Law Firm Mergers Up this Year

Law firm mergers are up 41 percent from the same period last year, according to legal consulting firm Altman Weil. Forty-eight law firm combinations were announced in the first three quarters of the year, with 19 mergers and acquisitions announced in just the third quarter. The ABA Journal has more.

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
01 - 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 Court of Appeals


Court: TN Court of Appeals


Pamela Moses, Memphis, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Darrell E. Baker, Jr., Deborah Whitt, and M. Jason Martin, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Jayanta K. Dirghangi, M.D.


This case involves allegations of medical battery and medical malpractice surrounding an exam performed on a patient while she was admitted to a hospital to give birth. The trial court dismissed any allegations for medical battery for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted, finding that the patient’s complaint failed to include allegations that the exam was performed without the patient’s authorization. The trial court further dismissed any remaining malpractice claims for failure to comply with the Tennessee Medical Malpractice Act notice requirements. Discerning no error, we affirm the decision of the trial court.

TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Terita Hewlett Riley, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Johnie Jefferson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Senior Counsel; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Reginald Henderson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The petitioner, Johnie Jefferson, appeals the trial court’s dismissal of his petition for writ of error coram nobis. He argues that he is entitled to coram nobis relief because the State suppressed exculpatory evidence that became known to him after the limitations period had expired. After review, we affirm the dismissal of the petition.

Judge Denies New Trial for Y-12 Protesters

U.S. District Judge Amul R. Thapar denied a new trial and motion to acquit three protesters who were convicted in May for breaking into the Y-12 National Complex in Oak Ridge and damaging federal property. They are scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 28 and face up to 30 years in prison, WATE reports.

TJC Launches Raising the Bar Campaign

The Tennessee Justice Center launched this year’s Raising the Bar Campaign, a fundraising effort that connects the Nashville-based legal services organization with law firms throughout the state. Raising the Bar encourages firms to lend their support through 3-year donation commitments. In a press release, managing attorney of the TJC Michele Johnson praised campaign co-chairs Mark Chalos, Sherie Edwards and David Taylor. “Mark, Sherie, and David are such well-respected members of our state’s bar, and we are thrilled to have them lending their leadership to this campaign. We are excited to build on the momentum of last year’s effort and continue strengthening TJC’s relationship with the private bar in a way that will have a real impact for our clients.”

Initiative to Hold Congress Accountable Unveiled Today

A bipartisan group of former congressman and some academics unveiled the “Voice of the People” initiative this morning at The National Press Club. The program proposes to set up “citizen cabinets” of 275-members each in all 435 congressional districts. That’s 120,000 advisors nationwide, armed with accurate information, organized to tell members how to formulate public policy. According to the Commercial Appeal, part of the rationale for the project is the concern that members of Congress hear only from extreme or self-interested people or entities and never get an unfiltered sense of what their constituents are thinking about available policy options.

Report: Lawyer Assistance Programs Expand Scope

Despite budget reductions in some jurisdictions, lawyer assistance programs in 48 states have reported a continued commitment to maintaining the number of clients served and offering a diversity of services, the ABA reports. According to a 2012 report from the Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs, while all programs continued to offer services related to alcoholism and drug addiction, more programs in 2012 than in 2010 provided services for other problems, such as cognitive impairment and mental health issues.

Leaving Big Law Doesn't Have to Mean Leaving Pro Bono

In a blog post for Public Counsel, Sarah Luppen reflects on her positive experiences working with pro bono cases while employed at a Vault Law 100 firm. Her subsequent move to a smaller firm led to a decrease in the number of pro bono cases she took on due to a lack of firm support. In honor of National Pro Bono week Oct. 21-26, Luppen will blog about getting back into pro bono work and non-traditional pro-bono opportunities that fit small-firm and in-house lawyers’ needs.

Tenn. Representatives to Donate Salaries During Shutdown

Nashville Democrat Jim Copper and Gallatin Republican Diane Black, along with dozens of other members of Congress, say they will forgo their salaries during the federal government shutdown, Nashville Public Radio reports. Law mandates they still get paid during the shutdown, while hundreds of thousands of federal workers face furlough. Members of Congress make $174,000 a year, which comes to almost $500 per day, before taxes. Cooper and Black both say they will donate their salaries to charity.

Annual Red Mass Set for Oct. 18 in Knoxville

The annual Red Mass for the Knoxville area legal community will be celebrated Oct. 18 at 7 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, located at 414 West Vine Ave. Breakfast will follow immediately downstairs in the parish hall. Bishop Richard Stika will celebrate the Red Mass to invoke divine guidance and blessings on those involved in the legal profession. Members of the legal community are invited to join Bishop Stika in this ancient tradition that honors the work for justice and service to society. For more information, contact Joe Stackhouse at Immaculate Conception at (865) 524-8514.

October Marks Free Speech & Character Counts Weeks

Every year, the U.S. government proclaims the third week in October as “Character Counts Week.” This year, the dates are Oct. 20-26. Events around the country focus on the universal values shared by Americans. During the same time, the nation will observe Free Speech Week Oct. 21-27. This commemoration celebrates the Constitution’s First Amendment and the significance of effective and free communication.

Save on Auto Insurance with TBA Benefit

GEICO Auto Insurance offers competitive products and services. Eligible TBA members will receive a members-only 8 percent discount on auto insurance premiums. Check out the savings today!


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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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