Ethics Roadshow CLE traveling the state

Get up to date with state ethics rules by attending the annual TBA Ethics Roadshow in Memphis, Chattanooga or Nashville. The Roadshow returns with the most comprehensive programming on recent changes to the Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct and what they mean to you. This program was developed by members of the TBA's Ethics and Professionalism Committee -- the same committee that helped draft the current rules -- so you know the speakers will be on top of changes that have taken place this year and those that are on the agenda for the coming year.

Learn more or register today

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
00 - 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.


Court: TCCA


James Glenn Collins, Jr., Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; and Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The petitioner, James Glenn Collins, Jr., appeals the Lake County Circuit Court's summary dismissal of his petition for habeas corpus relief. The State has filed a motion requesting that this court affirm the trial court's denial of relief pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals because the petition fails to state a cognizable claim for relief. Upon our review of the petition and the applicable authorities, we grant the State's motion and affirm the judgment of the lower court.


Court: TCCA


Jeff Haithcote, Nashville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General, and T. Michel Bottoms, District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.


Petitioner, Jeff Haithcote, appeals the trial court's summary dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus. After a thorough review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

CORRECTION on page 5, in the third paragraph of the Analysis

Court: TCCA


Joseph P. Atnip, District Public Defender, and William K. Randolph, Assistant District Public Defender, for the appellant, John David McDaniel.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; Thomas A. Thomas, District Attorney General; and James Cannon, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The defendant, John David McDaniel, was convicted of three counts of fraudulently obtaining a Schedule II controlled substance, one count of felony evading arrest, one count of misdemeanor evading arrest, and one count of theft of property with a value of less than $500. The defendant was sentenced to four years for his convictions for fraudulently obtaining a Schedule II controlled substance and felony evading arrest. He received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days for his convictions for misdemeanor evading arrest and theft of property with a value of less than $500. The defendant filed a motion for new trial which was denied after a hearing before the trial court. The defendant filed a timely notice of appeal. The defendant argues on appeal that the trial court erred by sentencing the defendant to the maximum sentence within the range for his convictions. In response, the state argues that the appellate court does not have jurisdiction to consider the defendant's appeal. The state further argues that the sentencing determination made by the trial court was not in error. Following our review of the parties' briefs, the record, and the applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Ryan C. Caldwell, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Petitioner, Clay B. Sullivan.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; Bret T. Gunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.


A Davidson County jury convicted the Petitioner, Clay B. Sullivan, of especially aggravated robbery, a Class A felony; attempted second degree murder, a Class B felony; and facilitation of attempted voluntary manslaughter, a Class E felony. The trial court ordered the Petitioner to serve twenty-two years in the Tennessee Department of Correction ("TDOC"). We affirmed the Petitioner's convictions on direct appeal. The Petitioner then filed a post-conviction petition claiming he received the ineffective assistance of counsel at his trial. The post-conviction court denied relief, and the Defendant now appeals, claiming: (1) the post-conviction court erred in denying his claim that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel at trial; and (2) the post-conviction court erred in admitting the unauthenticated police report of Maurice Jackson's statement. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.


Legal News
Supreme Court Report
Your Practice
TBA Member Services

Legal News
5th Circuit hears water suit
The state of Mississippi is asking a federal appeals court to revive a $1 billion lawsuit that accuses the city of Memphis of stealing its water. Lawyers for the state told the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today that the district court improperly dismissed the case on grounds that it was a dispute between states. Mississippi argues the state of Tennessee has never laid claim to the water at issue. Memphis city lawyers, however, say only the Supreme Court has the authority to apportion rights to interstate waters.
Learn more in the News Sentinel
Council again denies Lee's legal fees
The Memphis City Council has once again refused to pay $426,422 in legal bills for former Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division (MLGW) chief Joseph Lee. After hearing from MLGW officials that they were unable to work out a compromise with Lee, the council voted 7-6 against paying the fees. Lee's only recourse now is to take the matter to court.
The Commercial Appeal has more
New ADA sworn in
William Brownlow Marsh was sworn in Monday as an assistant district attorney for the Fourth Judicial District, which includes Cocke, Grainger, Jefferson and Sevier counties. Circuit Court Judge Ben W. Hooper II administered the oath of office. Marsh worked for the office from 1997 to 1999 and served as the special assistant U.S. attorney in Nashville and Knoxville from 1999 to 2008. He earned his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1975.
See the Newport Plain Talk for an event photo
City attorney to retire
Chattanooga city attorney Randy Nelson will retire at the end of the year to spend more time with his family. He also said he would resign from his private law firm, Nelson, McMahan & Noblett, which provides attorney services to the city. Nelson has been city attorney since Jan. 1, 1990, and has worked with the city attorney's office since 1968. He graduated from the University of Tennessee Law School in 1968.
The Times Free Press reports
Whitley receives DA award
The Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference recently awarded Sumner County District Attorney General Ray Whitley its most prestigious honor -- the McCutchen Award. Whitley began his career as an assistant U.S. attorney and joined the 18th Judicial District DA's office in 1978 as an assistant attorney. He was named DA in September 1980, and has served in that capacity for more than 28 years.
Read more about Whitey in the Tennessean
Report says 'loser pays' curbs nuisance suits
The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research released a report yesterday advocating a "loser pays" rule to help control litigation costs in the United States, according to the ABA Journal. The report's authors argue that use of the rule in Europe and Asia keeps meritless suits out of the courts.
Read the report
Supreme Court Report
Case pits power plants vs. fish
The Bush administration yesterday asked the Supreme Court to let older power plants draw in billions of gallons of water for cooling without installing technology that would best protect fish and aquatic organisms. The government is seeking to overturn a lower-court ruling that says the Clean Water Act does not let it consider the cost of upgrading the plants against the benefits of protecting aquatic life when limiting water use.
Read more in the Tennessean
Cout hears Title IX case
The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday on whether Title IX is the only basis for a lawsuit filed by parents who say their daughter was sexually harassed on the school bus. The parents contend they should be able to sue under broader civil rights law. The justices, however, questioned whether that basis would provide any better relief for the child.
The New York Times reports
Christmas at the courthouse honors court personnel
Chattanooga's Christmas at the Courthouse will be held Dec. 8-12 at noon at the City-County Courts Building. Each day will feature a different performing group and honor specific judges and staff. has the schedule
Your Practice
Why lawyers should 'tweet'
Law blogger and new-technology guru Robert Ambrogi presents 16 reasons why lawyers should embrace Twitter in a column for Law Technology News. Among his reasons: molding your public image, monitoring hot legal topics and finding new clients.
The ABA Journal has a summary
TBA Member Services
Health savings accounts now available
The TBA has partnered with First Horizon Msaver Inc. to offer Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and HSA-qualified health plans for individuals and groups to members. HSAs are tax-advantaged accounts that let you set aside money to pay for current and future medical expenses. For more information, or to obtain an instant quote for an HSA-qualified health plan, call the TBA's dedicated toll-free customer care line at (866) 257-2659 or visit the TBA member web site.
Click here

Discontinue your TBA Today subscription? ... Surely not!
But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at:

Questions, comments: Email us at

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