Rule 31 mediators get new reporting requirements

Beginning Jan. 1, Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 mediators will need to submit statistical reporting forms to the Administrative Office of the Courts within 15 calendar days of the date of the last mediation session, according to a new policy. The policy applies to any mediation beginning on or after Jan. 1, except for matters pending in state courts outside of Tennessee and the federal court system. This is in addition to the original requirement to report to the court in which the case is situated.

For questions or to view a test version of the online reporting form before the first of the year, contact Andrea Ayers
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Court: TSC


Court: TCCA


J. Liddell Kirk, Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal); Mack Garner, District Public Defender, Maryville, Tennessee (at trial), for the Appellant, Rudolph Miller Brooks, Jr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; and Andrew Watts, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: HAYES

The Appellant, Rudolph Miller Brooks, Jr., appeals the order of the Blount County Circuit Court revoking his probation. In June 2003, Brooks pled guilty to violation of the Motor Vehicle Habitual Offender Act and received a two-year sentence, suspended to supervised probation following service of thirty days in jail. In 2004, a violation warrant, as well as two follow-up reports, were filed alleging numerous violations of the conditions of probation. Following a revocation hearing, the trial court revoked Brooks' probation and ordered reinstatement of the original sentence. On appeal, Brooks argues that the trial court erred in revoking probation because there was insufficient evidence that Brooks' non-compliance with the terms of his probation was willful and that requiring him to serve the balance of his sentence was too severe. Following review, we find no abuse of discretion and affirm the judgment of the trial court.


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Attorney-client privilege legislation passes House
Legislation to protect the attorney-client privilege from the Justice department and other agencies trying to compromise it as part of plea agreements was adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives on a voice vote this afternoon. The bill, H.R. 3013, is known as the "Attorney Client Privilege Restoration Act of 2007."

The Tennessee Bar Association has been part of an intense effort -- spearheaded by the American Bar Association -- to pass legislation after the Justice Department responded to congressional pressure last year and took less than meaningful steps to compromise, outlined in a policy dubbed the "McNulty memo."

Attention now turns to the Senate where identical legislation, S. 186, has been introduced.
To learn more, read ABA President William H. Neukom's letter
Judge orders White House to preserve emails
U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy yesterday ordered the White House to preserve copies of all its e-mails, a move that Bush administration lawyers had argued strongly against, the Associated Press reports. The move is intended to safeguard the material in response to two lawsuits that seek to determine whether the White House has destroyed e-mails in violation of federal law.
The Knoxville News Sentinel carried the story
Grants from CLE Commission approved by court
The Tennessee Supreme Court has approved proposed grants from the Commission on Continuing Legal Education, ranging from $10,000 to $355,806. The grants are funded by excess fees and penalties collected from attorneys by the commission and will be distributed to the organizations based on grant proposals submitted to a blue ribbon committee appointed by the Tennessee Supreme Court and chaired by Nashville attorney Margaret Behm. The largest award will be used for two related proposals submitted by the Tennessee Bar Association and the Memphis, Chattanooga, Nashville and Knoxville bar associations. The grant will be used to purchase webcasting equipment, including cameras and microphones.
Read more on the AOC web site
NBA hires director
Gigi Woodruff will join the Nashville Bar Association as its executive director in December. She most recently worked for the Center for Nonprofit Excellence in Akron, Ohio, as director of administration. Prior to joining the nonprofit world, Woodruff was in a private law practice. She graduated from the Akron School of Law in 1983 and obtained her LLM in taxation from New York University in 1984.

Kingsport lawyer Rose dies
Kingsport attorney Steven C. Rose died early this morning from an apparent heart attack. He was 55. A 1976 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law, he practiced with the firm of West & Rose. He was a member of the Judicial Selection Commission. Arrangements were not set at press time; watch TBAToday for more information as it becomes available.

Nashville memorial service set for Thursday
A memorial service honoring Nashville lawyers and judges who passed away during the past year will be held Thursday at the Downtown Presbyterian Church. The service begins at 11 a.m., with a reception following in the church's Fellowship Hall. The Nashville Bar Association's Historical Committee organizes the service, which will include memorial resolutions recounting the lives and legal careers of those being honored.

Swearing-in ceremony highlight of TBA Academy
A select group of Tennessee attorneys will soon experience the honor of being admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court in a private swearing-in ceremony at the 24rd Annual TBA Academy. This year's Academy is scheduled for Jan. 21-23, with the ceremony to take place before the court on Jan. 22. Join TBA President Marcy Eason and other leaders in the Tennessee legal community in this exciting program. Contact TBA CLE Director Therese Byrne at (800) 899-6993 or by email to learn more.

TBA Member Services
Student loans at low rates through SunTrust
The TBA and SunTrust Bank now have a Partnership Program to help alleviate the burden of student loans. Members and their families can consolidate their federal student loans at a special low fixed rate - right now as low as 5.375 percent. In addition, those with consolidation loans greater than $10,000 are eligible to reduce their interest rate by another 1.5 percent for on-time payments and automatic debit payments.
Learn more

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