Tennessee Plan bills up for consideration

Bills to extend the life of the Tennessee Judicial Selection Commission and the Tennessee Judicial Evaluation Commission (HB2769/SB3098) are set for their first hearing in respective House and Senate Government Operations Committees next week. The bills -- sponsored by House Speaker Pro Tempore Lois DeBerry, D-Memphis, and Sen. John Wilder, D-Somerville -- extend the life of both of these bodies, which are critical to Tennessee's merit selection, evaluation and retention election system known as the "Tennessee Plan." While final action on the legislation is not expected next week, the hearings could signal interest in moving toward a resolution of the issues. TBA members who would like to express their views to their lawmakers may want to review these talking points for a quick briefing.
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Court: TCCA


Anthony D. Clement, Clifton, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; and Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The pro se petitioner, Anthony D. Clement, appeals the dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus, arguing that the habeas court erred in summarily dismissing the petition without appointing counsel. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the habeas court dismissing the petition.



Court: TCCA


Robert C. Richardson, Jr., Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellant, Brandon McCoy.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Preston Shipp, Assistant Attorney General; T. Michel Bottoms, District Attorney General; and Daniel J. Runde, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Brandon McCoy, was convicted of two counts each of attempted second degree murder, attempted especially aggravated robbery, and attempted aggravated robbery and received an effective twenty-four-year sentence in the Department of Correction. He argues that the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions, his sentences are excessive, and the trial court erred in imposing consecutive sentences. We conclude that the evidence was sufficient to support the defendant's convictions and that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in setting the length of his sentences. However, because the trial court imposed consecutive sentencing based on the dangerous offender criterion without making the factual findings required by State v. Wilkerson, 905 S.W.2d 933, 938 (Tenn. 1995), we remand to the trial court for resentencing. Additionally, we remand for entry of corrected judgments in Counts 3 and 4 to reflect that the conviction offense, attempted especially aggravated robbery, is a Class B felony.



Court: TCCA


A. Jackson Dearing, III, Shelbyville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Eddie Lamont Rankins.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; and Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Eddie Lamont Rankins, pleaded guilty in the Bedford County Circuit Court to one count charging a 2006 possession of cocaine for resale. After he submitted his open guilty plea to the trial court, the court sentenced him to a Department of Correction term of 17 years as a multiple offender. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court should have placed him in a community corrections program. We disagree and affirm the circuit court's judgment.



Legal News
Disciplinary Actions
TBA Member Services

Funeral services Monday for Judge Crawford
Tennessee Court of Appeals Judge W. Frank Crawford died Thursday evening in Memphis. He was 81. Visitation will be at Memorial Park Funeral Home in Memphis on Sunday, from 3 to 5 p.m., with funeral services on Monday at 2 p.m. at the Colonial Park United Methodist Church in Memphis. Judge Crawford served on the Court of Appeals for 25 years and had been Presiding Judge of the Tennessee Court of Appeals Western Section from 1995-2007.

Legal News
Blaze named dean at UT College of Law
Douglas A. Blaze, a 15-year faculty member and administrator has been named dean of the University of Tennessee's College of Law, the university announced today. Blaze replaces professor John Sobieski, who has been acting dean since August 2006. Sobieski will go back to being a full-time faculty member in the college.
Read more from the UT law school
Bar pass list now available
The list of candidates who were successful in passing the February 2008 Tennessee Bar Exam are now available on the TBA web site.
See who passed the February exam
MALS leader reflects on 10 years on the job
In his 10 years of leading Memphis Area Legal Services, Harrison McIver has built the agency's budget and developed ties with private law practices to extend its role in the local legal community. As he looks ahead, he still sees a great challenge in providing quality legal service to the thousands of clients who seek help every year.
The Memphis Daily News has more
Virginia U.S. attorney to step down; consider AG race
U.S. Attorney John Brownlee for the Western District of Virginia, who was once placed on a Justice Department list of prosecutors to be fired, announced yesterday he will step down next month and is mulling a run for state attorney general.
Read about it in the Blog of LegalTimes
Disciplinary Actions
Knoxville lawyer suspended
The Supreme Court of Tennessee on March 31 temporarily suspended Aubrey Lewis Davis' law license. The order setting forth the suspension requires Davis to comply with Section 18 of Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9.
Read the BPR release
Alcoa lawyer reinstated
Stanley R. Barnett was reinstated to the practice of law on April 7 by the Tennessee Supreme Court. He had been suspended for a period of three years in July 2005, but the court made the suspension retroactive to April 1, 2002. Barnett filed a petition for reinstatement on March 22, 2007.
Download the BPR notice
Johnson City attorney censured
Mitchell Stanley Givens of Johnson City received a public censure from the Tennessee Supreme Court on April 7 for failing to adequately communicate with clients on several critical issues such as the viability of an appeal and timely closure of an estate, and failing to return phone calls to counsel on another estate matter. Further, he failed to inform the Court of Appeals that he was no longer representing a client.
Read the BPR release
Memphis attorney placed on disability inactive status
Memphis attorney Joseph Richard Rossie was placed on disability inactive status by the Tennessee Supreme Court on April 7. Rossie cannot practice law while on disability inactive status and can return to practice only after reinstatement by order of the Supreme Court.
Read the BPR release
Memphis lawyer censured
Memphis attorney Brett Stein received a public censure from the Tennessee Supreme Court on April 7 for failing to challenge the state's case or present available evidence that would have protected his client's interest on the issue of whether or not the client should have been tried as an adult. Further, he failed to call his client as a witness at a transfer hearing in violation Rules 1.1, 1.3, and 8.4(a) and (d) of the Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct.
Read the BPR release
TBA Member Services
CompuPay offers deals for TBA members
CompuPay is proud to serve as the official payroll services provider for the Tennessee Bar Association. To serve Tennessee attorneys the company is offering two months of free payroll processing for all TBA members and waiving set up fees for members with up to 99 employees.
Learn more about CompuPay's benefits

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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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