Memphis party to kick off Law Week activities

Join in the celebration of Law Week with a free kickoff party on April 25 in downtown Memphis. All members of the legal community are invited to the Court Square party, which will run from 5 to 7 p.m. and feature free barbeque, wine, beer, soft drinks and live music. The event is hosted jointly by the Tennessee Bar Association, Memphis Bar Association, Association for Women Attorneys, Ben F. Jones Chapter of the National Bar Association, Memphis/Mid-South Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, Memphis Bar Foundation, Young Lawyers Division of the Memphis Bar Association, Association of Legal Administrators, Greater Memphis Paralegal Alliance and Memphis area court reporters. Download the flyer for more information.

http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/news/2008/LawWeek_2008.pdf

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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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.

STATE OF TENNESSEE ex rel KATRINA WEEKS, v. CHRISTOPHER D. KIRKLAND, IN RE: MINOR CHILD: KYLE WEEKS, d.o.b. 7/16/96

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, and Juan G. Villasenor, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for appellant, State of Tennessee ex rel Katrina Weeks.

Steven B. Ward, Madisonville Tennessee, for appellee, Christopher D. Kirkland.

Judge: FRANKS

The Trial Court entered Judgment for back child support, but barred the State from enforcing the Judgment though passport denial. We reverse the Trial Court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/weeksk_041708.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE V. FRANK BENNIE JACKSON, JR.

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; William Cox, Jr., District Attorney General; and Boyd Patterson, Assistant District Attorney General, attorneys for appellant, State of Tennessee.

Ardena J. Garth, District Public Defender; Christian Coder and Donna Robinson Miller, Assistant District Public Defenders, attorneys for appellee, Frank Bennie Jackson, Jr.

Judge: THOMAS

A Hamilton County grand jury indicted the defendant, Frank Bennie Jackson, Jr., for possession of cocaine for resale, driving without a license, and failure to stop at a traffic signal. The defendant filed a motion to suppress alleging that the search of his vehicle incident to a custodial arrest was illegal because he should have received a citation in lieu of arrest for driving without a license and running a red light, both class C misdemeanors. At the hearing on the motion to suppress, the trial court agreed and suppressed all evidence seized as a result of the search incident to arrest. It is from this order that the state now appeals. Following our review, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/jacksonf_041708.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE V. DEXTER LEWIS MCMILLAN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Gerald L. Gulley, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Dexter Lewis McMillan.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; James E. Gaylord, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Ta Kisha M. Fitzgerald, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The appellant, Dexter Lewis McMillan, pled guilty in the Knox County Criminal Court to two counts of driving under the influence (DUI), two counts of driving on a revoked license, two counts of resisting arrest, two counts of assault, one count of evading arrest, one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, and one count of possession of cocaine. The appellant received a total effective sentence of two years. Thereafter, the appellant filed a motion to withdraw his guilty pleas, alleging that his pleas were not knowing and voluntary due to the effect of forced medication he was taking at the time of his pleas. The trial court denied the motion, and this appeal followed. Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/mcmilland_041708.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. LARRY E. RATHBONE AND VERONDA GEAN FLEEMAN
CORRECTION


Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Martha Yoakum, District Public Defender, and Charles A. Herman, Sr. Assistant Public Defender, Jacksboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Larry E. Rathbone and Veronda Gean Fleeman.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; William Paul Phillips, District Attorney General; and Scarlett E. Ellis, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The defendants, Larry E. Rathbone and Veronda Gean Fleeman, were convicted of two counts of child rape, Class A felonies, three counts of aggravated sexual battery, Class B felonies, and one count of attempted child rape, a Class B felony. Thereafter, Defendant Rathbone received a total effective sentence of fifty-six years, and Defendant Fleeman received a total effective sentence of forty-six years. On appeal, the following issues are presented for review: (1) whether the evidence was sufficient to sustain each of the defendants' convictions; and (2) whether the trial court erred in sentencing the defendants. Following a thorough review of the record and the applicable law, we reverse and vacate Defendant Fleeman's convictions for criminal responsibility for child rape, attempted child rape, and aggravated sexual battery as reflected in counts 7 through 11 of the indictment. We affirm Defendant Fleeman's conviction for aggravated sexual battery as reflected in count 12 of the indictment. We affirm Defendant Rathbone's convictions for child rape, attempted child rape, and aggravated sexual battery as reflected in counts 1, 3, 5, and 6 of the indictment. However, we conclude that the trial court failed to merge two convictions for aggravated sexual battery based on alternative theories, and that the trial court did not follow proper procedures in imposing consecutive sentences. We therefore remand this case to the trial court for merger of Defendant Rathbone's convictions for aggravated sexual battery as reflected in counts 2 and 4 of the indictment into his convictions for child rape as reflected in counts 1 and 3 of the indictment, and for a new sentencing hearing regarding consecutive sentencing.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/rathbonel_corr_041708.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JEREMY C. WATKISS
CORRECTION: Change made on page 1 to counsel representing the defendant


Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Michael R. Giaimo (on appeal), Livingston, Tennessee, and Thomas H. Bilbrey (at trial), Assistant Public Defender, Lafayette, Tennessee, for the defendant, Jeremy C. Watkiss.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; Tom P. Thompson, Jr., District Attorney General; and Howard Lee Chambers, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The defendant, Jeremy C. Watkiss, was convicted of passing a forged instrument in an amount greater than $10,000 but less than $60,000, a Class C felony. He was sentenced as a Range I standard offender to three years and ordered to serve ninety days in jail and six years on supervised probation. On appeal, the defendant argues that the trial court erred by admitting an affidavit of forgery into evidence in violation of the Confrontation Clauses of the Tennessee and United States Constitutions, and in violation of the Tennessee Rules of Evidence pertaining to admission of hearsay statements. Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we dismiss the defendant's appeal for failure to file a timely notice of appeal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/watkissj_CORR_041708.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Legislative News
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Bar pass list available Friday
The list of candidates who were successful in passing the February 2008 Tennessee Bar Exam will be available on the TBA web site on Friday, April 18. Results are usually available before or shortly after noon.
See who passed the February exam
Challenge to lethal injection will go forward
An attorney for Tennessee death row inmate Edward Jerome Harbison, who is challenging the state's lethal injection method, says his client will push forward with his case despite a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the procedure. WMC-TV Memphis explores why Harbison believes his claim is different.
Learn more
Bredesen reacts to lethal injection decision
Gov. Phil Bredesen says the Supreme Court's rejection of a challenge to Kentucky's method of administering the death penalty should clear the way for Tennessee to proceed with executions.
Find out more from the Chattanooga Times Free Press
Helper now sole DA candidate
Kim Helper is now the only candidate for district attorney general in the state's 21st Judicial District. The last remaining challenger, deputy district attorney Derek Smith, withdrew from the race last week following Dennis Garvey's decision to do the same, reports the Tennessean.

House: new trial would be idiotic but not a surprise
Tennessee death row inmate Paul House says prosecutors would be "idiots" if they begin a new trial against him after nearly 22 years, but that he would not be surprised if they do. In an interview with the Associated Press, House said he's lost all faith in the criminal justice system and may pursue a lawsuit of his own against the state.
Read more in the News Sentinel
Monroe County considers new justice center
According to the Monroe County Advocate & Democrat, it's common knowledge the Monroe County Jail is old, falling apart and over crowded. County commissioners currently are evaluating architectural firms to head up a new justice center building project, although its exact location is also a subject of debate.
Read more about the plans
Paper offers profile of Bebb
District Attorney Steve Bebb may be the most powerful man in town, according to the Bradley News Weekly. The paper offers a profile of the district attorney and his real passion in life: trying cases.
Read it here
Ferrell law firm explores flat-fee billing
Memphis area attorney James K. Ferrell is the founding member of Ferrell Law Firm PLLC, with offices in Germantown and Olive Branch. As chair the firm's estate and family law group, he's making news by recruiting younger clients and charging a flat-fee for estate planning services. The Memphis Daily News recently asked Ferrell about his unique approach.
Read the interview
Corporate firm unveils minority 'pipeline' program
International law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom has announced a $9.6 million honors program designed to encourage minority students at the City College of New York in Harlem to become lawyers. The two-year program involves counseling and mentoring by attorneys and paid summer internships.
Law.com looks at the program
Legislative News
Gibson hearing date set
A joint committee of the Tennessee legislature will meet April 28 to hear testimony from witnesses on whether District Attorney Bill Gibson should be removed from office. The committee then is expected to debate its recommendation the following day. The committee is meeting under the authority of Senate Joint Resolution 247 and House Resolution 288. Former state attorney general Paul Summers is acting as attorney for the panel.
Nashville Public Radio reports
Notary public bill passes Senate committee
Legislation requiring a person to be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident before becoming a notary public is advancing in the state Senate. The measure sponsored by Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, unanimously passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. The companion bill unanimously passed the House last month.
The Memphis Daily News has more
Track legislation of interest to Tennessee attorneys
The TBA Action List tracks bills in the General Assembly that the TBA has a direct interest in. This means it has either initiated the legislation, taken a postiion on the bill or has a policy on the issue. The TBA Watch List is a broader list of bills of interest to the Tennessee legal community.
TBA Bill Tracking Service
TBA Member Services
Avis benefits 'try harder'
TBA members are offered a rental car discount through Avis. Enroll in the Avis Preferred Service at www.avisawards.com to bypass the rental counter and go directly to your car for a faster, easier rental experience. Enter code AWD# A570100.


 
 
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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.

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