Lawyers' annual fees to increase

The state Supreme Court has issued an order amending Rule 9, increasing the annual registration fee for each attorney to $140. The assessment is payable on Jan. 2, 2009, but no later than March 1, 2009.

"The Board has not received an annual registration fee increase since 2003, when the fee was increased by $5 to $105," Board of Professional Responsibility Chief Disciplinary Counsel Nancy S. Jones said. "We have not added additional disciplinary counsel since 2000. During the interim, the number of actively practicing attorneys in Tennessee has increased substantially, as has the number of disciplinary complaints the Board investigates each year. We are pleased that the court has recognized our crucial need for increased resources which we will use to make the disciplinary process both more timely and consistent."

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Court: TCA


Michael E. Collins, Nashville, Tennessee; Lawrence R. Moelmann, Chicago, Illinois; and W. Timothy Harvey, Clarksville, Tennessee; for the appellant, Acuity, A Mutual Insurance Company.

David N. Garst and Ronald B. Deal, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, McGhee Engineering, Inc.; Jefferson C. Orr and Matthew J. DeVries, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Strand Associates, Inc., d/b/a PEH Engineers; and Dan L. Nolan and Philip M. Mize, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellee, E. Berkley Traughber & Associates, Inc.


A surety filed suit against three engineering firms seeking to recover some of the surety's losses on a project. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the engineers. We have concluded that the surety does have a right of action against the engineers based upon equitable subrogration and that the surety's claims are not barred by res judicata or collateral estoppel. Because the consulting engineer had no contract with the project owner, the trial court did not err in granting summary judgment on contract claims against the consulting engineer. In all other respects, we reverse the trial court's decision.


Court: TCA


Christopher D. Cravens, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tennessee Homesafe Inspections, LLC.

J. Michael Morgan, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Abby Wells.


In homeowner's suit against home inspection company, the trial court denied the company's motion to compel arbitration. Because the arbitration clause was not signed or initialed by a representative of the company as required by statute, we affirm the trial court's decision.


Court: TCA


Todd E. Panther, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Pulte Homes Tennessee Limited Partnership et al.

Patrick M. Carter, Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellee, Williamson County Ready Mix, Inc.


In this suit to enforce materialman's liens, we have concluded that the lienor was statutorily required to perfect a lien for each townhouse instead of a blanket lien in order for the liens to have priority against subsequent purchasers and encumbrances. The lien was properly preserved, however, with respect to the original owner.


Court: TCCA


Gene Honea, Franklin, Tennessee (on appeal); Judson Phillips, Nashville, Tennessee (at trial), for the Appellant, Darwin L. Bible.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Ronald L. Davis, District Attorney General; Mary Katherine White, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, the State of Tennessee.


A Williamson County jury found the Defendant, Darwin L. Bible, guilty of theft of property valued at less than $500; subsequently, the trial court sentenced the Defendant to eleven months, twenty- nine days, with 120 days to be served in jail and the balance to be served on probation. The Defendant appeals, claiming: (1) the State presented insufficient evidence that he committed theft of property valued at less than $500; and (2) the trial court erroneously sentenced him. After a thorough review of the record and the applicable law, we affirm the conviction but modify the jail sentence to sixty days of periodic confinement.


Court: TCCA


Roger E. Nell (on appeal) and Collier W. Goodlett (at trial), Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Omar Theron Davis.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; John Wesley Carney, Jr., District Attorney General; and Art Bieber, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

A Montgomery County Circuit Court jury convicted the appellant, Omar Theron Davis, of three counts of aggravated rape, especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, and theft greater than five hundred dollars but less than one thousand dollars. The trial court sentenced him to twenty years for each aggravated rape conviction, twenty years for the especially aggravated kidnapping conviction, ten years for the aggravated robbery conviction, five years for the aggravated burglary conviction, and one year for the theft conviction. The trial court ordered that the sentences for aggravated rape be served consecutively and that the remaining sentences be served concurrently with one of the sentences imposed for aggravated rape, for an effective sentence of sixty years. On appeal, the appellant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence and the sentences he received. Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the appellant's convictions but modify his sentences for aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary. We affirm the judgments of the trial court in all other respects.


Court: TCCA


Philip A. Condra, District Public Defender, and Robert G. Morgan, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Jason L. Hoback.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; James Michael Taylor, District Attorney General; and William Copeland and Steven M. Blount, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The defendant, Jason L. Hoback, was convicted in the Franklin County Circuit Court of driving on a revoked license, third offense, a Class A misdemeanor, and a violation of the seatbelt law, a Class C misdemeanor. He was subsequently sentenced to eleven months and twenty-nine days, with five months to be served in the county jail, for the driving on a revoked license conviction and was fined for the seatbelt violation. On appeal, the defendant raises the single issue of sufficiency of the evidence. Following review, the judgments of conviction are affirmed.


Court: TCCA


Raymond W. Fraley, Jr., Fayetteville, Tennessee, for the appellant, David Eugene Thompson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B,. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; T. Michel Bottoms, District Attorney General; and Patrick Butler and Richard H. Dunavant, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The defendant, David Eugene Thompson, was convicted of criminally negligent homicide, a Class E felony, and sentenced to eighteen months in confinement. On appeal, the defendant argues that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction. Following our review of the parties' briefs, the record, and the applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Gerald L. Melton, District Public Defender, and Jeffrey S. Burton, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, John Willis Webb.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; William C. Whitesell, Jr., District Attorney General; and Thomas Earl Parkerson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The defendant, John Willis Webb, was convicted by a jury in the Circuit Court for Rutherford County for driving on a revoked license, a Class B misdemeanor. He was sentenced to six months in the county workhouse, the suspension of his driving privileges for one year, and a fine of $200. On appeal, he claims the evidence was insufficient to convict him of driving on a revoked license. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.


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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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