Online CLE tackles ethics issues for criminal defense

Knowing what information is confidential and when it loses its confidential protection can be crucial to serving your clients. A new interactive online CLE from Knoxville lawyer and former U.S. Attorney W. Thomas Dillard will teach you when confidential information must be disclosed, when it may be disclosed, and when it must not be disclosed. Sign up now for Dillard's "Ethical Concerns from the Criminal Defense Perspective" to learn about these topics and more.

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.

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

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Court: TSC


Court: TCA


Christopher D. Heagerty, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellants, TND Associates, L.P., and TND, Inc.

Robert H. Green and Catherine E. Shuck, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Donald W. McCutcheon and Sue K. McCutcheon.

Judge: LEE

The trial court awarded the plaintiff homeowners judgment against their residential building contractor for damages sustained by the plaintiffs when the slope upon which their home was constructed failed. The defendant contractor appeals, arguing that the trial court abused its discretion by allowing an expert witness to testify outside his area of expertise and by allowing another witness to testify as an expert when the plaintiff had failed to identify him as a witness before trial. Upon careful review of the record, it is our determination that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in the admission of the testimony of these witnesses. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TCA


Matthew R. Zenner and Malcolm L. McCune, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Carl Williams Rogers, M.D.

L. Webb Campbell, II and Phillip F. Cramer, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, State Volunteer Mutual Insurance Company


This case involves an endorsement to a medical malpractice insurance policy. The physician insured under the policy brought a declaratory judgment action seeking rescission of the endorsement based upon a mutual mistake of fact. We affirm the decision of the trial court dismissing the physician's case for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.


Court: TCA


Joe R. Judkins, Wartburg, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Scarlett Reagan Aslinger Sampsel.

John McFarland, Kingston, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Joel Lee Sampsel.


Scarlett Reagan Aslinger Sampsel ("Mother") and Joel Lee Sampsel ("Father") were divorced in 2005. Mother was designated as the primary residential parent of the parties' son ("the Child"), who currently is 14 years old. Approximately eight months after the divorce was granted, Father filed a petition for a change in custody claiming there had been a material change in circumstances and that designating Father as the primary residential parent was in the Child's best interest. Following a trial, the Trial Court determined that due to the Child's post-divorce behavioral problems and decline in grades, there had been a material change in circumstances and that it was in the Child's best interest to designate Father the primary residential parent. Mother appeals claiming the Trial Court erred in both of these determinations. We affirm.


Court: TCCA


Tommy Lee Norwood, Edgefield, South Carolina, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; William B. Cox, District Attorney General, attorneys for appellee, State of Tennessee.


The pro se petitioner, Tommy Lee Norwood, appeals as of right the Hamilton County Criminal Court's summary dismissal of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The petition alleges that he is being illegally restrained by federal sentences enhanced as a collateral consequence of his state convictions that are based upon the ineffective assistance of counsel, involuntary guilty pleas and other defects in prosecution. The habeas court summarily dismissed the petition based upon its finding that the petition failed to allege a present restraint on the petitioner relevant to the judgments under attack. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the habeas court.


Court: TCCA


Harold R. Gunn, Humboldt, Tennessee, for the appellant, Troy Sollis.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilbur, Assistant Attorney General; and Larry Hardister, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Troy Sollis, was convicted of two counts of possession of more than .5 grams of methamphetamine with intent to sell or deliver, two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, one count of felony evading arrest, and two counts of misdemeanor evading arrest. The trial court imposed an effective sentence of 20 years, 11 months, and 29 days to be served in the Department of Correction. In this appeal, the defendant asserts that the trial court's comments during a pretrial conference established bias and that the sentence is excessive. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


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Legal News
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the Associated Press report in the Tennessean
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Read more about it in the Commercial Appeal
Explosion rocks Calif. federal courthouse
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Read the Boston Globe
Reception for Chancellor Peoples set
A 30th anniversary reception honoring Chancellor Howell N. Peoples will be May 12, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hamilton County City Courts Building, 600 Market Street in Chattanooga. Respond by April 18 to (423) 209-7385. For more information contact Chattanooga Bar Association Executive Director Linda Minks Hood.

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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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