TBA President Eason honored by UH alumni group

Tennessee Bar Association President Marcy Eason is being honored today as recipient of the University of Houston Law Alumni Association's Private Sector Achievement Award. Eason, who practices in Miller & Martin's Chattanooga office, concentrates her practice on civil litigation with an emphasis on commercial litigation, lender liability, products liability and professional liability, and has been involved in a number of complex cases, including failed banks and class actions.
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Court: TCA


Stephen R. Leffler,1 Memphis, Tennessee, for appellant, Tommy Carl Starkey.

William H. Haltom, Jr., and Stacie S. Winkler, Memphis, Tennessee, for appellee, Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division.

Judge: KIRBY

This case involves wrongful interference with an easement. The plaintiff utility operates an underground gas transmission line. The utility had an easement for the gas line, running along the north edge of a large tract of real property. For the gas line to operate safely, it needed sufficient soil both on top of the pipeline and on each side of the pipeline. The defendant developer acquired the real property, subject to the easement for the pipeline. The developer then sought to develop the real property. In May 2002, the defendant developer began excavating large amounts of dirt from within the easement site without proper authorization from the utility. Despite the utility's repeated demands to stop, the developer continued the excavation. Only when the utility threatened to have the developer arrested did he finally stop excavating dirt from around the pipeline. By this time, there was so little dirt surrounding the pipeline that there was serious danger to the public, and the utility was required to engage in immediate corrective work. The utility hauled in and spread 21,467 yards of dirt, restoring the easement site to a safe condition. The utility then filed suit against the developer, seeking compensatory and punitive damages. After a bench trial, the trial court awarded the utility compensatory damages and punitive damages. The defendant developer now appeals. We affirm, finding ample evidence to support the award of damages.



Court: TCCA


Kathryn B. Stamey, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Arthur Lee Jones A/K/A Arthur Lee Brockington.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Mark A. Fulks, Assistant Attorney General; John W. Carney, District Attorney General; and Helen Young, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Petitioner, Arthur Lee Jones A/K/A Arthur Lee Brockington, pled guilty to one count of aggravated assault and was incarcerated in the Tennessee Department of Correction. In his petition for post-conviction relief, he alleged that the indictment in this case was defective, and he was not afforded the effective assistance of counsel prior to entering his guilty plea. The post-conviction court denied the petition after a hearing. On appeal, the Petitioner raises the same issues and additionally argues the post-conviction court violated Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-30-105(b), thereby violating the Petitioner's due process rights. After a thorough review of the facts and applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.



Court: TCCA


Angela R. Hoover, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, William C. Tomlin, Jr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Ronald L. Davis, District Attorney General; and Derek K. Smith, Assistant District Attorney General.


The Petitioner, William C. Tomlin, Jr., appeals as of right from the judgment of the Williamson County Circuit Court denying post-conviction relief. In 2003, a jury convicted the Petitioner of aggravated burglary and theft over $1000, and he received consecutive sentences of fourteen years and ten years respectively. On direct appeal, this Court affirmed his convictions and modified his aggravated burglary sentence to twelve years. Subsequently, the Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief and, following an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court denied relief. He now appeals, arguing that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel due to trial counsel's failure to file a pretrial motion to suppress the State's fingerprint evidence. After a review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.



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Legal News
Selection Commission gets to work on Court of Appeals slot
The Judicial Selection Commission will meet July 31 in Nashville to begin the process of filling the vacancy on the Court of Appeals, middle division. Find out more about the process here.
Also, after press time yesterday, another candidate was added to the list of those applying for the opening, bringing the number to 22. The addition is Kathryn E. Barnett, an attorney with Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein LLP in Nashville.
Read the updated final list here
Broadening Knox Commission's powers debated
In a passionate argument to withdraw the resolution that would broaden the powers of the Knox County Ethics Committee, Commissioner Greg "Lumpy" Lambert compared the potential effects of the proposal to the Spanish Inquisition, the Salem witch trials and the McCarthy hearings. A motion to send the resolution on to County Commission without recommendation passed 5-0, with three abstaining.
Follow this story in the News Sentinel
Who best represents
poor in courts?
Do salaried public defenders do a better job of representing their clients than court-appointed attorneys? A new study of federal cases by a Harvard economist suggests that there is a wide gap in how well the two groups perform.
Read the story in the New York Times
Cody honored
Memphis lawyer W. J. Michael Cody recently received The Francis X. Bellotti Award from the National Association of Attorneys General. Cody, a former Tennessee attorney general, was recognized for his distinguished career in public service and his keen interest in ensuring the highest quality of government integrity and accountability. In 2005, Gov. Phil Bredesen appointed Cody to serve as co-chair of a commission which worked to advise the governor on ways to revise the state's ethics laws.
Read more about the award
Family Justice Center
works for victims
Domestic violence victims have a place to turn to in Knox County. In its first 14 months, the Family Justice Center has helped 1,400 people as a one-stop shop for housing, counseling and even spiritual help.
Learn more from WATE.com
BPR Actions
Jackson lawyer censured
The Board of Professional Responsibility issued a Public Censure to Jackson attorney Linda Sesson Taylor, following a complaint that a non-lawyer was practicing law in Taylor's office. Taylor said she did not know that this staff member was doing so, however, she did fail to adequately supervise her staff. The matter was compounded by Taylor's failure to timely respond to this complaint.
Read the full BPR release
Jackson lawyer suspended
Jackson lawyer Stephen M. Milam was suspended from the practice of law by the Tennessee Supreme Court on June 26. Milam had pled guilty to serious crimes, i.e., obtaining or attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraud; possession of Schedule III controlled substance; and obtaining/attempting to obtain controlled substance by fraud.
Read the full BPR release
TennBarU CLE
Getting paid a problem? TennBarU online ethics course can help
Collecting fees is not directly addressed in the Rules of Professional Conduct, however both the rules and malpractice carriers have something to say on the issue. A new online course from TennBarU explores practice management strategies to help reduce the number of non-paying clients and discusses ethical obligations for collecting fees from such clients.
Register or learn more
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TBA members are entitled to discounts on FedEx shipping. Did you know that TBA members are saving an average of $83 per quarter by utilizing their FedEx Association Advantage program discounts? Here's what some members have to say about their FedEx savings:

"Our firm took advantage of the Tennessee Bar Association FedEx discounts and saved over $200 on FedEx Express shipments last quarter alone. It's the best $200 we've ever saved," says member Bill Cameron of Cameron & Young in Cookeville. Start saving on your shipments today! For more information on how to enroll, call 1-800-923-7089 or
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