Man Credits Blount County Recovery Court for Saving His Life

A Blount County man credits the county’s innovative recovery court program for saving his life, according to an article in the Citizen Tribune. Daniel McQueen said that he was using from $400 – $500 of heroin a day, stealing credit cards, cars, or anything else of value to feed his habit. A judge at the Blount County Recovery Court sentenced McQueen to complete the court’s strictly regimented addiction treatment program, offered as an alternative to incarceration and he has been sober since. The program has been successful in Blount County, which plans to build a new “transition center,” to house hundreds more entering recovery through the criminal justice system. Recovery Court Judge Tammy Harrington said that she has seen hardened, long-term offenders complete the program and achieve sobriety.

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TBA Criminal Justice Section to Host Lunch Following Forum

The TBA Criminal Justice Section will host a networking luncheon following the Dec. 7 Criminal Justice Forum. This lunch will provide the opportunity for Criminal Justice Section members, judges, law students and attendees of the program to meet section leadership and attorneys who share a similar focus. There is no charge for this luncheon and parking will be validated. Attendance of the program is not required. Please RSVP to to reserve your spot.

When: Friday, Dec. 7, 12:45 p.m., CST
Where:  Tennessee Bar Center, 221 Fourth Ave. N., Nashville
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Campbell County Judge Blasts 'Culture of Medicated Drivers'

Campbell County Judge Shayne Sexton on Wednesday blasted what he referred to as a 'culture of medicated drivers' when sentencing Kevin Trent for killing a woman while driving after taking two of his prescribed medications — oxycodone and Xanax, The Knoxville News Sentinel reports. Trent, who lost his left leg below the knee and both his arms below the elbows after being hit by a drunk driver in 2005 and used a homemade system to accommodate his missing limbs, drove into oncoming traffic, hitting victim Karen Freeman’s vehicle head-on. Trent had a “therapeutic range” of Xanax in his system at the time, however, a “relatively high level of oxycodone” according to a doctor testifying at his trial.

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Senate Republicans Discuss Changes to Criminal Justice Reform Bill

Senate Republicans are discussing changes to the FIRST STEP Act, the initial bill regarding a comprehensive overhaul of the U.S. criminal justice system, The Washington Post reports. Among the changes being discussed are narrowing fentanyl-related crimes to ameliorate mandatory minimum sentences in some cases, narrowing the “safety valve” provision, which provides more discretion to judges when issuing sentences and nixing the “stacking” regulation, which would add more penalties to those who commit a drug-related crime while possessing a gun, even if the firearm wasn’t used. President Trump has made criminal justice reform one of his top legislative priorities, a measure that has to date received bipartisan support.

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Brown Named as Recipient of McCutchen Award

Twenty-eighth Judicial District Attorney General Garry G. Brown last week was honored as the recipient of this year’s McCutchen Award, The Jackson Sun reports. Established in 2000 in memory of Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference Director Pat McCutchen, the award is given to a prosecutor who has made a significant effort in the advancement of justice to Tennesseans. Brown is a graduate of the University of Memphis Law School; served as an Assistant District Attorney in the 28th District from 1989 to 1996 and was elected General Sessions Judge in 1998. He became District Attorney in 2000, with subsequent elections in 2002, 2006 and 2014.

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Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility Seeks Disciplinary Counsel – Litigation, Appeals

The Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility is seeking a motivated attorney for the position of Disciplinary Counsel – Litigation Section, Appeals. The duties and responsibilities include: investigate and conduct discovery related to complaints of attorney misconduct; prepare pleadings and appear in disciplinary hearings before hearing panels; represent the Board in appellate proceedings before special judges in trial courts and before the Tennessee Supreme Court; prepare and present continuing legal education; and other duties as assigned.
Excellent written and oral communication required. Applicants must be licensed in Tennessee and have a minimum of seven (7) years experience in the practice of law. Must have significant experience in appellate advocacy. Practice before the Tennessee Supreme Court is preferred. You can find out more about the position including how to apply by using this link.
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Tennessee Death Row Inmate Must Choose Execution Method This Afternoon

Tennessee death row inmate David Earl Miller must choose death by lethal injection or electric chair by this afternoon, The Times Free Press reports. Miller was convicted and sentenced to death for the gruesome murder of Lee Standifer, a mentally handicapped woman he had been dating at the time. Though lethal injection is the preferred method of execution in Tennessee, those convicted prior to 1999 can still opt for the chair. Miller's execution is set for Dec. 6.

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Attorney Testifies to Extortion in Trial of Hamilton County Commissioner

A witness in the trial of Hamilton County Commissioner Tim Boyd told a jury on Wednesday that he received a call from an attorney who said that Boyd had damaging information about East Ridge Mayor Brent Lambert which would be released if Lambert did not "pull his papers" when running against Boyd, The Chattanoogan reports. Attorney Allen McCallie said the call was from Mike Mallen — his former law partner — regarding a special meeting called by Lambert to ask the East Ridge City Council to approve a deal with Exit One developers. District Attorney Neal Pinkston told the jury the call and follow-up conversations that Lambert secretly recorded went beyond free speech, amounting to extortion, the paper reported.

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Zagorski Petitions U.S. Supreme Court, 6th Circuit for Stay of Execution

Lawyers for Edmund Zagorski on Wednesday filed a Writ of Certiorari and an Application for Stay of Execution with the U.S. Supreme Court asserting errors made at his trial and maintaining that he was required to choose between two torturous execution methods, The Tennessean reports. Zagorski’s execution was previously delayed after he selected the electric chair for his execution method so that prison staff could ready the device. The Supreme Court has already declined to intervene in the case earlier this month. A separate challenge with the 6th Circuit also focused on his attorneys' objections to the electric chair, the method Zagorski chose for his execution. It was denied Wednesday night. Zagorski's attorneys said Wednesday they would also appeal the electric chair challenge to the high court. The maker of the device has recently expressed concern, saying the chair may not work properly.

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19th Judicial District Seeks Assistant District Public Defender

The 19th Judicial District is seeking an Assistant District Public Defender to serve in General Sessions Court in Robertson County (Springfield). In addition to outstanding ability as a trial lawyer, attorneys interested in this position must possess unquestionable integrity, a high degree of personal time management skill, enthusiastic desire to continue to learn and grow in the craft of trial advocacy, recognition of the importance of attending to administrative details and duties, and unquenchable thirst to obtain justice for the clients. The attorney in this position will also likely contribute to cases in Circuit Court to include jury trials. You can learn more about the position including how to apply using this link.

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