Fourth Supreme Court candidate files for vacancy

Dresden lawyer and Tennessee Claims Commissioner Nancy Miller-Herron is the fourth candidate to file for appointment to the Tennessee Supreme Court seat vacated by Justice William M. Barker. She joins Court of Appeals Judge Sharon G. Lee of Knoxville, Chattanooga attorney John Westley McClarty, and Knoxville attorney R. Culver Schmid with Long, Ragsdale & Waters PC, who previously applied. The deadline for applications is tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. The AOC has details about the application process:

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Court: TSC


Sandra Jane Leach Garrett, Deputy Chief Disciplinary Counsel, Nashville, Tennessee, for the movant, Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee.

Samuel J. Muldavin, Memphis, Tennessee, for the respondent, Kathleen L. Caldwell.


In this appeal, we consider whether the trial court erred in staying a disciplinary proceeding pending before a hearing panel of the Board of Professional Responsibility. We hold that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to stay the disciplinary proceeding. Accordingly, we reverse the stay order issued by the trial court, and we dismiss the respondent's motion for a stay.


Court: TCA


T. Holland McKinnie and Mark M. Mizell, Franklin, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Underwood Repair Service, Inc.

Jonathan C. Stewart, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellees, Billy R. Dean, Peggy L. Dean, and Dean, L.L.C.


This dispute arose over a strip of land located on the northern side of Underwood Repair Service's property and the southern side of the Deans' property. Underwood Repair Service asserted that it owned the disputed strip of land in fee simple, or, in the alternative, through adverse possession. The Deans filed a motion to dismiss both claims, and the trial court granted the motion to dismiss the adverse possession claim, finding Underwood Repair Service failed to allege facts sufficient to support that claim. The motion to dismiss the claim to fee simple ownership was initially denied, but it was then granted without prejudice to allow this appeal. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we conclude that the facts alleged in the complaint were sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss. Thus, we reverse the judgment of the chancery court.


Court: TCCA


Hershell D. Koger, Pulaski, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tony E. Cannon, Jr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; Charles Crawford, District Attorney General; and Holyn Hewgley and Ann L. Filer, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

A Lincoln County Circuit Court jury convicted the defendant, Tony E. Cannon, Jr., of attempted second degree murder, aggravated assault, and felony reckless endangerment. The trial court merged the conviction of aggravated assault with the conviction of attempted second degree murder and imposed an effective sentence of 12 years in the Department of Correction. In this appeal, the defendant asserts that the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions and that the 12-year sentence imposed for attempted second degree murder is excessive. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


James F. Logan, Jr., Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lorne James Clabough.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Jerry N. Estes, District Attorney General; and Kristie L. Luffman and Shari T. Young, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The defendant, Lorne James Clabough, was convicted of especially aggravated kidnapping (Class A felony), aggravated assault (Class C felony), two counts of aggravated assault by recklessness (Class D felony), and evading arrest (Class E felony). The trial court imposed an effective sentence of twenty years. In our initial review, the convictions and sentences were affirmed. See State v. Lorne James Clabough, No. E2005-02133-CCA-R3-CD, 2007 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 14 (Tenn. Crim. App. Jan. 8, 2007, at Knoxville), perm. to appeal granted, case remanded (Tenn. Oct. 15, 2007). Our supreme court remanded to this court for reconsideration in light of State v. Gomez II, 239 S.W.3d 733 (Tenn. 2007). Upon review, we remand to the trial court for resentencing of the defendant for his Class A felony and both Class D felony convictions, and we affirm the remainder of the sentence.


Court: TCCA


Larry L. Preston, appellant, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Attorney General & Reporter; and J. Ross Dyer, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The petitioner, Larry L. Preston, has appealed the Hamilton County Criminal Court's dismissal of his petitioner for a writ of error coram nobis, and the State has moved pursuant to Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals Rule 20 to have this court summarily affirm the criminal court's order. Because we agree that a Rule 20 disposition is proper, we affirm the order of the criminal court.


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Legal News
TBA president promotes 4ALL campaign in LawTalk interview
Newly installed TBA President Buck Lewis was interviewed for the Memphis Daily News LawTalk column and used the opportunity to talk about his 4ALL pro bono campaign. His initiative is also the subject of a feature story that looks at pro bono efforts in Memphis and around the state.
Read the interview
Read the pro bono story
Learn more about Lewis' initiative
AOC issues model notice for insurance termination
A recently enacted law requires insured spouses or policy holder spouses to provide notice of termination of medical insurance coverage to a covered spouse at least 30 days prior to a termination due to divorce or separation. Requirement of the notice becomes effective July 1. The Administrative Office of the Courts has developed a model notice that is now available on its web site.
Download the notice
Lawyer for court clerk considers Meares complaint
While the legal community in Blount County is wrestling with Judge Mike Meares' inquiries into changes to local rules, the circuit court clerk is in a tussle of his own. Clerk Tom Hatcher was before Meares yesterday to answer questions about how he reported the disposition of cases to the Administrative Office of the Courts. Craig Garrett represents Hatcher and says he is "seriously considering" filing a complaint with the Court of the Judiciary that Meares is using judicial prerogatives to boost his election campaign. The Maryville Daily Times looks at the data reporting issue, while the News-Sentinel has the story on Garrett's possible complaint.

Death penalty board meets as executions remain on hold
Members of a death penalty review board reconvened this week to analyze evidence collection, police interrogations and the state's appeals process for capital cases -- which some say takes too long. One idea under discussion is the possibility of direct appeals to the state Supreme Court. News Channel 5 reports

The state Attorney General's office also appeared before the board today and said in testimony that scheduled executions would remain on hold pending appeal of a ruling that the state's method of lethal injection is unconstitutional. Although other states have resumed executions since the U.S. Supreme Court turned back a challenge to Kentucky's lethal injection procedure, officials in Tennessee want to wait until a challenge from death row inmate Edward Jerome Harbison is resolved.
WSMV Channel 4 has the story
Hart named chief policy advisor at TRA
Mona Hart, a former legislative services attorney with an international tax background, took office today as the chief policy advisor at the Tennessee Regulatory Authority. Hart previously served as legislative liaison and assistant general counsel for the Department of Human Services, and has worked for Wal-Mart Stores, Deloitte & Touche LLP and the Tennessee General Assembly. She earned her law degree and a master of business administration from Georgia State University in 2002, and a LLM in taxation from the University of Alabama in 2007.
Download the agency's press release
Memphis off limits to out-of-state bankruptcies
Residents of Mississippi and Arkansas who have filed bankruptcy petitions with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Memphis will have their cases returned to their home states unless the U.S. Supreme Court says otherwise. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has ruled that Tennessee judges must send such cases back to the debtors' home states. Attorneys representing the out-of-state clients have until June 26 to appeal to the high court. Many neighboring residents file their cases in Memphis citing convenience, location and ease of finding a lawyer.
The Commercial Appeal reports
Bell's condition upgraded to 'good'
The Greeneville Sun reported today that Third Judicial District Attorney General Berkeley Bell's condition has been upgraded from fair to good at the University of Alabama Birmingham Hospital. Bell, who was injured in a motorcycle accident in Alabama last Saturday, remains in one of the hospital's intensive-care units.

New TLAW officers named
The Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women is now under the leadership of President Barbara Zoccola, a Memphis lawyer who works in the U.S. Attorney's Office. Additional new officers include President-elect Amy Hollars -- a solo practitioner in Livingston, Treasurer Linda Knight with Gullett Sanford Robinson & Martin PLLC in Nashville, Recording Secretary Kristen Amonette of Dodson Parker Behm & Capparella PC in Nashville, and Corresponding Secretary Tiffany Johnson with the Cochran Firm in Memphis. The following grand division directors also were elected: Markeisha Savage with Memphis Area Legal Services; Maria Salas with the Salas Slocum Law Group PLLC in Nashville; and Debra House with Legal Aid of East Tennessee in Knoxville.

TBA Member Services
UPL enforcement resources available
The TBA Standing Committee on the Protection of the Public from the Unauthorized Practice of Law encourages all lawyers in Tennessee to be alert to the unauthorized practice of law (UPL), which harms Tennessee consumers. Resources now are available to help lawyers report UPL to local bar associations and the state attorney general. Local bars that do not already have a process in place for handling UPL complaints, may want to check out a sample protocol on TBALink.
Visit the UPL webpage for more information

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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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