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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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02 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
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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. KENNETH B. NEVELS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Roger Eric Nell, District Public Defender; and Rebecca F. Stevens, Assistant Public Defender, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant Kenneth B. Nevels.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Andrew Hamilton Smith, Assistant Attorney General; John Wesley Carney, Jr., District Attorney General; and Chris Dotson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Defendant, Kenneth B. Nevels, entered a plea of guilty to one count of driving under the influence (DUI), first offense, and one count of driving on a suspended license, both Class A misdemeanors. The trial court sentenced Defendant to eleven months, twenty-nine days, for his DUI conviction, which sentence was to be suspended after serving forty-eight hours in confinement. Defendant was sentenced to a concurrent sentence of eleven months, twenty-nine days for his driving on a suspended license conviction, all of which was suspended with Defendant placed on probation. Pursuant to the plea agreement, Defendant reserved the right to appeal a certified question of law challenging the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress. After a review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/nevelsk_090308.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JACK E. THOMPSON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jeffry S. Grimes, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jack Earl Thompson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Roger Eric Nell, District Attorney General; and John E. Finklea, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant, Jack E. Thompson, in this consolidated appeal, appeals from one judgment revoking his probation and another judgment sentencing him to three years to be served consecutively to the sentence for which his probation was revoked. On appeal, he argues that the trial court abused its discretion in revoking his probation and ordering him to serve his sentence and that the trial court erred in enhancing his sentence to three years on his plea of guilty to burglary of a vehicle, a Class E felony. After review, we affirm both judgments from the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/thompsonj_090308.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Legislative News
Disciplinary Actions
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Holder uses ceremony to urge retention system
Janice Holder yesterday was sworn in as chief judge of the Tennessee Supreme Court and used the opportunity to advocate for appointment of judges to the state courts. Holder urged those in attendance to "be vocal about how we do not want to have partisan judicial elections for appellate judges" and stated that the current selection process produces the most qualified judges.
Nashville Public Radio has the story
'English only' suit to be heard Thursday
"English only" advocates will have their day in court Thursday in an effort to get their charter amendment proposal on the Nov. 4 ballot. The Election Commission decided last week not to put the amendment proposal on the ballot due to a technicality in the law.
The Nashville City Paper has more
Retired UT prof guilty of sharing military secrets
Jurors this morning found University of Tennessee professor emeritus J. Reece Roth guilty on 18 counts that he allowed foreign national graduate students access to information on a military project and took data about the project to China. The trial started Monday and jurors began their deliberations yesterday, meeting for nearly eight hours before announcing a verdict. Roth will remain free on bond until sentenced on Jan. 7.
The News Sentinel has the story
MLGW reduces payment of Lee's legal bills
Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division has reduced the amount it is planning to reimburse former utility chief Joseph Lee III for his legal bills based on a clerical error that double counted some expenses. The utility board approved $489,861 in August, but now will pay only $425,000. One city councilman, however, is questioning why any of the bills are being paid.
The Commercial Appeal has more
New CASA leadership named
Court Appointed Special Advocates of Nashville & Davidson County has announced new officers and board members for 2008-2009. Attorneys among the group are President Janna Eaton with Smith, Jones, Hawkins & Farmer PLC; Secretary Eileen Burkhalter Smith with Waller Lansden Dortch & David LLP; board member Andrea Perry with Bone McAllester Norton PLLC; and board member Candice Reed with Counsel on Call. Andrew B. Williams II with HCA Inc. is the immediate past president. The Tennessean reported the news.

New TV show hopes to boost public defenders' image
TNT's new legal drama "Raising the Bar" is designed -- in the words of Seton Hall University law professor and co-creator David Feige -- to "accurately portray lawyers who represent defendants at public expense." The show makes the case that public defenders, who are often contract employees, can afford more comfortable workspaces than government-employed prosecutors and can attract high-quality lawyers. Check out the show's web site or read a story from the Associate Press.
WTVC News Channel 9 has the link
Legislative News
President signs loan forgiveness bill
President Bush has signed into law the Higher Education Opportunity Act, which establishes a new loan repayment program for civil legal aid lawyers. The bill authorizes $10 million in loan repayment assistance grants -- $6,000 a year, $40,000 for a lifetime -- to full-time civil legal aid lawyers who agree to remain employed for at least three years. Actual funding will have to be appropriated each year by Congress. For more details, read the Legal Service Corporation's press release on the issue.

Disciplinary Actions
California lawyer reinstated
James L. Rather of Tustin, Calif. was reinstated to the practice of law in Tennessee after paying late BPR fees and required fines. He was suspended in 2005, and at the time was living in Knoxville.

TBA Member Services
Unlimited free online legal research for TBA members
Online legal research is now available free to all Tennessee Bar Association members through an agreement with Fastcase, a leading online legal research firm. The TBA member benefit is national in scope and offers TBA members unlimited usage, unlimited customer service and unlimited printing -- all at no cost.
Access Fastcase now

 
 
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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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