Wilks petition granted by U.S. Supreme Court

In an unprecedented move, the U.S. Supreme Court has granted a petition permitting TBA President Larry Wilks to move to admit several Tennessee lawyers at an admission ceremony on Tuesday, Dec. 5 instead of the original date of Wednesday, Dec. 6. Uninformed sources at the Supreme Court Bar and Grille speculated that when the Supreme Court heard Wilks was leading the Tennessee delegation they cancelled the entire docket for Dec. 6. Well, really, the court just cancelled the Dec. 6 session without knowing Wilks was involved. The TBA has been able to secure a few slots on Dec. 5 (it did not really file a petition). The deadline to get admission paperwork to the TBA has been extended to Oct. 20. Register or find out more.


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


Court: TCA


James R. Kennamer, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellants, Dawn Brown, Anne Devries, Carly Hahn, Greg Walton, and others similarly situated who have or had a Title Pledge Loan under T.C.A. Section 45-15-111 with the Defendant and have made payments of interest and/or fees within the year preceding the filing of the complaint and thereafter.

J. Bartlett Quinn and Charles D. Lawson, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellee Tennessee Title Loans, Inc.


This interlocutory appeal involves a potential class action lawsuit filed by four named plaintiffs against Tennessee Title Loans, Inc. ("Defendant"). The plaintiffs asserted various claims, including a violation of the Tennessee Title Pledge Act, Tenn. Code Ann. Section 45-15-101, et seq., and the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act, Tenn. Code Ann. Section 47-18-101, et seq. Defendant moved to stay these judicial proceedings and to compel arbitration, relying on identical arbitration clauses contained within the title pledge agreements signed by all four named plaintiffs. The plaintiffs resisted the motion to compel arbitration arguing, among other things, that the arbitration clauses were unconscionable because the clauses reserved only to Defendant the right to a judicial forum. The Trial Court determined that the arbitration clauses were not unconscionable and granted Defendant's motion to compel arbitration. We reverse.



Court: TCA


Edward Kershaw, Greeneville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Myra (Gass) Keller.

Denise Terry Stapleton, Morristown, Tennessee, for the Appellee Max Keith Gass.


Myra Beatrice Gass ("Wife") filed a complaint seeking a divorce from Max Keith Gass ("Husband"). The parties reached a mediated settlement agreement which, among other things, required Wife to rollover $15,425 in her 401K account to Husband's retirement plan. The mediated settlement agreement was approved and adopted by the Trial Court. The problem arose when Wife attempted to rollover her 401K as she then was informed by her employer, the State of Tennessee, that applicable state law prevented the State from rolling over her 401K into Husband's account. Husband filed a motion for contempt, claiming Wife was in contempt for failing to rollover her 401K into his account. Following a hearing, the Trial Court did not find Wife in contempt, but did enter a judgment against Wife for $15,425. Wife appeals. We vacate the $15,425 judgment entered against Wife and modify the Trial Court's order.


Corrected Opinion

Court: TCA


Jerry R. Givens of Cordova, Tennessee for Appellant, William A. Cohn.

Taylor A. Cates of Memphis, Tennessee for Appellees, Michael T. Baker, Harvey Carter, Germantown Country Club, and Farmington Country Club.


This case arises from the termination of Appellant's membership in a private country club. Appellant asserts a proprietary interest in the assets of the club, and seeks to have his membership reinstated. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the club/Appellee and Appellant appeals. We affirm.

Description of correction: The following corrections have been made to change the word "county" to "country":
Page 1, lines 1 and 3
Page 3, paragraph 3, line 1



Court: TCA


William A. Mynatt, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Holli Colleen Hartsell Harbin.

Rebecca D. Slone, Dandridge, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Richard Long.

Judge: LEE

In this post-decree child custody case, the trial court changed custody from the mother to the father after finding, among other things, that the mother had smoked marijuana while operating a motor vehicle in which the child was a passenger. Based upon this finding and evidence that the change of custody was in the best interest of the child, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.



Court: TCCA


Ronald K. Pendergraph, Pro Se, Pikeville, Tennessee.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia Lee, Assistant Attorney General; Dale Potter, District Attorney General; and Larry Bryant, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The petitioner, Ronald K. Pendergraph, appeals the post-conviction court's denial of his request for post-conviction relief. On appeal, he argues that: (1) he was denied a full and fair hearing on his petition, (2) he was denied the effective assistance of counsel and entered an involuntary and unknowing plea, and (3) the state improperly breached the terms of the original plea agreement. Upon our review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.


Compliance with Tenn. Code Ann. Section 6-58-114

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-10-02

Opinion Number: 06-151



Legal News
Election 2006
Legislative News

Legal News
Bredesen wants to postpone AG appointment
Gov. Phil Bredesen said today he would prefer that the Supreme Court wait for the fifth and final justice to be appointed before selecting a new attorney general, though he acknowledged there was nothing he could to stop the high court from acting sooner. The court already has postponed selection of a new attorney general for a month in hopes that the remaining vacancy would be filled. Public hearings with applicants are scheduled to begin next week.
The News Sentinel has the story
Oral arguments began today in Memphis adoption case
A long-contested child custody case that began as an adoption dispute and ultimately became national news will now come down to how Tennessee law defines parental abandonment. The Tennessee Supreme Court was set to hear oral arguments at 1 p.m. today in the case of two Chinese immigrants suing a Memphis couple who adopted their daughter.
The Nashville City Paper has a recap of the case
Judge reverses reversal
First, Senior U.S. District Judge James H. Jarvis sentenced gambling kingpin James E. "Slim" Houston to 12 months in prison. Then he reversed himself and set Houston free on probation. Now he has reversed himself again, imposing the original yearlong sentence.
Learn why he changed his mind in the News Sentinel
Court's ruling on juveniles right
In an editorial yesterday, the Mountain Press takes issue with criticisms that the state Supreme Court's recent decision on juvenile jury trials is unconstitutional, specifically referencing remarks by the president of the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The paper argues that the decision mirrors what the U.S. Supreme Court has said on the matter and that until such decision is reversed or Congress changes the law, the state court's decision was the right one.
Read the editorial here
Meharry gets $4.2 million grant for youth violence prevention
Nashville's Meharry Medical College was awarded a $4.2 million grant by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help prevent youth violence. Funds will be used to educate nonprofits on youth violence issues and track and evaluate prevention programs.
The Daily News Journal ran this AP story
Election 2006
Rochelle says Beavers covered up TBI probe
A now infamous 2002 Tennessee Bureau of Investigation probe into the residency of state Senator Mae Beavers has been resurrected as a campaign issue in what is arguably Tennessee's hottest state legislative race. Beavers' opponent, former senator Bob Rochelle, claims that she engaged in a "massive cover-up" and "lied about her place of residence."
The Nashville City Paper has the story
Sells' lawsuit dismissed
Judge Ben Cantrell yesterday dismissed a lawsuit brought by Judge Lillie Ann Sells, in which she claimed that election irregularities nullified her opponent's 10-vote margin of victory. While the lawsuit was pending, the judicial seat was filled by former district attorney and gubernatorial appointee John Roberts. The winning candidate, David Patterson, is expected to take the bench today, reports the Sparta Expositor.

Legislative News
GOP committee wants to limit legislation
Tennessee GOP lawmakers this week unveiled their third policy proposal for the Tennessee General Assembly. To fix what they identify as a problem of having too many bills to consider, they want to set limits on the number of bills that can be introduced and on the length of time that a bill can linger after it is introduced, before it is considered dead for the session.
Read about it on Chattanoogan.com
Vanderbilt hosts constitutional law seminar
The Vanderbilt Law School and the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy will host "Keeping Faith with the Constitution in Changing Times" a two-day conference scheduled for Oct. 6-7 at the law school. The conference kicks off a major effort by ACS to affect the way lawyers, policymakers, advocates and students think and talk about the Constitution. On Friday night, the newly formed Nashville ACS chapter will host a reception. Visit www.acslaw.org for more information or click here to
download a schedule of events

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