Job market tightens for U.S. lawyers, paper reports

While graduates of elite law schools are enjoying bright prospects -- big law firms this year boosted starting salaries to as high as $160,000 -- the majority of law-school graduates are suffering from a supply-and-demand imbalance that's suppressing pay and job growth. The result: Graduates who don't score at the top of their class are struggling to find well-paying jobs to make payments on law-school debts that can exceed $100,000, the Wall Street Journal reports today.

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Court: TCA


Adam M. Priest, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jason M. Crippen.

James K. Scott, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Catharyn Campbell.


When the parties' planned marriage did not materialize, Jason M. Crippen ("the Donor"), sued his former fiancee, Catharyn Campbell ("the Donee"), seeking the return of the engagement ring. The trial court held that the passing of the ring was a completed gift upon the transfer of the ring to the Donee. The court granted the Donee summary judgment. The Donor appeals. We reverse and grant the Donor summary judgment on his complaint for return of the ring.


Court: TCCA


James R. Hickman, Jr., Sevierville, Tennessee, for the appellant, James Wesley Daniels.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Preston Shipp, Assistant Attorney General; Al C. Schmutzer, Jr., District Attorney General; and James B. Dunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


James Wesley Daniels, the defendant, appeals his convictions for premeditated first degree murder and attempted second degree murder. The defendant asserts as grounds for appeal that: the evidence was insufficient to support the convictions; the trial judge erred in refusing to recuse himself; and the trial court erred in failing to take remedial action after the defendant was observed in restraints by some jury members. We have concluded that no reversible error is present, and we affirm the convictions.


Court: TCCA


Charles Richard Hughes, Jr., District Public Defender, for the appellant, Gabriel Hughes.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Steve Bebb, District Attorney General; and John Williams, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.


Petitioner, Gabriel Zaharia Kimball, appeals the post-conviction court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief in which he alleged ineffective assistance of counsel in connection with his entry of a plea of guilty to the offense of rape of a child. Petitioner argues on appeal that his trial counsel was ineffective because he failed to (1) advise Petitioner of his right to appeal the juvenile court's decision to transfer him to criminal court to be tried as an adult; (2) submit medical evidence at the transfer hearing; and (3) pursue an appeal of the juvenile court's denial of his motion to dismiss. After a thorough review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.


Legal News
Disciplinary Actions
TBA Member Services

Legal News
State lawyers ask to stop Harbision execution
Following last week's federal ruling barring Tennessee from executing inmates under the state's four-month-old lethal injection procedure, state attorneys today filed a motion asking the Supreme Court to postpone the scheduled Wednesday execution of Edward Jerome Harbison. Soon after, lawyers for Harbison filed a response saying they did not oppose the state's motion.
Read more in the Tennessean
Bredesen calls Trauger decision 'wrong'
Gov. Phil Bredesen told the Associated Press that he disagrees with U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger's ruling that Tennessee's lethal injection procedure is unconstitutional. "She's kind of created a Catch-22 for us," Bredesen said. "She decries the lack of medically trained personnel involved in the execution, and of course ... it's very hard to get trained medical personnel to participate in any fashion." Bredesen said he hasn't yet decided whether to appeal the case to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, but acknowledged that any challenge would be more difficult than previous moves to reverse temporary injunctions for Tennessee executions.
The Oak-Ridger carried this AP story
Holton's lawyer tells about electric chair death
The legal counsel for Daryl Holton, who was executed in the electric chair last week, gives a gripping description of what happened in the time leading up to the execution -- and why he says the electric chair should never be used again.
Read David Raybin's account in the Tennessean
Sumner County elects officers
The Sumner County Bar Association elected new officers at the annual fish fry on Sept. 6. They are president, Lawren Lassiter;vice president, William Lamberth; secretary, Lance Ray, and treasurer, Beth Garrison.

Drug court celebrates 10 years
The Shelby County Drug Court program, managed by Division Eight General Sessions Court Judge Tim J. Dwyer, has seen more than 900 people graduate in its 10 years in operation. "Sometimes [participants] have to be forced into it because they know they're facing a lot of time, and they'll take it instead of the time. But then," Dwyer says, "they start seeing their lives getting better, they start feeling better about themselves, and they start buying into the program."
Read about the program in the Commercial Appeal
Is governor's race in Ford's future?
What's next for former Congressman Harold Ford Jr.? The Nashville City Paper reports he's met with prominent Tennessee Democratic Party officials recently to talk about a 2010 run for governor.
Read more
Whitney Stegall services set
Murfreesboro lawyer Whitney Stegall died Friday from complications from surgery after breaking his hip from a fall. He was 91. He entered private practice in Murfreesboro after graduating from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1950. He also served as a state senator, Circuit Court judge and chancellor. Services will be Wednesday at the First Methodist Church on Thompson Lane in Murfreesboro. Visitation with the family begins at 1 p.m. and the service follows at 4 p.m.
Read more about him in the Daily News Journal
Disciplinary Actions
Memphis lawyer gets five years on child porn charges
Memphis lawyer Drayton Beecher Smith was sentenced Friday to five years in federal prison, and 10 years supervised release, after pleading guilty to to possessing child pornography he viewed on the Internet. He was suspended from the practice of law by the Board of Professional Responsibility July 11.
WMCT-TV carried this story
TBA Member Services
Guide to pro bono assistance
The TBA YLD has released a new resource to help volunteer attorneys provide meaningful legal services to victims of natural disasters. The 83-page document addresses a wide range of legal and social service issues disaster victims most frequently face. And unlike other resources that have been used in the past, this manual is Tennessee specific.
Download a copy today

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