5 Apply for Supreme Court Opening

Five applicants will be considered for a vacancy on the Tennessee Supreme Court when the Governor’s Commission for Judicial Appointments meets March 5 in Nashville. The candidates are Jeffrey S. Bivins, Gerardo A. Gonzalez, Linda W. Knight, Paul C. Ney Jr. and Larry K. Scroggs. The vacancy was created by the announcement from Justice William C. Koch Jr. that he will retire in July. The Administrative Office of the Courts 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.

01 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Workers Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
01 - TN Court of Appeals
04 - 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 Supreme Court


Court: TN Supreme Court


Robert L. Green, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, George Ernest Skouteris, Jr.

Krisann Hodges, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the appellee, Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee.

Judge: LEE

This is a direct appeal of an attorney disciplinary proceeding involving six complaints of professional misconduct. The trial court affirmed the hearing panel’s decision that the attorney had violated multiple Rules of Professional Conduct and should be disbarred from the practice of law. After review of the evidence presented and the applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

TN Court of Appeals


Court: TN Court of Appeals


Daniel P. Hellman, Sevierville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Brenda H.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, and Alexander S. Rieger, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, State of Tennessee, Department of Children’s Services.

Jessica S. Sisk, Newport, Tennessee, guardian ad litem for the minor, Thomas A. H.


This is a termination of parental rights case in which the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services filed a petition to terminate the parental rights of Mother to the Child. Following a bench trial, the trial court found that clear and convincing evidence existed to support the termination of Mother’s parental rights on the statutory grounds of persistence of conditions and mental incompetence and that termination of her rights was in the Child’s best interest. Mother appeals. We affirm the decision of the trial court.

TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Joseph Liddell Kirk, for the Defendant-Appellant, Cameron Cook.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Randall Nichols, District Attorney General; and Takisha Fitzgerald, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Cameron Cook, was convicted by a Knox County jury of attempted first degree murder and employing a firearm during an attempt to commit a dangerous felony for which he received an effective sentence of thirty years confinement. In 1 this appeal, the Defendant argues that the evidence is insufficient to sustain either conviction and that the trial court erred in refusing to charge the jury on voluntary intoxication. Upon review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Juan A. Hill, Mountain City, Tennessee, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Deshea Dulany Faughn and Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Petitioner, Juan A. Hill, appeals as of right from the Johnson County Criminal Court’s summary dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus. The Petitioner contends that his judgment of conviction is void because it fails to reflect pretrial jail credit. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the habeas corpus court.


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Andrew Love, Nashville, Tennessee (on appeal); and Theodore A. Engel, III, Dayton, Tennessee (at hearing), for the appellant, Kenneth J. Meyer.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; J. Michael Taylor, District Attorney General; and James W. Pope, III, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The petitioner, Kenneth J. Meyer, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his 2008 Bledsoe County Circuit Court conviction of voluntary manslaughter, claiming that he was denied the effective assistance of trial counsel. Discerning no error, we affirm.


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Tina L. Sloan (on appeal) and William C. Jones (at hearing), Assistant District Public Defenders, for the appellant, Kevin Potter.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; Lori Phillips-Jones, District Attorney General; and Michael O. Ripley, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Kevin Potter, appeals the Campbell County Criminal Court’s order revoking his probation and ordering him into confinement. Because the record supports the order, we affirm.

Contested Races Take Shape Across State

Thursday at noon was the deadline for all candidates to submit qualifying petitions to run in the May 6 county primaries. General elections are set for Aug. 7. Contenders -- including a “Saturday Night Live” cast member --  filled the ballots in counties throughout the state including in Davidson, Hamilton, Hawkins, Knox, Madison, Maury, Shelby, Sumner and Williamson counties. Watch for  information on additional races as it becomes available.

State Receives Grant to Share Corrections Information

Tennessee, Illinois and Iowa are receiving a grant from the Department of Justice to increase public safety by sharing criminal justice information, News Channel 5 reports. The Cross Boundary Corrections Information Exchange Policy Academy intends to promote state-level reforms aimed at reducing recidivism, lowering corrections costs and improving safety by equipping states with a way of sharing corrections information with each other.

Chattanooga Firm Honors Stophel Scholars

Chattanooga law firm Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel honored the 2013-2104 John C. Stophel Distinguished Students at a reception Tuesday at the Chambliss Conference Center. The reception offered the 10 award recipients — eight undergraduates and two graduate students — the opportunity to meet and engage with members of Chattanooga’s business community. Now in its sixth year, the Stophel Scholars program aims to foster local talent and encourage promising students to build long-lasting mentor relationships with Chattanooga professionals. The Hamilton County Herald has more.

Justice Department Joins Whistle Blower Suit

The U.S. Department of Justice has joined a whistle-blower lawsuit claiming Tenet Corp. and Health Management Associates (HMA) entered into contracts with clinics that referred pregnant women living in the U.S. illegally to hospitals operated by HMA and Tenet in exchange for kickbacks from fraudulent Medicaid claims. Last year, Tenet acquired Nashville-based Vanguard Health Systems, while HMA was recently purchased by Franklin-based Community Health Systems. The Nashville Business Journal has more.

Harvard Poll: Law Students Need Number-Crunching Skills

Accounting, statistics and financial analysis skills are among the most important for equipping students to practice at a big law firm, a study from Harvard Law School reports. Harvard polled 124 lawyers at the 11 major firms that employ the most Harvard law grads and found that in addition to accounting, the attorneys advised students to take courses in corporate finance, negotiation, business strategy, corporations and securities regulation. The Wall Street Journal Law Blog has the story.

Liberal Groups Oppose Obama Judicial Nominee

Twenty-seven liberal groups have expressed strong opposition to Michael Bogg’s nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, citing his record as a state legislator from 2001 through 2004. In a letter to 10 Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, the groups said Boggs “lacks a demonstrated commitment to fairness and equal justice with respect to issues of reproductive freedom, civil rights, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality.” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the administration had not seen the letter and declined to comment, the Nashville Ledger reports.

Senate Passes Laws Inspired by Christian-Newsom Case

State senators approved two bills yesterday that honor the legacies of Knox County couple Channon Christian and Chris Newsom, who were brutally murdered seven years ago, WBIR reports. The Chris Newsom Act would do away with the state's 13th juror rule, which requires a judge to validate a jury verdict by signing a document. An amended version of the Channon Christian Act would prevent evidence or allegations of previous behavior that could call into question the character of a victim, defendant, witness or third-party. The House companion bills are set to be discussed by a subcommittee next Wednesday.

Visitation Tonight for Greeneville Lawyer

Former Assistant District Attorney General Eric D. Christiansen of Greeneville died Tuesday. He was 72. After his retirement, the University of Tennessee College of Law graduate continued to serve the courts as a senior member of the local bar. The family will receive friends tonight from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Doughty-Stevens Funeral Home. A private memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Children’s Center, 119 Fairgrounds Circle in Greeneville.

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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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