Ash elected presiding judge of Court of the Judiciary

Circuit Court Judge Don Ash of the 16th Judicial District has been elected presiding judge of the Tennessee Court of the Judiciary. Ash succeeds Chancellor Steven Stafford of Dyersburg who has been a member of the Court of the Judiciary since 1999 and was presiding judge since 2004.
Read more from the Administrative Office of the Courts.
TODAY'S OPINIONS
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 or to obtain a text version of each opinion, 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 the TBA's Membership Central.

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

You can obtain full-text versions of the opinions two ways. We recommend that you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. 1) 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. 2) 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.

IN RE: R.D.H., d/o/b 7/22/95 SUSAN DENTON v. LINDA MADORIN

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

M. Keith Siskin, Murfreesboro, TN, for Appellant

Brad W. Hornsby, Jonathan L. Miley, Murfreesboro, TN, for Appellee

Judge: HIGHERS

This case involves a child custody dispute between a mother and a grandmother. The child's parents agreed to transfer temporary custody of the child to the grandmother when the child was three years old. The parents were divorcing at the time, using illegal drugs, and financially incapable of providing for the child. Still, the child would stay at her mother's home every other weekend, during breaks from school, and for some time during the summer months. The mother eventually remarried and had two sons. When her daughter was nearly ten years old, the mother filed a petition to regain custody from the grandmother. The trial court determined that the mother was entitled to a presumption of "superior parental rights," and therefore she could not be denied custody of the child unless the grandmother could demonstrate a risk of substantial harm to the child upon a change of custody. Finding no risk of substantial harm, the trial court awarded custody to the mother. The grandmother appeals, contending that the trial court erred in applying the presumption of "superior parental rights." Alternatively, the grandmother claims that the court erred in finding no risk of substantial harm to the child. For the following reasons, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/dentons_082307.pdf


THOMAS JEFFERY EDGEWORTH v. STACY BRAWLEY EDGEWORTH

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Mitchell D. Moskovitz, Jason A. Creech, Memphis, TN, for Appellant

Rachael Emily Putnam, Kay Farese Turner, Memphis, TN, for Appellee

Judge: HIGHERS

The parents, who have three minor sons, were divorced in 2003, and they entered an agreed parenting plan whereby the mother was designated the primary residential parent and the father was ordered to pay child support. The father experienced an increase in income the following year, and the mother petitioned the chancery court for an increase in his child support obligation, to which the father agreed. In early 2006, the father left his job for a similar job with his stepfather and brother which provided him with less income. The father petitioned the chancery court for a downward modification of his child support obligation, citing his decreased income. The mother then sent the father a notice of her intent to relocate from Memphis to Franklin, Tennessee, because of an employment opportunity. After hearings, the chancery court denied the mother's petition for relocation. The chancery court instructed the parties' attorneys to calculate child support according to the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines using income amounts that it had imputed to the mother and father, and without providing any basis as to how it had determined these figures. At a later hearing, the chancery court set a child support amount in excess of what the parties had determined according to the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines, which amount was ordered to include the father's contribution to the children's private school tuition. The chancery court did not include the child support worksheets in its order, nor did it provide written findings supporting its decision to deviate. We reverse and remand for further proceedings.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/edgewortht_082307.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOHN PAYNE RUSSELL

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Mack Garner, District Public Defender (at trial); and J. Liddell Kirk, Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal), for the Appellant, John Payne Russell.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter, Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Michael L. Flynn, District Attorney General; and Tammy Harrington, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, John Payne Russell,1 pleaded guilty in Blount County Circuit Court to aggravated assault, see T.C.A. Section 39-13-102 (2006), and aggravated burglary, see id. Section 39-14-403, on September 8, 2003. He received a three-year, suspended sentence for each count to run concurrently, and as a condition of his plea agreement, he was to complete the Steps program. On October 31, 2003, a violation of probation warrant was filed because the defendant was arrested for public intoxication, see id. Section 39-17-310, and he failed to complete the Steps program. The court ordered the defendant to serve 90 days in jail and then to return to probation. After serving jail time, the defendant enrolled in and completed an eight-month in-patient drug treatment program, House of Hope in Indiana. He then returned to supervised probation, and another probation violation warrant was filed July 18, 2006 and alleged that the defendant had used illegal drugs, missed appointments, and failed to pay probation fees and court costs. After an evidentiary hearing on July 31, 2006, the trial court revoked the defendant's probation and ordered him to serve his sentence in confinement. The defendant appeals the revocation, and we affirm the trial court's order.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/russellj_082307.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Politics
Legislative News
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Boult Cummings in talks with 250-lawyer firm
The Nashville law firm of Boult, Cummings, Conners, and Berry is in discussions to merge with the Birmingham, Ala.-based law firm of Bradley, Arant, Rose and White, according to NashvillePost.com sources. The paper reports that discussions between the two firms have been progressing steadily over the last few weeks, but a final decision as to whether the law firms will join forces likely will take a few more weeks.
Nashvillepost.com has the story [subscription required]
Justice Department says White House exempt
The Justice Department argued today that the White House Office of Administration is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. The statement is in response to a lawsuit trying to force the office to reveal what it knows about the disappearance of White House e-mails.
The News Sentinel carried this AP story
Wharton speaks out about son's crime
Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton spoke out about his son's statutory rape conviction for the first time while addressing a group of prisoners graduating from a carpentry program -- a program the elder Wharton helped co-found. "Once he said I did it," Wharton told them, "I said son, I don't care how good a lawyer I am, how much money, if you did it, you got to suffer the consequences, and that's what he did."
WMCT-TV carried this story
Wilson takes job as Clarksville city attorney
Memphis attorney Mason Wilson will be Clarksville's new full-time city attorney. The position, which must be approved by the city council, has been vacant since Jan. 1, when David Haines left for a job with the Tennessee Supreme Court's Administrative Office of the Courts. A former newspaper reporter, Wilson graduated from the University of Memphis School of Law and been practicing law with Butler, Snow, O'Mara, Stevens and Cannada.
The Leaf-Chronicle has more
Winkler will compare custody issues to He case
Mary Winkler's attorneys are hoping the Tennessee Supreme Court sees similarities between her bid to regain custody of her three daughters and the recent case involving custody of Anna Mae He. Winkler's attorney, Rachael Putnam, said Wednesday that they hoped the Supreme Court would accept the case. "We'll wait and see," she said.
The Jackson Sun reports
Williamson courthouse updates slowed by asbestos
Renovations are finally underway again after asbestos removal halted progress at the Williamson County Courthouse. The county now hopes to complete the work in 24 to 36 months, the chairman of the county's Board of Commissioners says. From plumbing and electrical to the building's facade, renovations on the historic courthouse that was built in 1858 and the annex will be extensive, but the historic value will be protected.
Read about it in the Williamson Herald
Clients want answers from lawyer; file complaints
More than 80 people have filed complaints against a lawyer who took money from them to do bankruptcies and divorces, WMCT-TV in Memphis reports. Now, they say, they can't find him and he hasn't done the promised work. "Hopefully we can get his side of the story so he can answer some questions that we might have," Lt. Mark Little said. "Even though it's a money thing, to them it's personal and dealing with people's lives."
WMCT-TV has more
Lawyer quits practice, turns to education
A former public defender has decided to take her experience to the classroom, teaching criminal justice at Merrol Hyde Magnet School full-time. "I just came to a point where I wasn't happy practicing law anymore," said Regan Cothron, "but I still had a passion for the criminal justice system. I just find it interesting as to why people commit crimes, and I feel passionate about a person's individual rights as well."
Read more about her in the Tennessean
Politics
4 convicted in Waltz sting still get pensions
Four of five lawmakers convicted in the federal Tennessee Waltz corruption sting will still collect state pensions, the Associated Press reports this afternoon. They are eligible for the pensions because they joined the state retirement system before the law was changed to strip convicted lawmakers of the benefit. The four former state senators and the amounts of their monthly pensions are: Ward Crutchfield, $3,500; John Ford, $2,700; Roscoe Dixon, $1,456; and Kathryn Bowers, $1,000.
The News Sentinel carried this AP story
Legislative News
Former gubernatorial candidate Mark Albertini was the only new contender for the state 10th District Senate seat on the final day of qualifying.
The Chattanoogan.com has a roundup of candidates
TBA Member Services
Let JobLink help you with your next career move
A career service for Tennessee attorneys and law students, TBA JobLink is a job seeking and recruitment tool available at no charge. Whether you have a position to fill or are seeking employment, this site will guide you through a simple process to post your information.
Visit the site

 
 
UNSUBSCRIBE TO TBAToday? ... SURELY NOT!
But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at: http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/unsub_tbatoday.php

TBALink HomeContact UsPageFinderWhat's NewHelp
 
 
© Copyright 2007 Tennessee Bar Association