Montgomery Named to Court of Criminal Appeals

Gov. Bill Haslam yesterday appointed Judge Robert H. Montgomery Jr. to the Court of Criminal Appeals. Montgomery, who has served the Second Judicial District as a criminal court judge since 2006, will replace Judge Joseph M. Tipton who announced earlier this year he would not seek re-election at the end of his term in August 2014. In announcing the appointment Haslam said, “Rob Montgomery will be an excellent judge. His experience on the bench, as well as his experience as an assistant district attorney and an attorney in private practice will serve East Tennesseans well.” Read more from the governor’s statement.

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

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TN Court of Appeals


Court: TN Court of Appeals


J. Gilbert Parrish, Jr., Savannah, Tennessee, for the appellants, Corbin Jerrolds and Amber Jerrolds.

Terry L. Wood, Adamsville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Richard McGarity and Teresa McGarity.


This is a grandparent visitation case. The trial court awarded visitation to paternal grandparents on the basis of a finding of severe emotional harm to the child if visitation was not granted. The child’s mother and adoptive father appeal. We affirm the trial court’s ruling with regard to the evidentiary and procedural issues, but reverse as to the finding of a likelihood of severe emotional harm. Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.


Court: TN Court of Appeals


William Richard Baker, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Greg Parker and Diane Parker.

Andrew J. Lewis and Brian H. Trammell, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Shashi Patel, individually and d/b/a S.P. Partnership d/b/a Holiday Inn Express.


This is a premises liability case in which Plaintiffs alleged that a shower bench in Hotel collapsed, causing Husband to fall and sustain injuries. Plaintiffs filed suit against Defendant, claiming negligence. Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, asserting that he did not install the bench and did not have actual or constructive notice of the independent contractor’s negligent installation of the bench. The trial court granted the motion for summary judgment and dismissed the case. Plaintiffs appeal. We reverse the decision of the trial court and remand for further proceedings.

TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Eric Chamber, Tiptonville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Lora Fowler, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.


On August 21, 2012, Petitioner, Eric Chamber, filed a pro se petition in the Shelby County Criminal Court, seeking post-conviction relief from his convictions for two counts of first degree murder and one count of especially aggravated kidnapping. He was convicted of these offenses in a jury trial, and the convictions were affirmed on appeal. State v. Eric Chambers [sic], No. 02C01-9811-CR-00346, 2000 WL 279645 (Tenn. Crim. App. March 6, 2000). Mandate from this court was issued May 25, 2000. Petitioner asserts that his petition is not barred by the one year statute of limitations because decisions by the United States Supreme Court in March 2012 established “a constitutional right that was not recognized as existing at the time of trial.” The trial court summarily dismissed the petition because it was filed beyond the one year statute of limitations imposed by Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-30-102(a). Petitioner has appealed, and we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


George D. Norton, Jr., Selmer, Tennessee, for the appellant, Shannon V. Jones.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; Michael Dunavant, District Attorney General, and Julie K. Pillow, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Petitioner, Shannon V. Jones, was convicted by a Lauderdale County jury of one count of facilitation of delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance weighing less than .5 grams and delivery of a counterfeit controlled substance. As a result, he was sentenced as a career offender to twelve years for the facilitation conviction and six years for the delivery of the counterfeit controlled substance conviction. The sentences were ordered to be served concurrently. Petitioner appealed his convictions. See State v. Shannon Jones, No. W2009- 01706-CCA-R3-CD, 2010 WL 3619537, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Jackson, Sept. 17, 2010), perm. app. denied, (Tenn. Feb. 16, 2011). His convictions were affirmed on appeal. Id. Subsequently, Petitioner sought post-conviction relief on the basis of ineffective assistance of counsel. After a hearing, the post-conviction court denied relief. Petitioner filed a timely notice of appeal. After a thorough review of the record and applicable authorities, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court because Petitioner has failed to demonstrate that the record preponderates against the post-conviction court’s findings. Accordingly, the judgment of the post-conviction court is affirmed.

Reaction Mixed to President’s Call for 2-Year Law Degree

President Barack Obama’s comments last week that law school should be limited to two years is drawing reaction from both sides of the issue. A number of law professors praised discussion on the idea, but most of those blogging about the concept found fault with it. Berkeley Law professor Dan Farber warned that a two-year program would not leave time for specialized courses, such as environmental law, that are not tested on bar exams. Albany Law School professor Mary Lynch suggested the president is confusing unpaid interning with a true clinical experience, and that he does not understand that clients no longer want to pay for on-the-job training of new attorneys. And Matt Bodie with the Saint Louis University School of Law argued the idea would not automatically lower tuition as schools could just increase the cost per credit hour. Read a wrap up of reactions at TaxProf Blog.

Event Helps Immigrants Begin Citizenship Process

The Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) hosted a workshop this past Saturday in Chattanooga to educate immigrants about how to begin the process of obtaining American citizenship. During the event, volunteer attorneys assisted attendees in determining their eligibility for citizenship while others helped fill out necessary forms. TBA Immigration Section Chair Terry Olsen with the Olsen Law Firm provided training to help volunteers spot legal issues in the application process. TIRCC is a statewide organization dedicated to empowering immigrants and refugees throughout Tennessee by helping them defend their rights and be recognized as positive contributors to the state.

Vanderbilt Professor Named Fellow at D.C. Think Tank

Ganesh Sitaraman, assistant professor at Vanderbilt University Law School, has been named a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress (CAP), a nonpartisan Washington, D.C.-based think tank. In his role at CAP, Sitaraman will work on issues ranging from economics to national security. Sitaraman joined Vanderbilt’s faculty in 2011 and has focused on public law topics including foreign relations, international law, domestic regulation and institutional design. He previously served as a lecturer at Harvard Law School, law clerk for Judge Stephen F. Williams on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and as senior counsel to U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA. Vanderbilt announced the news today.

Haslam Forms Task Force on Aging

Gov. Bill Haslam has announced the formation of a Task Force on Aging, a group charged with creating a plan to improve the lives and care of older Tennesseans and their families through a collaboration of public, private and nonprofit leaders. He has asked the task force to focus on three areas: promoting healthy aging, creating livable communities and supporting family caregivers. Lipscomb University’s Charla Long, dean of the College of Professional Studies and The School of TransformAging, will chair the 11-member task force. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 14 percent of Tennesseans are 65 years of age or older. Learn more about the group and its members on

Pair to Introduce Hemp Farming Bill

Following Kentucky's lead, Tennessee may be seeing the start of a pro-hemp farming contingent in the state legislature. According to the Associated Press, two Republican lawmakers, Sen. Frank Niceley of Strawberry Plains and Rep. Andy Holt of Dresden, are drafting legislation to legalize commercial farming of hemp. The duo plan to introduce the measure in the next legislative session. Kentucky and six other states have passed measures legalizing hemp though federal law prohibits it. Niceley, a farmer, said introducing the measure would "put pressure on Congress" to repeal the prohibition. The Clarion Ledger has a link to the story.

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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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