Friday is Deadline for Public Service Award Nominations

Lawyers wishing to nominate colleagues for the 2014 public service awards presented by the TBA have until Friday to submit their recommendations. Each year, the TBA recognizes those who demonstrate an exceptional commitment to increasing access to justice for underserved individuals and communities. Awards are presented in three categories: work performed by an attorney employed by an organization primarily involved in providing legal representation to the indigent, work performed by a private attorney and work performed by a law student volunteer. Nominations should be submitted via the TBA website or to Liz Todaro.

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
01 - 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 Supreme Court


Court: TN Supreme Court

TN Court of Appeals


Court: TN Court of Appeals


Mr. Ashley King, self-represented, Nashville, Tennessee

Jerry Morgan, Brentwood, Tennessee, for Appellee, Wilson and Associates, PLLC.

Edwin E. Wallis, III, Memphis, Tennessee and Joseph Moore Price, Charleston, West Virginia for Appellees US Bank, Bank of America, and Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.

Judge: KIRBY

This appeal involves a self-represented litigant’s continued efforts to occupy property which is the subject of foreclosure proceedings. After dismissal of his second action regarding the property, the appellant files this appeal. We dismiss the appeal for failure to file a brief that complies with the appellate rules and conclude that this is a frivolous appeal under Tennessee Code Annotated § 27-1-122.

TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Willie A. Cole, Only, TN (pro se), for the Defendant-Appellant.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel W. Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; and Victor S. Johnson III, District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.


Pro se Petitioner, Willie Andrew Cole, appeals the post-conviction court’s summary dismissal of his petition requesting DNA analysis pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated Section 40-30-301. The sole issue presented for our review is whether the post-conviction court erred in dismissing the petition for DNA analysis without a response from the State or an evidentiary hearing. Upon review, we reverse the judgment of the post-conviction court and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Donald A. Bosch and Ann C. Short, Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal), and Stephen T. Greer, Dunlap, Tennessee, and Andrew L. Berke, Chattanooga, Tennessee (at trial), for the Appellant, Cumberland Bail Bonding Company.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Russell Johnson, District Attorney General; and William (Bill) Reedy, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Appellant, Cumberland Bail Bonding Company, appeals the Roane County Criminal Court’s denial of its petitions to write bonds in the Criminal Courts of the Ninth Judicial District. On appeal, the Appellant argues that because it met all the necessary qualifications for bonding companies, the trial court’s order withholding approval for it to write bonds should be reversed, and the case should be remanded with instructions to approve it to write bonds as requested or with instructions to implement the procedures outlined in Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-11-125 in an expedited fashion. Upon review, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for entry of an order approving the Appellant to write bonds in the Ninth Judicial District.

Court Expands Payments to Client Protection Fund

The Tennessee Supreme Court late Friday adopted an order requiring all attorneys who practice in the state – regardless of the state in which they are licensed – to pay into the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection. The fund, which was established three decades ago, reimburses individuals for financial losses suffered after entering into an attorney-client relationship. Previously, the rule applied only to those licensed by Tennessee. Also of note, the order extends from one to three years the amount of time a client has to make a claim. The court reports that these changes will go into effect Oct. 1. Read more from the AOC.

Legal Aid Adds New Grant Writer

The Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands has announced that Nicole Sibilski has joined its Nashville office as the agency’s new grant writer. Sibilski previously was director of development for The Nashville Shakespeare Festival and did grant writing on a consulting basis. She also has worked as a legal assistant for Oyster Capital Associates in Franklin. Prior to moving to Nashville four years ago, Sibilski worked as in-house counsel for First National Assets and as an attorney at the office of the Cook County Public Defender, both in Chicago. She earned her law degree from DePaul University College of Law.

Kookogey Withdraws from Tea Party Forums

Former Williamson County Republican Party Chairman Kevin Kookogey is calling himself an “unannounced candidate” for the U.S. Senate, The Tennessean reports. Kookogey made the announcement after attending the first of several forums designed to identify a tea party challenger to take on Alexander. “Thank you for inviting and allowing me to participate in the Beat Lamar forum yesterday in Nashville,” Kookogey wrote. “As an unannounced candidate, however, I have decided to withdraw from the remainder of the scheduled events, lest my attendance confuse your process.” Kookogey did not respond to inquiries as to when he might officially join the race.

Article: More Human Trafficking in State than Gang Activity

In this alarming story about modern-day slavery, Memphis lawyer Ryan Dalton looks at the extent of human trafficking in our own state. A recent study says that 78 out of Tennessee's 95 counties reported at least one case of sex trafficking in the previous 24 months, and it is suspected that nearly all counties had trafficking activity, but law enforcement and social services are not adequately trained to identify and report it. Shelby, Davidson, Coffee and Knox counties are some of the worst offenders, Dalton writes, reporting more than 100 cases of minor sex trafficking and more than 100 cases of adult sex trafficking during the two-year study window. By comparison, the report indicates there is more human trafficking activity in Tennessee than gang activity. Read how lawyers have joined the fight in the new Tennessee Bar Journal.

Services Thursday for Knoxville Lawyer

Knoxville lawyer Harold B. Stone died last Wednesday (Aug. 28) at the age of 89. Stone graduated from the University of Tennessee and worked in public accounting while earning a law degree. He established his law practice in 1952 and remained active in the firm of Stone & Hinds PC until shortly before his death. Stone served on the board of directors for the Knoxville Opera and Presbyterian Homes of Tennessee. He was member of Sons of the Revolution. A celebration of his life will be held Thursday at 4 p.m. at Second Presbyterian Church, 2829 Kingston Pike, Knoxville 37919. The family will receive friends at a reception immediately following the service. The interment is private. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to the University of Tennessee Foundation, Harold Bell Stone Scholarship Endowment, 600 Henley St., Suite 100, Knoxville, TN 37996. Read more about his life in Knoxnews.

Former State Revenue Commissioner Dies at 92

Former Nashville lawyer Donald William Jackson died Aug. 23 at the age of 92 in Seattle. A graduate of the Nashville School of Law, Jackson led the Tennessee Taxpayers Association, a pro-business lobbying organization from 1959 to 1983. He also served as state commissioner of revenue and then as commissioner of finance and administration under then-Gov. Lamar Alexander from 1984 to 1987. Following his wife’s death in 2009, he moved to Seattle to be closer to family. Donations in honor of Jackson’s life may be made to Friends of Radnor Lake. The Tennessean has more on his life.

Red Mass Set for Oct. 18

The Knoxville Bar Association has announced that the 2013 Red Mass will be held Oct. 18 at 7 a.m. at the Immaculate Conception Church, 414 West Vine Ave., Knoxville 37902. This ancient tradition celebrates those who seek justice, particularly judges, attorneys, law school professors and government officials. Participants use the occasion to pray for the virtues needed for the right and just administration of their respective offices. Those attending in robes are asked to gather in the parish hall at 6:45 a.m. to process as a group into the church. A light breakfast will be served in the parish hall following the service. Community members of all faiths are invited to attend.


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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.

© Copyright 2013 Tennessee Bar Association