Wyrick Takes Office as TBA President

Sevierville lawyer Cynthia Richardson Wyrick today took the oath of office to become president of the Tennessee Bar Association. Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary R. Wade adminsitered the oath during a luncheon ceremony that was part of the TBA's annual convention in Nashville. Wyrick, who clerked for Wade when he was on the Court of Criminal Appeals, praised him for his guidance in her career. "Justice Wade not only taught me about the law, but he taught me about the importance of service to the public and to our profession."

Wyrick outlined how she will carry those lessons forward in her address to the gathering. Following the theme of "Together We Make a Difference," she said her efforts will focus on service not only to the bar, but to the community as well. Under her leadership, the TBA will develop a free handbook for senior citizens to provide practical advice on issues faced by this exploding and underserved population base, and take on a number of issues of importance to the legal profession.

Taking office along with Wyrick will be President-Elect Jonathan O. Steen of Jackson and Vice President William L. Harbison of Nashville.

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
02 - 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 Appeals

CORRECTION:The plaintiff's name in second line of conclusion should have read Steve Van Duyn not Steve Duyn as it was filed.

Court: TN Court of Appeals


Ricky Lee McVey, II, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellant, Steve Van Duyn.

David E. Waite and Beverly D. Nelms, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Ronald Jones, individually and as trustee of the Ronald Jones Revocable Living Trust.


This is an interlocutory appeal as of right pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 10B from the denial of a motion to recuse the trial court judge from presiding over a civil action in which one of the Defendants served on a non-profit board with the trial court judge. Having reviewed the Plaintiff’s petition for recusal appeal pursuant to Rule 10B of the Rules of the Tennessee Supreme Court, we affirm the Trial Court’s denial of the motion to recuse.


Court: TN Court of Appeals


Jill Jenson Thrash and Stuart Fawcett James, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jordan K. Wilson.

Dallas T. Reynolds, III, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, David W. Dossett.


This appeal concerns a landowner’s potential liability to a person injured while riding a motorcycle on the landowner’s property. Jordan K. Wilson (“Wilson”) suffered severe injuries in a motorcycle accident on property owned by David W. Dossett (“Dossett”). Wilson sued Dossett in the Circuit Court for Campbell County (“the Trial Court”). Dossett filed a motion for summary judgment, asserting the affirmative defense for landowners under Tenn. Code Ann. § 70-7-102. The Trial Court held that Dossett was afforded protection under the statute as Wilson had been engaged in recreational activities on Dossett’s land. At a subsequent hearing, the Trial Court found that no exception to the statutory defense was applicable. Wilson appeals. We hold that Tenn. Code Ann. § 70-7-102 applies to shield Dossett from liability as Wilson was engaged in recreational activities on Dossett’s property, and that no exception to the defense is applicable. We affirm the judgment of the Trial Court.

TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


David H. Crichton, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the appellant, Steven Todd Andes.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; Tony Clark, District Attorney General; and Melanie Sellers, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Criminal Court for Carter County sentenced the Defendant, Steven Todd Andes, to community corrections sentences after his convictions in 2002, 2007, and 2010. In January 2012, the Defendant’s probation officer filed an affidavit alleging the Defendant had violated his probation. The trial court issued a warrant, and, after a hearing, at which the Defendant’s probation officer did not testify, the trial court revoked the Defendant’s community corrections sentences in all of his cases. On appeal, the Defendant contends the trial court erred when it revoked his probation because the trial court: (1) denied his due process rights by failing to allow him to confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses; and (2) failed to provide a written statement regarding the evidence and reasons upon which it relied when revoking his probation. After a thorough review of the record and applicable authorities, we conclude that the trial court did not err when it revoked the Defendant’s probation. The trial court’s judgment is, therefore, affirmed.


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Maurice Edward Carter, Nashville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Benjamin Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Tom P. Thompson, District Attorney General; and Howard Chambers, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The petitioner pled guilty in Smith County to one count of aggravated statutory rape and one count of criminal exposure to HIV and received an effective sentence of twenty years. The petitioner’s guilty pleas were entered with the condition that he reserved the right to appeal a certified question of law pursuant to Rule 37(b)(2)(A) of the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure regarding the search and seizure of certain evidence. The Court dismissed the appeal based on a lack of jurisdiction. The petitioner brought this post-conviction petition asserting that his trial counsel was ineffective in reserving the certified question and bringing the appeal. The post-conviction court dismissed the claim without a hearing or the appointment of counsel, finding that the issues had been previously determined on direct appeal. See T.C.A. § 40-30-106(h) (2010). The petitioner appeals, asserting that this Court on direct appeal concluded it was without jurisdiction and did not rule on the merits of his claims. After a thorough examination of the facts and law, we conclude that the petitioner has stated a colorable claim; and we reverse the judgment of the post-conviction court and remand the case for further proceedings.

Today's News

Durard Appointed in 17th District

Forest A. Durard Jr., has been appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam as Circuit Court judge in the 17th Judicial District. Durard has been a solo practitioner in private practice since 1992 and prior to that served in the Public Defender’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office. The 17th Judicial District includes Bedford, Lincoln, Marshall and Moore counties. The vacancy was created by the retirement of the Honorable Robert Crigler, effective May 31. Durard received his law degree from Nashville School of Law in 1989. The Shelbyville Times-Gazette has more

3 Names Go to Governor for 1st District Seat

The Judicial Nominating Commission has submitted three names to Gov. Bill Haslam for the Chancery Court vacancy in the 1st Judicial District: Gregory H. Bowers, Allen, Nelson & Bowers; John Chase Rambo, Washington County; and Regina L. Shepherd, Rice & Shepherd. The commission met today in Johnson City to hold a public hearing and conduct interviews of candidates for the vacancy in the district that serves Carter, Johnson, Unicoi and Washington counties. The vacancy is being created by the retirement of Chancellor G. Richard Johnson, effective June 30.

Tuggle Will Succeed Collins on JNC

Charles Tuggle of Memphis was appointed to the Judicial Nominating Commission today, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, announced. Tuggle will fill the vacancy left by the death of commission member Elizabeth Collins. Tuggle is executive vice president and general counsel for First Horizon National Corp. Before that, he practiced law for 30 years with the law firm of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz. The commission will cease to exist on June 30.

More Talk About Dress Code

A story reported yesterday about Rutherford County Circuit Court Judge Royce Taylor's memo telling female attorneys to dress professionally in court didn't stop in Murfreesboro. Today, the ABA Journal and The Wall Street Journal published stories about it. “Everybody assumed the worst. It’s basically trying to get everyone to dress professionally,” Taylor told WSJ Law Blog. That means “a little bit more formal than going to the bar and grill next door.”

What's Next After Occupy Nashville Ruling?

A federal judge’s finding that Tennessee officials violated the First Amendment rights of Occupy Nashville protesters raised new questions, the Tennessean writes. Will the state appeal? Will damages be decided by a jury or will both sides agree on a sum? What kind of dollar figure is in store for each of the seven Occupy plaintiffs? The plaintiffs and the state have until July 1 to come up with answers, and much of what happens going forward will depend on how Gov. Bill Haslam chooses to proceed.

Lawyers to Congress: Too Many Criminal Laws

A panel of four attorneys told members of Congress today that one way to fix the nation's "bloated and convoluted" criminal code is to require prosecutors to prove intent, especially when it comes to regulatory violations. The Blog of Legal Times reports.


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.

© Copyright 2013 Tennessee Bar Association