Ford sentenced to five and a half years in prison

Former state Sen. John Ford was sentenced today to five and a half years in federal prison for his conviction in the FBI's "Tennessee Waltz" sting. He was found guilty of taking $55,000 in bribes last April. In handing down the sentence, U.S. District Court Judge J. Daniel Breen said he was not convinced that Ford truly believed that he did wrong and that the sentence was intended to be a deterrence to others. In response, Ford said that he "accept[s] the jury's verdict and take[s] full, total and complete responsibility for [his] actions." Ford will remain free pending notification from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons as to where and when he is to report. Read more in the Commercial Appeal
TODAY'S OPINIONS
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STATE OF TENNESSEE EX REL. SANDRA J. FRANKLIN v. KEVIN HURLEY

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, and Juan G. Villasen_or, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, State of Tennessee ex rel. Sandra J. Franklin.

Kevin Hurley, appellee, pro se.

Judge: SUSANO

This case involves the issue of a father's alleged obligation to pay child support for a period of approximately a year and a half. Because we hold that the trial court failed to correctly apply the concept of deviation under the Child Support Guidelines, we vacate so much of the judgment of the trial court as fails to order the father to pay child support for the period April 16, 2005, to October 2, 2006. This case is remanded for further proceedings.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/franklinsj_082807.pdf


MARC A. GLINSTRA v. CANDICE M. LANNIN-GLINSTRA

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

J. Timothy Street, Franklin, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Marc. A. Glinstra.

Virginia Lee Story, Franklin, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Candice M. Lannin-Glinstra.

Judge: SWINEY

In this divorce case, the Trial Court apparently determined that Marc A. Glinstra ("Father") was willfully and voluntarily underemployed and set his income at $5,000 per month. Utilizing that figure, the Trial Court set Father's child support obligation and thereafter concluded that Candice M. Lannin-Glinstra ("Mother") was entitled to rehabilitative alimony of $1,500 per moth for a period of four years, and alimony in solido of $10,000 for payment of attorney fees. Father appeals the Trial Court's determination that he was willfully and voluntarily underemployed and that, therefore, his income should be set at $5,000 per month. Father also challenges the amount of his child support payment and claims that the Trial Court erred when it determined that Mother was entitled to alimony. We vacate those portions of the Trial Court's judgment determining Father's income and setting his child support and alimony obligations, and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/glinstram_082807.pdf


FRANK E. HAREN, SR. v. STATE OF TENNESSEE, COMMISSIONER OF REVENUE

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Howard B. Jackson, Knoxville, Tennessee, and G. Michael Yopp, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Frank E. Haren, Sr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General, and Stuart G. Richeson, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, State of Tennessee, Commissioner of Revenue.

Judge: SUSANO

Frank E. Haren, Sr., ("Haren") is the sole proprietor of an entity that exists under the name of F.E.H. Enterprises ("F.E.H."). He is also the chief executive officer and a stockholder of a corporation named Haren Construction Company, Inc. Haren attended auctions in Tennessee and other states and purchased used construction equipment in the name of F.E.H. Haren would represent to the various auction companies with which he dealt that the equipment was being purchased for resale, thereby avoiding the payment of sales tax. Following these transactions, Haren Construction would reimburse F.E.H. for the amount of Haren's successful bids. It would not pay F.E.H. any sales tax on these transactions. The Tennessee Commissioner of Revenue ("the Commissioner") determined that Haren had fraudulently avoided the payment of sales tax. The Commissioner issued a tax assessment against Haren individually for the sales tax due on the purchases of the equipment by Haren Construction from F.E.H., as well as an additional assessment for fraud. Haren filed suit challenging the assessment. The trial court upheld the amount of the assessment as well as the fraud penalty. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/harenf_082807.pdf


LESLIE QUIMBY [ALLEN] v. WILLIAM E. SULCER, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

David L. Cooper, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Leslie Quimby Allen.

Michael D. Cox, Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellees, William E. Sulcer, individually, William E. Sulcer and Ella Will Sulcer, Trustees for and Lifetime Beneficiaries of the Sulcer Family Trust, and Sulcer Family Trust.

Judge: FARMER

This is a negligence action. A landlord instructed his tenant to prune large limbs from a tree on the rental property with a chainsaw. The tenant's eighteen year old daughter was assisting by clearing the limb debris and sustained severe internal injuries from a falling limb. The daughter instituted this negligence action against the landlord, relying on theories of the landlord's negligence and vicarious liability. The trial court granted summary judgment for the defendant landlord. Finding that the defendant did not carry his burden on the issue of the duty to select a competent contractor, we reverse and remand.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/quimbya_082807.pdf


JAMES A. DELLINGER v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Donald E. Dawson and Catherine Y. Brockenborough, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, James A. Dellinger.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Mark E. Davidson, Assistant Attorney General; Michael L. Flynn, District Attorney General; Rocky H. Young, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The petitioner, James A. Dellinger, appeals as of right from the order of the Blount County Circuit Court denying his petition for post-conviction relief from his 1992 conviction for first degree murder and resulting death sentence. The petitioner claims that (1) this court should review the trial court's opinion in its entirety under a purely de novo standard of review; (2) an incorrect and unconstitutional burden of proof has been applied to the petitioner's claims of ineffective assistance of counsel; (3) his conviction and death sentence violate his rights to due process because he is actually innocent of the conviction offense; (4) the state withheld exculpatory information at the trial; (5) counsel provided ineffective assistance to him at trial and on appeal;(6) the petitioner was not afforded a full and fair hearing of his post-conviction petition in violation of his due process rights; (7) the death sentence is unconstitutional because it infringes upon the petitioner's fundamental right to life; (8) the aggravating factor used in support of the death sentence was not included in the indictment and returned by the grand jury; (9) Tennessee's death sentence is unconstitutional because prosecutors are given absolute discretion to pursue or to forego the pursuit of the death sentence in each case; (10) execution by lethal injection violates the principles against cruel and unusual punishment; (11) the petitioner's conviction and death sentence are in violation of international law; and (12) Tennessee's death penalty scheme is unconstitutional. We conclude that no error exists, and we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/dellingerj_082807.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Legislative News
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Senators say Gonzales departure won't end probes
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' resignation Monday drew a vow from congressional Democrats that they intend to continue their investigations of Justice Department activity surrounding the firing of certain federal prosecutors and positions taken on domestic spying issues. The Murfreesboro Daily has this AP recap of the issues that brought Gonzalez down.
Learn more
Finding AG late in term may prove difficult
Finding someone willing to take on a short-term assignment to repair fences with Congress and rebuild morale at the Justice Department may prove difficult for the administration as it grapples to replace Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, who resigned yesterday. The Chicago Tribune speculated on who might be interested and what the job will entail.
The Commercial Appeal carried the Tribune story
Irvine says he will try for seat
With the passage of Judge Ray Lee Jenkins, interim judge Ken Irvine will have to apply to the Judicial Selection Commission if he wants to fill the seat permanently. Asked about his intentions, he indicated that he indeed would apply. Other names that surfaced during the interim appointment process and could reappear include Knoxville Vice Mayor and lawyer Mark Brown and lawyer Ursula Bailey, who ran unsuccessfully for Knox County General Sessions Court last year, reports the News Sentinel.

Wrap up of ABA meeting
Accomplishments of the American Bar Association's annual meeting included the installation of new officers, recognition of outstanding lawyers and judges, and adoption of a number of policy resolutions. Specifically, the House of Delegates considered the treatment of detainees, use of the states secrets privilege, pay discrimination and independence for U.S. attorneys. With regard to issues facing the legal profession, the body called for law firms to discontinue mandatory age-retirement policies, encouraged law schools to involve students in law-related volunteer projects and supported law practice contingency planning. Read more about these and other activities
Missed a session? You can now watch video from the meeting at
www.abavideonews.org
Court denies Harbison execution stay
The Tennessee Supreme Court yesterday denied a motion to stay the execution of Edward Jerome Harbison, who is scheduled to die on Sept. 26 for the 1983 beating death of a Hamilton County woman. Harbison, who is known for his challenge to the state's lethal injection process, which led to a 90-day moratorium on executions earlier this year, appealed his execution based on claims of fraud during trial and appellate court proceedings. Although his state appeals are now exhausted, he does have federal appeals pending.
The Daily News Journal carried this AP report
Law firms layoffs a possibility
Although the legal market is still strong and many major firms reportedly are competing hard for desired associates, some see a potential storm cloud on the horizon. The stock market gyrations following the subprime mortgage meltdown are creating a credit crunch that makes it more difficult to finance corporate transactions. Depending on how severe this lack of financing becomes, it could significantly reduce legal business in certain practice areas.
The ABA Journal looks at the issue
Judges' secret bias revealed
Surprise! Judges have a secret bias in favor of all things legal, including lawyers, says federal Appeals Court Judge Dennis G. Jacobs. In a recent speech Jacob said that judges focus on procedure and "the lawyered solution," failing to take into account litigants' transaction costs."
Read a copy of the speech
Cleric appeal may be best challenge to spy program
A Muslim cleric's appeal of a terrorism conviction may represent the best chance of a federal appeals court ruling on the legality of the government's wiretapping program. Yassin M. Aref was convicted of supporting terrorism by helping launder money for an alleged terror plot. But his lawyers claim he was illegally wiretapped under a National Security Agency spy program.
The New York Times has the story
Anniversary of consumer protection law marked
Consumers joined state officials including Attorney General Bob Cooper, Commerce and Insurance Commissioner Leslie Newman and Mary Clement, Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs today to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Those who spoke said the 1977 law has given them a stronger voice in fighting unfair and deceptive trade practices. The event was part of consumer education efforts continuing throughout the year in honor of the TCPA.

Legislative News
U.S. Rep seeks end to citizenship by birth for some
U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Ga., wants to end the practice of granting U.S. citizenship to children of illegal immigrants who are born on American soil, saying that the practice has become a magnet for unlawful immigration. Under his proposed legislation, at least one parent would have to have legal resident or citizen status.
Read more in the Chattanooga Times Free Press
TBA Member Services
Health savings accounts now available
The TBA has partnered with First Horizon Msaver Inc. to offer Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and HSA-qualified health plans for individuals and groups to members. HSAs are tax-advantaged accounts that let you set aside money to pay for current and future medical expenses. For more information, or to obtain an instant quote for an HSA-qualified health plan, call the TBA's dedicated toll-free customer care line at (866) 257-2659 or visit the TBA member web site.
Click here

 
 
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