Committee OKs Yarbrough for U.S. attorney post

Edward M. Yarbrough, the Nashville lawyer who is President Bush's nominee for U.S. attorney here, won support this morning from the Senate Judiciary Committee and may go before the full Senate for confirmation tonight, the reports. Paul O'Brien, the current interim U.S. attorney, would return to his post as 1st assistant U.S. attorney. O'Brien succeeded Interim U.S. Attorney Craig Morford, who became deputy U.S. attorney general.
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Court: TCA


Joshua L. Carter, Henning, TN, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter, Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General, Joshua D. Baker, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, TN, for Appellees.


The Northwest Correctional Complex Inmate Disciplinary Board convicted a prisoner of disciplinary infractions. The prisoner filed a petition for a common law writ of certiorari alleging the Board committed several procedural violations related to the disciplinary hearing, including violation of the prisoner's due process rights. In this appeal we must determine whether the chancery court properly granted the Board's motion to dismiss the prisoner's petition. The chancery court found that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction because the prisoner did not verify his petition. The prisoner contends that the petition was verified because, along with the petition, he filed a verified inmate trust fund certification balance form and a verified affidavit of indigency. We affirm.


Court: TCA


Edward L. Summers, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Gordon Meyer.

Joshua J. Bond, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellees, Stephen L. Meisenheimer and Michael Loring Meisenheimer ex rel. Stephen L. Meisenheimer.

Judge: LEE

Gordon Meyer appeals the trial court's denial of his motion to vacate the judgment entered against him pursuant to Rule 60.02 of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure. Mr. Meyer and his former wife, Leslie Meyer, were sued by Stephen and Michael Meisenheimer after Michael Meisenheimer, a minor, was injured during a birthday party at the defendants' residence. Mr. Meyer and Mrs. Meyer failed to appear for trial, and the trial court, after hearing the plaintiffs' proof, entered a judgment against the defendants in the amount of $12,683.25. Mrs. Meyer's debt was discharged in bankruptcy, and the plaintiffs sought to collect from Mr. Meyer. The judgment was revived in 2003, and after the assignee of the plaintiffs filed a motion to compel Mr. Meyer to answer post-judgment interrogatories, Mr. Meyer filed a Rule 60.02 motion to vacate the judgment. Although two attorneys entered pre-trial appearances on behalf of Mr. Meyer and Mrs. Meyer, one of whom filed an answer for the couple in circuit court, Mr. Meyer denied knowledge of the lawsuit and claimed that he did not receive notice of the trial date. Mr. Meyer submitted an affidavit from one of the attorneys who appeared on his behalf, claiming that he did not remember ever talking to Mr. Meyer about the lawsuit. An affidavit from a third attorney, Stephen Bowling, who represented Mr. Meyer in his divorce suit and to whom a copy of the judgment in this case was mailed, confirmed that he would not have accepted service or forwarded any legal documents for Mr. Meyer if the documents did not pertain to the divorce action. Following a hearing, the trial court overruled Mr. Meyer's Rule 60.02 motion, and he appeals. After careful review, we affirm, finding that Mr. Meyer failed to meet his burden of proof to justify Rule 60.02 relief.


Court: TCA


Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; and R. Stephen Jobe, Senior Counsel, Office of the Attorney General, for the appellant, Tennessee Water Quality Control Board.

Mary M. Mastin and Brian H. Paddock, Cookeville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tennessee Environmental Council, Inc.


The issue on appeal is whether the action of a non-attorney who prepares and signs a petition for declaratory judgement on behalf of a corporation to challenge a decision of the Water Quality Control Board constitutes the unauthorized practice of law. The corporation contends Tenn. Code Ann. section 4-5-305(a) authorizes a corporation to participate in administrative hearings by any authorized representative. The Department contended that such a practice in contested cases constitutes the unauthorized practice of law. Notwithstanding the fact that the statute provides that a duly authorized representative of a corporation may "participate" as the representative of the corporation in a hearing, we have determined that a non-attorney may not participate as the representative of a corporation if doing so requires the non-attorney to exercise the professional judgment of an attorney.


Legal News
Knox Term Limits
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Legal News
Lawmakers begin death penalty study
Lawmakers will begin studying the state's death penalty system on Oct. 15 and 16, bringing together representatives from the state Attorney General's Office, local district attorneys general, public defenders, the state bar association, criminal defense lawyers and victim's rights organizations, the AP reports today. State Sen. Doug Jackson, D-Dickson, says the first meeting will address a federal judge's recent ruling that the state's lethal injection procedure is unconstitutional. The committee was created by the General Assembly last session and is expected to report back in January.

Report says protection for federal judges 'languishing'
Three years after it was warned by the Justice Department's inspector general to improve security, the U.S. Marshals Service is languishing in its efforts to protect the nation's 2,200 federal judges, according to a new report. That is putting federal judges in danger even as threats against them have almost doubled in the past five years, the Associated Press reports. has this AP story
NY judicial selection process upheld by high court
U.S. Supreme Court justices said yesterday that New York's system of letting political bosses essentially pick trial judges does not appear to violate the Constitution. Two federal courts had struck down the system, saying judgeship candidates who lack support from the party leaders are excluded from elections by an onerous process that violates their First Amendment rights.
Read more from the First Amendment Center
Knox Term Limits
Judge's ruling expected tomorrow
Knox County Chancellor Daryl R. Fansler is expected to issue a written ruling Friday in the News Sentinel lawsuit against County Commission. Jurors found the 19-member commission violated the state's Open Meetings Act in how it chose replacements Jan. 31 for 12 term-limited officeholders. Fansler is to rule on what happens next.
Follow the story in the News Sentinel
Memphis, Chattanooga vote today
Memphis residents will choose their new mayor today, as well as City Court clerk and all 13 City Council positions. Willie Herenton, the first elected black mayor of Memphis, is trying to win a record fifth term. His chief opponents are Councilwoman Carol Chumney and former Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division CEO Herman Morris.

In Chattanooga, Democratic and Republican candidates line up for the Nov. 15 general election to replace Ward Crutchfield as state senator. Those in the race are Democrats Andy Berke, John Wolfe, Ken Jordan and Dr. Lee Whitaker, and Republicans Oscar Brock, Oscar Brown, Travis Layne, Mark Albertini and Basil Marceaux.

Disciplinary Actions
Bristol attorney censured
The Board of Professional Responsibility censured Bristol lawyer Charles L. Moffatt IV on Sept. 18. In 2001 a client retained Moffatt for a divorce but during the course of represention he failed to adequately communicate with her. The board found that he violated DR 7-101(A) (Rule 8, Rules of the Supreme Court of Tennessee), which was applicable during the time of this representation.
Read the BPR release
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