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Court: TCA


Henry Shelton, III, Megan Arthur, and Emily C. Taube, Memphis, Tennessee for the appellants, Captain Louis J. Gillespie, Jr. et al.

Louis P. Britt, III and P. Daniel Riederer, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, City of Memphis.

Judge: KURTZ

The charter and code of ordinances of the City of Memphis set out certain specific provisions, including civil service protections, concerning the organization and operation of the City's police department. This appeal arises from a suit brought by several high ranking members of the police force who allege that the City created a de facto rank in conflict with the City's charter and ordinances. The trial court held that the City had impermissibly created a new rank and granted relief in the form of an injunction and a declaratory judgment. It, however, denied claims for damages pursuant to 42 U.S.C. section 1983 and an implied right of action under the City's civil service rules. We find that the question regarding the appropriateness of the trial court's awarding injunctive and declaratory relief is now moot and accordingly vacate that part of its decision. We affirm the trial court's decision that monetary damages are not available.


Court: TCCA


Bobby Lee Jeffries, Henning, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; and Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The petitioner, Bobby Lee Jeffries, appeals from the trial court's denial of his petition for habeas corpus relief. The State has filed a motion requesting that this Court affirm the trial court pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The petitioner has failed to assert a ground that would entitle him to habeas corpus relief. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court's dismissal.


Court: TCCA


John Price, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Brian Foster Vise.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Charles Crawford, District Attorney General; and Michael D. Randles, Assistant District AttorneyGeneral, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Brian Foster Vise, was convicted of facilitation of aggravated burglary and filing a false police report, Class D felonies, and facilitation of theft of property valued under $500, a Class B misdemeanor. The Defendant received a sentence of thirty days for the misdemeanor. The trial court sentenced him as a Range II, multiple offender to seven years for each felony conviction, ordering the seven-year sentences to be served consecutively. On appeal, he presents a single issue for our consideration: whether the trial court erred by ordering consecutive sentences. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


Legal News
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Legal News
Dress code debated for Shelby County courts
For an hour last week, a group of 16 attorneys and judges gathered in the Shelby County Courthouse to talk about whether a specific dress code is needed in the nine divisions of Circuit Court. The discussion centered on whether certain shoes are inappropriate and how much "arm" is too much for a woman to show. Memphis-area bar associations have embraced the idea of a dress code as a way to show respect for the courts.
The Memphis Daily News reports
Opinion: Disgraced plaintiff lawyers spoil image for all
Washington Post writer David Ignatius suggests in an opinion piece today that the exploits of Melvyn Weiss and Dickie Scruggs -- two of the nation's most prominent class-action lawyers -- have battered the image of the plaintiff's bar by showing it is vulnerable to the greed and lawlessness it seeks to combat. Ignatius also argues that the mega class action lawsuits they were known for have turned traditional notions of legal practice upside down.
Read his column
Ex-attorney gets year of probation
Former Johnson City attorney Scott Pratt, who pleaded guilty to attempted forgery for signing a client's name to a probation hearing waiver, ended up losing his law license, his practice, his home and cars. At a sentencing hearing yesterday, the judge granted unsupervised probation arguing Pratt already has paid a high price for his misdemeanor offense.
The Johnson City Press reports
Courthouse security upgrades pose new issues
The Cheatham County Courthouse recently received security enhancements thanks to a state grant, but officials are concerned they won't have the funding to hire required personnel.
The Ashland City Times has more
Black farmers file new USDA discrimination suits
More than 800 black farmers filed a new lawsuit against the Agriculture Department just two weeks after Congress passed legislation allowing fresh claims from those denied damages in the past. The suit stems from claims that the farmers were systematically denied loans and other aid from local USDA offices. The Associated Press reports that some 75,000 people, including a number from Tennessee, could fall into that group.
The Kingsport Times News has the story
Disciplinary Actions
Court suspends attorneys for failure to pay fee
In a recent order, the Tennessee Supreme Court suspended the law licenses of several attorneys who failed to pay their annual fees. The court adopted a new process this year; instead of suspending in one order all lawyers who have not paid their fees, it will suspend smaller groups of lawyers in four or five orders. Additional suspensions will be announced when they become available.
See the list of suspensions
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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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