TBA addresses unjust criticism of judges

Tennessee Bar Association President Marcy Eason today forwarded a letter to the editor of the Knoxville News Sentinel addressing several factual inaccuracies in coverage of federal court proceedings involving a Knoxville lawyer. The letter came as a result of the TBA Executive Committee's examination of the coverage under the association's policy on response to unjust criticism of judges. The policy is an outgrowth of the duty of the bar to respond to criticism of judges who are prohibited from making public comment on pending actions. TBA members are invited to read Eason's letter and attachments (which include copies of TBA's response policy and Rule 83.7, which governs attorney discipline in federal court), the original news account from March 7, an editorial that ran on March 12, an editorial cartoon, and two columns mentioning the issue (March 16 and March 23).
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Court: TSC



Court: TCA


John K. Banks, Elizabethton, Tennessee, for the Appellants, William G. Fenner, Sr., William G. Fenner, Jr., Terry Wayne Fenner, Kathy Fenner Melton, Connie Fenner Gray, Willie Jo Perry, Chucky Price, David Price, Chris Price, and Kathy Price Lyon.

Robert J. Jessee, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Helen Sue Ludrosky.


Decedent died testate, leaving her entire estate to her sole surviving child, and leaving nothing to the man she had lived with for more than forty years, William G. Fenner, Sr. Mr. Fenner and all but one of decedent's grandchildren filed an action to invalidate the will on the basis of undue influence and lack of testamentary capacity. In the alternative, plaintiffs alleged that decedent and Mr. Fenner were partners and her assets were assets of the partnership, to which he is entitled to half. Plaintiffs also requested that the Trial Court impose a trust upon decedent's estate for the benefit and use of Mr. Fenner. Following two hearings on these issues, the Trial Court dismissed all of plaintiffs' claims and upheld the validity of decedent's will. Plaintiffs appeal, raising issues regarding undue influence, testamentary capacity, implied partnership, imposition of a resulting trust, defendant's failure to testify at the second hearing, and the Trial Court's dismissal of portions of plaintiffs' claims pursuant to Tenn. R. Civ. P. 41.02 motions by defendant. We find no error on the part of the Trial Court, and, therefore, affirm.



Court: TCCA


Jeffrey A. DeVasher (on appeal), and J. Michael Engle (at trial), Assistant Public Defenders, Nashville, Tennessee, for defendant, Charles L. Rochelle.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson III, District Attorney General; and Bret Gunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The defendant, Charles L. Rochelle, was convicted of aggravated robbery and aggravated assault. Prior to trial, he pled guilty to felony evading arrest while operating a motor vehicle. The defendant was sentenced to twelve years for aggravated robbery, ten years for aggravated assault, and to eight years for evading arrest. The defendant's sentences were ordered to run consecutively for a total effective sentence of thirty years. On appeal, the defendant argues: (1) that insufficient evidence existed to support his convictions, (2) that the trial court erred by permitting the state to enter the classified section of a local newspaper as rebuttal evidence, (3) that his sentences were excessive in length, and (4) that the trial court erred by imposing consecutive sentencing. Following our review of the parties' briefs, the record, and the applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.



Court: TCCA


Fallon Lynn Tallent, Pro Se, T.P.F.W., Nashville, Tennessee.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Preston Shipp, Assistant Attorney General; Tom P. Thompson, Jr., District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The petitioner, Fallon Lynn Tallent, was convicted of two counts of first degree murder and received consecutive life sentences. The petitioner's convictions were affirmed on appeal. The petitioner filed a post-conviction petition for relief which was dismissed. The petitioner appeals the decision of the post-conviction court. On appeal, she argues that she received the ineffective assistance of trial counsel and that her constitutional right to due process was violated because she was denied a preliminary hearing. Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we reverse the decision of the post-conviction court and remand for appointment of counsel.



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