Creditors Practice Section offers tools for tough times

A new CLE from the TBA's Creditors Practice Section will help general practitioners and creditors practice attorneys deal with the challenges of protecting assets and preserving collateral in a troubled economy. The three-hour seminar on Oct. 28 will focus on three primary tools: repossession, foreclosure and eviction.

Learn more or register at TennBarU

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Court: TCA


Jeffrey D. Ridner, Tullahoma, Tennessee, for the Appellants, Jason and Leeanna Alford.

Thompson G. Kirkpatrick, Manchester, Tennessee, for the Appellees, Jacqueline and Jonathan Huls.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, and Elizabeth C. Driver, Senior Counsel, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.


This lawsuit was filed by Jacqueline and Jonathan Huls ("Petitioners") seeking court-ordered visitation with their grandson pursuant to Tennessee's Grandparent Visitation Act, Tenn. Code Ann. section 36-6-306. The lawsuit was filed against Jason Alford ("Father") and Leeanna Alford ("Mother"), the biological parents of Petitioners' grandson. At trial, both parents testified that they had not and still did not oppose visitation between Petitioners and Petitioners' grandson. Although comments made by the Trial Court support an implicit finding by the Trial Court that the parents did not oppose visitation, there was no express determination made on this particular issue. Following the trial, the Trial Court entered an order granting the petition and establishing a visitation schedule for Petitioners. We conclude that the testimony at trial preponderates in favor of a finding that the parents did not and do not oppose visitation. We further hold that in order for Tenn. Code Ann. section 36-6-306 to be implicated, visitation by grandparents must be "opposed by the custodial parent or parents." Tenn. Code Ann. section 36-6-306(a). Because we find that the parents do not oppose visitation, the statute is not implicated, and the Trial Court erred by not dismissing this case. We, therefore, reverse the judgment of the Trial Court, and this case is dismissed.


Court: TCA


Todd H. Hancock, Nashville, Tennessee, attorney for the Appellant, Samick Music Corporation.

Glenn B. Rose and J. David McDowell, Nashville, Tennessee, attorneys for the Appellee, Thomas A. Hoy.


This case involves an appeal of a trial court's grant of a Motion to Dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The complaint sought to recover amounts owed pursuant to a Security Agreement from the alleged Guarantor of the Security Agreement. Finding the trial court's decision to be proper, we affirm the dismissal.


Court: TCCA


Albert J. Newman, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Timothy Callaway.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Jeff Blevins, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The petitioner, Timothy Callaway, appeals the post-conviction court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. On appeal, he argues that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel which caused him to enter unknowing and involuntary guilty pleas. After a thorough review of the record and the parties' briefs, the judgment of the post-conviction court denying relief is affirmed.


Court: TCCA


Mark E. Stephens, District Public Defender and Christy Murray, Assistant Public Defender, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Marcus Nigel Davis.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Phillip H. Morton, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The defendant, Marcus Nigel Davis, appeals from the judgment of the Knox County Criminal Court, revoking his probation and reinstating his original sentence of six years. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the court.


Court: TCCA


Jerry J. Fabus, Jr., Gray, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael James Grubb.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; and William Harper, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The petitioner, Michael James Grubb, was convicted of aggravated robbery, a Class B felony, and sentenced to twelve years incarceration. The petitioner appealed his sentence, but his conviction was affirmed on direct appeal. See State v. Michael James Grubb, No. E2005-01555-CCA-R3-CD, 2006 WL 1005136 (Tenn. Crim. App. at Knoxville, April 18, 2006). The petitioner now appeals the post- conviction court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief and argues that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel. Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.


Court: TCCA


Michael G. Hatmaker, Jacksboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Anthony Scott Ledford.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; William Paul Phillips, District Attorney General; and Tracy Jenkins, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.


Following a jury trial, Defendant, Anthony Scott Ledford, was convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) and possession of drug paraphernalia, both Class A misdemeanors. The trial court found Defendant guilty of violation of the implied consent law and revoked his driver's license for one year. The trial court sentenced Defendant to concurrent sentences of eleven months, twenty-nine days for each conviction. Defendant was ordered to serve two days in jail with the balance of the sentence suspended and Defendant placed on probation. On appeal, Defendant argues that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction of DUI, and that the trial court erred in denying his motion for a mistrial based on the prosecutor's remarks during closing argument. After a thorough review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


J. Colin Morris, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, James Wilson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; James G. Woodall, District Attorney General; and Alfred L. Earls, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The petitioner, James Wilson, appeals the Madison County Circuit Court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. The State has filed a motion requesting that this court affirm the lower court's denial of relief pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Because the petitioner has failed to prove his allegations by clear and convincing evidence, we conclude that the State's motion is well-taken. Accordingly, we affirm the lower court's denial of post-conviction relief.


Legal News
Election 2008
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Troubled Kentucky law school to close
Barkley School of Law in Paducah, Ky., will close at the end of the year after officials said they could not separate it from the financial and legal problems of its predecessor, the American Justice School of Law. Barkley is potentially liable for more than $5 million in debts from the previous administration and now plans to declare bankruptcy. The school's dean said he would help the few remaining students transfer to other schools.
The Clarksville Leaf Chronicle has this AP report
Baker Donelson expands diversity initiative
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC has announced new developments to promote diversity in the legal profession, including the selection of its first diversity scholarship recipients -- Shazi Jiang of Vanderbilt School of Law and Staci Pierce of Cumberland School of Law -- and the launch of a college diversity outreach program. The college program will offer mentoring opportunities, Q&A sessions on the basics of practicing law, and orientation trips to law firms, courtrooms and local and state legislatures.
Wharton calls for greater practice diversity
Memphis attorney Ruby Wharton tonight will receive the Marion Griffin-Frances Loring Award for service to the legal profession from the Association for Women Attorneys. In an interview with the Memphis Daily News, Wharton said she would like to see more diversity in the practice areas of female attorneys. She particularly cited criminal work as an area underrepresented by women. Wharton also called on legal organizations around the state to do more to recruit African-American women lawyers.
Read more of her comments
Putnam County bar names new officers
The Putnam County Bar Association has elected new officers for 2008-2009. They are: President James Patrick Hayes, a solo practioner; Vice President Rachel Moses with the Legal Aid Society; Secretary Allison Rasbury with the 13th Judicial District's office of the public defender; and Treasurer Dale Bohannon, a solo practioner. All are from Cookeville.

Poll: Voters believe government is still secretive
Tennesseans have a growing suspicion that state and local governments are operating in secret, a new statewide poll of voters shows. In the study, conducted by the Chattanooga Times Free Press, 62 percent of those questioned said they believe the state government conducts much of the public's business in secret, up from 50 percent in 2004. This increase comes despite recent changes in the state's open records law. Observers suggest, however, that the new reforms have not yet trickled down to average citizens.
The News Sentinel has the story
Election 2008
Retired judge tapes ad for Alexander
Retired Shelby County Judge George Brown is featured in a new radio campaign ad by Republican U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander. The spot, which began airing this week in Memphis and Nashville, features Brown recalling that in 1980 Alexander appointed him the first African-American justice on the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Read more about the race in the Commercial Appeal
Kurita accused of improper election financing
The Tennessee Democratic Party is accusing state Senator Rosalind Kurita of improperly using a political action committee she operates to pay for campaign expenses. A complaint filed yesterday with the Registry of Election Finance alleges that Kurita spent more than $25,000 out of her Majority PAC to cover campaign expenses. Under state law, PAC contributions are limited to $7,500 per election.
The News Sentinel reports
A story in yesterday's issue of TBA Today mistakenly referred to former 13th Judicial District Attorney General Bill Gibson as Bill Gibbons. Though it was a spelling error, the mistake had the unintended consequence of linking to the story 30th Judicial District Attorney General Bill Gibbons, who currently serves in Shelby County.

Memphis Law offers law school admission event
The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law will host an open house and admissions workshop Oct. 27 from 5 to 7 p.m. The event, which will be held in Room 314, will cover the admission process, Tennessee Institute for Pre-Law, financial aid and careers in the law. It is free and open to the public. For more information or to make reservations, contact (901) 678-5403 or email

O'Connor to speak at Baker Center, Supreme Court dinner
The Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee will celebrate the opening of its new facility on Oct. 31 with the help of retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. O'Connor will give a free public lecture at 2:30 p.m. in the Alumni Memorial Building's Cox Auditorium. Following the lecture, the center will be open for tours, while an open house will be held Nov. 1 from 1 to 3 p.m. Read more about the Baker Center's opening. O'Connor will be in Nashville earlier in the week to speak at the Third Annual Tennessee Supreme Court Historical Society Dinner. That event will be held Oct. 27 at the Hilton Nashville Downtown. For more information email Joy Day.

TBA Member Services
Avis benefits 'try harder'
TBA members are offered a rental car discount through Avis. Enroll in the Avis Preferred Service at to bypass the rental counter and go directly to your car for a faster, easier rental experience. Enter code AWD# A570100.

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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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