Legal community leaders convene, praise winners

Leaders of the Tennessee Bar Association met last weekend at the Tennessee Bar Center in Nashville for its annual Leadership Conference, which included a series of programs on topics important to the Tennessee legal community, House of Delegates and Board of Governors meetings, and the Public Service Luncheon. Nashville Mayor Karl Dean gave the keynote address during the luncheon program in the capitol rotunda, talking about his experiences as a public service lawyer and how that has shaped his career. TBA's annual Access to Justice awards were also presented. Take a look at the events here:

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Court: TSC


Court: TCA


John D. McMahan, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Lisa W. Pruett.

William H. Horton, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Paul A. Pruett.


Lisa W. Pruett ("Mother") and Paul A. Pruett ("Father") were divorced in 2003. The following year, Mother filed a petition to modify and increase Father's child support payment claiming, among other things, that there was a significant variance in the amount of Father's income. The Trial Court referred the matter to a Special Master who concluded that the Child Support Guidelines in effect when Mother filed her petition were applicable. Relying on those guidelines, the Special Master recommended that Father's monthly child support payment be set at $5,000. The Special Master also recommended that an educational trust be established for one of the children. Father filed several objections to the Special Master's report and, following a hearing on those objections, the Trial Court determined that Father had an annual income of $200,000 for purposes of calculating his child support payment. The Trial Court further modified the Special Master's findings, concluding that the Child Support Guidelines effective June 2006 were applicable and that under those guidelines, Father's basic monthly child support payment should be $3,153. Mother appeals the Trial Court's determination that the June 2006 guidelines were applicable. Father appeals the finding that his annual income was $200,000, and the establishment of the educational trust. We affirm in part and vacate in part.


Court: TCCA


Coleman W. Garrett, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Henry Cooper; Robert Wilson Jones, District Public Defender; Jennifer Johnson, Assistant Public Defender; and Garland Ergüden, Assistant Public Defender, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lawrence Montez Walker.

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


Co-defendants, Henry Cooper and Lawrence M. Walker, were indicted on one count of attempted first degree premeditated murder and two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping. Following a jury trial, co-defendants were convicted of attempted second degree murder, a Class B felony, and were found not guilty of especially aggravated kidnapping. Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced Defendant Cooper as a Range I, standard offender, to twelve years, and Defendant Walker, as a Range I, standard offender, to eleven years. On appeal, each Defendant challenges the sufficiency of the convicting evidence, and Defendant Cooper challenges the length of his sentence. Defendant Walker does not challenge his sentence on appeal. After a thorough review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Benjamin S. Dempsey, Huntingdon, Tennessee, for the appellant, Richard Wayne Hampton.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; Robert "Gus" Radford, District Attorney General; and Stephen D. Jackson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The defendant was convicted by jury of possession of .5 grams or more of a schedule II substance (cocaine) with intent to sell or deliver, a Class B felony. For his conviction, he was sentenced to ten years imprisonment. In this appeal, the defendant presents four issues for review: (1) whether the trial court improperly admitted evidence of a prior un-indicted drug sale at the defendant's residence in violation of Rule 404(b) of the Tennessee Rules of Evidence ; (2) whether the trial court erred in failing to include the defendant's special instruction in the jury charge; (3) whether the evidence was sufficient to support his conviction; and (4) whether the defendant was denied his right to a fair and impartial jury verdict due to improper extraneous influences on the jury's deliberation. Finding no errors requiring reversal, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Kari I. Weber, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Antonio Ramon Smiles.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; D. Michael Dunavant, District Attorney General; and Tracey Brewer, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The appellant, Antonio Ramon Smiles, was convicted of introduction of contraband into a penal institution and possession of more than one-half ounce of marijuana with intent to deliver. He received a total effective sentence of three years of confinement in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the appellant challenges the trial court's failure to dismiss the indictment for introduction of contraband into a penal institution and the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his convictions. Upon our review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


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