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The TBA's Complete Membership package was today recognized as the best membership program in the state by the Tennessee Society of Association Executives. In selecting the Complete Membership program, the judges noted the increased value that unlimited Fastcase online legal research and three hours of prepaid continuing education programming added to the TBA membership. The judges also recognized the efforts undertaken to educate the Tennessee legal community about the value of the new benefits to members.
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.

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In Re M.A.C. and D.L.C.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

R. Michelle Blaylock-Howser, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, K. K. A.

W. Kennerly Burger, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellee, S. P.

Mary Bonita Tucker, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Guardian Ad Litem.

Judge: DINKINS

Appellee, the paternal grandmother who has had legal custody of the two children of the Appellant, mother of the children, since after their births, filed a petition in the Juvenile Court for Rutherford County in December of 2006 to terminate Mother's parental rights. Following a trial on June 14, 2007, the court terminated Mother's parental rights based on abandonment and severe child abuse. We affirm the lower court's ruling finding clear and convincing evidence that the mother abandoned the children by failing to support them; that termination of the mother's parental rights is in the best interest of the children; and in terminating Mother's parental rights. We reverse the court's findings of abandonment by failing to visit and severe child abuse on the part of Mother.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/mac_071808.pdf


IN RE ESTATE OF HELEN B. PRICE
CORRECTION on page 3


Court: TCA

Attorneys:

John K. Banks, Elizabethton, Tennessee, for the Appellants, William G. Fenner, Sr., William G. Fenner, Jr., Terry Wayne Fenner, Kathy Fenner Melton, Connie Fenner Gray, Willie Jo Perry, Chucky Price, David Price, Chris Price, and Kathy Price Lyon.

Robert J. Jessee, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Helen Sue Ludrosky.

Judge: SWINEY

Decedent died testate, leaving her entire estate to her sole surviving child, and leaving nothing to the man she had lived with for more than forty years, William G. Fenner, Sr. Mr. Fenner and all but one of decedent's grandchildren filed an action to invalidate the will on the basis of undue influence and lack of testamentary capacity. In the alternative, plaintiffs alleged that decedent and Mr. Fenner were partners and her assets were assets of the partnership, to which he is entitled to half. Plaintiffs also requested that the Trial Court impose a trust upon decedent's estate for the benefit and use of Mr. Fenner. Following two hearings on these issues, the Trial Court dismissed all of plaintiffs' claims and upheld the validity of decedent's will. Plaintiffs appeal, raising issues regarding undue influence, testamentary capacity, implied partnership, imposition of a resulting trust, defendant's failure to testify at the second hearing, and the Trial Court's dismissal of portions of plaintiffs' claims pursuant to Tenn. R. Civ. P. 41.02 motions by defendant. We find no error on the part of the Trial Court, and, therefore, affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/priceh_CORR_071808.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. SHUNDELL L. DICKERSON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Bret T. Gunn and Robert E. McGuire, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

Ross E. Alderman, District Public Defender, and Jeffrey A. Devasher, Laura J. Getz, and Carol Dawn Deaner, Assistant Public Defenders, for the appellee, Shundell L. Dickerson.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant, Shundell L. Dickerson, was convicted of facilitation of first degree murder (Class A felony) and sentenced as a Range III, persistent offender to sixty years in prison. He appeals his conviction and sentence. He argues the trial court erred in: (1) precluding him from entering into evidence an anonymous letter mailed to the police in which other persons were named as responsible for the crime; (2) limiting the questioning of a witness regarding his expectations of favorable treatment in exchange for his testimony; and (3) allowing the prosecutor to make improper remarks during closing argument. Finally, the defendant argues enhancement factors were improperly applied to increase his sentence. After careful review, we affirm the judgment from the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/dickersons_071808.pdf


JEREMIAH GINN v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jeremiah Ginn, Pro Se, Only, Tennessee.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; and Mark E. Tribble, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: HAYES

The Appellant, Jeremiah Ginn, proceeding pro se, appeals the Warren County Circuit Court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. Ginn was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to twenty-four years in the Department of Correction. On appeal, he contends that the post- conviction court erred in denying his petition upon grounds that: (1) his sentence is constitutionally infirm because it is in direct contravention of Blakely v. Washington; (2) his statement to the police was obtained in violation of both his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and his Sixth Amendment right to counsel; and (3) that he was denied his Sixth Amendment right to the effective assistance of counsel based upon trial counsel's failure to investigate and present certain evidence at trial, as well as counsel's failure to properly prepare for the sentencing hearing. After review of the record before us, we find no error and affirm the denial of relief.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/ginnj_071808.pdf


JORGE RUBIO V. STATE OF TENNESSEE, CHERRY LINDAMOOD, WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jorge A. Rubio, Pro Se, Clifton, Tennessee.

Robert E. Cooper Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

This matter is before the Court upon the State's motion to dismiss or in the alternative to affirm the judgment of the trial court by memorandum opinion pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Petitioner, Jorge A. Rubio, has appealed the trial court's order dismissing his petition for writ of habeas corpus in which Petitioner alleged that he is being illegally restrained because the indictment was defective and there was a fatal variance between the indictment and the evidence produced at trial. Upon a review of the record in this case, we are persuaded that the trial court was correct in dismissing the petition for habeas corpus relief and that this case meets the criteria for affirmance pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Accordingly, the State's motion is granted, and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/rubioj_071808.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Disciplinary Actions
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Williamson judge resigns to launch new firm
Two years after winning re-election, Circuit Court Judge Robert E. Lee Davies is resigning from the post to launch a new law firm in Franklin the Tennessean reports. Davies, 51, resigned, effective Oct. 1, as circuit court judge for the 21st Judicial District in a letter to Gov. Phil Bredesen. The Judicial Selection Commission announced it will meet soon to initiate the process of filling the seat. Applicants must reside in Williamson, Hickman, Perry or Lewis counties.
Find out more from the Administrative Office of the Courts
Jury finds Ford guilty on all counts
A federal court jury in Nashville today convicted former state senator John Ford of Memphis on two counts of wire fraud and four counts of concealing material in connection with his consulting work for two major TennCare contractors and failure to properly disclose it as required by law.
Read more in the Commercial Appeal
Judge Stafford chosen to chair Tennessee Bar Foundation
State Court of Appeals Judge J. Steven Stafford of Dyersburg has been named chair of the Tennessee Bar Foundation, a philanthropic organization that honors attorneys who have distinguished themselves professionally. The foundation also administers the IOLTA fund, which has awarded more than $14.5 million to law-related public projects since its inception. A Cumberland School of Law graduate, Stafford served as chancellor for the 29th Judicial District before his June appointment to the Court of Appeals.

General Sessions candidates square off in forum
The four candidates competing to fill the Gibson County General Sessions Court post appeared at a candidates' forum this week in Trenton. Read how they answered questions about their judicial qualifications and running a more efficient court.
The Jackson Sun has the story
From the past
In its regular history column, the Memphis Commercial Appeal today reports that 125 years ago, Memphis lawyer R. Dudley Frayser was selected to be a delegate to the American Bar Association convention during the TBA's annual meeting at Bon Aqua Springs.

Disciplinary Actions
Miami lawyer reinstated
Douglas Gerard Brehm with Shutts & Bowen LLP has been reinstated to the practice of law in Tennessee after paying his annual Board of Professional Responsibility fee.
See a list of attorneys suspended to date this year
Wilson County lawyer censured
The Board of Professional Responsibility publicly censured Wilson County lawyer Melissa J. Anderson after determining that she violated the Rules of Professional Conduct due to her arrest and subsequent guilty plea to three counts of driving under the influence, first offense. Anderson subsequently entered into an agreement with the Tennessee Lawyers' Assistance Program.
Read the BPR news release
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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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