TBI investigating missing attorney

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating Clarksville attorney Van L. Riggins Jr., who has been accused of stealing about $200,000 of client money, the Leaf-Chronicle reports. Riggins was reported missing by his wife Oct. 14 and his law license was suspended earlier this week for misappropriating money for his own use and abandoning his practice. Read the full story.


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


Court: TCA


Carrie W. Gasaway, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Thomas Edward Gervais

Gregory D. Smith, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Cristi Michelle Gervais (Now Dueker)


A Texas court granted a divorce to an Air Force couple stationed in that state and named the mother primary custodian of the coupleís two daughters. While both parents were deployed overseas, the children lived with their grandparents in Tennessee. Father filed a petition in Tennessee for a change of custody. At the time the petition was heard, the mother had returned to the states and was living with the children at an Illinois air base, and the father was stationed in Alaska. The trial court denied the fatherís petition, finding that he had failed to prove that a material change of circumstances had occurred which could not have been anticipated at the time of the initial custody determination. We affirm.



Legal News
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Legal News
Coleman seeks new judgeship
Former U.S. attorney Veronica Coleman is a leading contender for Shelby County's new Juvenile Court judgeship -- a new seat that was hastily approved Monday in a contentious vote of the County Commission. Coleman lost three months ago in the race for the juvenile court seat, which at the time was the only one in the county. City Court Judge Earnestine Hunt Dorse has also expressed interest in the new seat.
Read more in the Commercial Appeal
Who was first woman judge in Tennessee?
The web site Tennessee History for Kids has researched the question of which woman first took the bench in Tennessee and believes that it was Kate Drake. A 1930 newspaper clipping shows Drake and describes how she was appointed by Gov. Henry Horton to the bench after the death of her husband, calling her the "first woman county judge."
See the clipping at the Tennessee History for Kids web site
Digging deeply into matrimonial data mining
Family lawyer Scott Andino delves deeply into the implications of data mining for matrimonial law in a report on Law.com. Some privacy advocates, he notes, have attacked data forensics in divorce cases as an invasion of privacy. He details the gold mine of dirty little secrets buried in e-mails as especially relevant when building a case. And he conducts a cost-benefit analysis of e-discovery versus other components of the litigation process. Technology won't mend marriages, but it can win cases.
Read it on Law.com
Convictions upheld in fatal police chase
The Mississippi Supreme Court on Thursday upheld "depraved-heart" murder convictions of two Tennessee women in a 2001 high-speed police chase that killed three people in one of Mississippi's northern counties, the Associated Press reports.
Read the details in the Tennessean
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
ADR Commission Actions
Mediator suspended
The Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission suspended the Rule 31 mediator listing of James R. Finney for 60 days after finding he had violated sections of Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31.
Read the commission's decision

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