Information Central a new resource for TBA members

The TBA is today launching a new service to bring members more of the information you need. The new Information Central web page carries the top news of the day along with a directory of law-related blogs from Tennessee lawyers and other reliable sources. In addition, you'll find links to the Tennessee Bar Journal, TBA-produced webcasts, free online legal research through Fastcase and more.

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
01 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
05 - TN Court of Appeals
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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.


Court: TWCA


J. Arthur Crews, II, and P. Allen Phillips, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tombigbee Trucking Company.

Ricky L. Boren, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellee, Milton Carver.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael Moore, Solicitor General; Lauren S. Lamberth, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, The Second Injury Fund.


This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-225(e)(3) for a hearing and a report of findings of fact and conclusions of law. Employee suffered a compensable injury. The trial court found him to be permanently and totally disabled. Employer has appealed, contending that the evidence preponderates against the finding of permanent total disability. We affirm the judgment.


Court: TCA


Kevin W. Shepherd, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Joseph Bailey and Pamela Bailey.

Robert N. Goddard, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Blount County Board of Education and Alvin Hord, both officially, in his capacity of Director of Schools, and individually.

Judge: LEE

A nontenured teacher employed by the Blount County Board of Education was suspended for ten days without pay upon charges of inappropriate conduct. Several months later, upon further charges of inappropriate conduct, the Board terminated the teacher's employment. The teacher and his wife filed a complaint alleging injuries as the result of actions and omissions of the Board with respect to both the suspension and the termination. Upon the Board's motion for summary judgment, the trial court dismissed the complaint with prejudice upon the ground that the plaintiffs failed to exhaust all administrative remedies before filing suit, and, by separate order, upon its finding that the plaintiffs were aware of this failure when they filed their complaint, the trial court sanctioned the plaintiffs for filing a frivolous complaint. After careful review, it is our determination that the Board's decision terminating the teacher's employment was void ab initio because the Board denied the teacher due process by neglecting to afford him a hearing prior to such termination. Accordingly, we modify the trial court's summary judgment with respect to that portion of the complaint pertaining to the termination to dismissal without prejudice upon the ground that the matter complained of was not ripe for appeal, and we further vacate the trial court's order imposing sanctions on the plaintiffs. We affirm the trial court's grant of summary judgment as to that portion of the complaint pertaining to the teacher's ten-day suspension upon the ground that suit in that regard was barred under the applicable statute of limitations.

CORRECTION on page 1

Court: TCA


George H. Nolan, Nashville, TN, for Appellant.

Robert J. Walker, Nashville, TN, for Appellees.

Kathryn Hays Sasser, Nashville, TN, for Appellees.


This is an appeal from a legal malpractice lawsuit. Appellant sued law firm and lawyer for three instances of legal malpractice. On a motion for partial summary judgment, the trial court dismissed two of the three theories based upon the statute of limitations. See Tenn. Code Ann. section 28-3-104(a)(2). Appellant filed a motion asking the trial court to certify the Order dismissing the two theories as a final order, pursuant to Tenn. R. Civ. P. 54.02. The trial court granted the motion. Appellant appealed the Order dismissing its first two theories. We find that it was error for the trial judge to certify the Order granting partial summary judgment as a final order, under Tenn. R. Civ. P. 54.02. We vacate the judgment and remand the case for trial.

IN RE K.E.D.M. a/k/a/ K.E.D.S

Court: TCA


Gerald T. Eidson, Rogersville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, A.E.S.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lauren S. Lamberth, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee, Department of Children's Services.

Judge: LEE

The issue presented in this parental termination case is whether it was shown by clear and convincing evidence that termination was in the best interest of the child. After careful review, we hold that the evidence preponderates against the trial court's finding that there was clear and convincing evidence that termination was in the best interest of the child. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and dismiss the petition to terminate.

IN RE M.P.J. and N.R.J.

Court: TCA


C. Brad Sproles, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellant, W.G.C.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, and Joshua D. Baker, Assistant Attorney General, General Civil Division, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, State of Tennessee Department of Children's Services.


The trial court terminated the parental rights of W.G.C. ("Father") to his twin daughters, M.P.J. and N.R.J. ("the Children"), who were two years old at the time of trial. The trial court found, by clear and convincing evidence, that several grounds for terminating Father's parental rights existed and that termination was in the best interest of the Children. Father appeals, challenging the trial court's finding that clear and convincing evidence of grounds to terminate were established at trial. We affirm.


Court: TCA


Yvette Y. Cain, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Mary Polite.

W. Justin Adams, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency.


Plaintiff appeals the Rule 12.02(6) dismissal of her petition for a common law writ of certiorari which sought review of her termination from the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency. Plaintiff, an at-will employee of the Agency, was terminated after an administrative hearing officer found that she had violated Agency policy. After the Agency filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, the trial court determined the petition failed to state facts sufficient to satisfy the pleading requirements of a common law writ. Viewing the facts asserted in the petition in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, we find the petition failed to state factual allegations sufficient to state a claim that the Board acted illegally, arbitrarily, or fraudulently, and thus, it failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. We, therefore, affirm the Rule 12.02(6) dismissal.


Legal News
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Legal News
What's Hot: Blog offers analysis of pending Tenn. Supreme Court cases
A number of important cases are now pending in the Tennessee Supreme Court. A special edition of Raybin & Richter's Hotlist offers an analysis of those that will be argued in September and those that were accepted on Aug. 25.
Follow this and other legal blogs at TBA's Information Central
Commission selects 3 for circuit court vacancy
The Tennessee Judicial Selection Commission met today in Franklin and recommended the following three Nashville lawyers for a circuit court vacancy in the 21st Judicial District: James Patrick Catalano, a partner with Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan PLLC; Lela Merrall Hollabaugh, a partner with Waller, Lansden, Dortch & Davis LLP; and James Glasgow Martin III of Stites & Harbison. The governor must now make his selection.

5 vie for public defender post
The list of candidates vying for metro Nashville public defender grew overnight with the addition of Madison lawyer Shirley Fitzgerald Corry, federal Public Defender Skip Gant and Metro Human Relations Commission Executive Director Kelvin Jones. They join Deputy Public Defender Laura Dykes and Assistant Public Defender Dawn Deaner, who previously announced interest in the position. The Metro Council will meet Sept. 16 to chose a replacement for former public defender Ross Alderman, who died in office.
Read about the candidates in the Nashville City Paper
YLD launches student voter education campaign
The TBA Young Lawyers Division this week distributed a number of resources for teachers, students and families to use in advance of the 2008 presidential election. The material, available on a new Voter Awareness web page, includes a PowerPoint presentation, as well as links to party organizations, debate information and a sample voter registration form. The slide show covers a range of issues including the history of voting rights in this country, how to register to vote and why it is important to exercise the right to vote.
Check it out here
Chattanooga firm funds new endowment
The Chattanooga law firm of Chambliss Bahner & Stophel has established an endowment at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to honor the legacy of its late senior partner, John C. Stophel. The funding will be used to hold the annual Chambliss Bahner & Stophel Student Recognition Banquet, which will present high-potential business students to the business community and community-at-large.
Read more about the program
Courthouse renovation protects genealogy records
The old Roane County Courthouse and its large collection of historical documents have remained intact since 1854, making the site a favorite destination for researchers and genealogists. The building has been under renovation since the 1980s but work will begin again soon. Read about plans to create a welcome center and transportation museum, boost security and provide greater handicap access in the Memphis Daily News.
The paper has this News Sentinel story
Practice Management
Summer associate programs pose new problems
In a sluggish economy, law firms that make associate hiring commitments two years in advance may now find themselves hiring new associates while laying off other lawyers. The Wall Street Journal's Law Blog takes a look at the situation and provides commentary.
Learn more here
Disciplinary Actions
Mississippi lawyer reinstated
Owen Patrick Lalor of Ridgeland was reinstated to the practice of law in Tennessee on Aug. 20 after complying with requirements for continuing legal education. He had been suspended in September 2007.
View all attorneys suspended and reinstated for 2007 CLE violations
Georgia lawyer reinstated
Michael Victor Coleman of Atlanta was reinstated to the practice of law in Tennessee on Aug. 26 after paying multiple years worth of annual BPR fees and required fines.

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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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