Corporate pro bono grants now available

Apply now for a 2008 Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative Grant, offered through the Tennessee Bar Association. The grants are funded by money raised from last year's Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative Reception and Dinner and will go to local access to justice organizations and partnerships with corporate legal departments and law firms. The funds are to be used to develop pro bono opportunities and projects specifically designed for corporate counsel. Find out more from Tennessee's Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative:

Click on the category of your choice to view summaries of today’s opinions from that court, or other body. A link at the end of each case summary will let you download the full opinion in PDF format. To search all opinions in the TBALink database or to obtain a text version of each opinion, go to our OpinionSearch page. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on TBALink at the TBA's Membership Central.

00 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
01 - TN Court of Appeals
02 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR

You can obtain full-text versions of the opinions two ways. We recommend that you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. 1) Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This should give you the option to download the original document. If not, you may need to right-click on the URL to get the option to save the file to your computer. 2) Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion.


Court: TCA


C. Dewees Berry, Nancy S. Jones, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. and Cracker Barrel Associates LLC.

William T. Ramsey, Jonathan H. Wardle, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees Richard Epperson and Timothy Causey.


In denying a request for attorneys' fees in an action involving the enforcement of a declaration of easements and restrictions, the trial court found the phrase "costs and expenses" in that declaration does not include recovery of attorneys' fees. The trial court is affirmed.

CLEMENT dissenting


Court: TCCA


James Lee Deaton, Assistant Public Defender, Dandridge, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Scott Clevenger.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Elaine Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; and Tonya D. Keith, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: HAYES

The Appellant, Scott G. Clevenger, was convicted by a Grainger County jury of one count of aggravated sexual battery, one count of rape of a child, and two counts of incest. He was subsequently sentenced to consecutive sentences of nine years for aggravated sexual battery, twenty- five years for rape of a child, six years for one count of incest, and ten years for the second count of incest, resulting in an effective sentence of fifty years. On appeal, Clevenger raises the single issue of "whether the statements by the [Appellant] should be suppressed because the [Appellant] did not knowingly waive his rights as required under Miranda prior to interrogation." Because the record reveals that no motion for new trial was filed in this case, the issue is waived. See Tenn. R. App. P. 3(e). Moreover, we conclude that the issue does not rise to the level of plain error. Accordingly, the appeal is dismissed.


Court: TCCA


J. Liddell Kirk, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jerry Graves.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Willie Rena Harper, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The petitioner, Jerry Graves, was convicted by a Knox County jury of first degree felony murder and especially aggravated robbery and received sentences of life and twenty-three years. He seeks post- conviction relief, contending that his trial counsel was ineffective. On appeal, he argues that the trial court erred in denying post-conviction relief because his trial counsel was ineffective in adopting a self-defense strategy at trial. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Legal News
TBA Member Services

Legal News
FBI director tells committee of privacy breach
FBI Director Robert Mueller told the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday that the FBI had improperly used national security letters in 2006 to obtain personal data on Americans during terror and spy investigations. Mueller told the committee that the privacy breach by FBI agents and lawyers occurred a year before the bureau enacted sweeping new reforms to prevent future lapses. carried this AP story
Prisoners to be released under new sentencing guidelines
New sentencing guidelines that reduce prison terms for crack-related crimes could result in freedom soon for as many as 10 prisoners and eventually for about 100 others in Middle Tennessee who may be eligible for early release under the new federal rules.
The Tennessean has the story
Siskind featured in 'ABA Journal'
Memphis lawyer Gregory Siskind is featured in the March issue of the ABA Journal for his foresight in creating an immigration law practice using the internet as the primary marketing tool. When he started in 1994 the internet was only seen as a high-tech toy for college students, and, he recalls, "immigration was not a hot issue and no one thought it would generate enough work."
Read it in the ABA Journal
Coffee County drug court gives second chances
"Everyone deserves a second chance, and this is what drug court did for me," one graduate of the Coffee County Juvenile Drug Court said, She is now a high school graduate and has been off drugs for 409 days, she said.
The Manchester Times tells more about the program
Bad times for some mean good times for bankruptcy lawyers
As more people and businesses hit hard times, more bankruptcy lawyers are prospering. In the first two months of this year, 18 big U.S. companies with liabilities over $12.4 billion filed for bankruptcy, double the number in the same period last year. "A year or two ago, perhaps 5 percent of firms would say they're thinking about adding bankruptcy attorneys," said Jon Lindsey, managing partner of an executive placement firm. "Now it's about 85 percent."
the Washington Post reports
Watch your language! Lawyer and client fined for fowl words in deposition
U.S. District Judge Eduardo C. Robreno levied sanctions of more than $29,000 on a lawyer and his client because during a deposition the client used constant vulgar language and insults, and his lawyer failed to rein him in. Robreno noted that Wider used the "F word" or variations of it 73 times during the deposition and that a video shows his lawyer at one point "snickered" at the conduct.
Find out more on
Padgett enters race for Senate
Former Knox County Clerk Mike Padgett officially opened his campaign for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate Tuesday night. Padgett, who served 20 years as clerk until term-limited in January 2007, will face Nashville lawyer Bob Tuke in the Aug. 7 primary to win a chance to take on incumbent Republican Lamar Alexander.
Learn more about him in the News Sentinel
Stewart has $50,000 to run for Briley seat
Nashville attorneys Mike Stewart and Eric Stansell, the only announced candidates for House District 52, were likely glad to hear State Rep. Rob Briley's announcement yesterday that he will not seek re-election. reports this afternoon that Stewart has already raised $50,000 for his campaign.
Read the story on [subscription required]
TBA Member Services
Save at FedEx Kinkos
Through your membership in the TBA, your business can enjoy FedEx reliability and special savings on a variety of FedEx services, including savings on FedEx Kinkos services. All you have to do is sign up. Opening an account is free and there is no minimum shipping requirement.
Find out more

Discontinue your TBA Today subscription? ... Surely not!
But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at:

Questions, comments: Email us at

About this publication: Today's News is a compilation of digests of news reports of interest to Tennessee lawyers compiled by TBA staff, links to digested press releases, and occasional stories about the TBA and other activities written by the TBA staff or members. Statements or opinions herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Tennessee Bar Association, its officers, board or staff.

© Copyright 2008 Tennessee Bar Association