Blount Teens Sworn in to New Youth Court

Blount County's first youth court became official this weekend as 30 students were sworn in as jurors of the court, the Daily Times reports. The Blount County Youth Court, a legacy project for the Leadership Blount Class of 2013, will operate under Juvenile Judge Terry Denton’s supervision. Student volunteers will hear cases and determine the sentences of first-time, nonviolent juvenile offenders. “They’re proven programs,” said Lynn Peterson, youth court president and attorney with Lewis, King, Kreig & Waldrop. “We’ve seen an increase in juvenile offenses, but many of these offenses are simply mistakes. Youth courts have been successful in turning them into opportunities.”

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
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 Supreme Court


Court: TN Supreme Court

TN Court of Appeals


Court: TN Court of Appeals


Jonathan Caulley Brown, Fayetteville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jamie Lee F.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter and Jordan Scott, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.

Wende J. Rutherford, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Gary John Goedtel and Teresa Lynne Goedtel and David Albert Vermander and Sandra June Vermander.

Kristen Bargers, Guardian ad Litem.


The trial court terminated Mother’s parental rights based on abandonment for failure to provide a suitable home, abandonment as an incarcerated parent, substantial noncompliance with the permanency plan, persistence of conditions, and incarceration under a sentence of ten years or more when the child was less than eight years old at the time of sentencing. Mother argues that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the case. Mother also argues that none of the grounds for termination are supported by clear and convincing evidence and that the trial court erred in determining that termination was in the best interests of the Children. We affirm termination of parental rights on the enumerated grounds. We also affirm the trial court’s determination that termination of parental rights is in the best interests of the Children.

TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


David A. Collins, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Antwain Green.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Senior Counsel; Victor S. Johnson III, District Attorney General; and Ben Ford, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


Antwain Green (“the Defendant”) was convicted by a jury of reckless homicide. Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced the Defendant to seven years as a Range II offender, to be served consecutively to a previously imposed forty-five year sentence. On appeal, the Defendant argues that the trial court erred in ordering consecutive sentencing. Upon our thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Judge Charged with Misconduct for Changing Baby’s Name

The Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct has charged Fourth Judicial District Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew with judicial misconduct for ruling that a Cocke County infant could not be named “Messiah.” According to the Associated Press, the board charged that Ballew’s ruling, and public comments she made about it, violated several elements of the state’s Code of Judicial Conduct, including a prohibition of any indications of bias based on religion. Read more on Fox News 17.

Memphis Attorney and Wife Survive Plane Crash

Memphis attorney Max Shelton and his wife Sally survived a plane crash this weekend, WMCTV reports. Shelton was piloting a 1976 Cessna when the couple experienced mechanical problems near Borger, Texas, on their way to Santa Fe, N.M. Officials say Shelton made contact with the airport, lost power, then crash landed in a park after striking a number of utility poles. The couple was transported to a nearby hospital for minor injuries.

Colorado Judge Named AJS Director

Colorado Court of Appeals Judge Russell Carparelli has been named the new executive director of the American Judicature Society (AJS). He will join the organization in January after retiring from the bench. The AJS recently announced a new affiliation with Vanderbilt University Law School and relocated its offices to Nashville. Chris Guthrie, dean of the law school, said Carparelli “has an exemplary record of service and embodies all of the characteristics one could want in an executive director.” Carparelli earned his law degree from the University of Denver College of Law and a master of laws from the University of Virginia School of Law. Prior to taking the bench, he was in private practice for 12 years and served as an Air Force lawyer for 20 years.

Ceremony Honors Those Combating Domestic Violence

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a number of individuals were recognized Thursday for their contributions to combating domestic violence. A plaque will be installed at the Courts Building in Chattanooga with their names. Honorees included District Attorney General Bill Cox and Assistant District Attorney General Ben Boyer. The Chattanoogan has the full list of honorees.

Warrantless Surveillance May Return to Supreme Court

A constitutional showdown over the U.S. government’s warrantless surveillance program may be headed back to the Supreme Court, the Tennessean predicts. For the first time, the Department of Justice (DOJ) notified a criminal defendant that terrorism-related charges against him stemmed from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The case of Jamshid Muhtorov, a refugee from Uzbekistan living in Colorado, now appears destined to become the test for whether the program can pass constitutional muster. The DOJ maintains the previously secret program does not violate the Fourth Amendment’s protection against illegal searches because it picks up U.S.-based individuals only while targeting those overseas.

Saturday's 'Race for Grace’ to Benefit MALS

One of the last events of this year’s Celebrate Pro Bono Month will be Saturday in Memphis. The 2014 Race for Grace 5K benefits a range of organizations but runners may pick Memphis Area Legal Services (MALS) on the registration form as their charity of choice. The race starts at 9 a.m. Runners should be there by 8:30 a.m. Register online or contact Shayla Purifoy at with any questions.

Chief Justice Wade Honors Legal Aid Hall of Famers

Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET) held its annual Pro Bono Attorneys Hall of Fame Reception last Thursday, the Hamilton County Herald reports. The event featured remarks by Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary Wade, who thanked area lawyers for their consistent support of LAET, and a reading of the names of those inducted into the Hall of Fame. Attendees enjoyed drinks and snacks, and voted on artwork submitted to the “Champions of Justice” elementary and high school student art contest.

Campbell County Attorney Disbarred

The Tennessee Supreme Court disbarred Campbell County lawyer Johnny Von Dunaway on Oct. 28. The court reports that Dunaway consented to disbarment because he could not successfully defend himself against charges that he filed a false statement with the Internal Revenue Service for the 2008 tax year -- a violation of 26 U.S.C. Sec. 7206(1). 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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