Second applicant files for 21st judicial district seat

College Grove lawyer James Patrick Catalano, a partner in the Nashville firm of Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan PLLC, has applied for the vacant 21st Judicial District court post. He joins Lela Merrall Hollabaugh of Franklin, a partner with Waller, Lansden, Dortch, & Davis LLP, who has also applied before the Aug. 8 deadline. The Judicial Selection Commission will meet on Aug. 27 in Franklin to initiate the process of filling the vacancy. Learn more about the application process and public hearing on the AOC's web site:

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Court: TCA


Willis B. Jackson, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee for the Appellant, William C. Brooks.

David T. Black, Maryville, Tennessee for the Appellees, William G. Johnson and Zenniel Johnson.


William C. Brooks ("Plaintiff") sued William G. Johnson and Zenniel Johnson ("Defendants") seeking to establish that Plaintiff had acquired title to certain real property located in Knox County, Tennessee by adverse possession. Defendants answered Plaintiff's petition and counter-claimed to quiet title to the disputed land. After a trial, the Trial Court entered an ordering finding and holding, inter alia, that Plaintiff did not prove adverse possession by clear and convincing evidence, and that the boundary line between Plaintiff's and Defendants' properties was as shown on a survey prepared by Joseph R. Overton in 1972. Plaintiff appeals to this Court. We affirm.


Court: TCA


Ronald G. Brown, pro se Appellant.

Ronald E. Mills, Deputy Law Director, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellee City of Knoxville.


Ronald G. Brown ("Defendant") is the registered owner of a vehicle which was photographed running a red light in Knoxville, Tennessee. The intersection where this occurred was one of the intersections monitored by Knoxville's red light camera enforcement program. Defendant was mailed a $50 citation for the violation. Defendant, proceeding pro se, challenged the validity of the Knoxville City Ordinance establishing the red light camera enforcement program. Defendant claimed that the ordinance was an ultra vires act of the City of Knoxville's police power. Defendant also claimed that the ordinance violated due process and equal protection of the laws. The Trial Court upheld the validity of the ordinance. We affirm.

STATE OF TENNESSEE, DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN'S SERVICES, v. C.W.D., IN THE MATTER OF: T.R.D., (dob 01/13/05) A Child Under Eighteen (18) Years of Age

Court: TCA


Ben H. Houston, II., Knoxville, Tennessee, for appellant.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter and Douglas Earl Dimond, Senior Counsel, Nashville, Tennessee, for appellee.


The Trial Court found by clear and convincing evidence that there were grounds to terminate the father's parental rights, and it was in the child's best interest. We affirm.


Court: TCA


Robert W. Knolton, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, for the Appellants, Emol Hatfield and Wilma Hatfield.

Johnny V. Dunaway, LaFollette, Tennessee, for the Appellees, Steve L. Elchlepp, Jr. and Janis A. Broome-Elchlepp.

Judge: LEE

The buyers of a house and real property brought this action against the sellers and a termite control company, alleging that the house was completely infested with termites to the extent that it was worthless and unsalvageable. The buyers charged the sellers with fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment of the extent of termite damage, and breach of contract. The buyers alleged that the termite control company was negligent in its inspection of the house. Following a six-day jury trial, the jury found in favor of the buyers, holding the sellers 70 percent at fault and the termite control company 30 percent at fault and awarding the buyers $55,000 in damages. The trial court also awarded the buyers $25,000 in attorney's fees pursuant to the real estate sales contract. We find that the jury verdict is supported by material evidence and that the trial court committed no reversible error in its jury instructions and evidentiary rulings, and consequently affirm the trial court's judgment.


Court: TCCA


Dumaka Shabazz, Nashville,Tennessee, for the Appellant, Atlanta Hardy.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; Kathy Morante, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.


A Davidson County jury convicted the Petitioner, Atlanta Hardy, of second degree murder, and the trial court sentenced her as a violent offender to sixty years in prison. The Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief claiming, among other things, that she received the ineffective assistance of counsel. The post-conviction court appointed counsel, and, after a hearing, it dismissed the petition. The Petitioner appeals that dismissal contending that her trial counsel was ineffective for failing to: (1) visit the Petitioner and keep her informed about her case; (2) cross-examine all of the State's witnesses; and (3) properly investigate the case. Finding no error, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.


Court: TCCA


William B. Herman, Clifton, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.


This matter is before the Court upon the State's motion to affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court by memorandum opinion pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The Petitioner appeals the post-conviction court's dismissal of his motion to re-open his petition for post-conviction relief. Upon a review of the record in this case, we are persuaded that the post- conviction court did not abuse its discretion and that this case meets the criteria for affirmance pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Accordingly, the State's motion is granted and the judgment of the post-conviction court is affirmed.


Legal News
Legislative News
Disciplinary Actions
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Prison operator must open records
Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman ruled Tuesday that Nashville-based Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) must follow public records law and open its files for viewing. Bonnyman argued that CCA was the "functional equivalent" of a government entity because the operations of jails and prisons are essential governmental functions, and most of its revenue is taxpayer-funded. CCA reports that it plans to appeal the ruling.
Read the story in the Tennessean
Judge Hull remembered by colleagues
Numerous friends and former colleagues of the late U.S. District Judge Thomas G. Hull recalled their memories of him and shared them with the Greeneville Sun yesterday. Hull died yesterday at the age of 82.
Read the remembrances
Wills for Heroes volunteers needed
The TBA Young Lawyers Division is holding its first Wills for Heroes project in Columbia this Saturday and needs additional volunteers. The project -- which provides wills, powers of attorney and advance directives to first responders -- will take place at the Riverside Armory from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with volunteer training at 8 a.m. Over 200 firefighters, police officers and EMS personnel have signed up for the free legal service. As a result of this overwhelming turnout, additional volunteers are needed. To participate please contact John Clark at (931) 388-4022 or

State sets deadline on jail crowding
State officials have given Greene County leaders until Sept. 12 to have an initial plan in place to address overcrowding in the county detention center. A final long-range plan is due by the end of the year, according to the state. Local officials know they have a problem. The capacity of the facility is 159 inmates; 403 were being housed over the weekend.
Read more in the Greeneville Sun
Bush approves first military execution in 47 years
President George W. Bush approved the execution of an Army private, the first time in over a half-century that a president has affirmed a death sentence for a member of the U.S. military. Private Ronald A. Gray has been convicted of four murders and eight rapes in the Fayetteville, N.C., area while stationed at Fort Bragg. has the AP report
Court reverses organic stores ruling
Whole Foods' long-running effort to acquire rival Wild Oats isn't a done deal yet. In a highly unusual move, the Federal Trade Commission (which opposes the acquisition and is seeking an injunction so it can hold antitrust hearings) appealed a district court's ruling denying a preliminary injunction. A three-judge federal appeals court panel yesterday overturned the lower court and sent the case back to it for further consideration.
The Memphis Daily News reports
Legislative News
U.S. House apologizes for slavery, Jim Crow
The U.S. House of Representatives yesterday approved a formal apology to African-Americans for the "fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality and inhumanity of slavery and Jim Crow" segregation. The resolution, sponsored by Memphis Democrat Steve Cohen, comes more than 140 years after slavery was abolished. A companion measure is being considered in the Senate.
Read more about the vote in the Tennessean
Funds for legal counseling included in final housing bill
President Bush today signed a massive housing bill intended to provide mortgage relief for struggling homeowners. Among its many provisions, the legislation includes $30 million for pre-foreclosure and legal counseling through a new grant program. Under the bill, a congressionally charted nonprofit will make grants that housing counselors may use to hire attorneys to assist homeowners with foreclosures, delinquencies or short sales. The final version of the bill prohibits funds from being used for civil ligation.
Learn more the New York Times
Disciplinary Actions
Reinstatement denied to disbarred Nashville attorney
On July 10, the state Supreme Court denied a petition for reinstatement filed by Dennis J. Hughes, finding that he failed to show by clear and convincing evidence that resumption of the practice of law would not be detrimental to the integrity and standing of the bar or the administration of justice, or subversive to the public interest. As defense counsel in a murder trial, Hughes was convicted of bribing an eyewitness and subsequently was disbarred. The court determined that his rehabilitation efforts to date did not outweigh the seriousness of his crimes. He may again seek reinstatement in 2011.
Read the BPR press release
Nashville lawyer suspended
The Tennessee Supreme Court immediately and temporarily suspended Harry Todd Hammons on July 25 after finding that he failed to substantially comply with his Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Monitoring Agreement. The order precludes Hammons from accepting new cases and representing existing clients beyond Aug. 25.
Download the BPR notice
TBA Member Services
CompuPay offers deals for TBA members
CompuPay is proud to serve as the official payroll services provider for the Tennessee Bar Association. To serve Tennessee attorneys the company is offering two months of free payroll processing for all TBA members and waiving set up fees for members with up to 99 employees.
Learn more about CompuPay's benefits

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