Diversity Summitt focuses on recruiting, retention

Close to 100 Tennessee law firm leaders, bar leaders and public officials converged at the Tennessee Bar Center today for a summit focusing on recruiting and retaining diversity in the legal community. Michael Brown, an attorney with Stites & Harbison in Louisville, opened the summit with a session making "The Case for Diversity." A session on recruiting and hiring featured former ABA President Dennis Archer; Vanderbilt's David Williams; Wal-Mart's Vice President and General Counsel Thomas Evans and Naomi McLaurin of Minority Corporate Counsel Associates in Atlanta. A session on retention featured Paulette Brown of Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge in New Jersey, Charles Bone of Bone McAllester Norton in Nashville, Clarence Risin of Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz in Knoxville and Michael Brown.


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


Court: TCA


Thomas F. Bloom, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ricardo Baytonia Booker, Jr.

Sharon T. Massey, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Theressa Joanne Booker.


This is a divorce case. The trial court granted Theressa Joanne Booker (Wife) a divorce from Ricardo Baytonia Booker, Jr. (Husband), divided the parties' property, and decreed an award of alimony in solido and alimony in futuro. Husband appeals, asserting that the division of marital property was not equitable. He also challenges the propriety of each of the alimony awards. We modify the trial court's award of alimony in futuro so as to make it an award of rehabilitative alimony. As modified, the trial court's judgment is affirmed.



Court: TCA


James L. Harris, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Donald D. Johnson.

John D. Kitch, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Smith County, Tennessee.


In this case involving allegations of negligent investigation by the Sheriff, plaintiff appeals the summary judgment dismissing the county on the grounds that there remained issues of material fact about the Sheriff's intent and credibility. We affirm.



Court: TCA


Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and reporter; Warren Jasper, Assistant Attorney General, for Appellant, State of Tennessee ex rel., Lakenya L. Johnson.

Dewun R. Settle of Memphis, Tennessee for Appellee, Otha L. Mayfield, Jr.


Appellant challenges trial court's order setting aside the consent order acknowledging paternity and ordering no child support after July 1, 2005, based on the results of DNA tests which conclusively prove that Appellee is not the father of the child. We affirm and remand.



Court: TCA


Dana C. McLendon, III, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jeffrey Todd Radebaugh.

Penny Harrington, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Doris Radebaugh.


The trial court granted Doris Radebaugh (Wife) a divorce from Jeffrey Todd Radebaugh (Husband), and designated Wife as the primary residential parent of the parties' minor son. The court stated from the bench that Husband was "one of the most disgusting humans [it] [had] ever met" and opined that, if the court "had a magic wand," it "probably would make [Husband] disappear." Even though, just prior to the hearing below, Wife filed a proposed parenting plan providing for relatively standard visitation for Husband, the court limited Husband's regular visitation, i.e., non-holiday/vacation time, to one 24-hour period every other week. Husband was ordered to pay child support. The trial court also classified and divided the parties' property and awarded Wife attorney's fees in the form of alimony in solido in addition to rehabilitative alimony. Husband appeals, challenging the trial court's decrees with respect to visitation, child support, property classification and division, allocation of the marital debt, and alimony. We reverse in part, vacate in part, and affirm in part. We direct that, on remand, this case is to be transferred to another judge who will dispose of all pending and future matters.



Court: TCCA


Charles I. Poole, Sevierville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Janet V. Dych.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; Al Schmutzer, Jr., District Attorney General; and Steven R. Hawkins, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

The appellant, Janet V. Dych, was convicted by a jury of one count of first degree murder and one count of facilitation of first degree murder. After waiving her right to jury sentencing, the trial court sentenced the appellant to life without parole for first degree murder and twenty-five years for facilitation of first degree murder, to be served concurrently. After the denial of a motion for new trial, this appeal followed. On appeal, the appellant presents the following issues for our review: (1) whether the appellant when she was not taking her medication was mentally competent to waive her constitutional rights to give a statement to the police regarding her involvement in the death of the victims; (2) whether the evidence was sufficient to support the appellant's conviction for facilitation of first degree murder; and (3) whether the State's written withdrawal of its intent to seek the death penalty operated as a withdrawal of the State's intent to seek a sentence of life without parole so as to require that the trial court's imposition of a sentence of life without parole be vacated. For the following reasons, we affirm the appellant's convictions. However, due to the State's failure to file a written notice of its intention to seek a sentence of life without the possibility of parole after its withdrawal of its intention to seek a death sentence, we modify the appellant's sentence to life with the possibility of parole after service of 51 years of incarceration.



Legal News
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Gibson assistant appointed temporary DA
Criminal Court Judge Leon Burns today appointed Tony Craighead as temporary district attorney for the 17th Judicial District, reports the Tennessean. Craighead has been performing the role unofficially since his boss, Bill Gibson, was suspended from the practice of law on Sept. 26.

Bradley County schools make TBA video a part of classes
High school seniors throughout Bradley County are learning about the American legal system through a DVD provided by the Tennessee Bar Association. The Cleveland Daily Banner reports that the DVD has been placed in the history departments of each high school for American government classes to watch. Superintendents learned about the "Freedom's Foundation" video when TBA House of Delegates member and Bradley County attorney Marcia McMurray presented it at a Rotary Club meeting.
Read the full story
A new direction for Cocke County?
The latest federal investigation into crime and corruption in East Tennessee's Cocke County is nearing an end after almost five years and numerous arrests. A Los Angeles Times article looks at what comes next for this rural county that was once known as "Little Chicago" for it brothels, chop shops, illegal bars, gambling, shakedowns, drugs and stadium-sized cockfight pits.
Read the full article in the Knoxville News Sentinel
Defendant chided for taping judge's secretary
A Rockwood man accused of murder acknowledged that he secretly tape-recorded a conversation with the secretary of the judge who will preside over his trial. On learning of the situation, Senior Judge Jon K. Blackwood admitted he was incensed. In court yesterday, he instructed the defendant, James Michael Flinn, that his behavior constituted a federal violation.
Read more in the News Sentinel
New UT moot court team forms
The U.T. Moot Court Board has approved the addition of a new moot court team at the College of Law. This three-member team will compete in the National Adoption Law moot court competition in Columbus on Feb. 16-17, 2007. Professor Deseriee Kennedy and Barbara Johnson of the Department of Children Services will coach the team.

TBA, fresh from Memphis law school visit, turns attention to Vanderbilt Law
TBA Young Lawyers Division members hosted an information table and lunch yesterday for over 200 students at the University of Memphis Law School. The day on campus was part of the association's continuing fall outreach program to Tennessee law students. Next week, TBA will sponsor a student membership drive at Vanderbilt University Law School on Tuesday, Oct. 31 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and a networking lunch at noon. Local attorneys are invited to attend and interact with students. For more information contact Stacey Shrader at (615) 383-7421 or sshrader@tnbar.org

TBA Member Services
New edition of Alimony Bench Book now available
The TBA Family Law Section has just released the 4th Edition of the Alimony Bench Book. This publication will be distributed to state court judges at next week's judicial conference and is available for purchase at the TBA's online bookstore or by calling 800-899-6993 or in Nashville at 383-7421.
Order online now
There was a citation error in the HCA order distributed yesterday in TBA Today. You can read the corrected order here, which cites Rule 65 on page 13 instead of Rule 56.
Read the corrected order

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