Better jury experience is goal of new committee

A new committee has been charged with improving conditions for Tennesseans called to jury service. The Tennessee Judicial Council created the committee to study the jury process and make recommendations for promoting appreciation of the jury system and improving response rates to summonses. Committee members include Chairman Jeff Henry, executive director of the Tennessee District Public Defenders Conference; Deborah R. Alexander-Davis; 23rd Judicial District Attorney General Dan Alsobrooks; state Representative Rob Briley, D-Nashville; state Senator Dewayne Bunch, R-Cleveland; Shelby County Criminal Court Judge Lee V. Coffee; and Tom Hatcher, circuit court clerk for Blount County. The committee meets for the first time this Wednesday. Read the AOC's press release:

http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/news/2007/jury_committee_072407.pdf

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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STATE OF TENNESSEE EX REL. SUZY WHITLEY

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter, and Lauren S. Lamberth, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee ex rel. Suzy Whitley

David L. Douglas, Somerville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Sam Lewis

Judge: KIRBY

This appeal involves a claim in juvenile court to recover child support payments. The mother of the child at issue told the respondent that he was the child's father. In reliance on this, the respondent signed a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, and the juvenile court entered an agreed order setting child support and establishing the respondent's child support arrearage. Over two years later, the respondent learned that the child might not be his, and he petitioned the juvenile court for a paternity test. His petition was granted, and the test showed that he was not the biological father of the child. The juvenile court set aside the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity based on fraud, relieved the respondent of any future obligation to pay child support, and forgave all past child support arrearages. Subsequently, the respondent filed a petition against the mother, seeking damages because the mother had fraudulently induced him into signing the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity. The juvenile court granted the respondent's petition against the mother, awarding him damages consisting of the child support erroneously paid, the cost of paternity testing, and attorney's fees. The State, on behalf of the mother, now appeals. We reverse, concluding that the juvenile court erroneously forgave the respondent's accrued child support arrearages, and that the juvenile court did not have jurisdiction to adjudicate the respondent's petition against the mother for damages.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/whitleys_072407.pdf


MIR ALI v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Theodora A. Pappas (on appeal and at trial), and Michael Mills (at trial), for the appellant, Mir Ali.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and James Milam, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The petitioner, Mir Ali, appeals from the post-conviction court's denial of post-conviction relief. On appeal, he contends that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel which caused him to enter an unknowing and involuntary guilty plea. Following our review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court denying post-conviction relief.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/alim_072407.pdf


Application of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 55-16-112 to Illegally Parked Vehicles

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-07-20

Opinion Number: 07-111

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2007/ag_07-111.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Legislative News
BPR Actions

Legal News
Criminal court candidates sent to governor
The Judicial Selection Commission has chosen three applicants for the 30th Judicial District criminal court seat left vacant by the retirement of Judge Fred Axley. Names submitted to the governor are: John Wheeler Campbell, assistant district attorney for the 30th Judicial District; Garland Ingram Erguden, assistant Shelby County public defender; and John T. Fowlkes Jr., Shelby County chief administrative officer.

Transition could leave U.S. attorney office vacant
For the second time in a year, the federal prosecutor's office for the Middle District of Tennessee could be left without a clear leader for weeks or even months if the confirmation of Ed Yarbrough does not immediately follow the departure of U.S. Attorney Craig Morford, according to sources familiar with the confirmation process.
The Nashville City Paper covered the story
Movement building to abolish med-mal locality rules
A nationwide movement is slowly building to abolish medical malpractice laws that judge a doctor's performance by the medical standards existing in the local community. Such laws, known as "locality rules," are still on the books in 21 states. This past May, the Tennessee legislature considered a bill to eliminate the locality rule but tabled the measure amid intense lobbying by the medical community.
Learn more from Law.com
Gonzalez testimony met with skepticism
U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee today, saying he intends to stay in his position so he can try to repair the Justice Department's image. In taking questions about the firings of various U.S. attorneys, Gonzalez continued to maintain that he does not remember much about the incidents. On another controversial topic, he denied pressuring then-Attorney General John Ashcroft to recertify President Bush's domestic eavesdropping program. A former DOJ official has testified that Gonzalez visited Ashcroft in the hospital demanding he sign off on the plan.
The News Sentinel has this AP story
Specter raises prospect of special prosecutor
Senate Arlen Specter, R-RI, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee has raised the prospect of appointing a special prosecutor to investigate the firing of federal prosecutors. Specter said it would be one of several options to consider if the Senate cites Bush administration officials with contempt of Congress, reports the Associated Press.

Shelby County deseg ruling due soon
By next week, Shelby County Schools could be relieved of a desegregation order that has monitored its racial equality since the height of the civil rights movement. U.S. District Judge Bernice Donald announced yesterday she would issue a decision in seven to 10 days.
The Commercial Appeal looks at arguments for and against the move
Judge's car hits road worker
A worker emerging from a manhole in Morristown was injured Monday when he was struck by a car driven by retired chancellor and special judge William H. Inman. The worker was reported to be in stable condition. No charges have been filed, but the accident remains under investigation according to the Morristown Police Department.
The News Sentinel has the story
Agency investigates youth center
The Disability Law and Advocacy Center in Nashville, a nonprofit group created by the federal government to protect the rights of the disabled, is now investigating the Chad Youth Enhancement Center in Montgomery County. The center has been in the news recently over the death of a teenager assigned to it.
WSMV-TV has more
New leaders at Kingsport bar
The Kingsport Bar Association has named new officers for the 2007-2008 bar year. They are: President James Michael Billingsley with the City of Kingsport, President-Elect Don Mason with the firm of Shine & Mason, Vice President Jimmie Miller with Hunter Smith & Davis LLP, Secretary Steve Huret with Wilson Worley Moore Gamble & Stout PC and Treasurer Curt Rose with West & Rose.

Legislative News
Jordan considers race for Crutchfield seat
Ken Jordan, a former Chattanooga city development director, said he is considering a run for the District 10 state Senate seat currently held by Senator Ward Crutchfield. A former trustee of Erlanger Medical Center, Jordan is now a developer and restaurant owner. He stated that he intends to continue evaluating his options, according to Chattanoogan.com.

BPR Actions
Nashville lawyer censured
Richard "Rick" H. Batson II was censured on July 19 for failing to adequately communicate with a client and with the BPR, and failing to advise his client that he had been suspended from the practice of law.
Read the BPR's press release

 
 
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