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.

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

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Court: TCCA


William D. Massey, Lorna S. McClusky, and Claiborne Ferguson, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Mario Green.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and James Wax and Michelle Parks, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

A Shelby County Criminal Court jury convicted the appellant, Mario Green, of two counts of second degree murder, and the trial court merged the convictions and sentenced him to twenty years in confinement to be served at one hundred percent. On appeal, the appellant contends that the trial court erred by (1) instructing the jury to consider the appellant's guilt on the lesser included offenses of first degree murder in improper sequential order and (2) instructing the jury on criminal responsibility. Finding no errors, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Coleman W. Garrett, Memphis, Tennessee, and Paul J. Springer, Memphis, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, Reginald Rome.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and J. Robert Carter, Jr. and Valerie Smith, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The defendant, Reginald Rome, was convicted by a Shelby County Criminal Court Jury of first degree murder and of five counts of attempted first degree murder, Class A felonies. The defendant is serving sentences of life without parole for the first degree murder and twenty years for each of the five attempted first degree murder convictions. The sentences were imposed consecutively, for an effective sentence of life without parole plus 100 years. In this direct appeal, the defendant contends (1) that the evidence is insufficient to convict him of first degree murder, (2) that the trial court erred in admitting the testimony of a nurse about a bullet recovered from the victim at the hospital, (3) that the trial court erred in allowing admission of insufficient evidence about the chain of custody of the bullet recovered at the hospital, (4) that the prosecution withheld information about a technical failure in videotaping the deposition of an unavailable witness, (5) that the trial court erred in ruling that the defendant could not introduce evidence from the deposition of a non- testifying state's expert and then call its own expert to refute that proof, and (6) that the trial court erred in its jury instructions. Upon consideration of the defendant's issues, we hold that no error has been shown, and we affirm the trial courtís judgments.


Court: TCCA


Bud Sharp, McMinnville, Tennessee (on appeal), and Tracy Caten, McMinnville, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, Robert L. Yates.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; Lisa Zavogiannis, District Attorney General; and Thomas J. Miner, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The defendant, Robert L. Yates, was convicted of aggravated robbery, a Class B felony, and was sentenced as a Range III, persistent offender to thirty years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, he argues that the trial court erred in overruling his motion to suppress and in allowing into evidence a photo identification. After careful review, we affirm the judgment from the trial court.


Legal News
Disciplinary Actions
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Judge sets bond for House
Judge Shayne Sexton today granted a $500,000 bond for Paul House, who has spent almost 23 years on Tennessee's death row. Prosecutors had sought a $750,000 bond, but his defense attorneys contested that amount, saying he isn't a danger to the community or a flight risk. House's mother, Joyce House, says she'll try to meet the bond, but it's not likely to happen soon.
Read more from WATV
Clerk's reporting procedures questioned
Circuit Court Judge Mike Meares has questioned the statistical reporting procedures being used in the court, filing an order for Blount County Circuit Court Clerk Tom Hatcher to appear before him to discuss a list of criminal cases that Meares said "should have been reported as disposed of to the Administrative Office of the Courts."
Read more in the Maryville Daily Times
Disciplinary Actions
Memphis attorney censured
Memphis attorney James D. Adams received a Public Censure from the Tennessee Supreme Court on May 23 for violating the Rules of Professional Conduct by simultaneously representing a mother and her son in a domestic assault case without informing the clients of the implications of the common representation or obtaining written consent from either client and by engaging in a practice of accepting representation from clients only for a limited purpose which was both misleading and confusing to his clients.
Read the full BPR release
Jackson lawyer suspended
Jackson attorney Jacques B. Glassman was suspended by the Tennessee Supreme Court on May 23 for one year and placed on probation for two years, if reinstated. Glassman was found to have violated disciplinary rules by providing incompetent representation, neglecting client cases, failing to keep clients informed, and making misrepresentations to clients and the Board of Professional Responsibility.
Read the full BPR release
Memphis lawyer put on Disability Inactive Status
The law license of Memphis attorney Patricia B. Penn was transferred to Disability Inactive Status on May 23 pursuant to Section 21 of Supreme Court Rule 9 for an indefinite period of time and until further Orders of the Supreme Court.
Read the full BPR release
Memhis lawyer suspended
Memphis attorney Melvin G. Turner was suspended by the Tennessee Supreme Court on May 23 for a period of six months, retroactive to Dec. 23, 2007, for violating the Rules of Professional Conduct by failing to remove any indicia of lawyer, counselor at law, legal assistant, law clerk or similar title from his checks and failing to safeguard or destroy trust account checks after he was suspended.
Read the full BPR release
Buchanan swearing in set for Tuesday
Gov. Phil Bredesen will travel to Cleveland Tuesday to officially swear in Ginger Wilson Buchanan to the Tennessee Circuit Court's 10th Judicial District. Buchanan was appointed in February and immediately took the bench, filling the vacancy created by Judge John Hagler's retirement.
Read more in the Chattanoogan
No trial re-enactment at this year's Scopes Festival
Lacking a director, Bryan College officials say they have cancelled the annual play that dramatizes the 1925 trial of a Tennessee school teacher for teaching evolution. Instead, there will be a two-part performance with actors portraying Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports.

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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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