Longtime Nashville attorney Berry dies Tuesday

James I. Vance Berry, one of the founding members of the Nashville law firm, Boult, Cummings, Conners & Berry, died Tuesday at the age of 80. A graduate of Yale University and Vanderbilt Law School, Mr. Berry entered the practice of law in Nashville in 1950 and continued an active practice until his death, focusing much of his work in the field of real estate and development in addition to general corporate law, estate administration and estate planning. The Tennessee legislature honored Berry this past year for his service to the citizens of Tennessee through his work, his service to government -- as city attorney to the City of Belle Meade -- and his service to the legal community -- as a professor and trustee at the Nashville School of Law and a supporter of local, state and national bar organizations.

http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/news/2006/berry_080906.pdf

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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JOHN WESLEY CAMPBELL v. SHEILA DARLENE CAMPBELL

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Eric J. Burch, Manchester, Tennessee, for the Appellant, John Wesley Campbell.

Jeffrey D. Ridner, Tullahoma, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Sheila Darlene Campbell.

Judge: HARRIS

This is an appeal from a divorce action in which the Appellee, Sheila Darlene Campbell (Ms. Campbell), was awarded 73.6 percent of the parties marital property together with alimony in solido in the amount of $500.00 per month for a period of five years. The Appellant, John Wesley Campbell (Mr. Campbell) has appealed both the division of the marital assets and awarding of alimony. Ms. Campbell appeals the refusal of the trial court to require that Mr. Campbell pay her attorneys' fees and alleges the trial court erred in equally dividing the court costs. We modify the judgment of the trial court to delete the requirement that Mr. Campbell pay alimony in solido and affirm the trial court in all other respects.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/campbellj080906.pdf


SHAWN HUMPHREY, ET AL. v. TOMKATS, INC., ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Kenneth A. Weber, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellant, TomKats, Inc.

Gerald E. Martin, Douglas S. Johnston, Jr., for Appellee, Shawn Humphrey.

Judge: HARRIS

On this appeal, the Appellant, TomKats, Inc., challenges the propriety of the trial court's awarding Appellee, Shawn Humphrey, judgment for breach of an oral agreement to pay commissions due for sales of sponsorships for an event called Dancin' in the District during the year 1999, failure to pay commissions due on sponsorship and vendor booth revenues pursuant to a written agreement for same event in the year 2000, the subsequent breach of that agreement for the years 2001 and 2002 and dismissal of Appellant's counterclaim for breach of a non-compete agreement and breach of fiduciary responsibilities. Humphrey challenges trial court's findings with regard to the amount of damages for commissions awarded for 1999 and the failure to award prejudgment interest on the judgment for breach of contract. We affirm, as modified.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/humphreys080906.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE, ex rel. TOMMYE MADDOX WORKING v. ROBIN G. COSTA, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Aubrey B. Harwell, Jr., James G. Thomas, Gerald D. Neenan of Nashville for Appellant, Maddox Foundation; Daniel C. Paulus and Michael P. Dolan of Nashville for Appellant, Robin Costa.

Joseph A. Woodruff, Richard A. Johnson and Paul A. Gontarek of Nashville; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson, III, District Attorney General for Appellee, State of Tennessee, ex rel. Tommye Maddox Working.

Judge: CRAWFORD

This case involves the determination under pre-existing law of the proper method for transferring the situs of a trust from this state to another state or location. The trial court held that the transfer must be made with court approval pursuant to the provisions of T.C.A. Section 35-1-122 which was repealed in 2004. The trustees of the trust, without court approval, transferred the situs of the trust to the State of Mississippi in 1999. The trial court also held that subsequent actions of the trustee in transferring the assets of the trust to a corporation, as authorized by the trust instrument, was invalid. The trustee has appealed. We affirm the order of the trial court granting partial summary judgment to the extent that the statute requires court approval before transferring the situs of the trust. We reverse the order of the trial court granting partial summary judgment to the extent that it voids the trustee's actions following the attempt to transfer the situs of the trust. Affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/workingt080906.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE V. EDYSON RAFAEL ARIAS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Myrlene R. Marsa (on appeal) and Cynthia A. Lecroy-Schemel (at trial), Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Edyson Rafael Arias.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David E. Coenen, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, III, District Attorney General; and Rodney C. Strong, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

A Hamilton County jury convicted the Defendant, Edyson Rafael Arias, of first degree premeditated murder, first degree felony murder, attempted especially aggravated burglary, and theft of property valued over $10,000. The trial court merged the first degree murder convictions and sentenced the Defendant to an effective sentence of life plus six years. On appeal, the Defendant contends that: (1) the trial court erred when it failed to instruct the jury on the lesser-included offense of voluntary manslaughter; (2) the trial court abused its discretion when it denied the Defendant's motion for a change of venue; (3) the trial court erred when it admitted a knife set found at the victim's home and certain photographs of the victim into evidence; and (4) the trial court erred when it sentenced him. Finding that there exists no reversible error, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/ariase080906.pdf


WILLIAM L.A. CHURCH v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

William A. Church, Helena, Oklahoma, Pro Se.

Elizabeth B. Marney, Senior Counsel, Office of the Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The petitioner, William L.A. Church, petitioned the Criminal Court for Hamilton County for relief from his convictions for aggravated assault and forgery. The trial court construed the petition as one for habeas corpus relief and dismissed the petition. The state moves this court to affirm the convictions pursuant to Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals Rule 20. The petitioner has failed to establish a cognizable claim for habeas corpus relief. We sustain the state's motion and affirm the order of dismissal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/churchw080906.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Legislative News

Legal News
Three new candidates apply for Supreme Court vacancy
With the application deadline for the vacant seat on the state Supreme Court extended indefinitely, three attorneys added their names to the list of candidates today. They are David Day of Cookeville, Nathan B. Pride of Jackson and Steven R. Walker of Memphis.

City settles discrimination suit
Alcoa City Commissioners approved a settlement of $92,500 for two black police officers who alleged racial discrimination at the Alcoa Police Department. Both men claimed they suffered severe harassment and that discrimination within the department affected their promotions.
The Maryville Daily Times reports on the story
Maryville court clerk explains spending
Circuit Court Clerk Tom Hatcher justified his request for a new employee and refuted claims that his budget was riddled with excessive spending, calling the efforts of citizen watchdog groups who have complained about increased spending "a political witch hunt." He argued that the new staff position is needed due to the recent addition of general sessions judge and a referee to assist the juvenile judge, which have led to increased caseloads for the court.
The Daily Times has the story
Voting rights law unfair to poor, critics say
At a town hall meeting last night in Memphis, critics of a new law making it easier for felons to restore their voting rights argued that the law discriminates against the poor because it requires applicants to be current in their child support payments. The event was one of eight meetings being held across the state to educate Tennesseans on the new law.
Read a report of the meeting in the Memphis Commercial Appeal
Prosecutors call sentence change unfair
Eight days after ordering the Knoxville head of a multimillion-dollar gambling ring to prison, Senior U.S. District Judge James H. Jarvis did an about-face: vacating the prison term and imposing a two-year probation instead. The move came in response to a defense motion asking the judge to reconsider the sentence and take into account the culture in which the defendant was raised. Prosecutors contend that the judge had no authority to change the sentence.
Read more in the News Sentinel
Judges Beckner, Wexler praised
A farewell reception for 3rd Judicial District Criminal Court Judge James E. Beckner and Circuit Court Judge Ben K. Wexler on Monday highlighted the men's decades of service and distinguished careers. Both are retiring on Aug. 31. The 3rd Judicial District includes Greene, Hamblen, Hancock and Hawkins counties.
The Greeneville Sun has a summary of the tributes
Opening statements begin in March trial
Opening statements in the Perry March murder trial were set to begin this morning before a panel of jurors from Hamilton County, in one of the most closely followed trials in Nashville history.
Follow developments in the Tennessean
Alabama lawyers want merit-based judicial appointments
Alabama lawyers soon will push for merit-based appointment of appellate court judges, saying the state must change its reputation for costly and mean court races. According to a report in the Birmingham News, Alabama's judicial campaigns have become the most expensive in the country, drawing almost $48 million into state Supreme Court races from interest groups since 1993.
Read more
Speaking of out-of-state lawyers
After yesterday's news item on lawyer advertising in Nevada, now comes word of a Las Vegas judge stopping a trial to administer a blood-alcohol test to a defense lawyer slurring his words. Test results showed the lawyer below the legal limit; however, the judge declared him too tipsy to argue the case and declared a mistrial.
Tri-Cities.com has the AP report
Activist charge with stealing Mexican flag
A conservative political activist has been arrested for the theft of a Mexican flag from a Dayton grocery store. June Griffin said she was outraged about the Mexican flag, saying it was an "act of war" and it "insulted my citizenship."
Read the story on the Chattanoogan.com
3 more indicted in Memphis police probe
Three former Memphis police officers have been indicted for working with drug dealers and shaking down others by stealing their money, drugs and jewelry, authorities said today. The arrest brings to 22 the number of law enforcement officers indicted for public corruption in an ongoing multi-agency investigation labeled Tarnished Blue.
The Commercial Appeal has the story
Legislative News
GOP legislators vow immigration reform
A group of Tennessee Republican legislators plan to take on immigration legislation as part of their "Tennessee Trust" campaign. The group includes Reps. Bo Watson, R-Hixson; Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga; Eric Swafford, R-Crossville; and Eric Watson, R-Cleveland; and candidates Richard Floyd, District 27; and Jim Cobb, District 31. The campaign initiative will also address a number of issues expected to be considered by the 105th General Assembly, the legislators said during a Tuesday press conference.
Chattanoogan.com has a report of the group's press conference

 
 
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