Steen New TBA President, Lawyers Recognized

Jackson lawyer Jonathan Steen was installed today as president of the Tennessee Bar Association at the Lawyers Luncheon, part of the group's annual convention in Gatlinburg. "Our founders knew that a strong judicial branch is critical for the health of a democracy," Steen said, and "blatant partisan attacks of late undermine the public's confidence in the judiciary. Lawyers need to be informed and educate their family and friends about these important issues." Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Gary Wade administered the oath of office to Steen, as well as the new members of the TBA Board of Governors. Nashville lawyer Bill Harbison is now president-elect and Knoxville lawyer Jason Long is vice president.

Also at the luncheon, Senior Counselors and these award winners were recognized: The TBA Young Lawyers Division Fellows William M. Leech Public Service Award was given to Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Janice M. Holder by Memphis lawyer Charlotte Knight Griffin. Two awards were given for the Justice Joseph Henry Award for Outstanding Legal Writing. First to Nashville lawyers Kimberly Stagg and John E. Anderson Sr. for their article published in the Tennessee Bar Journal. Second, a Lifetime Acheivement Award was given posthumously to Donald F. Paine for his continuous and important contributions to and shaping of the Journal. The Frank F. Drowota III Outstanding Judicial Service Award was given to Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary Wade. Former Chief Justice Drowota was on hand to help present the award. You Tube Video Awards were presented and the winning videos shown. Three President's Awards were given: to Angelia Nystrom, Richard Johnson and Jeff Levy. TBA Sections and Committees Coordinator Lynn Pointer was honored on her retirement from the TBA. Read more and see pictures from the event.

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
00 - 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 Criminal Appeals


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Robert D. MacPherson, Lebanon, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kathy D. Palmore.

Jeffrey R. Thompson, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Linda K. Neal and Wilson County, Tennessee.


Former employee brought an action for retaliatory discharge and intentional interference with employment. The trial court dismissed the complaint pursuant to Tenn. R. Civ. P. 12.02(6). Having determined the complaint failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, we affirm the dismissal.

9 of 10 Lawyers Recommend Retention of Justices

Nine out of 10 lawyers recommend that Tennesseans vote to “retain” the three Tennessee Supreme Court Justices on the Aug. 7 ballot. That’s the result of a Tennessee Bar Association Candidate Evaluation Poll conducted over the last two weeks. "We want to help the voting public make an informed decision in these retention elections by compiling the views of Tennessee lawyers and presenting them broadly,” TBA President Jonathan Steen of Jackson said. “These results provide a much better measure than partisan labels as to the issue of a judge’s capabilities."

ABA Team to Decide on LMU Accreditation by End of Year

This week Lincoln Memorial University's Duncan School of Law had a visit from an American Bar Association site team, another step in the school's quest for ABA accreditation. Dean Parham Williams says "the committee will make a recommendation in September to the council that votes yay or nay in December." No matter how well LMU performs, WBIR reports that some external forces may work against the school's quest for accreditation. The committee is under pressure not to approve new member schools because the existing law schools are having trouble attracting applicants, they say. Statistics from the Law School Admission Council show a drastic and steady reduction in the amount of people applying to law schools over the last decade, the story reports.

20 Years Later: Photos Tell Story of O.J. Trial

It's been 20 years since famed former running back O.J. Simpson's ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ronald Goldman were stabbed to death outside her home. What followed was what many call the "trial of the century" — Simpson was charged with the murders and America watched every twist and turn of the televised, high-profile proceedings until the day he was acquitted on Oct. 3, 1995. Two decades later, these images from the trial that became a national obsession still pack a punch. The Tennessean has the story and pictures.

County Commissioner Arraigned on Assault Charge

Shelby County Commissioner Henri Brooks was in court for an arraignment Friday morning on an assault charge following allegations that she dumped water on a woman during a dispute over a parking space on Tuesday. Brooks is serving the last weeks of her second term on the commission and term limits rules prevent her from running again. She is the Democratic nominee for Juvenile Court clerk. The Commercial Appeal has more.

Civil Rights Lawyer Arrested in China

Just half a year ago, civil rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang was earning accolades in the Chinese media for his work pushing for the abolition of labor camps. On Friday, Pu made headlines again -- but this time for being arrested by Beijing police on charges that fellow activists say are trumped up in an attempt to silence the vocal government critic. The dramatic turnaround highlights the thin line that activist lawyers often find themselves having to walk if they seek to drum up public support for causes that embarrass the ruling Communist Party: success can come at great personal cost. WRCB has the AP story.

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!


Questions, comments: Email us at

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.

© Copyright 2014 Tennessee Bar Association