Nashville schools integrated 50 years ago this week,
thanks to Looby, Williams and Marshall

Fifty years ago this week, 16 young African American children made their way into Nashville public schools, made possible by the U.S. Supreme Court's unanimous ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. But the ruling had not been enforced in Nashville until two local attorneys, Z. Alexander Looby and Avon N. Williams Jr., joined Thurgood Marshall, legal director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, in filing a 1955 lawsuit to compel the Nashville schools to comply with the Supreme Court decision. Writer John Egerton tells the story in the Tennessean
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Court: TCCA


Mark Bowman (at trial); Handel R. Durham, Jr., (on appeal), Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Gamal Edham.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Glen Baity and Tracye Jones, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Gamal Edham, appeals the trial court's order denying his motion to withdraw his guilty plea to one count of selling beer to a minor, arguing that because of his limited ability to understand English, his guilty plea was not knowingly and voluntarily entered. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Robert M. Brannon, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Anthony McKinnis.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; and Tracey A. Brewer, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The defendant, Anthony McKinnis, was convicted of the unlawful possession of a controlled substance (marijuana) with the intent to deliver (Class E felony), violation of the open container law (Class C misdemeanor), and the unlawful possession of a weapon (Class C misdemeanor), to wit: a .38 caliber revolver. He was sentenced to two years of incarceration, with all but 120 days suspended, for the felony conviction and was assessed a fine of $2500. Additionally, after completion of his incarceration, the defendant was placed on Community Corrections for one year and, if successful, the remainder would be served on probation. On appeal, he contends that the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions, that the trial court erred in overruling his objection to questioning regarding his employer's prior drug convictions, and that the court erred in sentencing. After review, we conclude that no error exists, and we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Britton J. Allan, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Roy R. Williams.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Nicole Germane, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Petitioner, Roy R. Williams, appeals the post-conviction court's order dismissing his petition for post-conviction relief. The Petitioner argues that his conviction for murder during the perpetration of a felony should be set aside because his trial attorneys failed to properly investigate a possible insanity defense and because they coerced him to plead guilty by making him fearful of receiving the death penalty. Following our review, we affirm the post-conviction court's order of dismissal.


Legal News
Disciplinary Actions

Legal News
Holton chooses electrocution, death set for Wednesday
Wednesday morning Daryl Holton, with no pending appeals, will likely become the first prisoner to die by electrocution in Tennessee since 1960. "At this point the legal options are minimal," said Kelly Gleason, a federal public defender who has represented Holton in the past. In Tennessee, law allows inmates to choose between electrocution and lethal injection if their crimes were committed before 1999.
WSMV has the story
Briley charged with DUI, evading arrest, vandalism
State Rep. Rob Briley, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and Nashville attorney, was charged this weekend with DUI, evading arrest, and vandalism in incidents in DeKalb and Wilson counties. House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh said this afternoon that Briley is going to seek treatment for alcoholism. Naifeh said he was not removing Briley as chairman, but he was going to let the "judicial system work out the charges." Briley has an Oct. 31 court date for the charges in Wilson County.
Read more in the City Paper
Comment on Knowles' reappointment requested
The term of U.S. Magistrate Judge E. Clifton Knowles will expire July 6, 2008, and the U.S. District Court is beginning the process to determine if he should be reappointed to a new eight-year term. To that end, the court is seeking comments from members of the bar. Send comments to the Clerk of Court, Estes Kefauver Federal Courthouse, 801 Broadway, Room 800, Nashville, TN 37203 by 5 p.m. Oct. 12.
Read the notice of reappointment for incumbent magistrate judge
Sheriff sues the mayor
for funding
The Carroll County sheriff wants a court to force the county to hire nine new deputies, raise the pay for some of his employees and purchase 16 new patrol cars and other equipment. Sheriff Bendell Bartholomew filed the suit recently in Carroll County Circuit Court against County Mayor Kenny McBride based on a law that allows key county officials to seek relief in court when their counties have denied them the money to hire more and better-paid employees to help them do the their jobs.
Read about it in the Jackson Sun
'Sunshine law' suit starts with jury restrictions
Knox County Chancellor Daryl Fansler issued an order late Friday that sets the boundaries for what each side may tell jurors in the News Sentinel's lawsuit alleging that the county commission violated the Tennessee Open Meetings Act in the process of appointing successors for term-limited officeholders. Jury selection in the case officially begins Tuesday.
Read the story in the News Sentinel
RiggIns indicted for stealing client money
An attorney who briefly disappeared last year has been indicted on charges of stealing more than $180,000 from clients, the News Sentinel reports. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced Friday that Clarksville attorney Van Riggins, 48, faces 10 counts of theft. Riggins briefly disappeared last year after the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility sent him a letter asking him to explain what happened to the $90,000 he was given by a client to settle debt in a bankruptcy case. His law license later was suspended by the court after it determined that he had appropriated clients' funds for his own use and abandoned his law practice.

CBS's appeal over indecency fine begins
The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals begins oral arguments tomorrow in CBS Corp. v. FCC, the case that began at halftime of the 2004 Superbowl with a nine-sixteenths second view of Janet Jackson's right breast.
Read the analysis on
Nifong goes to jail for a day
Mike Nifong, the disgraced prosecutor in the bungled Duke lacrosse case, walked into jail to serve a 24-hour contempt sentence on Friday, surrounded by family, friends and some hecklers. The three students are now seeking a $30 million settlement and reforms in the legal process, sources close to the case told The Associated Press on Friday. If the terms aren't met, they will sue early next month, the sources said.
Read more in the Commercial Appeal
Link to pro se divorce forms
An item in Friday's TBA Today offered a link to proposed pro se divorce forms. That link did not work. It has been fixed and you can now download the forms to review.
Review proposed pro se divorce forms
Disciplinary Actions
Lebanon judge reprimanded
Judge Clara W. Byrd of Lebanon was reprimanded by the Court of the Judiciary Sept. 7 for failing to implement the mandate of the Court of Appeals of the Middle Section of Tennessee. The mandate had required Byrd to "immediately restore custody to the mother pursuant to the permanent parenting plan in effect," but Byrd did not do that. The conduct violates Canons 2A, 3B(2) and 3B(8) of the Code of Judicial Conduct "and further constitutes conduct that brings the judiciary into public disrepute," the letter of reprimand said.
Read the reprimand

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