'Vote Yes on 2' Campaign to Kick Off Tuesday

Gov. Bill Haslam, former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson and former Gov. Phil Bredesen on Tuesday will help launch a bipartisan  “Vote Yes on 2” campaign in support of Amendment 2 to the state constition. The amendment would provide for initial appointment of judges on the Supreme Court and the courts of appeal and criminal appeals by the governor, with confirmation by the state legislature and retention elections by voters at the next statewide August election and thereafter for eight-year terms. The measure is one of four constitutional amendments on the Nov. 4 ballot. The Commercial Appeal 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
04 - TN Court of Appeals
00 - 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


Court: TN Court of Appeals


Wilton Marble, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellant, Father

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, Joseph F. Whalen, Associate Solicitor General, Kathryn A. Baker, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, State of Tennessee Department of Children’s Services


This is a termination of parental rights case. Father’s parental rights were terminated on the grounds of Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-1-113(g)(9)(A)(vi), failure to establish/exercise paternity; Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-1-113(g)(1), abandonment for willful failure to visit; Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-113(g)(2), substantial non-compliance with a permanency plan; and Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-1-113(g)(3), persistent conditions. We reverse in part and we affirm in part; we affirm the termination of Father’s parental rights to Aiden W.


Court: TN Court of Appeals


Katherine A. Brown and Tyree B. Harris, IV, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Joe Houghlan Hooper, III.

Shannon L. Crutcher, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Amanda Marie Bures Hooper.


In this divorce action, Father appeals the denial of his motion to suspend Mother’s parenting time and the decision to lower Mother’s child support; he also requests that this court modify the residential parenting schedule. Mother appeals the trial court’s calculation of the number of days she exercises parenting time in determining the amount of child support she was ordered to pay. Finding that the court erred in its calculation of Mother’s residential time, we vacate the award of child support and remand for recalculation; in all other respects, the judgment is affirmed.


Court: TN Court of Appeals


Russ Heldman, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, William Barry Moss.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; William E. Young, Solicitor General; and Warren A. Jasper, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Jennifer Lynn Cole, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellee, Dawn A. Moss.


In this post-divorce action, Mother and Father both sought to modify the child support obligation of Father. The trial court, inter alia, found that Father had an annual income of $65,000 and held that there had been a significant variance. The court raised Father’s child support obligation to $233.00 per month, applied a downward deviation of $83.00, and ordered support to continue past age 21 for one of the children due to her disabilities. Father appeals, contending that the court erred in its calculation of his income. We affirm the method used to determine Father’s income; we vacate the child support obligation and remand for a redetermination of the support amount.


Court: TN Court of Appeals


Angela N. Snyder, Maryville, Tennessee, and Keith McCord, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Rebekah Shay Trembley.

Robert L. Vogel and Rosie E. Brown, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Guy Dale Dunn, II.


This is a post-divorce action involving a modification of the defendant’s child support obligation. Because the order from which the plaintiff appealed adjudicated fewer than all of the claims of the parties, it was not a final appealable order pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Appellate Procedure 3(a). We must therefore dismiss this appeal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

State Board Affirms Censure of Magistrate in 'Baby Messiah' Case

The Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct on Friday issued a formal opinion affirming its March decision to issue a public censure of former Cocke County Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew for using religion as a basis for changing a baby’s name from Messiah to Martin. “We emphasize that Magistrate Ballew has every right to hold the very religious beliefs at issue in the case,” the opinion said. “However, the imposition of those beliefs by Magistrate Ballew on the litigants is the inappropriate conduct in this case.” Knoxnews has the story.

Report: Appeals Court Judges Violated Ethics Laws

More than a dozen federal appeals court judges violated federal conflict-of-interest laws over the past three years, throwing into doubt decisions in 26 cases, an analysis from The Center for Public Integrity suggests. The report found 24 cases in which judges ruled despite owning stock in a company appearing before them. In two other cases, the judges had financial ties to law firms representing one of the parties. When informed of the conflicts, all 16 judges sent letters to the parties involved in the cases, disclosing the violations. Several judges said their failure to withdraw from the cases was an oversight. WATE has more from the Associated Press.

Birmingham Bombing Attorneys Speak in Knoxville on Civil Rights

Former Attorney General Bill Baxley and former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones — the prosecutors responsible for bringing justice in the 1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four girls — told a Knoxville audience that the fight for civil rights is still a work in progress, WBIR reports. Baxley and Jones spoke at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church on Friday as part of the city's ongoing commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Veteran’s Treatment Court Seeks Mentors for Training

The Veteran’s Treatment Court is seeking mentors to be trained to help Tennessee veterans who find themselves in criminal courts. The Administrative Office of the Courts will offer training for mentors in Nashville on June 23-24. Hotel room, per diem, and mileage will be paid for in return for participation.

Democratic Justices Likely to Face Opposition, Lt. Gov. Says

Tennessee Republicans have captured the executive and legislative branches of state government, and now appear to be going after the top tier of the judicial branch — the state Supreme Court, the Times News reports. Three justices who are Democrats -- Chief Justice Gary Wade, Cornelia Clark and Sharon Lee -- will be on the Aug. 7 ballot to be retained or not by voters, and they can expect to face and an advertising campaign against their retention, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, says. Ramsey says he will play an "informative role" in the retention election.

County Attorney Candidates Share Vision for Office

Voters in Sullivan County will select their next county attorney during the May Republican primary election, the Times News reports. Running for the position are incumbent Dan Street and challengers Alice Alexander, a civil litigator, and John K. Gillenwater, a general civil practitioner. The three answered questions posed by the Kingsport Times-News in this preview of their campaign themes.

Smyrna Judicial Candidate Outlines Campaign Themes

Jeremy Gourley, a 35-plus year resident of Smyrna and Rutherford County, has announced he is running for Smyrna municipal court judge, the Daily News Journal reports. Gourley graduated from the Nashville School of Law in 2003 and began his legal career as an assistant district attorney in Williamson County. He also is a certified mediator for civil, family and domestic violence matters. Gourley says if elected he will work to improve public safety, improve court and docket management, develop a plan to help defendants who struggle with addictions and mental health issues and use his position to reach out to youth in the community.

Knoxville Lawyer Suspended

Roger David Hyman was suspended from the practice of law for six months on March 31. A hearing panel determined that Hyman communicated with a person who was represented by counsel, threatened a litigant, filed a lien against a litigant that was later declared void, failed to appear at a hearing and failed to timely pay sanctions required by a court order. Hyman appealed the decision but the panel’s decision was affirmed by Knox County Circuit Court and the Tennessee Supreme Court. View 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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