Court seeks comments on CLE deadline petition

The Tennessee Bar Association has petitioned the state Supreme Court to amend Rule 21 Section 3.01 by changing the mandatory continuing legal education deadline from December 31 to June 30. In an order issued today, the court requests written comments on the proposed amended rule from the bench, the bar and the public. The deadline for submitting comments is Friday, August 22. In its memorandum accompanying the petition, the TBA argues that the change in deadline would result in better quality CLE and reduce stress during the busy holiday season. Read the TBA's petition, memo in support of the shift and mark-up of the rule showing proposed changes.
TODAY'S OPINIONS
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FIRST SOUTHERN MORTGAGE CORPORATION OF TENNESSEE v.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

L. Gino Marchetti, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Michael H. Weisser.

Garry K. Grooms, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, First Southern Mortgage Corporation of Tennessee.

Judge: BENNETT

A mortgage broker filed this breach of contract action against a real estate investor based upon the investor’s failure to pay a loan placement fee. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the mortgage broker. Because we find that there are genuine issues of material fact, we reverse the decision of the trial court and remand for further proceedings.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/firstsouthernmortgage_062708.pdf


GARY W. FRYE, ET AL. v. CARL PRESLEY, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

John W. Cleveland, Sweetwater, Tennessee, for the appellants, Carl Presley, Willie Presley, Ronald K. Roach, Debra C. Roach, Gilbert J. Raby, Justin Carl Raby, Steven L. Presley, and Connie N. Presley.

W. Levi Frye, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Gary W. Frye and Kathy U. Frye.

Judge: SUSANO

This case involves a dispute between the owners of adjoining properties over the use of a driveway. The dispute focuses on the easement rights of the defendants, if any, to a right-of-way across the north edge of the plaintiffs' property and a portion of the west edge. The court, following a bench trial, made findings regarding the subject driveway. The defendants appeal. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/fryeg_062708.pdf


ESTATE OF LORINE GOODWIN HINDMON v. JIMMIE R. JONES, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Charles W. Pope, Jr., Athens, Tennessee, for the appellants, Jimmie R. Jones and Larry D. Jones.

Roger E. Jenne, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellee, Estate of Lorine Goodwin Hindmon.

Judge: SUSANO

This appeal focuses on a dispute as to whether the defendants, Jimmie R. Jones ("Mrs. Jones") and Larry D. Jones ("Mr. Jones"), are obligated to indemnify the plaintiff, the Estate of Lorine Goodwin Hindmon ("the Estate"), for the value of property owned by Mrs. Hindmon that was foreclosed upon and sold, the proceeds from which were applied against a debt for which the Joneses were obligated. The trial court held that the plaintiff had a right to indemnification from the defendants and, as a consequence of that holding, granted the plaintiff summary judgment. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/hindmonl_062708.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE EX REL. SHERON L. JONES v. MARTIN LEON MAY

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

John D. Lockridge, Jr., and Sammi S. Maifair, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Martin Leon May.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, and Warren Jasper, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, State of Tennessee ex rel. Sheron L. Jones.

Judge: SUSANO

Martin Leon May ("Father") appeals an order of the trial court directing him to pay interest on a child support obligation. We hold that the doctrine of res judicata precludes the imposition of interest in this case. Accordingly, we reverse the order of the trial court entered May 24, 2007, nunc pro tunc November 14, 2006.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/joness_062708.pdf


GEORGE WRONDLE LEAMON v. SHEILA ANNETTE JONES LEAMON

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Sheila Annette Jones Leamon, Cohutta, Georgia, appellant, Pro Se.

H. Franklin Chancey, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellee, George Wrondle Leamon.

Judge: SUSANO

Sheila Annette Jones Leamon ("Wife") appeals from a judgment of absolute divorce entered in the trial court. Wife failed to "serve an answer," see Tenn. R. Civ. P. 12.01, in response to the complaint for divorce filed by her spouse, George Wrondle Leamon ("Husband"), which complaint had been duly served on Wife. Husband filed a motion for default judgment on June 5, 2007. The record reflects that a copy of Husband's motion for default judgment was served on Wife by mail advising her of a hearing on the motion on July 5, 2007. The record reflects that a default judgment was entered against Wife on July 22, 2007. A "Final Decree of Divorce" was duly entered in the trial court. Copies of both documents were duly served on Wife. Wife filed nothing in the trial court until her notice of appeal was timely filed on July 24, 2007. There is no merit in Wife's appeal. Accordingly, we affirm pursuant to the provisions of Court of Appeals Rule 10.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/leamong_062708.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DEBRA ELAINE MOORE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Edward C. Miller, District Public Defender, and Keith E. Haas, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Debra Elaine Moore.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; James B. (Jimmy) Dunn, District Attorney General; and Amanda H. Inman, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant, Debra Elaine Moore, was convicted of criminally negligent homicide(Class E felony) and aggravated child abuse (Class A felony). She was sentenced to two years for the Class E felony and twenty-five years for the Class A felony, with the sentences to run concurrently for an effective sentence of twenty-five years. The defendant raises four issues on appeal including whether the evidence was sufficient to support the finding of guilt. Because the defendant did not file either a timely motion for new trial or notice of appeal, this court declines to review the subsequently waived issues. However, we do review her issue of sufficiency of the evidence and conclude that the evidence was sufficient to support the guilty verdicts. Therefore, the judgments from the trial court are affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/moored_062708.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. PHILLIP CORY REEP

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Russell T. Greene, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Phillip Cory Reep.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; James D. Holley, Jr. and Charme J. Knight, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: THOMAS

In March 2005, a Knox County grand jury indicted the defendant, Phillip Cory Reep, on two counts of aggravated child abuse, a Class A felony, two counts of child abuse, a Class D felony, and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor. Following a January 2007 jury trial in Knox County Criminal Court, the defendant was acquitted of the two aggravated child abuse charges and convicted of two counts of the lesser-included offense of reckless endangerment, a Class A misdemeanor. The defendant was also convicted on the other three counts of the indictment. The defendant sought a sentence of judicial diversion or, in the alternative, full probation, but following a sentencing hearing, the trial court denied these requests and sentenced the defendant to four years in the Department of Correction as a Range I, standard offender. On appeal, the defendant argues that the trial court erred by denying the defendant's application for judicial diversion and full probation. After reviewing the record, we affirm the trial court's denial of alternative sentencing. However, because the trial court violated the defendant's Sixth Amendment rights by enhancing his sentence based on enhancement factors that were not found by the jury beyond a reasonable doubt, we remand the case to the trial court for resentencing.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/reepp_062708.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. THOMAS W. SINKS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Roger A. Woolsey, Greeneville, Tennessee, attorney for appellant, Thomas W. Sinks.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; and Robert Montgomery, Assistant District Attorney General, attorneys for appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: THOMAS

The defendant, Thomas W. Sinks, appeals as of right his Washington County jury conviction for driving under the influence (DUI). He contends that the trial court erred in overruling his motion to suppress the results of blood alcohol analysis, that the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction, and that the trial court erred in allowing certain witnesses to testify as experts regarding the effects of cocaine on the defendant's ability to drive. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/sinkst_062708.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Supreme Court Report
Disciplinary Actions
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Blackwood replaces Sexton for new House trial; bond reduced by $400,000
State Supreme Court Chief Justice William "Mickey" Barker wrote in an order that retired Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood will replace 8th Judicial District Judge Shayne Sexton in the upcoming new trial of Paul House. The order indicates it was Sexton who requested a replacement. Sexton worked for 8th Judicial District Attorney General Paul Phillips for 11 years before he was elected as a criminal court judge for the 8th Judicial District, which includes Union County. Although hired a few years after House's first trial, Sexton was working in the office during many of House's early appeals. Phillips is set to prosecute House again. The News Sentinel has the story.

In related news, Blackwood reduced House's bond from $500,000 to $100,000 this morning. The Tennessean reports that House's mother, Joyce House, is putting her home up for the bond.

Judges to be honored by juvenile justice community
Tennessee's juvenile justice community will present a plaque honoring Judge Tim Irwin of Knoxville, tonight at a reception at the Nashville School of Law. Also honored with certificates of appreciation will be judges James Cotton, Christy Little and Curtis Person. The reception is part of a continuing legal education program, "Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline in Tennessee," sponsored by a host of organizations from around the state, including: the TBA Access to Justice Committee, TBA Juvenile and Children's Law Section, the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services, the Disability Law Center, the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, CAN Learn, and the Administrative Office of the Court Improvement Program.

Shults elected chair of claims commission
Newport lawyer Bill Shults was elected June 1 by his colleagues on the Tennessee Claims Commission to a two-year term as chairman. Shults was appointed by Gov. Phil Bredesen to the commission in May 2006. He has been practicing law for 31 years.

Henry reelected to lead public defenders group
The Tennessee District Public Defenders Conference has re-elected Jeffrey S. Henry as executive director of the statewide organization. The Public Defenders Conference is a statewide system of elected public defenders from each judicial district.
Read more about the post
Students at 'law camp' address immigration laws
High school students from across the country participated in a week-long "law camp" at Lipscomb University in Nashville, taking on the sticky issue of immigration. "I'm fascinated by the procedure, of arguing with others to resolve conflict," one student said. "I keep learning of similar policies on immigration, like the one we've come up with, being tried, but they continue to fail. We need a policy that won't fail, and I want to try to make that happen." Charla Long, director of the Institute for Law, Justice & Society at Lipscomb, said, "I wanted them to have a week-long project that would help them see just how tough the social issues are that face America."
Find out more about the law camp from the Tennessean
Scruggs sentenced to 5 years
Richard "Dickie" Scruggs was sentenced today to five years in prison for conspiring to bribe a judge. U.S. District Judge Neal Biggers Jr. called Scruggs' conduct "reprehensible" and fined him $250,000. The judge handed down the full sentence requested by prosecutors despite arguments from the defense for half that time in prison.
The Kingsport Times-News reported this AP story
Supreme Court Report
'Millionaire's amendment' stopped by court
The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down the so-called "millionaire's amendment," a campaign finance law intended to level the field for House candidates facing wealthy opponents who spend large amounts of their own money.
The Tennessean has the AP story
Court lines up two cases, breaks for summer
The Supreme Court agreed today to step into an environmental dispute over a gold mining operation near Juneau, Alaska, and a California criminal case in which a convicted killer was granted a new trial. The cases will be heard next winter. The court wrapped up the term today and headed home for summer break.
The Associated Press reports
Disciplinary Actions
Texas lawyer reinstated
Brian Alexander Konradi of Austin was reinstated to the practice of law in Tennessee after paying all fees and penalties to the Board of Professional Responsibility. He was suspended in 2006 for not paying his 2005 BPR fee. At the time he was living in Washington, D.C.

TBA Member Services
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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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