Court Seeks Comment on Mediation Rule Changes

The Tennessee Supreme Court has issued an order soliciting comments regarding 10 proposed changes to Supreme Court Rule 31: Alternative Dispute Resolution. View the full text of the order and the attached proposed changes, as well as all current proposals for rule changes at the Administrative Office of the Courts’ website.

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.

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00 - TN Workers Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
01 - TN Court of Appeals
02 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
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00 - TN Supreme Court - Disciplinary Orders

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TN Court of Appeals


Court: TN Court of Appeals


Fred C. Dance, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Robert L. Wood, Jr.

Derek W. Edwards and Keith W. Randall, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, H. G. Hill Realty Company, L.L.C.


This appeal arises from the denial of Appellant’s Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 60.02 motion for relief from a default judgment. Appellee’s original complaint was filed against the Appellant’s company for breach of a commercial lease agreement. Appellee was granted leave to amend the complaint to add Appellant, individually, as a party-defendant. Appellant failed to file any responsive pleadings in the case and a default judgment was entered against him. Several months later, Appellant filed a Rule 60.02 motion to set aside the default judgment against him. We conclude that the trial court did not err in piercing the corporate veil to add Appellant as a defendant, or in the amount of damages awarded in the default judgment. Because Appellant failed to meet his burden of proof on the Rule 60.02 motion, we also conclude that the trial court did not err in denying the motion. Affirmed and remanded.

TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Harold Holloway, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; Anthony Wade Clark, District Attorney General; and Lila Cox, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


In an indictment returned by the Hamilton County Grand Jury, Petitioner, Harold Holloway, Jr., was charged in count 1 with felony murder during the perpetration of, or attempt to perpetrate, a theft. He was also charged in count 2 with felony murder committed in the perpetration of, or attempt to perpetrate robbery. Additional counts alleged offenses which are not pertinent to this case on appeal. Following a jury trial, he was found guilty of second degree murder in both counts which charged felony murder. The conviction in count 2 was merged with the conviction in count 1. On direct appeal, this court affirmed the murder conviction. State v. Harold Holloway, Jr., No. E2004-00882-CCA-R3-CD, 2005 WL 1981791 (Tenn. Crim. App. Aug. 16, 2005). Petitioner now appeals from the trial court’s order dismissing his petition for habeas corpus relief without an evidentiary hearing. The habeas corpus petition alleged that Petitioner was entitled to relief because (1) each count of the indictment that charged felony murder was invalid, and therefore led to a void judgment because it failed “to include the statutory element of specific ‘intent’ for the underlying offense;” and (2) the convicting criminal court erroneously amended the felony murder counts of the indictment with its jury charge. After review of the briefs, the record, and the applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court in this case.


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


F. Michie Gibson, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jeffery Miller.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Amy Tarkington, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


Petitioner, Jeffery Miller, appeals from the trial court’s summary dismissal of Petitioner’s petition for writ of habeas corpus. After reviewing the record and the parties’ briefs we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

UT Student in Palin Email Case Released from Supervision

University of Tennessee student David Kernell — who was arrested five years ago for hacking the personal email of former Alaska Governor and then Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin — was released from the remainder of his supervision. Kernell completed a year in federal prison in November 2011 but remained under the supervision of the U.S Probation Office through November 2014. Knoxnews notes that the U.S. attorney’s office did not resist the release.

Pilot Flying J Amends Settlement Timeline

Attorneys for Pilot Flying J and eight plaintiffs that have joined a settlement agreement on Tuesday filed a motion to amend the settlement, WATE reports. The deal changes the timeline of the agreement, allowing payments to be made for unpaid or underpaid rebates since January 2005 instead of 2008.The change answers one of the concerns raised by trucking companies that did not participate in the settlement negotiations, the Memphis Daily News reports. Those companies have criticized the terms and asked the federal courts to let them go forward with their own lawsuits.

Knoxville Newspaper Files Petition Against Baumgartner Ruling

The Knoxville News Sentinel is continuing its fight to get access to TBI records on disgraced former Knox County judge Richard Baumgartner. The newspaper today filed a petition arguing that Senior Judge Walter Kurtz got it wrong in a recent ruling on the file when Kurtz opined that law enforcement files are exempt from the Tennessee Open Records Act. The newspaper has tried twice to use court action to force the unsealing of the entire TBI file on Baumgartner.

Tennessee Law Schools Offer 'Practical Skills'

Although “practical skills” is the new buzz in legal education, the Nashville Ledger says that it is nothing new in Tennessee. The state’s six law schools integrate practical skills into the curriculum, offering opportunities for experiential learning in the form of law clinics that serve the community, externships at government and public interest offices, pro bono work requirements and more. “We recognize that it’s critical when we graduate new lawyers, that they have the basic skills they need to practice law," University of Tennessee College of Law professor Valorie Vojdik told the newspaper. "Studying law in a classroom is not the same as actually going to court or sitting with a client to advise them on doing a deal. The clinics are where the law comes to life.”

Board of Law Examiners Extended

The General Assembly's Judiciary and Government Joint Subcommittee on Government Operations today voted to extend the life of the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners (TBLE) for six years. The authority of the TBLE was due to "sunset" or terminate on June 30, 2014. The TBLE and Executive Director Lisa Perlen were commended by the subcommittee members for their commitment to the profession and rigorous examination of future attorneys.

D.C. Circuit Blocks Import of Drug Used in Executions

A federal appeals court has upheld a court order that blocks importation of sodium thiopental, a sedative used to anesthetize inmates before they receive drugs that cause death. The decision upheld a trial judge’s order in a suit by a group of death row inmates in California, Arizona and Tennessee. The appeals court said a judge doesn’t have power to require the FDA to order states to return the drug, however, because the states weren’t parties to the suit. The ABA Journal has the story.

Bill to End Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Clears House Committee

The House Financial Services Committee today approved the Protecting American Taxpayers and Homeowners Act, which will wind down Fannie May and Freddie Mac over five years and rely on the private sector to provide a secondary market for residential real estate mortgages. The committee approved the legislation on a party-line vote after working on the bill 11 hours yesterday. Democrats offered numerous amendments to the bill, but all were defeated. Republicans contend the legislation will increase competition in the mortgage market and give home buyers more choices on loan products. The Nashville Business Journal has more. 

Sandra Day O’Connor to Speak At Legislative Summit

State lawmakers and staff from around the county will be gathering in Atlanta next month for the National Conference of State Legislatures 39th annual legislative summit, WDEF News 12 reports. The event is billed as the largest gathering of its kind where lawmakers and staff gather to discuss topics including helping veterans find jobs and regulating drones. Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor will be a guest speaker.

Washington County Lawyer Placed on Disability

The law license of Bryan Bradley Martin yesterday was transferred to disability inactive status. Martin cannot practice law while on disability inactive status and may return after reinstatement by the Tennessee Supreme Court upon showing of clear and convincing evidence that the disability has been removed and he is fit to resume the practice of law. Download the BPR notice.


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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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