Tennessee court in minority with female majority

With the swearing in today of Justice Sharon G. Lee to the Tennessee Supreme Court, Tennessee becomes one of just three states, plus the District of Columbia, with a female majority, according to the Administrative Office of the Courts. See the breakdown by state.

Find out more about Lee's ceremony

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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JOE MURPHY, individually, d/b/a/ COOL FLAME LAMPS v. RESURGENCE FINANCIAL, LLC, Assignee of WELLS FARGO BANK

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Joe Murphy, Huntingdon, TN, pro se

Barry J. Gammons, Nashville, TN, for Appellee Thomas B. Norris, Nashville, TN, for Appellee

Judge: STAFFORD

Appellee Bank filed suit against Appellant to collect for charges made to Appellant's account. The general sessions court entered judgment in favor of Appellee Bank; Appellant, proceeding pro se, appealed that decision to the Circuit Court at Carroll County. The circuit court affirmed the judgment of the general sessions court and Appellant appeals. In the absence of a transcript or statement of the evidence, the trial court's factual findings are conclusive on appeal, and we affirm. .

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/murphyj_100208.pdf


MICHAEL L. KIRBY V. HOWARD CARLTON, WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Michael L. Kirby, Mountain City, Tennessee, Pro Se.

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

Judge: TIPTON

The pro se petitioner, Michael L. Kirby, appeals from the trial court's order denying his petition for writ of habeas corpus. The state has filed a motion requesting that this court affirm the order pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The petition fails to establish a cognizable claim for habeas corpus relief. Accordingly, the state's motion is granted and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/kirbym_100208.pdf


TERRANCE LOWDERMILK v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Terrance Lowdermilk, Federal Correctional Institution, Edgefield, South Carolina, Pro se.

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

Judge: WITT

The petitioner, Terrance Lowdermilk, appeals the dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus in the Hamilton County Criminal Court. The state has moved this court to affirm the order by memorandum opinion pursuant to Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals Rule 20. The petition presents no cognizable ground for habeas corpus relief. Accordingly, we sustain the state's motion and affirm the order pursuant to Rule 20.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/lowdermilkt_100208.pdf


MITCHELL WALDROOP v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Gerald L. Gulley, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal) and Robert William Scott, Jacksboro, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, Mitchell Waldroop.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; William Paul Phillips, District Attorney General; and Michael O. Ripley, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The petitioner, Mitchell Waldroop, was denied post-conviction relief by the Criminal Court for Campbell County from his convictions for two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping and resulting concurrent thirty-six-year sentences in the Department of Correction. He appeals and contends that (1) he is entitled to post-conviction relief because the state failed to file a responsive pleading to his pro se petition in the form required by the Post-Conviction Procedure Act; (2) he was deprived of his due process right to present his post-conviction claim at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner; (3) he was denied the effective assistance of counsel in the conviction proceedings; (4) he was sentenced in violation of the Sixth Amendment; and (5) he was deprived in the conviction proceedings of a hearing pursuant to Momon v. State, 18 S.W.3d 152 (Tenn. 1999), addressing his understanding of his right to testify. We affirm the trial court's judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/waldroopm_100208.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE V. BENNY K. WEST

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Brian J. Hunt, Clinton, Tennessee, for the appellant, Benny K. West.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L.Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; William Paul Phillips, District Attorney General; and Jaren Effler, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Petitioner, Benny K. West, appeals the post-conviction court's decision to deny his petition for post-conviction relief. Petitioner entered a nolo contendere plea to two counts of sexual battery. Subsequently, he sought post-conviction relief on the basis of ineffective assistance of counsel and that his plea was unknowingly and involuntarily entered. After a hearing during which the post-conviction court heard testimony from Petitioner, trial counsel, and an employee of the Department of Children's Services, the post-conviction court denied the petition. After a review of the record, we determine that Petitioner did not prove that he received ineffective assistance of counsel or that his nolo contendere plea was unknowingly and involuntarily entered. Therefore, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/westb_100208.pdf


The Constitutionality of Public Chapter 1030, Section 2

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2008-10-02

Opinion Number: 08-150

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2008/ag_08_150.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Passages
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Eminent domain case settles
Eminent domain will not be used against Nashville music entrepreneur Joy Ford to make way for a $70 million mixed-use Music Row office project. In an agreement reached yesterday, Ford will give up some land and get some more, but keep the building where her family has had a recording business for years. Ford's attorney with the Washington D.C. firm the Institute for Justice, called the agreement a "magnificent victory for [Ford] and all Tennessee home and small business owners."
The Nashville Business Journal has more
Condoms for inmates considered in Shelby
A local chaplain and administrators from the Shelby County Jail debated Wednesday over whether or not to offer condoms to jail mates. The idea put forth by the chaplain as a way to combat HIV and AIDS has sparked controversy.
WMC-TV reports
County magistrates make $57k for 24 hours of work per week
Hamilton County Commission members were told Wednesday that some magistrates are pulling two 12-hour shifts a week for their $57,000 county jobs. The disgruntled comments come as current one-year magistrate terms are running out and nine attorneys have applied for the judicial commissioner (magistrate) positions.
Chattanoogan.com reports
Also at the commission meeting, one of Hamilton County's judicial commissioners, Bob Meeks, was chided by the county commission for saying he represented a girl's parents in a criminal case, given that judicial commissioners are prohibited from practicing criminal law. Meeks told commissioners he represented the parents in the death of a 22-month-old girl and did not know it would become a criminal case.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports
Headrick is new judge in Blount County
A crowd turned out to welcome new General Sessions Division IV Judge Robert Headrick during a reception at the Blount County Public Library Tuesday evening. Headrick was chosen by the Blount County commissioners to fill the seat vacated when Judge David Duggan won the Division II Blount County Circuit Court seat.
Read about him in Blount Today
Was practice more civil back in the 'golden age of lawyering?'
"When I started as an assistant U.S. attorney in 1971, [law practice] was very civil then, " Memphis attorney Glen Reid said in an interview about civility as part of the seminars on the issue given by the Memphis Bar Association. "In the courtroom, we'd be growling and snapping at each other, but out in the hall we would be standing together telling jokes," Reid said. But Ernie Lidge, who teaches a required professional responsibility course at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, disagree that a "golden age of lawyering" used to exist. "If you read some of the stories about some of the lawyers in times past, they would play oftentimes unfair tricks and litigate sharply," Lidge said. "I think our code of professional responsibility is much more developed than 60 years ago."
The Memphis Daily News has the story
Loans for law school should be unaffected for now
Experts say law students with loans shouldn't panic just yet. New York Law School Dean Richard Matasar told the National Law Journal that most law students rely on Graduate PLUS loans that have government backing. As a result, lenders are likely to continue to offer the loans. That's not the case for private loans, however, which are harder to come by, said Matasar, who is chairman of the board of directors of education lender Access Group.
Read the story
Passages
Services Saturday for former state senator
Former State Senator George Alvin Terry died Wednesday of heart failure, the Nashville Post reports. He was 81. A native of Oneida, Terry served in both the Tennessee House of Representatives and the Tennessee State Senate, before being appointed director of federal and state surplus property in Nashville. After retiring from state government, Terry worked as an administrator for the Davidson County Sheriff. Services are scheduled for noon Saturday at the Goodlettsville Church of Christ. Visitation is at the church on Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. There will also be visitation with the family from 11 a.m. on Saturday.

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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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