Knoxville lawyer Bob Ritchie loses battle with cancer

Knoxville criminal defense lawyer Robert "Bob" Ritchie died Friday at the University of Pittsburgh's Hillman Cancer Center in Pennsylvania. He was 67. A founding member of the Knoxville firm of Ritchie, Dillard & Davies, Ritchie spent his career in east Tennessee and built a reputation as a brilliant lawyer and willing mentor of young attorneys. A 1962 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law, he returned to the school years later as an adjunct faculty member. He also served as president of the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as well as president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and taught at the National Criminal Defense College for two decades. A recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, he most recently was selected as the annual winner of the American Inns of Court 6th Circuit Professionalism Award.

On hearing of Ritchie's passing, TBA President Bill Haltom stated that, "Bob was one of my heroes. He was a lawyer's lawyer, and he personified everything that is good and noble about our profession. We will miss him, but he will live on in the lives of his family members and in all of us who were blessed to share a life and a profession with him."

A memorial service will be held tomorrow, Tuesday May 2 at 6 p.m. at the Central Baptist Church of Bearden in Knoxville. Receiving of friends will follow the service.
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. To search all opinions in the TBALink database, go to our OpinionSearch page. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on TBALink at If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on TBALink at

01 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's 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

TBA members can get the full-text versions of these opinions three ways detailed below. All methods require a TBA username and password. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on-line at

Here's how you can obtain full-text version. We recommend you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. 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. Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion. Browse the Opinion List area of TBALink. This option will allow you to download the original version of the opinion.

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


Court: TSC


Court: TCA


Karl D. Warden, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Tim McKeithen and Dixie McKeithen.

Julie Bhattacharya Peak, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Richard E. Hill.

Judge: CAIN

This appeal involves an automobile accident that occurred on January 19, 2001. Suit filed in the General Sessions Court on January 2, 2002, was non-suited March 19, 2002, and re-filed in the General Sessions Court on March 17, 2003. It was then transferred to the Circuit Court by agreement because Plaintiffs' ad damnum exceeded the statutory jurisdiction of the General Sessions Court. Plaintiffs then on November 13, 2003, non-suited in Circuit Court and re-filed the present action on November 12, 2004. The trial court granted summary judgment because of the expiration of the statute of limitations. We affirm the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Raymond Mack Garner, District Public Defender, and Stacey D. Nordquist, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Kathy Cooper.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Michael L. Flynn, District Attorney General, and Robert L. Headrick, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The community corrections sentence of the defendant, Kathy E. Cooper, was revoked after a new law violation of driving under the influence, and the trial court resentenced her to serve twelve years, the maximum in the range, in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the defendant contends that the trial court inappropriately enhanced her sentence and revoked her community corrections sentence. Upon review, we conclude that facts which develop between the time a defendant is sentenced to community corrections and the time the sentence is revoked may be considered in applying enhancement factors and increasing a sentence.


Court: TCCA


Joe M. Felknor, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Derek James Osborne.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David E. Coenen, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Zane Scarlett, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: HAYES

The Appellant, Derek James Osborne, presents for review a certified question of law. See Tenn. R. Crim. P. 37(b)(2)(i). Osborne pled guilty to driving under the influence (DUI), first offense, and received an eleven month and twenty-nine day sentence, to be suspended after service of forty-eight hours in confinement. On appeal, Osborne argues that his indictment for DUI was returned outside the twelve-month limitations period for misdemeanor offenses; therefore, the trial court erred in denying his motion to dismiss. On appeal, the State asserts that Osborne's argument is without merit, and because Osborne failed to properly reserve his certified question, this court is without jurisdiction to hear the appeal. Following review, we agree that the certified question of law was improperly reserved. Accordingly, the appeal is dismissed.


Legal News

Legal News
ACLU appeals decision on specialty license plates
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced today that it has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court decision upholding Tennessee's anti-abortion specialty license plate, saying that the plate violates the free speech rights of certain state residents. Plaintiffs in the case include the ACLU of Tennessee, Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee Inc. and three individuals. The group will have to wait another month to see if the high court accepts the case for its fall 2006 term.

Crowded jail closed as unsafe
The state fire marshal ordered the Lawrence County jail to close and to relocate its 80 inmates last week after more than 40 safety violations were found. The jail had no sprinkler system or way to remove smoke, had five inmates sleeping in a garage and had several design problems that made mass evacuation nearly impossible. Read more in the
Knoxville News Sentinel
Health and IP law grow in law school popularity
The University of Memphis law school added an advanced seminar on bioethics this year to help prepare students for the ever-changing field of healthcare. The class has dealt with death and dying issues, reproductive technology, cloning and stem cell research. The Memphis Business Journal reports that the city's large presence of companies in the medical technology and biotechnology fields is driving interest in these subjects at the law school.
Read the article
Justice Diaz needs formal OK to rejoin high court
The Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance must lift a suspension pending against state Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz Jr. and a tribunal of seven trial court judges must approve reinstatement before he can rejoin the court, the Associated Press reports. Diaz was acquitted of tax evasion charges last week.

Suit challenges constitutionality of Sarbanes-Oxley
Attorney and dean of the Pepperdine University law school Kenneth Starr has filed suit against the Sarbanes-Oxley Act on behalf of the Free Enterprise Fund. The suit questions the constitutionality of a board established by the law to oversee the accounting industry. Starr argues that the board violates separation of powers because members are not subject to presidential approval or removal and Congress has no authority over its budget. Oral arguments are set for June 29. Read more in the
Knoxville News Sentinel
U.S. legislators seek inspector general for judges
Two senior Republicans want to create an independent watchdog to monitor federal judges' acceptance of free trips from or financial interests with groups that appear before them in court. Saying that the judiciary's policing of itself is not "up to snuff," Senator Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has introduced legislation establishing an inspector general to oversee magistrates, district and appeals court judges and Supreme Court justices. In the House, Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisconsin, has introduced similar but more limited legislation. His bill does not extend IG authority to Supreme Court justices, believing that Congress does not have the authority to monitor their activity. Read the AP story in the
Knoxville News Sentinel
Justice Department reveals use of subpoenas
On Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced it had served administrative subpoenas on 3,501 individuals in 2005, the first public disclosure of how often the department uses its authority to obtain records in terrorism and espionage investigations without a judge's or grand jury's approval. Read more in the
Washington Post
Code cracked by judge's clue
A London lawyer and a reporter for the Times newspaper both claimed credit for deciphering the coded message hidden in a recent ruling in The Da Vinci Code copyright case. The judge, who is a British naval history buff, included a hidden reference to Admiral John Arbuthnot Fisher, who is credited with modernizing the British Navy and introducing the Dreadnought class battleship. Read more in the
Memphis Commercial Appeal

But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at:

TBALink HomeContact UsPageFinderWhat's NewHelp
© Copyright 2006 Tennessee Bar Association