News

Memphis Man Shot by Police During Traffic Stop

A Memphis man was critically wounded after being shot by police during a traffic stop on Monday, The Commercial Appeal reports. Memphis police shot Martavious Banks after he allegedly fled the location of the traffic stop on foot towards a nearby house. MPD later posted a tweet stating: "An armed male driver got out of the vehicle and fled… Officers gave chase and a confrontation occurred. The driver was shot." A standoff developed following the shooting, in which members of Banks' family and the community appeared at the scene demanding answers from the officers.

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Children of Lorenzen Wright Maintain Their Mother Was Not Involved in His Murder

The children of slain basketball star Lorenzen Wright adamantly dispute that their mother, Sherra Wright, had anything to do with his murder, according to a story in The Los Angeles Times. Wright’s body was found badly decomposed in a Memphis field where he was left after being shot twice in the head and torso and once in his forearm. Wright was ordered in a parenting plan to maintain a $1 million life insurance policy, which authorities believe may have been a motive. The children created a GoFundMe account in late June to help bail out their mother, but had not raised any cash when the article was published.

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New Suit Filed in Father-Son Dispute Over Buchanan Firm

A new lawsuit has been filed in the ongoing dispute between attorney Dale Buchanan and his son, Michael Buchanan, over the operation of their firm, The Chattanoogan reports. The filing claims Michael Buchanan hired his wife, a non-lawyer, as chief executive officer, as well as hired several other family members and in-laws. The firm allegedly provided his wife a luxury car and hundreds of thousands of dollars for doing little work, as well as paid for vacations for her and her family. Dale Buchanan first sued his son in 2015, saying that Michael Buchanan was using the firm for personal affairs. That suit was settled in 2016.
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Prosecutors, Defense Attorneys Differ on New Ethics Opinion

The Nashville Scene has taken an in-depth look into the recent Board of Professional Responsibility ethics opinion, which says prosecutors must hand over all evidence that is in some way favorable to a defendant, no matter if they believe it would affect the outcome or not. Prosecutors say it would be a new “tactical weapon” that would “only create confusion,” while defense attorneys say defendants are entitled to know all of the facts. The battle over this year’s opinion has earned national coverage, including from The Marshall Project last month.
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TBI Public Information Officer Accused of Destroying Government Record Resigns

A public information officer with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) in West Tennessee has resigned following an internal investigation into former acting TBI director Jason Locke, The Tennessean reports. Micheal Jones is accused of improperly destroying a government record after deleting a private Facebook message sent to TBI from Locke's wife, alleging the misuse of state funds. Jones, who had been on the job for less than a year was placed on administrative leave on June 26, oversaw public affairs for 21 counties in the West Tennessee region.

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White Supremacy was Possible Motive in Murder of Murfreesboro Man

Rutherford County jail intercepted a letter from an inmate charged with the fatal burning of a black man earlier this year that details white supremacy as a possible motive, the Daily News Journal reports. Prosecutors are investigating the case to determine if hate crime sentencing enhancement could be applied to the first-degree murder charge against John Daniel Carothers for the killing of 40-year-old Robert Miller in March. A Murfreesboro police detective testified at an Aug. 8 court hearing that jailers decided to intercept and read Carothers' letter after Googling the organization — the American Institute of Theology — to which the mail was addressed. Carothers was previously convicted of second-degree murder in 1999 and later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in 2011 after allegations of second-degree murder in another case. 

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TBA Offers Insurance Solutions

TBA Member Insurance Solutions offers insurance plans for you, your family and your firm. Members and non-members are welcome to attend a health and insurance Q&A session offered at each of the Court Square CLE locations held across the state. See details for Clarksville, Cookeville and Kingsport for September.
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2019 Animal Law Forum to be Held at Nashville Zoo

The TBA Animal Law Section will hold its 2019 Animal Law Forum at the Nashville Zoo, allowing attendees the opportunity to learn about trends and advancements in animal law relevant to advocates and professionals with a related focus, while networking and enjoying the fun and activities the zoo offers. In addition to the new Expedition Peru exhibit, the zoo will open a new state-of-the-art veterinary medical center next spring that will serve as a teaching center, affording opportunities to learn about diagnosis, treatment, and management of animal health. Stay tuned for more info.

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Justice Lee Denounces Supreme Court Ruling

Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Sharon Lee delivered a rebuke to the court’s recent ruling denying a request by some death row inmates to slow down the appellate schedule, which comes as several death row inmates seek to stop or change their execution method, The Tennessean reports. Lee has been an outspoken critic of the expedited court schedule, recently saying "the Court unwisely put this appeal on a 'rocket docket.' Now, it is “Houston, we have a problem'.”

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General–Solo FastTrack CLE Programming a Huge Success

The TBA General–Solo Section recently presented its annual FastTrack CLE programming in Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville. These forums were a huge success, receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback. The TBA would like to thank the General–Solo Executive Council for their hard work in producing this annual staple for Tennessee attorneys!
 
General-Solo-Small Firm Practitioners Executive Council
Jane Powers, Section Chair
Tim Chinaris, Chair-Elect
Jim Romer, Immediate Past Chair
 
East TN Delegates
Frank Johnstone
Samantha Parris
Sharon Frankenburg
 
West TN Delegates
Abi Salu
Chasity Grice
 
Middle Tennessee Delegates
Margaret Johnson
Sean Martin
 
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Commission Sends 3 Names to Haslam for 20th Judicial District Court Opening

The Trial Court Vacancy Commission today selected Cynthia Chappell, Dominic J. Leonardo and Jennifer L. Smith as finalists for the Circuit Court vacancy in the 20th Judicial District, serving Davidson County. This position was created by the retirement of the Hon. Seth Walker Norman, who will end his service Aug. 31. The commission has forwarded these names to Gov. Bill Haslam for his consideration.

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Loudon County Election Commission Affirms City Employee's Exclusion from Ballot

The Loudon County Election Commission on Monday affirmed a decision by the Lenoir City Council contesting candidate Earlena Maples’ qualification for the November ballot due to her 37-year tenure at Lenoir City Utilities Board (LCUB), the Lenior City News-Herald reports. During the meeting, Maples filed a motion contesting council members Mike Henline, Douglas “Buddy” Hines, Jennifer Wampler and Jim Shields from being on the ballot which the election commission will address on a later date. Maples may still opt to take the matter to chancery court.

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City of Franklin Seeks Assistant City Attorney

The city of Franklin is seeking an Assistant City Attorney to provide legal services and representation to assigned departments, commissions, and committees — representing the city, its officials, and employees in civil cases. The Assistant City Attorney will also draft ordinances, resolutions, leases, contracts, court pleadings, etc., relating to lawsuits and/or other municipal concerns. Interested candidates can learn more about the position and apply using this link.

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2018 Health Law Primer and Forum

Tennessee remains at the forefront of the health care industry, so it’s only fitting that we host the nation’s preeminent health law forum. This must-see, must-do event for Tennessee health law lawyers features timely programming designed to up your game and keep you on top of trends in the field. Topics for this year include new issues in health care as related to transgender and immigrant patients, the opioid crisis, fraud and abuse developments/enforcement, legislative updates and much much more. This year’s keynote speaker Chief Counsel to the Inspector General Gregory Demske will also detail priorities and enforcement efforts for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General. Don’t sleep on this opportunity to learn from seasoned practitioners while networking with top players in the field. Here are the key details:
 
Health Law Primer (introductory program)
When: Wednesday, Oct. 10
Where: Embassy Suites Hotel, 820 Crescent Centre Drive, Franklin
 
Health Law Forum
When:  Thursday, Oct. 11 – Friday, Oct. 12
Where: Embassy Suites Hotel, 820 Crescent Centre Drive, Franklin
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Appeals Court: Haslam Overhaul of Probation System Was Unconstitutional

A Tennessee appeals court ruled last week that a key prong of Gov. Bill Haslam's overhaul of the state's probation system was unconstitutional because it violates defendants' rights and encroaches on judicial authority in criminal matters, The Tennessean reports. The changes, which gave probation officers the power to dole out punishments, were made in 2016 as a part of the Public Safety Act. The Haslam administration said the goal of the measure was to halt prison sentences for low-level probation violations like failure to pay fines. The Criminal Court of Appeals said the law had “impermissibly encroached upon the judicial powers of the courts.”
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Judge Expands Administrator's Powers for Glen Campbell Estate

In the battle over Glen Campbell's estate, Judge David "Randy" Kennedy has expanded the powers of the estate’s administrator while also ordering a detailed accounting of a joint bank account Campbell maintained with his wife, the Tennessean reports. This development comes after Stanley B. Schneider — who serves as the estate’s administrator and was formally Campbell's business manager — petitioned the court for the power to pay taxes and other estate obligations. Under the order, Schneider is required to determine what funds in the account are considered community property with Kimberly Campbell and what funds belong to the estate. 

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Judge: Absentee Father Not Entitled to Share of Son’s Wrongful Death Settlement

A Wisconsin judge ruled that an absentee father whose son was conceived with his 15-year-old cousin is not entitled to a portion of a settlement for the son’s wrongful death, the ABA Journal reports. Judge David Borowski said he would not allow “a six-figure windfall” to Marcus Crumble, whose son died at age 25 at a mental health facility in 2012. Giving Crumble half of the $837,000 settlement would amount to unjust enrichment, Borowski said.
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Annual Bankruptcy Forum Survey

The TBA Bankruptcy Executive Council welcomes opinions about the Annual Bankruptcy Forum. Completing this brief web form will assist in ensuring the forum remains timely and relevant. We welcome feedback regarding subject matter, length, location, etc. Please respond to this survey by Aug. 24. Please also mark your calendars to join us on April 5-7, 2019.  Your help and participation are greatly appreciated!
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TDEC Seeks Transactional Attorney for General Law Team in Nashville

This Tennessee Department of Energy and Conservation (TDEC) is seeking a transactional attorney to join its General Law Team in Nashville. The successful candidate will serve as a member of the General Law Team in the Office of General Counsel and will report directly to the General Law Team Leader. The attorneys on the General Law Team include five experienced attorneys who represent TDEC by providing representation relative to real property transactions, procurement, employment law, liability claims, law enforcement, fiscal administration, hospitality operations, public records and legislative matters.

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Court Affirms 6-Month Suspension for Memphis Attorney

The Tennessee Supreme Court has affirmed the suspension of Memphis attorney Larry Edward Parrish from the practice of law for six months, with 30 days to be served on active suspension and the remainder on probation. Previously, a Board of Professional Responsibility (BPR) hearing panel found that Parrish had violated his ethical duties under the Rules of Professional Conduct by making derogatory statements about three appellate judges, however, the panel declined to issue discipline beyond a public censure because they argued his statements were protected by the First Amendment. Upon appeal, the Tennessee Supreme Court found that his statements were not protected under free speech and affirmed Parrish's suspension.
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Put TBA UPS to Work

Have you enrolled in TBA’s UPS account for members? Visit UPS's TBA page and save up to 34 percent on UPS’s broad portfolio. Shipping services include next day air, international, ground and express.
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Law Office Management Tips on Shipping

If your law office uses shipping services, your TBA membership team can help you compare those costs to TBA’s UPS member benefit. Your firm office manager can work directly with TBA staff and UPS services to enroll or transfer shipping accounts. Members can save up to 34 percent on UPS’s broad portfolio of shipping services, including next day air, international, ground and express.
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Murfreesboro City Employee Forced to Resign Over Use of CBD

A Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation Department was forced to resign after testing positive for cannabinoids due to CBD-containing products she uses to treat her anxiety, the Daily News Journal reports. Even though CBD products — derived from the hemp plant — are legal in Tennessee, they contained a trace amount of THC in the capsules she was taking, violating the city’s regulations to be a Drug-Free Workplace. Though hemp-derived CBD oil has minimal amounts of THC, standard drug tests can’t tell the difference between hemp products and marijuana.

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Man Shoots Coach at Youth Football Game

Nashville police are looking for a man who allegedly shot a youth football coach during a dispute at a game, the Tennessean reports. The coach was shot twice in his right leg at Antioch High School after breaking up a fight between players. The suspect, upset about the fight, asked the coach to meet him under the bleachers. Once there, the coach said the man pulled a pistol and began shooting. Police said Sunday that the coach was recovering.

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Cyber-attack Concerns Leads TVA to Boost Security Efforts

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is investing heavily in monitoring systems and equipment for its recently opened Cybersecurity Operations Center in Chattanooga, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports. The TVA sees tens of thousands of attempts daily to hack into the company’s networks, the report says. With recent concerns of attacks using these means, including new evidence of attempted Russian cyber-attacks against American power utilities, the TVA is employing a staff of 38 TVA employees and another 20 to 30 contract workers devoted solely to cyber-security. The TVA is the nation's largest government-owned power utility, with 29 power-generating dams, seven nuclear reactors and multiple connections to the Oak Ridge nuclear weapons production arsenal.

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