Governor disappointed with lack of diverse court candidates

Gov. Phil Bredesen today expressed disappointment once again with the state Judicial Selection Commission for not sending him minority candidates for judicial openings. At an event celebrating the renaming of a Nashville street for Rosa L. Parks, Bredesen deviated from his prepared remarks to criticize the commission for sending him a list of candidates for the Court of Appeals that did not include any African Americans. He concluded by saying, "I don't know how I can make it any clearer to them that having 12 members of our appeals court all white is not appropriate in the state of Tennessee." Last week, the commission selected three individuals for the Court of Appeals for the Middle District. The governor must choose one of them or request a second list of names. Read Bredesen's full remarks in the Nashville City Paper:

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BARBARA RIPPEY WHITLEY v. JAMES M. RIPPEY, JR., as Executor of the Estate of Robert English Rippey

Court: TCA


Lauren Paxton Roberts and Bradley A. MacLean, Nashville, Tennessee, for appellant, Barbara Rippey Whitley.

William S. Fleming, Columbia, Tennessee, for appellee, James M. Rippey, Jr., as Executor of the Estate of Robert English Rippey.

Judge: KIRBY

This is a will contest. The decedent was an 83-year-old man who had no natural born children. In 1968, the decedent adopted his first wife's two adult daughters, the plaintiff and her sister. In 1970, the decedent's first wife died. After her mother's death, the plaintiff visited the decedent sporadically. The last visit occurred in 1999 or 2000. In April 2002, after meeting with his accountant and his attorney, the decedent executed a will that divided the estate among his nieces and nephews and a friend. The will did not mention or otherwise acknowledge the plaintiff or her sister. Around the time he executed the will, the decedent told both the drafting attorney and his treating physician that he had "no children." Three years later, in 2005, the decedent died, and the will was admitted into probate. The plaintiff then filed a complaint contesting the will, claiming that the decedent lacked testamentary capacity. The executor filed a motion for summary judgment, which the trial court granted. The plaintiff now appeals, arguing that the decedent's statements that he had "no children" were sufficient to establish a genuine issue as to the decedent's lack of testamentary capacity at the time the will was executed. We affirm, finding that the plaintiff failed to set forth sufficient evidence from which the trier of fact could reasonably find that the decedent lacked testamentary capacity to execute the April 2002 will.


Legislative News
Legal News

Legislative News
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Legal News
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The Mountain Press reports
A profile of the state's youngest DA
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Sealed evidence appears on YouTube
According to HCA Inc., it had nothing to do with video clips on YouTube that show sealed evidence from pending medical malpractice cases the company has brought. State ethics rules prohibit such release of information. Preliminary investigations suggest that a media consultant hired by the defense was responsible for the leak.
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Fen-Phen lawyers owe $62 M
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Civil rights lawyer Oliver Hill dead at 100
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