Flurry of lobbyists register with state

The number of groups, companies and agencies registering to lobby the state legislature has jumped this fall, most likely because new ethics requirements increase penalties for failing to do so. A review of lobbying records shows that 32 new entities registered this October compared to four in 2005. The Tennessean has more on the story:

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061120/NEWS0201/611200335

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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Editor-in-Chief, TBALink

LISA DONNELLY GELFAND, ET AL. v. JO ANN COOK, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

David M. Cook and Virginia Patterson Bozeman, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Appellants Lisa Donnelly Gelfand and Sandra Schwitzer.

Lois B. Shults-Davis, Erwin, Tennessee, and Anthony A. Seaton, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the Appellees Jo Ann Cook and Ronald Cook, Co-Executors.

Judge: SWINEY

Following the death of the testator, Allen Dee Cook, his widow and son, as co-executors, filed the testator's 1997 will for probate in the trial court. After the will was admitted to probate, Lisa Donnelly Gelfand and Sandra Donnelly Schweitzer, two of the testator's stepchildren, filed a complaint in the trial court seeking to establish that a prior irrevocable joint will from 1992 was the last will and testament of the testator. The trial court granted the defendants'/co-executors' motion for summary judgment after concluding: (1) that the plaintiffs' failure to produce the original of the first will gave rise to a presumption that it was revoked, and that the presumption of revocation had not been overcome by the requisite degree of proof; and (2) the plaintiffs had failed to file a properly supported claim against the estate. On the first appeal in this case, we concluded that there was a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether the 1992 will had been presumptively revoked, and the plaintiffs' claim could not be dismissed on that basis at the summary judgment stage in the proceedings. However, we also concluded that the Trial Court correctly determined that the plaintiffs' claim should be dismissed because they failed to properly file that claim. On remand, the parties disagreed as to whether the plaintiffs' claim that there was a prior irrevocable will survived our first opinion. The Trial Court held that our conclusion in the first appeal that the plaintiffs had failed to file a properly supported claim resulted in that entire claim being dismissed, regardless of whether there was a factual dispute as to the first will having been revoked. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/gelfandl_112106.pdf


KRISTI LYN (JACKSON) HOLLANDSWORTH v. JAMES JEFFREY JACKSON

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Thomas Ewell Weakley, Dyersburg, Tennessee, for the appellant, James Jeffrey Jackson.

Dean Powell Dedmon, Williams Lewis Jenkins, Jr., and Jason Ladon Hudson, for the appellee, Kristi Lyn (Jackson) Hollandsworth.

Judge: FARMER

The trial court denied Father's petition to modify custody of the parties' child upon finding no material change of circumstances had occurred. We affirm in part and remand.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/hollandsworthk_112106.pdf


DORA W. MOORE v. JAMES G. NEELEY, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and U.S. Postal Service

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Dora W. Moore, Memphis, TN, pro se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Lauren S. Lamberth, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, TN, for Appelllee.

Judge: HIGHERS

This case involves a claim for unemployment compensation filed with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The claimant was initially denied unemployment benefits based on the Agency's finding that she had been terminated for work related misconduct. First-level appeals from agency decisions are allowed within fifteen days. The claimant appealed and an in-person hearing was scheduled. She requested a re-scheduling of the hearing, and her request was accommodated. She then canceled the second scheduled hearing and requested a withdrawal of her unemployment claim. Later, she attempted to re-appeal the initial agency determination outside the fifteen-day time limit. She subsequently requested an appeal of the first-level tribunal's decision allowing her to withdraw her appeal. The second-level board found it lacked jurisdiction because the claimant had not filed her appeal within fifteen days of the determination. Plaintiff claimed she was denied procedural due process because her in-person hearing was not rescheduled. The chancery court affirmed the board's finding that it lacked jurisdiction. For the following reasons, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/moored_112106.pdf


MIKO T. BURL v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Miko T. Burl, pro se, W.C.F.A., Whiteville, Tennessee.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia Lee, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Emily Campbell, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

Proceeding pro se, the petitioner, Miko T. Burl, appeals the Shelby County Criminal Court's denial of his motion to reopen his post-conviction proceeding. On appeal, the petitioner contends the court erred by dismissing his petition without holding an evidentiary hearing and claims he is entitled to relief based upon the ruling in Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296 (2004). Following our review, we dismiss the appeal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/burlt_112106.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. SUSAN MARIE GILLIAM CAMPBELL

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

B.C. McInturff, Kingsport, Tennessee (at trial); and Greg W. Elchelman, District Public Defender (on appeal), for the Appellant, Susan Marie Gilliam Campbell.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Leslie Price, Assistant Attorney General; C. Berkeley Bell, District Attorney General; and Doug Godbee, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Susan Marie Gilliam Campbell, stands convicted of criminally negligent homicide and facilitating escape. The trial court sentenced her as a Range I, standard offender to two years for each conviction, with the sentences to be served concurrently for an effective sentence of two years in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the defendant assails the legal sufficiency of the convicting evidence at trial and argues that the trial court erred in admitting a tape recording of an Emergency 911 telephone call. After our review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the defendant's convictions.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/campbells_112106.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MARCO HUGHLETT

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Melanie E. Taylor, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant Marco Hughlett.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; Pamela Fleming, Assistant District Attorney General; and Chris Scruggs, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Defendant, Marco Hughlett, was indicted under alternative theories, charging Defendant in count one with committing aggravated robbery by violence, and in count two, with committing aggravated robbery by placing the victim in fear. The jury convicted Defendant under both counts. Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced Defendant as a Range I, standard offender, to eleven years for each conviction. The trial court merged Defendant's conviction of aggravated robbery in count two with his conviction of aggravated robbery in count one. In his sole issue on appeal, Defendant challenges the sufficiency of the convicting evidence. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/hughlettm_112106.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOHNNY J. POSTLES

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

David W. Camp (on appeal) and Ramsdale O'Deneal, Jr. (at trial), Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Johnny J. Postles.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brian Clay Johnson, Assistant Attorney General; James G. (Jerry) Woodall, District Attorney General; and James W. Thompson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant appeals from his jury convictions of criminal trespass (Class C misdemeanor), assault (Class A misdemeanor), aggravated burglary (Class C felony), aggravated assault (Class C felony), and theft (Class A misdemeanor). The defendant received an effective sentence of five and one-half years incarceration plus two jail terms of eleven months and twenty-nine days. Issues presented on appeal are the sufficiency of the evidence and the propriety of the consolidation of offenses from two indictments involving separate dates with a single victim. After review, we have concluded that the convictions were supported by sufficient evidence and that the defendant waived the severance of the offenses issue. The judgments from the trial court are affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/postlesj_112106.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TYREE ROBINSON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Charles W. Gilchrist, Jr., and Lance Chism, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tyree Robinson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Amy Weirich and Theresa McCusker, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The appellant, Tyree Robinson, was convicted by a jury in the Shelby County Criminal Court of premeditated murder, felony murder, and especially aggravated robbery. The appellant received a total effective sentence of life without the possibility of parole plus twenty years. On appeal, the appellant argues that the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions; the trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury that Brown, Morris, and Courtney Perry were accomplices as a matter of law; the trial court abused its discretion in allowing hearsay statements; and the trial court erred in responding to a jury question. Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we reverse the judgments of the trial court and remand for a new trial.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/robinsont_112106.pdf


MICHAEL WILLIAMS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

James E. Thomas, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael Williams.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Patience Branham, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The petitioner, Michael Williams, appeals the denial of post-conviction relief. Specifically, he contends that trial counsel was ineffective by failing to have him undergo a mental evaluation prior to trial. Upon review, we conclude that the petitioner has failed to meet his burden that: (1) his counsel was deficient in her performance, and (2) he was prejudiced in his claim of ineffective assistance. We affirm the post-conviction court's denial of relief.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/williamsm_112106.pdf


Sale of Recreational Vehicles at Convention Center

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-11-20

Opinion Number: 06-170

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2006/ag_06-170.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Legislative News
TBA Member Services

Legal News
California court rules Web sites not liable for libel
Some of the Internet's biggest names, including Amazon.com, America Online Inc., eBay Inc., Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc., praised a California Supreme Court ruling yesterday as a victory for free online expression. The court found that Web sites publishing inflammatory information written by other parties cannot be sued for libel. The ruling follows similar decisions in other states.
Read more from WSMV News 4
Memphis firm launches immigration alliance
The Memphis law firm of Siskind Susser Bland PC has formed Visalaw International, the first worldwide alliance of immigration lawyers. Alliance members, which include firms in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Africa, the U.K. and the U.S., will help each other navigate complex immigration laws on behalf of clients.
Learn more about this new coalition
Videotaped testimony from child victims to be tested
Officials at the Children's Advocacy Center in Chattanooga are hoping to reduce the number of times a child must recite abuse allegations by recording the child's story on videotape. The program would not curtail a defendant's right to call the accuser to the stand, but both prosecutors and defense attorneys said videotaped remarks would be helpful in preparing their cases.
Learn more from the Chattanooga Times Free Press
National Democrats warned not to block judges
The U.S. Senate's next Republican leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, issued a veiled threat to block action on legislation important to the incoming majority party if Democrats refuse to allow confirmation votes on President Bush's judicial nominations.
Read the AP story on Tri-Cities.com
Participants wanted for firm hiring survey
The University of Kansas School of Law is conducting a survey of hiring practices at small and medium-sized law firms. The results will be presented at the Spring 2007 conference of the National Association of Law Placement. Those primarily responsible for hiring should complete the survey. For more information, contact Karen Hester at (785) 864-4357 or khester@ku.edu
Click here to take the survey
Cooley denies influencing ticket dismissal, wife's job
Tennessee's deputy governor, Dave Cooley, called a lawsuit against him "politically motivated" and denied that he used his influence to get his wife a job with the Department of Safety in 2002 or get a speeding ticket dismissed in 2004. A Nashville-area lawyer filed the suit to gain access to files related to the speeding ticket in hopes of showing a pattern of political favoritism and influence that would help his client.
The Murfreesboro Daily carried the Associated Press story
County sues jail designer
Sumner County has filed a $1 million suit against the Clarksville-based architect who designed the local jail, citing structural problems and negligence.
The Tennessean has the story
Legislative News
House Democrats pick leader
State House Democrats selected Nashville area Rep. Gary Odom over the weekend to serve as their new majority leader. Odom prevailed over Rep. Mark Maddox of Dresden to replace Kim McMillan who did not seek re-election this year.
Read more in the Tennessean
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TBA MBNA MasterCard offers low rate
Show your TBA affiliation and get a low annual percentage rate with the TBA MBNA MasterCard.
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