TBA president addresses lawyer complaints in column

TBA President Bill Haltom addresses recent reports on the rise in complaints against lawyers and explains in a Tennessean opinion piece how vigorous efforts by the Tennessee Supreme Court and the Tennessee Bar Association to improve the lawyer disciplinary system may be behind the statistics.


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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink


Court: TCA


James C. Hofstetter, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jay W. Shim.

Douglas R. Pierce and Jeremy W. Parham, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Cumulus Broadcasting, Inc. and Phoenix of Hendersonville, Inc.

Judge: KOCH

This appeal involves a dispute between a broadcasting company and a neighboring property owner regarding the access road to the company’s tower and transmitter. The neighbor destroyed a portion of the access road after a survey revealed that the road ran beyond the boundary of the right of way. Thereafter, the broadcasting company filed suit in the Chancery Court for Davidson County requesting a declaration that it owned the access road and an injunction to prevent its neighbor from blocking the road. The trial court, granting the broadcasting company’s summary judgment motion, concluded that the company had acquired the disputed portion of the access road through adverse possession. The neighboring property owner takes issue on this appeal with one of the trial court’s evidentiary rulings and with the factual foundation of the trial court’s decision. We have determined that the neighboring property owner was entitled as a matter of law to a dismissal of the broadcasting company’s complaint because it was barred by Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-2-110(a) (2000).



Court: TCA


Leslie Gattas Coleman, Memphis, TN, for Appellant

Beth Cocke, Memphis, TN, for Appellee


This action stems from a divorce case. In this appeal, we are asked to determine whether the circuit court applied an inappropriate standard when disposing of a husband’s motion to dismiss his wife’s complaint for divorce for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. The wife asserts that, by considering evidence outside the pleadings, the circuit court converted the husband’s motion to dismiss into a motion for summary judgment and that the circuit court failed to apply the standards under Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 56 when considering the husband’s converted motion for summary judgment. We reverse and remand for further proceedings. Further, we decline to award damages to Appellee for frivolous appeal. Likewise, we decline to award Appellant attorney’s fees on appeal.



Court: TCCA


Garland Erguden (on appeal) and Barry Kuhn (at trial), Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Clarence Bunton.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Kevin Rardin and Scot Bearup, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


A Shelby County Criminal Court jury convicted the appellant, Clarence Bunton, of attempted child rape, and the trial court sentenced him as a Range II, multiple offender to twelve years in confinement. The appellant appeals, claiming that the evidence is insufficient to support the conviction. Upon review of the record and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.



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