May 2008 - Vol. 44, No. 5



Tennessee's only ABFDE certified private document examiner. Formerly with U.S. Postal Inspection Service Crime Laboratory. Certified by American Board of Forensic Document Examiners. American Society of Questioned Document Examiners. Substantial civil, criminal and trial experience. Thomas Vastrick, 6025 Stage Road, Suite 42-309, Memphis, TN 38134; (901) 383-9282.

FORENSIC HANDWRITING EXPERT Qualified in all courts. Handwriting Identification, Forgery, Anonymous Letters, Graffiti. Diplomate / ABFE, NC Dept. of Justice, U.S. Secret Service QDC I & II. Theresa F. Dean, Handwriting Expert, Hendersonville, NC; (828) 891-4263 PO Box 414, Horseshoe, NC 28742; Located in Hendersonville, North Carolina.

Business Valuation services for FLPs and other tax and business purposes; Forensic Accounting and Expert Testimony services for fraud, divorce and other commercial cases; Litigation Support services for a variety of cases involving unusual and complex financial and accounting issues. D. Michael Costello, CPA-ABV, Decosimo, Tallan Building, Suite 1100 - Two Union Square, Chattanooga, TN 37402; (423) 756-7100.

Former State Traffic Engineer. Licensed as Professional Engineer in Tennessee, with national accreditation in traffic accident reconstruction. Certified in crash data retrieval. Traffic accidents, highway design and traffic control, including construction work zones. Computer-assisted reconstruction analysis and drawings. Richard Fitzgerald, PE, 4545 Winfield Drive, Nashville, TN 37211; (615) 331-1212.

We are a 61 year-old, P&C independent claims adjusting firm with seven staffed offices throughout Tenn. We regularly attend mediation meetings for our insurance company clients. May we offer you our mediation adjusters and/or defense-related claims adjustment services? Tom Moss JD (800) 621-1313

I provide the following services: Screening cases for merit, defining applicable standards of care, deviations from standards of care, assessment of alleged damages, identifying and locating testifying experts, as well as other services. Please email me at if I can be of service with health-related cases. Isaiah 58:6-10

I-9/worker status issues? Immigration consequences of criminal convictions/pleas? Deportation? Legalization/guest workers? Law Offices of Sean Lewis; 144 Second Ave. North, Suite 150; Nashville, Tennessee 37201; (866) 892-9264

"America's Safety Is Our Vision", "Security at It's Best": Security Guards, Safety Engineering, Store Detectives, Investigators, Bodyguards, Executive Escorts, Loss Prevention, Prevention of Terrorism, Anti-corporate Espionage, Assets Search, E-Frauds, Insurance Frauds, Scams & Schemes, Skips Trace, Plaintiff Testimony, Defense Testimony, W-Crimes, Video Surveillance, Bugging & Debugging, Arsons Investigation, Background Screening. 50 States' Coverage. 24 hrs/7 days service, Anywhere & Anytime. Dr. Max D. Antoine PhD, Director/CEO, Licensed Private Investigator & Detective No. 7026; Tel.: 800-810-6140, Fax: 510-217-6609, Web site:

A leading southeastern law firm is seeking an associate for their corporate group in Chattanooga, Tenn. Qualified candidates must have three to five years of experience. Salary commensurate with experience. Please submit cover letter, résumé and law school transcript to Tennessee Bar Journal; 221 Fourth Avenue N; Ste 400; Box 1551; Nashville, TN 37219

Batson, Nolan, Pearson, Miller & Joiner, a general services firm with offices in Clarksville and Springfield, Tennessee, is seeking a litigation associate with 2+ years of general civil litigation experience (emphasis in insurance defense and medical negligence defense preferred). Competitive benefits and salary for qualified candidate. Send résumés in confidence to: Administrator, 121 South Third Street, Clarksville, TN 37040 or via email to BNPMJ is an equal opportunity employer.

Cleveland, Ohio-based litigation firm seeks a full-time attorney to join their Franklin, TN satellite office. Applicants should have up to three years' experience. We offer superior benefits, and salary is commensurate with experience. Please submit cover letter and résumé to Human Resources, Sutter, O'Connell & Farchione Co. L.P.A., 341 Cool Springs Blvd., Suite 430, Franklin, TN 37067

Tennessee Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts coordinates the provision of pro bono legal services to low-income artists and emerging arts organizations in the Nashville area. The group is looking for lawyers of all practice areas to volunteer. To find out more about volunteering, visit (click "Volunteer").

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Maggie, the Canyon and Me

It's been said that there are only three things in life that are never overrated: Timex watches, Memphis barbeque and the Grand Canyon. Well, if called as a witness, I can attest that all three will never disappoint you. In fact, they will always exceed your expectations.

For years I have worn a Timex watch. It's cheap, reliable, and as long as I properly reset it twice a year (spring forward, fall back), it will always tell me the correct time. And as John Cameron Swayze used to say on the commercials, "It takes a licking and keeps on ticking!"

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Discovery Rule: Opinion Causes Headaches

I hear the train a comin'. It's rollin' 'round the bend[1]

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Miscarriage of Justice

By Hamilton "Kip" Gayden | Center Street | $22.99 | 330 pages | 2008

Anna Dotson, 32, of Gallatin was a married mother of a daughter and son. Her husband Walter was a prominent ear, nose and throat doctor. On the afternoon of Saturday, March 15, 1913, Anna rode a train to Nashville and walked into a barbershop at 819 Broadway. She pulled a pistol from her muff and fired four bullets into barber Charlie Cobb, who died upon arrival at the hospital.

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The Appeal

By John Grisham | Doubleday | $27.95 | 355 pages | 2008

The title of this novel derives from the appeal of a $41 million verdict in a toxic waste trial to the Mississippi Supreme Court. During the appellate process a hotly contested election for one seat on that court takes place.

Special interest groups pour vast sums into each candidate's campaign coffers.

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Trial in Absentia: The Tim Kirk and Mary Evans Tragicomedy

Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 43(b)(1) provides that the defendant waives his right to be present at trial if he "voluntarily is absent after the trial has commenced." But State v. Kirk, 699 S.W.2d 814 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1985), upheld a verdict and sentence where the accused left the jurisdiction shortly before his scheduled trial date.

Where was Tim Kirk in April of 1983 while being tried in Morgan County for killing inmates and kidnapping guards at Brushy Mountain? He was in Florida with one of his defense lawyers, Mary Evans!

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He Makes Jury Trials and Border Wars Funny

These letters were written to Journal columnist Bill Haltom. The first is about his March 2008 column, "The Last Tennessee Jury Trial."

Bill, I've enjoyed your TBA columns over the years, but you have outdone yourself this month " a true classic! As a Rule 31 mediator myself (but a trial lawyer for 30 years before becoming a mediator who still hopes to try many more jury cases), I believe myself emminently qualified to confirm the accuracy of which you speak. Best regards.
" Jim MacDonald, Knoxville

And this letter, about Haltom's April column, "The Second Battle of Lookout Mountain":

Bill: We haven't met but I want to let you know how much I enjoy your Tennessee Bar Journal articles. The latest one about the Georgia water issue is hilarious. I almost instinctively turn to your articles first when I get the journal. They are great. Just know that your work is appreciated.
" Dennis W. Watkins, Cleveland

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Law Day Celebrates Rule of Law

Many, many years ago my family visited Arlington Cemetery to pay our respects to John Fitzgerald Kennedy. It was summer, less than a year after he had been assassinated. I remember that despite the August heat, the lines were very long, that the respectful silence was palpably overpowering. No one spoke as the line made its way slowly to the site in the cemetery. The eternal flame fascinated me. My father explained that this flame was to honor a youthful fallen president who had spoken so eloquently in his inaugural address about liberty, and "... the glow from that fire can truly light the world." He also told me that each of us, as Americans, was a keeper of the flame of liberty. Today, attorneys have an essential role as visible keepers of the flame.

In this an election year, we are bombarded by the dissonance of the candidates and pundits. One of the tactics employed by various candidates or their public relations gurus is to define the opponent in a negative or limiting light, causing that opponent to respond in a defensive posture, deflecting attributed unfavorable characteristics while attempting to affirm positive positions. Perhaps we as lawyers similarly have allowed others for so many years to define our profession and our judicial system in similar negative or limiting descriptions. We should affirmatively strive to define who we are, what we do, and why our role is so essential to protect America and freedoms. We will continue to impact our communities positively through our volunteer efforts " on non-profit boards, through pro bono contributions, through legal actions to ensure access to justice for all. Sometimes the simplicity of a timeless positive message, the quiet statement, drowns out the cacophony of negative opposition.

It has been stated that America's future walks through the doors of our schools each day. Unfortunately, with the advent of programs that focus increasingly on subjects other than civics, America's future, its students, does not have the same exposure to essential civics education. The Tennessee Bar Association, through several programs, attempts to make up the deficit in the lack of civics as a taught subject through programs such as the mock trial competition in high school, or the programs in elementary school featuring story tale trials. Fundamental understanding of civics " not only a rich history of our country, but the mechanics of how our government works, the why behind our system " is essential. As lawyers we need to focus on restoring civics education in our schools, enhancing public awareness of the legal system, and make civics as a required subject a priority. Legislation in Tennessee has not been successful to date, but as keepers of the flame, Tennessee attorneys need to rally around efforts to restore civic lessons in curricula in our schools.

Fifty years ago in May, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the first Law Day proclamation. It was written that this president had viewed other countries' military celebrations in May, and wanted to counter the anti-American sentiment by celebrating the rule of law through a day of national dedication. The first such dedication, as have those that followed, focused on our American legal system and its foundations of liberty, justice and equality. Historically, Law Day has celebrated liberty, foundations of freedom, the unity of our nation through its people, a quest for equality and protection of our freedoms. Our Constitution and body of law protect our freedoms and rights - due process, right to assemble, freedom of speech and of press, freedom of religion. Throughout time, lawyers have proudly served as keepers of the flame to protect what we as Americans hold dear, and yet take for granted.

Annually, Law Day is celebrated throughout the state, with recognition and celebration of winners at the annual TBA convention. Law Day occurs at a local level, with competition sponsored by metropolitan bar associations. The Nashville Law Day is celebrated April 29; Knoxville Bar Association sponsors a luncheon on May 1, and Memphis bar associations join for an entire week devoted to recognition of law. Justice Koch has accepted an invitation from the Chattanooga Bar Association to speak at the fiftieth year celebration of Law Day on May 14. The focus this year is "The Rule of Law: Foundation for Communities of Opportunity and Equity." Our profession is in the forefront as the torch is passed to future generations " we recognize that the rule of law is a very basic foundation that secures for us the freedoms and liberties that we enjoy.

Focus on communities serves to illustrate application of legal principals and the impact of the rule of law at a local level. This is essential to an understanding that law is not national in scope, but begins at our community level, with our profession.

Our country has faced many challenges since its birth. How the challenges have been addressed makes our country a strong democracy. The promise of its future, and our nation's future generations, truly sets this nation apart. Despite attacks on freedoms, the rule of law remains immutable, the foundation for our recognition and protection of our rights.

A government such as ours is complex. It is not an easy process. Each of the three governmental branches " executive, legislative and judicial "serves as a check and balance. Each of the three is essential to our foundations. The constant tug and pull, tug and pull, among these three branches serve to make the entire government and its people unified, that much stronger. It is our right and privilege to voice our concerns, to squabble openly about issues and governance, and our duty as lawyers to protect our freedoms.

At times such as these, when there are challenges with no known solutions, lawyers and our profession should shine as an example to others. As lawyers, we address conflicts and determine appropriate solutions.

At times such as these, I am so proud to be an American, so proud to be a lawyer involved in protecting our freedoms, and ensuring liberty and equality. I am proud of the legacy of service that lawyers have, the foundation that lawyers build upon, and look forward to our continued role as keepers of the flame, and in passing the torch to future generations.

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Governor selects Davidson County judges
On March 26 Gov. Phil Bredesen appointed Nashville attorney Joe P. Binkley Jr. to the Davidson County Circuit Court, Division V, and Russell Perkins of Whites Creek to the Davidson County Chancery Court, Part IV. They were sworn in April 8 at the State Capitol. Binkley, top photo, stands with his wife Suzanne. Perkins stands with his wife Renita. Binkley, a graduate of the Vanderbilt University Law School, has been a solo practitioner for 38 years. Perkins has been serving as deputy attorney general of the Tennessee Attorney General's Tobacco Enforcement Division since 2006.

Stites & Harbison has named a new member in its Franklin office. Joseph J. Jensen joins the banking and real estate practice group where he will focus on representing financial institutions. Previously, Jensen practiced law in South Bend, Ind., and served as law clerk to Judge George B. Hoffman Jr., of the Indiana Court of Appeals.

Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP has elected the following 11 new partners in its Nashville office. Brett R. Carter earned his law degree in 1998 from the University of Memphis and a master of laws in taxation in 2000 from Georgetown University. From 2004 to 2005, he served in the Judge Advocate General's Corps in Iraq with the Tennessee Army National Guard. S. Keenan Carter received his law degree in 1998 from the University of Memphis. Prior to joining the firm, he was a member of Flanary Carter Schubert, a professional corporation in Dallas. Ryan K. Cochran graduated from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in 2000. Prior to joining Waller Lansden, he served as law clerk to Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. Derek W. Edwards earned his law degree from the Vanderbilt University Law School in 2000. Prior to joining the firm, he was an associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. Alice M. Pettigrew Heywood joined the firm after working as an associate with Stites & Harbison PLLC in Nashville. She received her law degree in 2000 from the University of Memphis. Kevin P. Kimery holds a law degree from the University of Virginia and a master in philosophy from Boston College. He has been with the firm since 2000. Stephen Page graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1994. Before joining the firm he served as vice president of Vanguard Health Systems. Mark Jordan Plotkin earned his law degree in 2000 from Vanderbilt University Law School and worked as an associate with Hughes, Hubbard & Reed LLP in New York before returning to Tennessee to join Waller Lansden. Charles Brent Robbins graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1992. Prior to joining Waller Lansden, he was an associate with Stokes Bartholomew Evans & Petree PA in Nashville. Eric Schultenover began practicing at Waller Lansden after receiving his law degree in 2000 from Washington University. David G. Wilson received his law degree in 1998 from Vanderbilt University Law School. Prior to joining the firm, he was a senior research and development engineer for Allied Signal Aerospace Corporation.

Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan PLLC has named 10 attorneys as new members of the firm. In the Chattanooga office four lawyers were selected. Bruce D. Gill earned his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2001. Cherie D. Jewell received her law degree in 2000 from the University of Memphis. A licensed registered nurse since 1994, she is also a member of the Justices Ray L. Brock & Robert E. Cooper American Inns of Court. Sean W. Martin graduated from the University of Memphis with business and law degrees in 2000. He serves as publications chair for the Defense Research Institute's Construction Law Committee and is a member of the Georgia Bar Association Young Lawyers Academy Class of 2008. Thomas O. Sippel joined the firm as of counsel in 2004. He received his law degree from Mercer University in 1996.

In Knoxville, Laurel C. Ball, C. Christopher Brown, and Pamela B. Johnson were named members. Ball earned her law degree from the University of Memphis in 2001. Brown, a native of Chattanooga, graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1998. Johnson received her law degree from the University of Memphis in 2000.

In Memphis, Jay M. Atkins and R. Scott Vincent also were named to the position. Atkins, who graduated from the University of Memphis School of Law in 2001, is admitted to practice in Tennessee and Mississippi. Vincent graduated from the school in 2000.

Finally, in Nashville, Stephen B. Morton was selected. He received his law degree from the Cumberland School of Law and is a member of the Harry Phillips American Inns of Court.

Nashville attorney Robert Gowan, who recently served as Gov. Phil Bredesen's senior advisor for policy and legislation, has opened the Tennessee office of the Southern Strategy Group. Located in Suite 1850 of the Nashville City Center, the Southern Strategy Group is part of a nationwide network of government relations and business consulting offices representing education, health care, utilities, communications, banking, insurance, entertainment and real estate development clients.

The law firm of Sherrard & Roe PLC has added two associates to its Nashville office. Michael G. Abelow has joined the litigation group. Prior to joining the firm, he was an attorney with the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. Abelow earned his law degree from Washington & Lee University in 2000. Gregory J. Pease has joined corporate law group. In this position, he will focus on mergers, acquisitions and securities. Prior to joining the firm, he was an attorney with Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP. Pease earned his law degree in 2004 from the University of Memphis and is past president of the University of Memphis-Nashville Law Alumni Club.

The Fleming Law Firm in Springfield recently announced that Edythe Carroll-Moss has joined the firm and will focus her practice in the areas of domestic law, wills and probate. Carroll-Moss graduated in 2007 from the Nashville School of Law.

The Chattanooga law firm of Eric Buchanan & Associates PLLC has named D. Seth Holliday a partner of the firm. A graduate of Washington University School of Law, Holliday initially practiced in Chicago and relocated to Tennessee in 2003. He focuses his litigation practice on long-term disability social security disability cases. He is past president of the Chattanooga Trial Lawyers Association.

In other news from the firm, Eric L. Buchanan, Donna H. Green and R. Scott Wilson have earned certification as social security disability specialists from the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization.

The National Bar Association Ben Jones Chapter recently elected officers for the new bar year. Among those taking office is TBA member Tiffany Johnson with The Cochran Firm in Memphis. She assumes the position of vice president.

The Knoxville law firm of Stone & Hinds PC has added four new associate attorneys to its staff. Michael A. Nolan graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1981 and previously worked for the State of Tennessee and Bechtel-Jacobs Company. Craig P. Raysor recently earned a master of law from the University of Arkansas School of Law. He graduated from the Roger Williams University School of Law in Rhode Island in 2006. Douglas L. Rose joins the firm after graduating last year from the University of Tennessee College of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review. Charles D. Waller comes to the firm as a recent graduate of the Valparaiso University School of Law in Indiana and former law clerk to Judge Jeffrey J. Dywan of the Lake County, Ill., Superior Court. Each of these attorneys will focus on civil law, including commercial litigation, personal injury, products liability, domestic relations, creditors rights, bankruptcy and estate planning.

The Nashville firm of Hollins, Wagster, Weatherly & Raybin PC has hired two attorneys in its civil litigation section. Sarah S. Richter earned her law degree in 2005 from the University of Memphis and served as senior law clerk to Judge William B. Cain of the Tennessee Court of Appeals. She focuses her practice in the areas civil trial and appellate litigation. David J. Weissman has been a practicing attorney since 1989. His practice consists of plaintiff's personal injury, social security disability, and civil/commercial litigation.

Paul A. Forsyth has joined the law firm of Pitts & Brittian PC in Knoxville as an associate. He will focus on patents, trademarks and other intellectual property matters. Forsyth received his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2007. During law school he worked for Judge Thomas A. Varlan of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee.

The American College of Bankruptcy has inducted Michael P. Coury, a member of the law firm of Farris Bobango & Branan PLC, as a fellow of the college. Coury is one of 29 nominees from the U.S. and abroad, and the first practicing attorney from Memphis, to be inducted. Coury is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, a past chairman of the bankruptcy section of the Tennessee Bar Association and past chair of the Memphis Bar Association's bankruptcy section. His practice is focused on bankruptcy reorganizations and related litigation, business restructuring and out-of-court workouts and commercial litigation.

The firm of Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs LLP has been recognized by the Legal Marketing Association for its 2006 annual report, which featured firm clients and the legal issues they face. The firm placed third in a contest that judged creativity, execution, achievement and overall excellence in legal marketing.

David A. Prather, senior counsel with Ford & Harrison LLP, has accepted the position of senior policy advisor for the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor. The appointment will last through the end of the current presidential term. Prather's practice centers on employment discrimination litigation, including Fair Labor Standards Act litigation and collective/class actions. Prather is a graduate of the inaugural class of the Memphis Bar Association's Leadership Forum and chairs the MBA's personnel committee.

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC in Nashville has hired Robert D. Pinson to practice in the areas of business law, tax law and alcoholic beverage law. Pinson previously practiced law with Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs LLP in Louisville, Ky. He received his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2003, and his master of laws in taxation from the University of Florida's Levin College of Law in 2005.

The Napier-Looby Bar Association has held elections for the new bar year. Newly elected officers for 2008-2009 include TBA members President Jonathan E. Richardson with Smith & Hirsch PLC, Vice President/President-Elect Isaac T. Conner with Lewis, King, Krieg & Waldrop PC, and Treasurer William H. Stover " all of Nashville.

Riley Warnock & Jacobson PLC recently announced that Amy J. Everhart, Salvador M. Hernandez and John W. Peterson have become members of the firm. Everhart joined the firm after graduating from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1998. She focuses her practice on commercial litigation, entertainment, copyright, trademark and other intellectual property matters. She also is a current member of the Tennessee Bar Association's Leadership Law class. Hernandez joined the firm in 2000 after completing a clerkship with Judge Gilbert S. Merritt of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is a 1999 graduate of the Vanderbilt University Law School. Hernandez has extensive experience in general and complex civil litigation and has represented clients in a range of business disputes. Peterson joined the firm in 2007 after relocating to Nashville from California. After completing law school at the University of Southern California, he began his law practice at the Los Angeles firm of White & Case. He went on to co-found the litigation firm of Bate, Peterson, Deacon, Zinn & Young LLP. His experience includes a broad range of complex commercial and general business litigation matters and work with real estate, construction, securities, insurance, labor, employment, copyright and trademark clients.

Nashville attorneys Jonathan Cole, with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell and Berkowitz PC, and James Crumlin Jr., with Bone McAllester Norton PLLC, were recently named members of the board of the Young Leaders Council, a Nashville-based nonprofit that has trained more than 1,400 men and women to participate on the boards of nonprofit agencies.

Charles F. Aiken has joined the Chattanooga firm of Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel PC, where he will practice in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, corporate and securities law, and business organizations. Aiken earned his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law. Prior to joining the firm, he practiced with Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP in Cleveland, Ohio.

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Knoxville lawyer WILLIAM C. SKAGGS JR. died March 16 at the age of 85. A native of Knoxville, he earned his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Tennessee and spent his entire legal career with the firm of Ayres & Parkey. An active member of the bar and the community, he served as president of the Knoxville Bar Association, the Cherokee Country Club and The Cotillion Club. The family requests that memorials be made to Catholic Charities or the donor's charity of choice.

Chattanooga lawyer WILLIAM KIRK SNOUFFER died March 25 at the age of 59. A 1973 graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, he began his legal career as a law clerk to Chief Judge Virgil Pittman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama. In 1975, he began private practice with the firm of Chambliss, Bahner, Crutchfield, Gaston & Irvine " now Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel in Chattanooga " where he practiced in the areas of estate and retirement planning, taxation, executive compensation, real estate and business planning. Snouffer served for many years as the firm's managing partner and as the unofficial firm historian. At the family's request, memorial donations be made to The American Cancer Society, The American Diabetes Association, McKamey Animal Care and Adoption Center, The Tennessee River Gorge Trust or the donor's favorite charity.

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Disciplinary Actions

The following attorneys have been reinstated to the practice of law after complying with Supreme Court Rule 21, which requires mandatory continuing legal education:

Aaron Edward Carlos, Sewanee; Warner Hodges III, Gainsville, Ga.; Thomas Perry, Memphis; Lon Foster West, Nashville.

The following attorneys have been reinstated to the practice of law after complying with Section 20 of Supreme Court Rule 9, which requires the payment of annual registration fees:

Aaron Edward Carlos, Sewanee; Patrick Herman Noble, Henderson, Ky.; Thomas Perry, Memphis; Quinton Trevor Piety, Knoxville; Joshua David Rand, Roswell, Ga.

Probation may be imposed on an attorney in place of suspension but should be used only in cases where (1) there is little likelihood that the attorney will harm the public during the period of rehabilitation and (2) conditions of probation " which are to be stated in writing " can be adequately supervised. The attorney placed on probation is responsible for all costs associated with probation, including paying a probation monitor. In the event that any probation conditions are not met, the Board of Professional Responsibility may file a petition to revoke probation and impose suspension.

On Feb. 14, John S. Anderson of Hawkins County was placed on probation for a minimum of two years for neglecting client matters " a charge he admitted. As a part of the probation, the Tennessee Supreme Court ordered he be monitored by another attorney and barred from practicing in Bankruptcy Court until specifically permitted to do so.

A censure declares conduct improper but does not limit the right to practice law.

On Jan. 9, Patricia A. Rust received a public censure from the Board of Professional Responsibility for making a misleading statement to the court and signing a certificate of service for a pleading that was not properly delivered. The board determined that her actions violated Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4(d). Rust was representing a client in a child custody matter and requested the proceedings be stayed while the client was deployed to Iraq. Several days before the hearing would have occurred, the client received personal leave and was in the local jurisdiction on the originally scheduled hearing date. Rust did not inform the court of her client's return to the area because she believed the individual to still be deployed, even though on temporary leave. She has admitted that she made a misleading statement to the court.

The Board of Professional Responsibility censured David H. Hornik of Nashville on Feb. 19 for failing to respond to requests for information from both the board and a client. Hornik represented a client in a worker's compensation case that was dismissed for failure to prosecute. After the client filed a complaint with the board, Hornik acknowledged his malpractice and advised that he had notified his professional liability carrier of the probable claim. However, Hornik failed to respond to the board's requests for additional information and to his client's requests for information. The board determined that his actions violated Rules 1.3, 1.4, 8.1(b) and 8.4 of the Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct.

Nashville attorney Jack Howell Davis Sr. was censured by the Board of Professional Responsibility on March 4 for failing to pay the litigation tax in a divorce action, failing to respond to a client's calls, and failing to keep a client informed of a case's status. The first complaint concerned Davis' representation of a client in a divorce. Davis filed an appeal for the client, which was later dismissed due to Davis' failure to pay the litigation tax. The Court of Appeals order stated that the court had on two occasions directed the client to pay the tax or show cause why it should not be paId. Communication by the court that was sent to Davis on behalf of his client was returned as "unclaimed." In a second complaint, a client states that he attempted unsuccessfully for months to obtain a copy of his final decree and that Davis failed to accept or return his calls. Lastly, in the third complaint, Davis represented a client in a divorce proceeding but failed to keep the client informed about the case and an upcoming hearing. The board found that his neglect and failure to communicate with clients violated Rules 1.3, 1.4, 8.1 and 8.4 of the Rules of Tennessee Professional Conduct.

Suspension is effective 10 days after issuance, except where immediate suspension is necessary to protect the public. A suspended lawyer may not accept new clients but may continue representing current clients for 30 days. The lawyer must notify all clients, co-counsel and opposing counsel of the suspension order; return to clients any papers or property to which they are entitled; not use the indicia of lawyer, legal assistant or law clerk; and not maintain a presence where the practice of law is conducted. An attorney suspended for one year or more must prove by clear and convincing evidence that he has the moral qualifications, competency and learning required for admission to the practice of law, and that resumption of his practice would not be detrimental to the integrity and standing of the bar or the administration of justice, nor be subversive to the public interest. An attorney suspended for less than one year with conditions may resume practice after complying with those conditions. An attorney suspended for less than one year with no conditions may resume practice without reinstatement.

On Feb. 25, Cleveland lawyer Virgil Duane Parker was suspended for 11 months and 29 days, retroactive to March 28, 2003. The action was taken based on a similar suspension in the state of Maryland. On Oct. 4, 2005, the Maryland Court of Appeals filed an order disbarring Parker. Upon receiving notification of the Maryland discipline, the Board of Professional Responsibility petitioned the state Supreme Court of Tennessee to impose reciprocal discipline. A special master appointed to handle the case recommended Parker be suspended for the same period of time in Tennessee as he was in Maryland.

The Tennessee Supreme Court temporarily suspended the law license of Newton S. Holiday, a Nashville attorney, on March 5 for failure to respond to a complaint of ethical misconduct. The Board of Professional Responsibility reported that Holiday's actions violated Section 4.3 of Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9.

On March 13, Winchester lawyer Quisha A. Light was suspended from the practice of law for four years effective May 30, 2007. The disciplinary action stemmed from a 2007 guilty plea in which she admitted she misappropriated fees due her employer. The Board of Professional Responsibility found that Light violated Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4(a)(b)(c)(d). In addition to imposing the suspension, the court ordered her to make restitution to Michelle Benjamin in the amount of $5,952.50 and pay the costs of the disciplinary proceedings.

The state Supreme Court of Tennessee issued an order temporarily suspending Knoxville lawyer Nathanael Ellis Anderson's license to practice law on March 19. The court found that he posed a threat of substantial harm to the public because he continued to represent himself as an attorney in good standing, despite a previous suspension that was still in effect. The Board of Professional Responsibility found that Anderson continued to practice law while suspended, and notified others he had been reinstated when he had not. The court's order requires Anderson to comply with Section 18 of Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9.

On March 19, the Tennessee Supreme Court temporarily suspended the law license of Memphis attorney Terry A. Scott based on his failure to respond to a complaint of ethical misconduct. The Board of Professional Responsibility filed the petition pursuant to Section 4.3 of Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9.

Also on March 19, the Supreme Court of Tennessee suspended the law license of David E. Woodby, who last practiced in Sullivan County. The court found that in representing a client in a bankruptcy matter, Woodby failed to place in a separate trust account money the client paid for court costs; failed for over a year to file the petition for bankruptcy as agreed; failed to refund the client's retainer when requested to do so; and failed to respond to the Board of Professional Responsibility's petition for discipline. The board determined that these actions violated Rules 1.3 and 1.5 of the Rules of Professional Conduct. In addition to imposing the suspension, the court ordered Woodby to make restitution to his clients.

In Tennessee, disbarment becomes effective 10 days after an order of the court. Under the Rules of Professional Conduct, a disbarred lawyer must notify all clients, co-counsel and opposing counsel of the disbarment; must deliver to all clients any papers or property to which they are entitled; may not use the indicia of lawyer, counselor at law, legal assistant, law clerk or similar title; and may not maintain a presence or occupy an office where the practice of law is conducted. A lawyer who has been disbarred after hearing or by consent may not apply for reinstatement for at least five years. When applying, the lawyer must prove by clear and convincing evidence that reinstatement would not be detrimental to the integrity and standing of the bar or the administration of justice, nor be subversive to the public interest.

On Feb. 26, the Tennessee Supreme Court disbarred Memphis attorney Scott Eric Crawford after he pleaded guilty to federal charges of money laundering, bank larceny and obstruction of justice. The disbarment was made retroactive to March 19, 2004 " the date Crawford was temporarily suspended from the practice of law. The court's order also requires Crawford to pay the costs of the disciplinary proceeding and comply with all requirements and obligations of disbarred attorneys as required by Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9, Section 18.

Disability Inactive
Disability inactive status precludes an attorney from practicing law in the state immediately. The designation remains in effect until further order of the court, however the attorney is entitled to petition the court for reinstatement to active status once a year (or at shorter intervals if the court allows). To return to active status, the attorney must show by clear and convincing evidence that the disability has been removed and that he or she is fit to resume the practice of law.

The state Supreme Court transferred the law license of Chattanooga lawyer George Lane Foster to disability inactive status on Feb. 25.

The law license of Memphis lawyer Emma L. Cole was transferred to disability inactive status on March 17.

Court of the Judiciary Action
On March 24, the Tennessee Court of the Judiciary issued a public reprimand to Roane County General Sessions Judge Dennis W. Humphrey for ordering a man to be incarcerated where there was no statutory authority. During a case before him, Humphrey found Darrell K. Pearson in contempt of court and incarcerated him until he paid a $5,000 purge payment. After 68 days Humphrey reconsidered the case and released Pearson. The Court of the Judiciary determined that Pearson was wrongly held in contempt and wrongly incarcerated because he had been served by publication and not by personal service of process, and because he was not given advice about the right to counsel and appointment of counsel prior to incarceration. Writing for the court, Presiding Judge Don R. Ash stated that Humphrey failed to follow basic due process and the law of contempt, and that his actions violated Canons 2A, 3B(2) and 3(B)(8) of the Code of Judicial Conduct as well as Supreme Court Rule 13. A public letter of reprimand was released on March 28.

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