Attorney Sentenced in Conservator Fraud Cases

Nashville attorney John E. Clemmons today was sentenced to 18 years in prison after entering his guilty plea to three counts of theft, perjury and TennCare fraud. Clemmons admitted to stealing more than $1 million from clients for whom he had been appointed conservator. Under the plea agreement he could be eligible for parole after serving about five years and four months. Absent the plea deal, Clemmons could have faced jail terms of up to 30 years on the theft counts alone, the Tennessean reports.

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
08 - 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

CAROLE HOKE JOHNS v. SAM N. JOHNS, JR.

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Mitchell G. Tollison, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Carol Hoke Johns

Angela Snider, Gayra Hall, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellee, Sam N. Johns

Judge: HIGHERS

This appeal involves the latest in a series of attempts by Mother to recover child support arrearages owed by Father. In this particular case, Mother sought to register and enforce in Tennessee a 2007 Arkansas judgment for approximately $47,000 in child support arrearages. The trial court entered an order registering the Arkansas judgment in Tennessee. However, it granted a declaratory judgment motion filed by Father, declaring that the Arkansas judgment was unenforceable in Tennessee due to the ten-year statute of limitations for enforcing judgments found at Tennessee Code Annotated section 28-3-110. Mother appeals. We reverse and remand for further proceedings.


TN Court of Criminal Appeals

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WESLEY CHAD BOUTERIE

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Guy T. Wilkinson, District Public Defender; and Frankie Stanfill, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Wesley Chad Bouterie.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; Hansel J. McCadams, District Attorney General; and Eddie N. McDaniel, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The Defendant, Wesley Chad Bouterie, appeals the Hardin County Circuit Court’s order revoking his probation for convictions for selling one-half gram or more of methamphetamine and selling four oxycodone tablets and ordering his effective eight-year sentence into execution. The Defendant contends that the trial court abused its discretion by revoking his probation. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MARIO JOHNSON

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Stephen C. Bush, District Public Defender; Harry E. Sayle, III (on appeal), and Jim Hale (at trial), Assistant District Public Defenders, Memphis, Tennessee, for appellant, Mario Johnson.

Stephen C. Bush, District Public Defender; Harry E. Sayle, III (on appeal), and Jim Hale (at trial), Assistant District Public Defenders, Memphis, Tennessee, for appellant, Mario Johnson.

Judge: PAGE

Appellant, Mario Johnson, entered guilty pleas without recommended sentences to five counts of aggravated assault. The trial court sentenced him as a Range III persistent offender to fifteen years for each count and ordered two of the five sentences to be served consecutively to each other, for an effective sentence of thirty years at forty-five percent release eligibility. Appellant now challenges the trial court’s determination with regard to sentence alignment. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. GARY D. JONES

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Hewitt Chatman, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Gary D. Jones.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; Jerry Woodall, District Attorney General; and Angela Scott, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The appellant, Gary D. Jones, pled guilty in the Henderson County Circuit Court to theft of property valued more than $500 but less than $1,000; felony evading arrest; driving on a cancelled, suspended, or revoked license; and leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage greater than $400. After a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced him to an effective four-year sentence to be served in confinement. On appeal, the appellant contends that his effective sentence is excessive. Based upon the record and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TIMOTHY EUGENE KELLY, JR.

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Elaine Heard, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Timothy Eugene Kelly, Jr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and J. Wesley King, III, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The Defendant, Timothy Eugene Kelly, Jr., was convicted by a Davidson County Criminal Court jury of three counts of aggravated robbery, Class B felonies, and one count of assault, a Class A misdemeanor. See T.C.A. §§ 39-13-402; 39-13-101 (2010). The trial court sentenced him as a Range II, multiple offender to eighteen years for the aggravated robbery convictions in Counts 1 and 4, twenty years for the aggravated robbery conviction in Count 3, and eleven months, twenty-nine days for the assault conviction. The court ordered the Defendant to serve Counts 1 and 3 consecutively, for an effective thirty-eight-year sentence. On appeal, the Defendant contends that (1) the evidence is insufficient to sustain his convictions and (2) the trial court erred in sentencing him. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.


JASON MARTINDILL v. DWIGHT BARBEE, WARDEN

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Jason Martindill, Henning, Tennessee, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Jeffrey D. Zentner, Assistant Attorney General; and D. Michael Dunavant, District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCMULLEN

The Petitioner, Jason Martindill, appeals the Lauderdale County Circuit Court’s summary dismissal of his pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus. On appeal, the Petitioner asserts that the habeas corpus court erred in dismissing his petition without the benefit of an evidentiary hearing. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of summary dismissal.


MICHAEL L. MCKILLIP v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Michael L. McKillip, Pikeville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

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: MCMULLEN

Proceeding pro se, the Petitioner, Michael L. McKillip, appeals the post-conviction court’s denial of his motion to reopen his petition for post-conviction relief. Because the Petitioner did not comply with the requirements in Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-30-117(c) and Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 28, section 10(B), this court is without jurisdiction in this case. Accordingly, the appeal is dismissed.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CHERYL REBECCA NORWOOD

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; Steven Bebb, District Attorney General; and James H. Stutts, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

W. Tyler Weiss, Madisonville, Tennessee (on appeal); and Randy George Rogers and Matthew Rogers, Athens, Tennessee (at trial); for the appellee, Cheryl Rebecca Norwood.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant (along with several co-defendants) was indicted on eight counts of a ten-count indictment: one count of first degree murder; one count of conspiracy to commit first degree murder; one count of arson; two counts of tampering with evidence; one count of theft of property valued at $10,000 or more; one count of abuse of a corpse; and one count of credit card fraud. Prior to trial, the trial court granted the defendant’s motion to suppress three statements given to police after the defendant was “voluntarily” detained. The State sought and received permission to file an interlocutory appeal. Upon review, we conclude that the defendant was, in fact, arrested when she was detained but that her arrest was supported by probable cause. We further conclude that the defendant was given sufficiently prompt judicial review of the officer’s probable cause determination. For these reasons, the trial court’s order granting the defendant’s motion to suppress is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.


DARNELL WHITE v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Milly Worley, Dyersburg, Tennessee, for the appellant, Darnell White.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; C. Phillip Bivens, District Attorney General, and Renee Creasy, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Petitioner, Darnell White, was indicted by the Dyer County Grand Jury for aggravated robbery. After a jury trial, he was convicted of the offense as stated in the indictment. As a result, he was sentenced to ten-years as a Range I, standard offender. Petitioner did not seek a direct appeal of his conviction. Petitioner later sought post-conviction relief on the basis of ineffective assistance of counsel. After a hearing, the post-conviction court denied relief. Petitioner appealed. After a review, we determine Petitioner has failed to establish that he received ineffective assistance of counsel at trial. Accordingly, the judgment of the post-conviction court is affirmed.


Former AG to Preside Over Murder Trial

Former state Attorney General Paul G. Summers will preside over the 10-year-old murder trial of Tyrone Tackett after the recusal of Sumner County Criminal Court Judge Dee David Gay. Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary R. Wade appointed Summers earlier this month after it was argued that Gay gave advice to Hendersonville police officers while serving as an assistant district attorney,  the Tennessean reports.


Law Prof: Pyramid Collapse for Law Schools

A majority of law school are losing money and operating at a deficit as they grapple with lower enrollment, Colorado law professor Paul Campos says. After studying the budgets of 31 ABA-approved law schools, 23 of them private and eight of them public, Campos writes in his  Lawyers, Guns & Money blog that the law-school tuition-pricing system “invariably contains the seeds of its own destruction.” Law schools raise tuition each year, he says, so they can spend more money to raise or maintain their place in law-school rankings. The ABA Journal has more.


Anderson County Officials Seek Easing of Courthouse Gun Rules

Anderson County Commissioner Steve Mead made a public request to ease up on restrictions on guns and knives in the county courthouse, Knoxnews reports. According to County Commission meeting notes, commissioners voted 12-4 to ban civilians toting guns into the building in 2007 but the ban was not extended past the Feb. 2009 expiration deadline.


Contraceptive Mandate Blocked in Federal Appeals Court

A federal appeals court based in Chicago has blocked the so-called contraceptive mandate that requires companies to provide contraceptive coverage in group health-care plans for employees, the ABA Journal reports. In a 2-1 decision, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today on behalf of two closely held companies and their Catholic owners, who claimed the mandate under the Affordable Care Act violated their rights provided by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.


Pilot Accused of Shorting Plaintiff's Reimbursement

A plaintiff’s attorney is crying foul after Pilot Flying J reimbursed his client for an apparent rebate discrepancy, and added only 4 percent interest to the total, Knoxnews reports. Under a proposed settlement deal with several plaintiffs who sued in federal court over an alleged diesel fuel rebate fraud, the Knoxville-based truck stop chain agreed to pay 100 percent of losses plus six percent interest and attorney’s fees. Pilot, though, said today the procedure is the same one it has used for all customers who have received reimbursements.


Murder Victims’ Parents Push for Judicial Drug Tests

The parents of murder victims Channon Christian and Chris Newsom are advocating for changes in the law regarding drug screening for judges, WATE New 6 reports. The people convicted in the killings were granted new trials after it was revealed that the judge in the original case, Richard Baumgartner, was addicted to painkillers and pleaded guilty to official misconduct. "For somebody that is in charge and controls something as important as our justice system, I think they should be susceptible to a drug screening," said Gary Christian.


Memphis Attorney Honored for Pro Bono Work

Pamela Williams Kelly of the Law Offices of Pamela Kelly received the Celebrate Pro Bono Award from the Memphis Bar Association's Access to Justice Committee and the Memphis Area Legal Services (MALS) Pro Bono Project. Kelly was honored for her work on extended cases on behalf of indigent clients through the clinics offered by MALS. She also works with the Community Legal Center, Online Tennessee Justice and the Nashville-based Volunteer Lawyers for Professionals and the Arts. As an accredited attorney for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, she also provides pro bono representation for veterans, the Memphis Daily News reports.


Nashville’s Top Litigation Judgments

Regions Bank’s $2.7 million award from defendant DeVille Corp. tops the list of the Nashville Business Journal’s five largest litigation judgments awarded in Nashville during the past year. View a slideshow of the other judgments on the Business Journal website.


Real Life 'Scandal' Lawyer to Speak in Chattanooga

Attorney Judy Smith, former press aide to President George H. W. Bush and the inspiration behind the hit ABC television show “Scandal,” will visit Chattanooga on Feb. 4 to deliver the keynote at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center’s Anniversary Luncheon. Tables are now available for purchase, along with a limited number of tickets for general seating, the Chattanoogan reports.


Monroe County Lawyer Censured

Barry Keith Maxwell was publicly censured and ordered to pay restitution to his client after the Board of Professional responsibility found he did not promptly refund an advance payment of fees when it became clear that the work for which he had been retained was unnecessary. The BPR notice has more.


Knox County Attorney Suspended

M. Josiah Hoover III was suspended on Nov. 15 for one year to run concurrently with his disbarment on Nov. 16, 2012. Hoover charged a client excessive fees and practiced law while his license was suspended for failing to pay the Professional Privilege Tax. The full BPR notice has more.


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Weirich to Seek Re-election

In a Wednesday TBAToday item, the name of Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich was misspelled. She was announcing the opening of her re-election campaign.


 
 

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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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