With tornadoes, TBA launches pro bono volunteer drive

With news that last night's tornadoes killed 30, injured more than 150, and caused widespread property damage in Tennessee, the TBA today began recruiting lawyers to handle cases from storm victims. Volunteer attorneys will be paired with local pro bono programs, which will coordinate the assignment of clients. To register as a volunteer, please visit the TBA's website. For those providing legal services, the TBA offers a disaster resources manual. A publication of the Young Lawyers Division, the manual provides a Tennessee-specific guide to legal and social services available to victims of natural disasters. Download a copy here:


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With Dissenting Opinion

Court: TSC


Joseph D. Baugh (on appeal) and Matthew T. Colvard (at trial), Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, R.D.S.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Mark A. Fulks, Assistant Attorney General (on appeal); and Chris Vernon, Assistant District Attorney (at trial), for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


This appeal arises out of a finding of delinquency following a denial of a motion to suppress incriminating statements and seized evidence. The trial court found that the juvenile defendant was not in custody at the time he made his incriminating statements, thus not triggering Miranda requirements; the Court of Appeals agreed. We affirm that part of the Court of Appeals' holding. However, due to a lack of evidence in the record regarding the law enforcement officer's role as a school resource officer, we remand the case to the trial court for a new trial to determine whether the law enforcement officer was required to have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to search the juvenile defendant's truck.


HOLDER dissenting


Court: TCA


David Randolph Smith, Edmund J. Schmidt III, and Joseph H. Johnston; Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lynda Smith.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Bradley W. Flippin, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: LEE

In this personal injury case, plaintiff, the mother of a prison inmate, sued the State for damages her son is alleged to have sustained because of negligent medical care provided by the State resulting in the delayed diagnosis of his brain tumor. Plaintiff also sued the State for her son's injuries sustained as the result of falls he experienced while in the State's care and custody after surgery to remove his brain tumor. The plaintiff's case was tried before the Tennessee Claims Commission which ruled that the plaintiff failed to prove that an earlier diagnosis of her son's tumor would have produced a different outcome, but that her son did sustain injuries as a result of the State's negligent care after surgery and awarded damages in the amount of $15,000. Plaintiff appealed. Upon our finding that the evidence does not preponderate to the contrary, we affirm the judgment of the Commission.



Court: TCA


G. Brent Burks, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Rebecca Lynn Sparks.

Douglas M. Campbell, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc.

Judge: LEE

The plaintiff brought this action alleging that a surgical device manufactured by the defendant was in a defective and unreasonably dangerous condition, which resulted in the accidental laceration of her aorta during abdominal surgery. Upon our determination that the trial court erred in excluding evidence of other similar incidents involving actual or potential surgical injuries with the same model of device, and that the trial court erred in excluding the testimony of plaintiff's expert witness, we vacate the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for a new trial.



Court: TCA


Gregory W. Minton, Medina, Tennessee, for the appellant, Alena Wharton.

Sam J. Watridge, Humboldt, Tennessee, for the appellee, Robert Wharton.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter and Lauren S. Lamberth, Assistant Attorney General, for the Intervenor.


This interlocutory appeal arises from a petition for contempt to enforce a child support order. Although it is undisputed that neither the parents nor the child who is the subject of the support order in this case resided in Crockett County for at least six months prior to the filing of the current petition, the trial court denied Mother's request under Tennessee Code Annotated section 36-5- 3003 to transfer the matter to Dyer County, where the child resides with Father. We reverse, remand, and order the matter transferred.



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