Retention Poll Gets Wide Coverage, Some Criticism

News coverage of the TBA’s first-ever Tennessee Supreme Court retention poll continued today with more than 30 media outlets running stories about the results since they were released on Friday. Stories appeared in all of the state's major papers, including the Chattanooga Times Fress Press, Memphis Commercial Appeal, Memphis Daily News, Knoxville News Sentinel and Tennessean. While coverage of the poll has been overwhelmingly positive, a story in the Chattanooga paper notes that Tennesseans for Judicial Accountability – a "group opposed to the reelection of three Democratic justices" – is "blasting" the poll for being "predictable" and "unscientific."

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
02 - 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 Appeals


Court: TN Court of Appeals


Richard L. Colbert and Courtney L. Wilbert, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tina Wilder.

Janet Strevel Hayes and Chris W. McCarty, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Union County Board of Education.


This appeal arises from the dismissal of a tenured teacher. The Union County Board of Education (“the Board”) dismissed Tina Wilder (“Wilder”) following an incident involving underage drinking at Wilder’s lake cabin. Wilder, contesting her dismissal, filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the Chancery Court for Union County (“the Trial Court”). The Trial Court concluded that the evidence sustained Wilder’s dismissal. Wilder raises several issues on appeal. We hold, inter alia, that Wilder was afforded due process, that the Trial Court applied the correct standard of review, and that the evidence supported the Trial Court’s decision. We affirm the judgment of the Trial Court.

TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Gerald L. Melton, District Public Defender and Russell N. Perkins, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Glenn Climer, Jr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clark B. Thornton, Assistant Attorney General; William Whitesell, District Attorney General; and Laural A. Hemenway, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Appellant, Glenn Climer, Jr., was indicted by the Rutherford County Grand Jury with attempted second degree murder, attempted aggravated child abuse, child abuse, assault, and resisting arrest. Appellant was convicted of attempted voluntary manslaughter, attempted aggravated child abuse, child abuse, assault, and resisting arrest. As a result, he was sentenced to a total effective sentence of twenty-six years, eleven months, and twenty-nine days. After the denial of a motion for new trial, Appellant sought this appeal. On appeal, the following issues are presented for our review: (1) whether the evidence is sufficient to support Appellant’s convictions for attempted voluntary manslaughter, attempted aggravated child abuse, and child abuse; (2) whether the trial court erred by allowing counsel for the State to present an improper argument; (3) whether Appellant’s conviction for child abuse violates double jeopardy; and (4) whether the trial court properly sentenced Appellant. After a review of the issues raised on appeal, this Court determines that the evidence was sufficient to support the offenses; Appellant waived any issue with regard to improper argument by failing to object at trial; Appellant’s convictions do not violate double jeopardy; and the trial court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing Appellant. Consequently, the judgments of the trial court are affirmed.

Out-of-State Handgun Permits Held by Tennessee Residents

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Date: 2014-06-11

Opinion Number: 60

DA Investigating Release of Domestic Violence Suspect

Davidson County District Attorney Torry Johnson is investigating the case of a domestic assault suspect who got out of jail just three hours after arrest and allegedly returned home to attack his girlfriend for a second time. At issue is how the man’s attorney was able to get a General Sessions judge to allow the suspect's release before the 12-hour "cooling-off" period allowed by law. Johnson met with General Sessions Judge Bill Higgins Friday to discuss his concerns. Higgins pledged to make changes to the 12-hour hold policy to address the issue. Contacted by the Tennessean, the judge who authorized the waiver, Casey Moreland, said he regretted taking the action.

Court Issues 3 Rulings Today, Others on Tap for Thursday

The religious rights of corporations, the speech rights of abortion protesters, the president’s power to make recess appointments and the privacy rights of those under arrest are among the big issues still unresolved at the Supreme Court, the Associated Press reports. The justices handed down three rulings Monday and will decide more of the 14 remaining cases on Thursday. The story, carried by WRCB-TV Chattanooga, looks at some of the key cases that remain.

Court: Campaign Laws Banning ‘False Statements’ Stifle Debate

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously today that an anti-abortion group can challenge an Ohio law that bars false statements about political candidates during a campaign, the Associated Press reports. Writing for the court, Justice Clarence Thomas said the existence of the law has a chilling effect on political speech because individuals and interest groups have reason to believe their statements may be censured. Both liberal and conservative groups have criticized the law, saying it stifles crucial debate during elections, including negative speech that may sometimes twist the facts. Tennessee and 12 other states have similar laws. WRCB-TV has the story.

Court Rules on 'Straw Purchaser' Law

A divided U.S. Supreme Court sided with gun control groups and the Obama administration today, ruling that the federal ban on "straw" purchases of guns can be enforced even if the ultimate buyer is legally allowed to own a gun. The justices ruled 5-4 that the law applied to a Virginia man who bought a gun with the intention of transferring it to a relative in Pennsylvania who was not prohibited from owning firearms. The ruling settles a split among appeals courts over federal gun laws intended to prevent sham buyers from obtaining guns for the sole purpose of giving them to others, according to the Associated Press.

Decision Limits Public School Graduations in Churches

Without comment, the U.S. Supreme Court today left in place a lower court decision that public high school graduations in churches adorned with religious symbols violate the separation of church and state. The case stemmed from a Wisconsin school that held its graduation ceremonies at a local church. Some argued that a large cross and other religious symbols in the building suggested that the government was endorsing a particular religion. The Associated Press has more.

Services June 28 for Knoxville Native

John Merriman Miller, 76, of Knoxville died June 12 after a brief illness. Miller graduated from Wake Forest University Law School in 1962 and spent most of his career in government service, working for the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency as a national bank examiner, deputy chief counsel and acting chief counsel, and later as deputy to the first Special Trustee for American Indians at the U.S. Department of the Interior. In 1982, he joined Kirkland & Ellis as a partner in the Denver office. After retiring, Miller returned to his childhood home of Knoxville. Visitation will be June 28 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at Rose Mortuary Mann Heritage Chapel in Knoxville. A memorial service will follow at 5 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorials be made to the University of Tennessee Legal Clinic, 1505 West Cumberland Ave., Knoxville, TN 37996 or Miller's Chapel Baptist Church, Turkey Creek Rd., Tellico Plains, TN 37385. Knoxnews has more on his life.

Maury County Lawyer Suspended

James Michael Marshall of Spring Hill was suspended from the practice of law on June 13 for 60 days. The action was taken after the Tennessee Supreme Court determined that Marshall ignored a court order to prepare and file a statement of the evidence; waited a year before setting a motion for argument before the trial court; and notarized documents when he did not hold an active notary commission. Marshall pleaded guilty to six Class C misdemeanors of acting after the expiration of his notary commission and was placed on probation. He also entered a conditional guilty plea admitting his conduct violated the Rules of Professional Conduct. Download the BPR notice.

Health Insurance Exchange Now Available Through TBA

Fast and easy health insurance enrollment is now available through the TBA Health Insurance Exchange operated by JLBG Health. Affordable health insurance coverage is important, but getting it can be complicated, frustrating and expensive. The TBA Health Insurance Exchange can help make the whole process simpler and easier to navigate.


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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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