Open meetings question clouds decision on court

Shelby County Commissioner Deidre Malone will ask the commission to rescind a controversial resolution establishing a new division of Juvenile Court because she unintentionally violated the state's open meetings law, the Commercial Appeal reports.,2845,MCA_25340_5150015,00.html

Click on the category of your choice to view summaries of today’s opinions from that court, or other body. A link at the end of each case summary will let you download the full opinion in PDF format. To search all opinions in the TBALink database, go to our OpinionSearch page. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on TBALink at

00 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
00 - TN Court of Appeals
03 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR

TBA members can get the full-text versions of these opinions three ways detailed below. All methods require a TBA username and password. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on-line at

Here's how you can obtain full-text version. We recommend you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This should give you the option to download the original document. If not, you may need to right-click on the URL to get the option to save the file to your computer. Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion. Browse the Opinion List area of TBALink. This option will allow you to download the original version of the opinion.

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


Court: TCCA


Nathan Moore, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Harvey S. Burns.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, District Attorney General; and Bret Gunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Petitioner, Harvey S. Burns, pled guilty to selling less than one-half gram of cocaine. At the guilty plea hearing, the Petitioner accepted a sentence of thirteen years as a Range III, persistent offender. The Petitioner timely filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief, and after being appointed counsel, filed an amended petition for post-conviction relief. After a hearing, the trial court denied the petition for post-conviction relief. In this appeal, the Petitioner asserts that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel and that his plea was not knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently entered. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; T. Michel Bottoms, District Attorney General; and Doug Dicus, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

Robert H. Stovall, Jr., Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellee, Harold Oliver McGee.


On August 13, 1998, the petitioner, Harold Oliver McGee, pled guilty to four counts of felony possession of cocaine with intent to sell. Subsequently, in 2001, he pled guilty to three additional felony cocaine offenses and one count of possession of a firearm during an offense. Thereafter, the petitioner filed a petition for habeas corpus relief, alleging that because he was on bail at the time the first four cocaine offenses were committed, the trial court erred when it imposed concurrent sentences. Additionally, the petitioner alleges that because the sentences for the four cocaine offenses were illegal, the trial court impermissibly used those convictions to enhance his subsequent cocaine and weapon possession convictions. The habeas corpus court agreed with the petitioner and granted habeas corpus relief on all eight of the forgoing convictions. On appeal, the State asks this court to reverse the habeas corpus court's grant of relief. Upon our review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the habeas corpus court.


Court: TCCA


James E. Swiggett, Mountain City, Tennessee, pro se.

Michael E. Moore, Acting Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; and Joe C. Crumley, Jr., District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The petitioner, James E. Swiggett, appeals from the Johnson County Criminal Court's denial of his petition for the writ of habeas corpus. He claims that his first degree murder conviction, for which he is serving a life sentence, is void because the prosecutor denied him due process at trial by knowingly sponsoring perjured testimony. He claims on appeal that the trial court erred by dismissing his petition on the basis it failed to state a colorable claim and without the appointment of counsel. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Legal News
BPR Actions
Legislative News
TennBarU CLE Programs
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Knoxville attorney jailed on contempt charge
U.S. District Judge Ronnie Greer today ordered Knoxville attorney Herbert S. Moncier jailed for an allegation of contempt of court in Greeneville. The judge ordered deputy U.S. marshals to take Moncier into custody on what's known as a summary contempt charge, after Moncier allegedly disrupted a hearing by repeatedly interrupting the judge, speaking loudly in an attempt to silence the judge and being, in the judge's view, overly argumentative.
Go to the Knoxville News Sentinel to learn more
Bill would strike precedent, reinstate Lay conviction
Two senators hope to end a legal precedent that let the fraud conviction of Enron Chairman Kenneth Lay be cleared from his record after he died.
The Commercial Appeal has more
Release of sealed records not limited to Davidson County
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation officials admit that the agency's release of sealed juvenile arrest records during criminal background checks is not limited to Davidson County cases.
Read more in the City Paper
New Jersey AG backs ban on 'Super Lawyer' ads
New Jersey's attorney general says the state's high court would be right if it stood firm, though there's some wiggle room, on a ban on advertising linked to The Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers.
Read the New Jersey Law Journal piece in
BPR Actions
Attorneys suspended for fee non-payment
On Aug. 11, the Supreme Court of Tennessee suspended 83 lawyers who failed to pay their 2006 annual registration fee as required by Rule 9, section 20 of the Rules of the Tennessee Supreme Court. Attorneys who have since complied with the rule are noted as reinstated.
View the list
Attorneys suspended for CLE non-compliance
On Sept. 1, the state Supreme Court suspended 67 lawyers for failure to comply with Rule 21 of the Rules of the Tennessee Supreme Court, which requires mandatory continuing legal education. Attorneys who have since complied with the rule are noted as reinstated.
View the list
Legislative News
Party leadership votes ahead
Competition for leadership positions in the Tennessee General Assembly is heating up. Find out how the races are shaping up in both the Democratic and Republican parties in this City Paper report.
Read more
Outgoing senator making bid for number 2 spot
Outgoing state Sen. Don McLeary tossed his hat into the ring for lieutenant governor but may not be serious about it, according to a Senate colleague who's also vying for the state's second-most important seat.
Read about it in the Tennessean
TennBarU CLE Programs
Opening soon: CLE Film Festival 2006
Last year's End-of-Year CLE Film Festival was a huge hit with Tennessee lawyers and this year’s edition promises to be even better. Our critics rave, "Raucous! Rambunctious! Rewarding!" Programs running from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Dec. 26 through Dec. 30 at the Tennessee Bar Center.
Learn more or register now
TBA Member Services
Make the most of your TBA membership
Contact Membership Director Sarah Stair for more information on our money saving member benefits. Call 800.899.6993 or email

But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at:

TBALink HomeContact UsPageFinderWhat's NewHelp
© Copyright 2006 Tennessee Bar Association