The court clerk's office has been run by an interim clerk for the last four and a half years. Two city judges served by the office reportedly are suspicious about Littlefield's proposal, reports

Ramsey Looks at Alternatives to Limits on Bills

While members of the state House spent much of their first week in session wrangling over a new cap on how many bills each member can propose, Tennessee Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey is developing a plan of his own to cut down on the volume of bills, WPLN reports. Saying that the filing cap is not his preferred approach, Ramsey instead is considering dropping the deadline for filing bills. His rationale? Legislation would be higher quality if there’s no rush to file, duplication would be reduced as members see what others have drafted and lawmakers would be able to respond to current events that take place throughout the session.

Knoxville Lawyer Suspended

The Tennessee Supreme Court summarily and temporarily suspended Knoxville lawyer Robert Lawson Cheek Jr. on Dec. 28 after finding that he misappropriated funds for his own use and abandoned his law practice. The court also determined that he posed a threat of substantial harm to the public. The action was taken pursuant to Section 4.3 of Supreme Court Rule 9. Download the BPR notice

Clarksville Lawyer Reinstated

Clarksville lawyer Cleveland C. Turner was reinstated to the practice of law on Jan. 11. He previously had been on disability inactive status since Jan. 14, 1997. Upon his application for reinstatement, the Board of Professional Responsibility determined that he had met the conditions imposed for reinstatement. Download the BPR notice

Judge to Speak at MLK Event in Jackson

Davidson County General Sessions Court Judge Angelita Dalton will be the featured speaker at Lane College’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. chapel convocation on Wednesday. A native of Nashville and an alumna of the Jackson college, Dalton was the first African American woman elected to a judgeship in Nashville. Lane College was founded in 1882 by individuals committed to making sure that newly freed slaves would be able to read and write. The event will take place at 11 a.m. in the J.F. Lane Health and Physical Education Building, the Jackson Sun reports.


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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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