Counseling small companies in a troubled economy

If you work with small to mid-sized companies, an upcoming CLE from the TBA's TennBarU and Young Lawyers Division may be for you. This program will focus on the current economy and how you can guide your business clients through a healthy birth, life or death of a company. The course is also a great value for TBA members, who can use the three prepaid CLE credits that come with their TBA Complete Membership to take the course for free.

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Court: TCA


Steven A. Riley and Salvador M. Hernandez, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant Bridgestone Corporation; James F. Sanders and A. Scott Ross, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC; and Stephen A. Marcum, Huntsville, Tennessee, and Craig A. Morgan, Austin, Texas, for the appellant Ford Motor Company

Steve North, Madison, Tennessee; Richard L. Denney and Lydia JoAnn Barrett, Norman, Oklahoma; Robert L. Langdon and J. Kent Emison, Lexington, Missouri; John M. Merritt, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and Richard L. Lagarde, Houston, Texas, for the appellees

Judge: KIRBY

The second appeal in this case involves the effect of a previous forum non conveniens dismissal. The plaintiffs, residents and citizens of Mexico, were injured in automobile accidents that took place in Mexico. They filed multiple lawsuits against several American corporate defendants, alleging that the accidents were the result of defects in the vehicles' tires. The corporate defendants moved for dismissal on the ground of forum non conveniens. The trial court denied the motions, and the defendants were granted permission to file an interlocutory appeal. The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court and dismissed the consolidated case on the ground of forum non conveniens, based on the availability of Mexico as a more convenient forum for litigation of the plaintiffs' claims. Subsequently, the plaintiffs filed numerous lawsuits in several Mexican trial courts. These cases were all dismissed, and the dismissals were affirmed on appeal. The plaintiffs then filed new lawsuits in Davidson County Circuit Court against the same defendants, which were again consolidated for pretrial purposes. The defendants filed motions to dismiss on grounds of issue preclusion, arguing that the issues of forum non conveniens and the availability of Mexico as an available alternate forum had been determined in their favor in the first appeal. The trial court denied the motion to dismiss, finding that Mexico was not, in fact, an available forum, as evidenced by the numerous dismissals by the Mexican tribunals. The defendants were granted permission for this interlocutory appeal. On appeal, we address the effect of our previous decision and vacate the order denying the defendants' motion to dismiss, and remand the cause to the trial court for further proceedings on the availability of Mexico as an alternate forum for the plaintiffs' claims.


Court: TCCA


Gregory D. Gookin, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Tryphena Nicole Jones.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; Jerry Woodall, District Attorney General; and Shaun A. Brown and Brian M. Gilliam, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Tryphena Nicole Jones, pled guilty to possession of cocaine and failure to appear, both Class A misdemeanors, and was sentenced to consecutive terms of eleven months, twenty-nine days at seventy-five percent release eligibility. On appeal, she argues that the trial court erred in imposing consecutive sentencing. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


Legal News
Disciplinary Actions
TBA Member Services

Democrats vote to boot Kurita
Tennessee Democratic Party leaders voided a bitterly contested Senate primary result on Saturday, a move likely to result in the ouster of the Senate's second-most-powerful member, Sen. Rosalind Kurita, and a hard-fought victory for her opponent. The party executive committee voted 33-11 to declare the Senate District 22 primary "incurably uncertain" and referred the election outcome to county party executives to decide. The result of that vote is also uncertain, but many predicted that county officials would declare Clarksville attorney Tim Barnes the winner.
Read more in the Tennessean
Kurita files as write-in candidate
If Democrats decide not to put Sen. Rosalind Kurita on the ballot this fall, she still may be in the race. The NashvillePost today reports that Kurita has filed, in each county of the 22nd State Senate district, a certificate of write-in candidacy. She will be an official write-in candidate for reelection to the seat she now holds. Kurita told the Post, "I think it's obvious why this step was necessary. This is America. You don't just let someone steal an election."

Legal News
Stafford receives oath again, this time from governor
Gov. Phil Bredesen administered the oath of office Friday to Steve Stafford, a Dyersburg resident selected for the Tennessee Court of Appeals Western District. The investiture ceremony was a formality, since Stafford had actually been sworn into office three months earlier by Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice William M. Barker during the Tennessee Judicial Conference meeting in Gatlinburg. Stafford has been considering appeals court cases since July.
The Dyersburg State Gazette has more
State asks for execution date for Henley
The state has asked the Tennessee Supreme Court to set an execution date for death row inmate Steve Henley. The state's motion filed Friday would be the first request to move forward with an execution after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Kentucky's use of lethal injection executions in April.
NewsChannel5 reports
Virginia Supremes say anti-spam law violates 1st Amendment
The Virginia Supreme Court has reconsidered a six-month-old ruling and struck down the state's anti-spam law for violating the First Amendment. The law is unconstitutionally overbroad because it bars anonymous transmission of political, religious and other speech protected by the First Amendment, the court ruled in its decision issued on Friday. connects you to the story
Bell trial set for Sept. 22
Cocke County General Sessions Judge John Bell faces trial Sept. 22 before the Tennessee Court of the Judiciary. The judiciary court has accused Bell of sentencing defendants to probation terms that forced them to pay fees to his brother-in-law's probation company.
WREG has the story
An item in Friday's TBA Today regarding Hamilton County General Sessions Court Judge Bob Moon incorrectly summarized his role in disciplinary proceedings against Cocke County Judge John A. Bell. Judge Moon has been appointed by the Administrative Office of the Courts to hear the criminal docket of Judge Bell, who has recused himself in all of his criminal cases. Judge Moon is not involved in the Court of the Judiciary's disciplinary case.

Disciplinary Actions
Four lawyers reinstated after paying BPR fee
Wesley Markland Baker of Russelville; Keltie Hays Peay, formerly of Nashville and now of Southern Pines, N.C.; James L. Rather of Tustin, Calif.; and Teresa Annette Scott of Bowie, Md. 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
Memphis lawyer reinstated
Memphis attorney Tony N. Brayton has been reinstated to the practice of law by order of the Tennessee Supreme Court entered Sept. 5. Brayton was temporarily suspended on Aug. 6, for failing to respond to a complaint of misconduct.
Read the BPR release
Memphis attorney suspension dissolved
The temporary suspension of Memphis attorney John Lewis Dolan was dissolved by order of the Tennessee Supreme Court Sept. 8. Dolan was temporarily suspended from the practice of law Nov. 21, 2007, for failure to respond to a complaint of misconduct.
Read the BPR release
Nashville lawyer disbarred
On Sept. 8, Nashville lawyer James David Leckrone of was disbarred by order of the Tennessee Supreme Court. The Board of Professional Responsibility filed a petition for final discipline against Leckrone based on his pleading guilty in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee to filing a false tax return.
Read the BPR release
TBA Member Services
New benefit provides communications solutions
PAETEC personalizes communications solutions for professional practices in Tennessee, offering a comprehensive suite of data, voice and IP services, as well as enterprise communications management software, network security solutions, CPE and managed services. The TBA has teamed up with the company to offer special products and pricing for members and their firms. For more information contact Sharon Joyce in Nashville at (615) 324-1845, Mark Priest in Memphis at (901) 312-1802, or Mark Morrell in Knoxville/Chattanooga at (865) 251-1765.

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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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