Iowa bar solicits aid for flood-stricken lawyers

The Iowa State Bar Association estimates that as many as 250 attorneys in the Cedar Rapids area have experienced a loss of some degree, with 30-50 having lost everything, and that another dozen in the Iowa City-Coralville area have been displaced due to recent flooding. The federal courthouse and county courthouse also sit on the river in Cedar Rapids, and damage to those buildings is being assessed. In response to the disaster, the bar association has established a fund to help affected lawyers pay clean up and file restoration costs. Those wanting to help can learn more on the foundation's web site:

http://www.iowabar.org/Floods.nsf/$about!OpenAbout

TODAY'S OPINIONS
Click on the category of your choice to view summaries of today’s opinions from that court, or other body. A link at the end of each case summary will let you download the full opinion in PDF format. To search all opinions in the TBALink database or to obtain a text version of each opinion, go to our OpinionSearch page. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on TBALink at the TBA's Membership Central.

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

You can obtain full-text versions of the opinions two ways. We recommend that you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. 1) Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This should give you the option to download the original document. If not, you may need to right-click on the URL to get the option to save the file to your computer. 2) Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion.

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TONY LYNN ALLEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

David Neal Brady, District Public Defender, and H. Marshall Judd, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Tony Lynn Allen.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Anthony J. Craighead, Interim District Attorney General; and Marty S. Savage, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The defendant, Tony Lynn Allen, pled guilty to violation of a habitual motor vehicle offender (HMVO) order, a class E felony, see T.C.A. section 55-10-616, and received a two-year sentence, suspended after sixty days in jail. He reserved a certified question on appeal regarding whether the trial court erred in not setting aside the 1984 order declaring him a habitual motor vehicle offender and not dismissing the charge for violation of the HMVO order. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/allent_071608.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. GEORGE GARNER, JR.

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

John G. Mitchell, III, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, George Garner, Jr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; William C. Whitesell, Jr., District Attorney General; and Jennings H. Jones, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, George Garner, Jr., appeals his Rutherford County Criminal Court conviction of one count of attempted second degree murder. In this appeal, he contends that the evidence was insufficient and that his sentence is excessive. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/garnerg_071608.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JAMES GLADDEN, JR.

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Michael J. Collins, Shelbyville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, James Gladden, Jr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; Charles F. Crawford, Jr., District Attorney General; Weakley E. Barnard, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

The Defendant pled guilty to two counts of theft of property valued at more than $1000 but less than $10,000 in case number 17588 and two counts of theft of property valued at more than $1000 but less than $10,000 and one count of aggravated criminal trespassing in case number 17589. The trial court merged the two theft counts in case number 17588 and merged the two theft counts in case number 17589, and it imposed an effective sentence of four years of incarceration. On appeal, he claims the trial court ordered an excessive sentence and one contrary to the law. After a thorough review of the record and the applicable law, we affirm the trial court's judgments.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/gladdenj_071608.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOHNNY S. HUDGINS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Robert D. Massey (at trial) and Kyle E. Dodd (on appeal), Pulaski, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Johnny S. Hudgins.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Mike Bottoms, District Attorney General; J. Douglas Dicus, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

A Wayne County jury found the Defendant, Johnny S. Hudgins, guilty of two counts of rape of a child, and the trial court sentenced him to an effective sentence of twenty-five years in prison. On appeal, the Defendant claims: (1) the trial court erred by admitting the Defendant's pre-arrest statement; (2) the trial court erred in letting a witness testify about statements made by the victim; and (3) the State presented insufficient evidence to support his convictions. After a thorough review of the record and the applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/hudginsj_071608.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MICHAEL TODD KIRKUP

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Emma Rae Tennent (on appeal) and J. Michael Engle (at trial), Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Michael Todd Kirkup.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Deshea Dulany, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; Bret Gunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

A Davidson County jury convicted the Defendant, Michael Todd Kirkup, of one count of theft of property over $1000, one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, and one count of second offense driving on a revoked license. The trial court sentenced the Defendant to an effective sentence of six years in prison. On appeal, the Defendant contends that: (1) the trial court erred when it allowed the State to impeach his credibility with his prior convictions for theft and fraudulent use of a credit card; (2) there is insufficient evidence to support his convictions; and (3) the trial court erred when it enhanced his sentence. Finding no error, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/kirkupm_071608.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. PERRY A. MARCH

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

C. Edward Fowlkes and Michael J. Flanagan, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Perry A. March.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Mark A. Fulks, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Amy Eisenbeck and Benjamin Winters, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Perry A. March, appeals his jury-imposed, Davidson County Criminal Court theft conviction and his five-year sentence. In his appeal, the defendant claims that the convicting evidence was insufficient because of a variance between the indictment and the proof, that the trial court erred in denying his objection to the use of pattern jury instructions for theft, and that the court erred in enhancing his sentence. Claiming that the trial court did not enter an order to address the defendant's timely motion for new trial, the State seeks dismissal of the appeal. We reject the State's claim for dismissal, and because the proof supported the claim of theft, we affirm the conviction; however, we modify the sentence to three years.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/marchp_071608.pdf

TIPTON Concurring
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/marchp_con_071608.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. KATIE ANN WALSH

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Stephen M. Wallace, District Public Defender, and Joseph F. Harrison, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Katie Ann Walsh.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; and James Franklin Goodwin, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The defendant, Katie Ann Walsh, pled guilty in the Sullivan County Criminal Court to violation of a habitual traffic offender order, reckless endangerment, and felony failure to appear, all Class E felonies. The Sullivan County Criminal Court sentenced her to concurrent one-year sentences as a Range I offender for the habitual traffic offender violation and reckless endangerment and fined her $250.00 on each offense. The court sentenced her to one year as a Range I offender for the failure to appear, with a $250.00 fine, to be served consecutively to the other sentences. The defendant appeals, contending that the trial court erred in interpreting and applying applicable law in denying her any form of alternative sentencing. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/walshk_071608.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Disciplinary Actions
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Key Ford witness won't have to testify
U.S. District Judge Todd Campbell ruled today that a witness, seen as crucial to John Ford's corruption defense, does not have to testify on behalf of the ex-state senator. Doral Dental co-founder Craig Kasten repeatedly invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during testimony, after which Ford's defense asked Campbell to grant Kasten immunity from prosecution. Campbell denied the request and released Kasten from his subpoena.
Read the latest developments in the case in the News Sentinel
In related news, a second witness today declined to answer questions on the stand, while a third witness is expected to invoke the Fifth Amendment when he is called.
The Tennessean reports
Dispute continues in Blount County courts
Blount County Circuit Court Judge Mike Meares has declared two portions of the local court rules to be "void and of no effect." The action is the latest in a months-long dispute over caseloads and dispositions that has pitted Meares against members of the legal community. Meares' order alleges that the portions in question -- which lay out the presiding judge's authority to oversee administration of cases -- were not published for comment as required. The order also directs the court clerk to report back on Friday as to what steps have been taken to improve the court's statistical reporting of criminal case dispositions.
Read more in the News Sentinel
Meares to Young: Respond or step down
The order issued by Judge Mike Meares also contains an ultimatum for Presiding Judge W. Dale Young. While Meares prefaces his findings with the statement that the court has not found, and does not imply misconduct by any individual, he calls on Young to abandon office if he can not or will not explain (1) alleged misstatements in the two provisions and (2) how the provisions came to be added to the rules.
The Daily Times has the story
Nashville sheriff lobbies for immigration court
Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall plans to travel to Washington D.C. to advocate for a federal immigration court in Nashville. He will meet with legislators to make the case that Middle Tennessee needs its own immigration court (the closest court now is in Memphis). He cites statistics that show Middle Tennessee is the nation's fourth largest area for processing criminals who are illegal immigrants.
Read about his uphill battle from News Channel 5
Appeals court takes two years off March sentence
The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals ruled yesterday that convicted murderer Perry March was improperly given a two-year sentencing enhancement for misappropriating funds from his father-in-law's law firm. Under the appeals court's decision, the state must now release March in January 2060 and make parole available in 2038. The Nashville Post reported the news.
Download the appeals court opinion
Read Judge Tipton's concurring opinion
Virtual law firm promises more flexibility, less stress
Craig Johnson, the Silicon Valley lawyer-entrepreneur who brought us the Venture Law Group, is onto his next big thing: a virtual law firm. Johnson and 14 other lawyers unveiled the new firm, called Virtual Law Partners, with the idea of giving lawyers more work-life balance and the opportunity to work from home, save on overhead, charge clients less and keep more of what they earn. But the best news for some will be the firm's decision not to have billable hour requirements.
Read more about the venture on Law.com
Survey to measure perceptions of judicial fairness
Lawyers, witnesses, police officers and other court participants in nine states are being asked about the fairness of court proceedings. The "Tell it to the Judge" survey is being conducted by the American Judges Association in cooperation with the National Center for State Courts. The survey poses questions about whether the judge listened to all sides and whether the parties were treated with respect. The survey will be conducted in Arizona, California, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, Nevada and Texas, according to the American Judges Association.

Disciplinary Actions
Additional attorneys suspended
Out-of-state lawyers who have not paid their annual fee to the Board of Professional Responsibility were suspended on June 30. This is the second group of lawyers to be suspended for non-payment this year in a new process announced by the board.
View a list of all attorneys suspended to date
Three lawyers reinstated
Alvin Quincey Malone of Memphis, Charles Steven Moore of Nashville and William P. Van Wyke of Port Monmouth, N.J., have been reinstated to the practice of law in Tennessee after paying their annual BPR fee and required fines.
View a list of all attorneys suspended to date
Florida lawyer reinstated
Chris D. Birkel of Gainesville was reinstated to the practice of law in Tennessee on July 14 after complying with requirements for continuing legal education. He had been suspended in 2003 for CLE non-compliance.

TBA Member Services
Program offers savings on auto insurance
See how being a member of the TBA could help you save 8 percent on car insurance. GEICO offers 24-hour sales, service and claims. Call GEICO at (800) 368-2734
or get an online rate quote

 
 
Discontinue your TBA Today subscription? ... Surely not!
But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at:
http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/unsub_tbatoday.php

Questions, comments: Email us at TBAToday@tnbar.org

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.

© Copyright 2008 Tennessee Bar Association