Bredesen files suit over judicial selection process

At the request of Gov. Phil Bredesen, the state attorney general today filed suit against the Judicial Selection Commission in the ongoing Tennessee Supreme Court judicial selection saga, the Nashville Post reports. At issue in the suit, filed in Davidson County Chancery Court, is whether the selection commission gave Bredesen a "full slate of nominees" when it resubmitted the name of Covington attorney J. Houston Gordon for consideration in a second slate of nominees.

Attorney General Paul Summers also today asked the Commission for its guidance on whether it wants to seek separate legal representation in the case. In a news release, Summers said his office has a duty to represent all state agencies in litigation of this nature, but "because my office has initiated the suit on behalf of the Governor against the Commission ... the question arises whether the Commission will require separate legal representation in the case."
TODAY'S OPINIONS
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STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MARQUES LANIER BONDS, AKA "MARK"

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Kari I. Weber and Julie K. Pillow, Assistant Public Defenders, Somerville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Marques Lanier Bonds, AKA "Mark."

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; Elizabeth T. Rice, District Attorney General; and Tracey A. Brewer-Walker, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: J.C. MCLIN

The defendant, Marques Lanier Bonds, AKA "Mark," was convicted by a Lauderdale County jury of attempted second-degree murder, reckless aggravated assault, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon. He was sentenced to an effective term of twelve years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, he challenges: (1) the trial court's denial of his motion in limine regarding testimony of his prior incarceration; (2) the sufficiency of the convicting evidence; (3) the trial court's acceptance of the jury's verdict; and (4) the sentence imposed by the trial court. Following our review of the record and the parties' briefs, we modify the judgments of the trial court to reflect the merger of the defendant's aggravated assault conviction into his attempted second-degree murder conviction and his reckless endangerment conviction into his reckless aggravated assault conviction and affirm the trial court's judgments in all other respects.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/bondsm_091806.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JIMMY BERNARD CLARK

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Lowe Finney, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jimmy Bernard Clark.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Assistant Attorney General; Jerry Woodall, District Attorney General; and Jody Pickens, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: DAVID H. WELLES

The Defendant, Jimmy Bernard Clark, was convicted by a Madison County jury of attempted aggravated burglary, a Class D felony. Following a sentencing hearing, the Defendant received a twelve-year sentence as a career offender. On appeal, he argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress a statement made to the police and that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction. After a review of the record, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/clarkj_091806.pdf


WILLIE CALVIN TAYLOR v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Willie Calvin Taylor, Whiteville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney GeneraC. Phillip Bivens, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: J.C. MCLIN

The petitioner, Willie Calvin Taylor, appeals the dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief by the Dyer County Circuit Court. The circuit court dismissed the petition, finding that the petitioner had filed his petition outside the one year statute of limitations period. After review, we affirm the dismissal of the petition.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/taylorw_091806.pdf


COLICO WALLS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Britton J. Allan, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Colico Walls.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Theresa McCusker, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: JERRY L. SMITH

The petitioner, Colico Walls, was convicted by a jury of attempted aggravated robbery. His conviction was affirmed on appeal by this Court. See State v. Colico Walls, No. W2000-03008- R3-CD, 2001 WL 1381261 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Jackson, Nov. 7, 2001). The petitioner filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief. After counsel was appointed to represent the petitioner, three amended petitions were filed. The post-conviction court denied post-conviction relief after an evidentiary hearing. The petitioner appeals the judgment of the post-conviction court. We affirm the denial of post-conviction relief.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/wallsc_091606.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Supreme Court Watch
BPR Actions

Legal News
Letters between prosecutor, defendant subject of probe
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has launched a criminal probe into Prosecutor Bill Gibson's communication with a murder defendant, and the state board that oversees lawyers' ethical conduct has asked the Tennessee Supreme Court to suspend Gibson's law license. The probe stems from a series of personal letters between the two.
Read more in the News Sentinel.
Gibson, meanwhile, tells the Herald-Citizen that he has no intention of resigning his position. Even though he could lose his law license and possibly be charged with a crime, he says he believes he was doing the "right thing" in exchanging letters and giving advice and encouragement to a man his office was prosecuting.
Read more
Appeals court orders delay in Holton execution
Tuesday's 1 a.m. execution of confessed killer Daryl Holton appears to be up in the air. Holton, who in the past has refused to press for his appeal, has signed a new petition to the U.S. Supreme Court asking for a stay of execution. Holton had requested to die in Tennessee's electric chair, which would make him the state's first person in 46 years to be executed by that method. More information is available at the
AOC web site.
Lawyers say access, care at Gitmo lacking
Two civil-rights attorneys who have visited with detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp strongly disagreed Friday with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's public statements that prisoners are receiving good health care and regular access to attorneys.
Read the details in the News Sentinel.
Audit finds federal violations by legal aid group
California Rural Legal Assistance apparently "violated federal law" by getting entangled in politics and chasing after clients, federal investigators conclude in a scathing new audit. Famous for its work with Central Valley migrant workers, the legal aid group allegedly broke multiple rules over recent years. Potentially, that could threaten future funding of the organization that serves about 20,000 poor Californians annually.
The News Sentinel has more.
Retirement ends family's 133-year span in local legal community
With his retirement from the office of public defender on Aug. 31, John Hughes Henderson Jr. ended an era. For the past 133 years, a Henderson has been working in some legal capacity in the city of Franklin. "I'm concluding the Henderson legacy," said Henderson, 70. "Law practice is a door in my life that I want to close."
Find out more about his career in the Williamson Herald.
Celebrate Constitution's brilliance, flexibility
Sunday was Constitution Day, which commemorates the signing of our nation's Constitution in 1787. The Jackson Sun makes a plea for teaching civics, noting that "the Constitution's brilliance is lost on too many Americans, young and old."
Read the editorial.
Agreement covers misleading auto ads
Tennessee has joined a $300,000 multi-state agreement with a national marketing group for alleged misleading auto sale advertisements. The states allege one company misled consumers in a number of ways through its ads for"special sales events," which included claims cut-rate prices for cars they said came from bank repossessions, bankruptcy and other government legal proceedings, rental car companies, fleet company and auctions.
Read the attorney general's press release.
Supreme Court Watch
Impasse shouldn't shake confidence in the Tennessee Plan
Morristown's Citizen Tribune supports the Tennessee Plan, but calls for modification of the process for selecting the members of the Tennessee Judicial Selection Commission.
Read the editorial.
BPR Actions
Knoxville attorney censured
The Board of Professional Responsibility issued a censure to Bruce E. Poston, an attorney who practices in Knoxville, for failing to file a brief, and subsequently for not appearing after the Court of Criminal Appeals had issued a show cause order. The court held that Poston be imprisoned for 12 hours and fined $50, but the censure does not limit his ability to continue to practice law.
Read the BPR's release.

 
 
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