Long-time Tennessee comptroller Snodgrass dies

Former state comptroller of Tennessee William R. Snodgrass died yesterday. He was 85. Snodgrass became comptroller in 1955 and until his retirement in 1999 every General Assembly re-elected him to the position. "He taught me about state government and how things worked in Nashville," Former Gov. Ned McWherter said. "He was moderate to conservative in his fiscal policies, which influenced me. I not only respected him, I leaned on him."

Visitation will be 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Woodmont Christian Church on Hillsboro Pike. The funeral will be at the church at 1 p.m. on Wednesday. Read more from NashvillePost.com
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Court: TCA


John P. Konvalinka and Thomas M. Gautreaux, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for appellant, Edgar Cagle, Jr.

Joseph G. DeGaetano, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for appellees, William C. Holcomb and Holcomb Company.


In this action for termination of lease and damages due to alleged breaches, the Trial Court terminated the lease and awarded damages. On appeal, we affirm.



Court: TCA


Thomas A. Peters, Kingsport, Tennessee, for appellant.

James H. Beeler, Kingsport, Tennessee, for appellee.


This case involves a dispute over the improvements made to defendant's land by plaintiff, which alleged that defendant had agreed to sell the land on which the improvements were made. The Trial Court found an implied contract between the parties and awarded plaintiff damages. On appeal, we hold that the Trial Court employed the wrong measure of damages, vacate thedamage award and remand for determination of damages under quantum meruit.



Court: TCCA


Patrick Denton, Elizabethton, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kelvin Wade Cloyd.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Joe C. Crumley, Jr., District Attorney General; and John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The petitioner, Kelvin Wade Cloyd, appeals the trial court's denial of his petition for habeas corpus relief. After review, we conclude that the petitioner is not entitled to any relief and affirm the judgment from the trial court.



Court: TCCA


Joe H. Walker, District Public Defender; and Walter B. Johnson, Assistant District Public Defender, for the appellant, Joseph Benjamin Comer IV.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; Russell Johnson, District Attorney General; and Frank Harvey, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant appeals from the Loudon County Criminal Court's order of restitution following his guilty plea to a charge of reckless endangerment. On appeal, the defendant argues the amount of restitution was unreasonable and excessive. Because the restitution hearing did not result in a final judgment, we dismiss the appeal.



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Legal News
Ethics commission asks why lobbyists haven't reported
State Ethics Commission members are expected to address at a meeting this week why 27 groups have failed to file their lobbyist expenditure report, the Associated Press reports. State law required lobbyists' employers to file their reports by Nov. 15. Employers of lobbyists can be fined up to $750 for violating the filing requirements.
The Leaf-Chronicle carried the story
Editorials: next step after death penalty decision
In the face of last week's Supreme Court approval of lethal injection for administering the death penalty, an editorial in the Commercial Appeal points out that this decision should not end discussions to reform the death penalty. Clarksville's Leaf-Chronicle, however, comes out in favor of getting on with the executions, saying "the courts standing in the way of further executions should follow the Supreme Court's lead, step aside and allow justice to take its course."

Three set to die after Supreme Court ruling
The Supreme Court cleared the way today for Alabama, Mississippi and Texas to set new execution dates for three inmates who were granted last-minute reprieves by the justices last year. The court blocked their executions last fall while it considered a challenge to Kentucky's lethal injection procedures. The high court's last-minute orders temporarily sparing the three inmates automatically expired when the justices denied their appeals Monday.
The Associated Press reports
Columnist looks at possibility of judicial elections
Tennessean columnist Larry Daughtrey writes about the possible demise of the Tennessee Selection Commission and what that would mean for choosing our judges. "If the Judicial Selection Commission goes away, the state apparently would revert to partisan election of appellate judges. That is a prospect that makes good government advocates shudder. ... Appointing judges may not be a pretty process, but buying them is downright ugly. We may be close to seeing just how ugly."
Read the column in the Tennessean
Services set for Memphis lawyer Erich Merrill
Erich William Merrill died Sunday after a short illness. He was 84. After serving in World War II he received a law degree from Harvard University College of Law, where he served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He clerked for Sixth Circuit Judge John Martin and then practiced law in Memphis until his retirement in 2001. A memorial service will be held at noon on Thursday at Lindenwood, 2400 Union Ave., Memphis, with visitation to follow. The family requests that any memorials be sent to Lindenwood Christian Church, the Memphis Humane Society, or a charity of the donor's choice.
Read more about him here
Knoxville attorney Norbert Slovis dies
Norbert J. Slovis died Friday. He was a senior partner in the law firm of Slovis, Rutherford and Weinstein PLLC, a successor entity to Lockett, Slovis & Weaver. He practiced law actively for more than 50 years after receiving undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Tennessee. Slovis would have turned 76 on April 23. A funeral service will be 1 p.m. Tuesday at Heska Amuna Synagogue. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Heska Amuna Synagogue, 3811 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919.
Read more about him in the News Sentinel
Memphis lawyer Ernest Williams dies
Memphis attorney Ernest Bland Williams III, 79, died Sunday at Saint Thomas Hospital in Nashville of complications from an October 2007 bicycle accident. Services will be held at Second Presbyterian Church on Wednesday at 11 a.m., with a gathering after the service at the church. Williams practiced law with Williams & Prochaska PC in Memphis. He began practice in 1954 after graduating from Vanderbilt Law School. Memorials may be made in his honor to The Neighborhood School, Memphis Neighborhood Christian Center or Second Presbyterian Church.
Read about him here
Disciplinary Actions
Nashville lawyer suspended
The Supreme Court of Tennessee on April 10 temporarily suspended David H. Hornik's law license upon finding that Hornik had failed to respond to the Board of Professional Responsibility concerning a complaint of misconduct.
Read the BPR release
Lawyer suspended following conviction
The Supreme Court of Tennessee on April 11 suspended James David Leckrone from the practice of law, following his February 2007 federal court conviction of filing a false tax return. The Court further ordered that a formal disciplinary proceeding be instituted in which the sole issue to be determined will be the extent of final discipline.
Read the BPR release
Nashville attorney suspended
The Supreme Court of Tennessee on April 11 suspended the law license of Nashville attorney Rodney M. Phelps for a period of four years. The order follows Phelps submission of a conditional guilty plea for his violation of probation, which had been imposed by a Supreme Court order filed Dec. 21, 2006.
Read the BPR release
Mississippi attorney suspended following guilty plea
The Tennessee Supreme Court on April 10 temporarily suspended the law license of Timothy R. Balducci following his plea of guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery of an elected state official in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 371. The court also ordered the Board of Professional Responsibility to institute a formal proceeding to determine the extent of final discipline to be imposed as a result of the conviction.
Read the BPR release
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