Lewis issues stirring call for help with access to justice

In his keynote address to Tennessee lawyers at the 127th TBA Convention in Gatlinburg last week, TBA President Buck Lewis announced plans for an aggressive campaign to "attack a problem that is growing worse by the day despite our constant efforts ... the denial of access to justice caused by poverty, domestic violence, our deteriorating economy, and the ever increasing cost of legal services." The 4 ALL campaign Lewis outlined at the luncheon will involve legal groups across the state in a four-pronged attack on the problem. It will focus on education, collaboration, participation and legislation. He's asking you to get involved. Find out more about 4 ALL here or see the text of his speech.


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JOHN MARK ATKINS, surviving spouse and next of kin of VICTORIA H. ATKINS, Deceased, and as parent of LAUREN ATKINS, ET AL. v. ROBERT CLIVE MARKS

Court: TCA


Robert C. Marks, Pro Se.

F. Evans Harvill and Michael W. Dale, Clarksville, Tennessee, and Mart G. Fendley, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellee, John Mark Atkins.


This is an appeal from a post-judgment collection proceeding in which the judgment creditor sought to subject the assets of three trusts, of which the judgment debtor was a beneficiary and trustee, to satisfy a default judgment. The trial court found that the trusts were passive or dry and that the legal and equitable estates had merged, resulting in the judgment debtor's holding fee simple title to the trust property. Debtor asserted that he had dissipated the assets of two trusts, but one trust still held income-generating farm land. The trial court ordered the farm land sold and also ordered further discovery to locate the assets of the other two trusts. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.



Court: TCA


Michael G. Stewart and Brett R. Carter, Nashville, Tennessee for the appellant, Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter and Mary Ellen Knack, Senior Counsel, for the appellee, Loren L. Chumley, Commissioner of Revenue for the State of Tennessee.


The trial court denied Plaintiff/Taxpayer's motion to compel discovery of documents that Defendant Department of Revenue asserted were not subject to disclosure under the Taxpayer Confidentiality Act. We granted permission for interlocutory appeal under Rule 9 of the Rules of Appellate Procedure. We vacate the trial court's order and remand for further proceedings.



Court: TCA


David Bass, Carthage, Tennessee, for the appellant, Marie R. Wiser, Personal Representative - Estate of Berchie Cordelia Roberts, Deceased.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sue A. Sheldon, Senior Counsel; Ramsey Barthell Leathers; L. Vincent Williams for the appellee, State of Tennessee, Bureau of TennCare.


The trial court held Tenn. Code Ann. section 30-20-310(b) does not provide a one-year limitations period on the TennCare Bureau's efforts to obtain reimbursement of correctly paid nursing home benefits from a beneficiary's estate pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. section 71-5-116(c). Finding that such reimbursement is a statutory responsibility of the estate's personal representative, we affirm.


Is Tenn. Code Ann. section 62-2-10 applicable to the replacement of windows at a county courthouse?

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2008-06-16

Opinion Number: 08-117


Clerks Fees in Department of Human Services Child Support Enforcement Actions

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2008-06-16

Opinion Number: 08-118



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Legal News
McClarty applies for Supreme Court spot
Chattanooga lawyer John Westley McClarty submitted an application today for the vacancy created on the Tennessee Supreme Court by the upcoming retirement of Chief Justice William M. Barker. Court of Appeals Judge Sharon G. Lee of Knoxville is the only other applicant so far. The deadline for applications is June 20.
The AOC has the information to apply
Judge Donald to receive first Liberty Achievement Award
U.S. District Court Judge Bernice B. Donald of Memphis will receive the American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section's inaugural Liberty Achievement Award at the ABA's 2008 Annual Meeting in New York City. "Throughout her career, she has been committed to actively promoting diversity and working to ensure that the legal profession reflects the society it serves," Section Chair Peter Bennett said. "Judge Donald has always been a 'first' -- as a lawyer, as a judge, as an active member of the bar. By her example, she inspires others to excel in the profession and serve their communities."
Read the ABA press release
Two judges, one firm receive Thurgood Marshall awards
The Thurgood Marshall College Fund hosted its inaugural Nashville Awards of Excellence at the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum Thursday night. Among the 2008 awards recipients were the Hon. Adolpho A. Birch Jr., retired Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court; the Hon. William Joseph Hayes Jr. of the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Tennessee; and the law firm of Waller Lansden Dortch and Davis, LLP.
NewsChannel 5 reported the news
White House emails not subject to FOIA, judge rules
A federal judge today dismissed a watchdog group's lawsuit seeking records on missing White House e-mails, ruling that the agency holding the records -- the White House's Office of Administration -- is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
The Washington Post reports
Councilwoman did not misreprent herself as lawyer
Chattanooga City Councilwoman Carol Berz last week was cleared of a complaint that she misrepresented herself as a lawyer during her race for City Council District 6. The grievance committee of the state Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission found that complainant Barry Abbott had not demonstrated that Dr. Berz, a mediator, had broken any commission rules, Dr. Berz's attorney, Roger Dickson, said Friday after the hearing.
The Chattanooga Times has more
Herenton asks Baugh to continue investigation
Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton is pressing special prosecutor Joe Baugh to explain why he did not ask for a grand jury review after saying the accuser's story was credible. In a letter sent earlier this month, Herenton told Baugh his decision about a grand jury fuels a perception of racial injustice in the legal system. "The scope of the criminal activities of Richard Fields and others will not be fully known ... if you prematurely bring your investigation to a close without impaneling a grand jury to take testimony under oath from all participants in the criminal enterprise, including witnesses and the victims," Herenton wrote.
The Commercial Appeal has the story
Gibbons considers run for governor
Shelby County District Attorney General Bill Gibbons said he's "very interested in running" for governor in 2010 if former U.S. Sen. Bill Frist opts out of the race.
Learn more from the Commercial Appeal
Supreme Court Report
Court takes up gun control case
The U.S. Supreme Court returned to the bench today with 17 cases still unresolved, including its first-ever comprehensive look at the Second Amendment's right to bear arms.
The Tennessean carried this AP story
TennBarU CLE
Ready to go solo? Webcast CLE will help guide you
Thinking about starting your own practice? Join Nashville attorney Donna Green Thursday for this week's TBA webcast. It will focus on the issues to consider when deciding to go into solo practice and provide a checklist of things to do if you make the leap. Topics include: financing your start-up, screening clients, getting and keeping clients, office technology, and getting paid. Finally, a discussion of resources for the soon-to-be solo lawyer will be included.
Register or find out more
TBA Member Services
Secure, complaint data backup service now available
The TBA's official data protection, backup and recovery vendor of choice, EVault, offers secure online backup solutions. Evault minimizes downtime by backing up files quickly and easily, and helps lawyers remain compliant by maintaining file integrity. Get EVault and be confident your data is securely stored and protected. TBA members enjoy a 10 percent savings on all services. For more information on this member benefit Denise Lucas at (407) 523-9774.
Learn why lawyers trust EVault for online data backup solutions

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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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