Online CLE tackles ethics issues for criminal defense

Knowing what information is confidential and when it loses its confidential protection can be crucial to serving your clients. An interactive online CLE from Knoxville lawyer and former U.S. Attorney W. Thomas Dillard will teach you when confidential information must be disclosed, when it may be disclosed, and when it must not be disclosed. Sign up now for Dillard's "Ethical Concerns from the Criminal Defense Perspective" to learn about these topics and more.

https://www.tnbaru.com/CLE/catalog_course_details.php?course=54

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
02 - TN Court of Appeals
04 - 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.

VALERIE ANN ARNOTT AVARITT. v. THOMAS WARREN AVARITT

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

William Kennerly Burger, Murfreesboro, TN for Appellant.

Mitchell E. Shannon, Murfreesboro, TN for Appellee.

Judge: STAFFORD

This is a divorce case. Husband/Appellant appeals the trial court's award of $833 per month in alimony in futuro to Wife/Appellee. Finding that this is a case for rehabilitative alimony, we modify the trial court's order, awarding Appellee/Wife $833 per month in rehabilitative alimony for a period of five years. Affirmed as modified.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/avarittv_082908.pdf


GILBERT WATERS, ET AL. v. WESLEY COKER, M.D.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Robert L. Trentham, Taylor B. Mayes and James A. Beakes III, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Wesley Coker, M.D.

Larry D. Ashworth, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Gilbert and Hixie Waters.

Judge: CLEMENT

In this medical malpractice action, both parties appeal from a jury verdict entered in favor of the defendant. The plaintiffs appeal the trial court's denial of the plaintiffs' motion to amend the Complaint to add a claim for informed consent and the denial of the plaintiffs' motions in limine to exclude two of the defendant's expert witnesses. In addition, the plaintiffs contend the trial court committed reversible error by failing to properly instruct the jury. We have determined the trial court applied the correct legal standard when it considered the plaintiffs' motion to amend and that reasonable minds could disagree as to the propriety of the trial court's decision; therefore, the trial court did not abuse it discretion in denying the late filed motion to amend. We also find no error with the trial court's decision to deny the plaintiff's motions in limine, thus allowing the defendant's expert witnesses to testify. Further, we find the plaintiffs failed to request an additional jury instruction after an incomplete charge was given, thus the issue has been waived. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/watersg_082908.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DONALD BLEVINS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Michael LaGuardia (at trial), and C. Brad Sproles (on appeal), Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellant, Donald Blevins.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; and Julie Canter, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Donald Blevins, pleaded guilty in the Sullivan County Criminal Court to a single count of reckless homicide in exchange for a two-year sentence with the manner of service of the sentence to be determined by the trial court. The trial court denied all forms of alternative sentencing, and the defendant now appeals. We reverse the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/blevinsd_082908.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DWAYNE ANTHONY DIXON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Whitney Taylor (at trial), and Keith A. Hopson (on appeal), Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellant, Dwayne Anthony Dixon.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; and William B. Harper and Lewis Combs, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Dwayne Anthony Dixon, pleaded guilty in the Sullivan County Criminal Court in case number S51,198 to one count of possession of less than .5 grams of cocaine with intent to sell or deliver, possession of less than one-half ounce of marijuana, speeding, and felony evading arrest. In case number S52,716, the defendant pleaded guilty to one count of possession of .5 grams or more of cocaine with intent to sell or deliver. Pursuant to a plea agreement between the parties, the trial court imposed sentences of five years for possession of less than. 5 grams of cocaine, 11 months and 29 days for possession of less than one-half ounce of marijuana, 30 days for speeding, one year for felony evading arrest, and ten years for possession of .5 grams or more of cocaine. The agreement provided for partially consecutive sentencing, for an effective sentence of 15 years to be served in the Department of Correction. In this appeal, the defendant challenges the denial of alternative sentencing. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/dixond_082908.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. AMANDA MICHELLE SLAUGHTER

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Stephen M. Wallace, District Public Defender; and Joseph F. Harrison, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Amanda Michelle Slaughter.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Deshea Dulany, Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; and Joseph Eugene Perrin, Assistant District Attorney, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant pleaded guilty to one count of facilitation of the sale of .5 grams or more of cocaine, a Class C felony. She was sentenced to a term of four years in the Department of Correction. The defendant now challenges the trial court's denial of alternative sentencing. Upon reviewing the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/slaughtera_082908.pdf


RACHEL DIDENA SUMMERS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Rachel Didena Summers, Pro Se, Nashville,Tennessee.

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

Judge: SMITH

This matter is before the Court upon the State's motion to affirm the judgment of the trial court by memorandum opinion pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Petitioner has appealed the trial court's order dismissing the petition for post-conviction relief. Upon review of the record in this case, we are persuaded that the trial court was correct in dismissing the petition for post-conviction relief 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 trial court is affirmed.

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


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Disciplinary Actions
Your Practice
TBA Member Services
Resources

Legal News
TBA offices to close for Labor Day holiday
The Tennessee Bar Association offices will be closed on Monday, Sept. 1, for the Labor Day holiday.

Holder swearing-in ceremony set for Tuesday
Justice Janice M. Holder will be sworn in as the state's first female chief justice on Tuesday, Sept. 2, with retiring Chief Justice William M. Barker administering the oath of office. The ceremony will be at 2 p.m. in the courtroom at the Supreme Court building in Nashville, 401 7th Avenue North. A reception will follow in the Hall of Justice.
See the full release from the Administrative Office of the Courts
Holder to speak at UT College of Law on Wednesday
Justice Janice Holder will speak at the UT College of Law Center for Advocacy & Dispute Resolution the day after she is sworn in as Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court. The free event is open to the public and will be held Wednesday, Sept. 3, beginning at 12:10 p.m. in Room 132.
For more information, see the UT College of Law site
Lawsuit filed to put 'English Only' on Davidson ballot
Supporters of putting an "English Only" charter amendment on Davidson County's November ballot filed a lawsuit in Chancery Court yesterday afternoon challenging the election commission's decision to reject it. They are seeking an expedited ruling to resolve the issue in time for the election.
The Tennessean has the story
Three Glankler Brown attorneys named to AIC
Three attorneys with Glankler Brown PLLC in Memphis have been named members of the Leo Bearman Sr. American Inns of Court. Amy Dudek, Andre Mathis and Michael Tauer were among the 25 attorneys inducted into the Memphis chapter.

Disciplinary Actions
Two lawyers reinstated
Scott Cameron Cummins of Memphis and Clay Spencer Nails of Corinth, Miss. have been reinstated to the practice of law in Tennessee after paying the annual BPR fee and required fines.
View all attorneys suspended and reinstated for 2008 fee violations
Your Practice
Survey on legal technology shows lawyers slow to adapt
Results from the ABA's recent Legal Technology Survey Report shows that most attorneys stay current with the news digitally through websites and e-mail newsletters, while few create or even read blogs, or use RSS feeds.
See the article in the ABA Journal
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
Resources
Find Blawgs and more at TBA's Information Central
TBA members can now turn to the new Information Central web page to find 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.
Go there now

 
 
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