Firms getting on bandwagon for formal pro bono policies

Ten more Tennessee law firms have now adopted formal pro bono policies encouraging their lawyers to do pro bono work. The latest firms to adopt pro bono polices are: Cornelius & Collins LLP of Nashville; Eldridge & Blakney PC of Knoxville; Gearhiser, Peters, Lockaby, Cavett & Elliott PLLC of Chattanooga; Harwell, Howard, Hyne, Gabbert & Manner PC of Nashville; Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan PLLC of Chattanooga; Miller & Martin PLLC of Chattanooga, Nashville and Atlanta; Ogle, Gass & Richardson PC of Sevierville; Redding, Steen & Staton PC of Jackson; Thomason, Hendrix, Harvey, Johnson & Mitchell PLLC of Memphis and Trauger & Tuke of Nashville.

TBA President Buck Lewis praised the firms' efforts, saying "the generous spirit of so many leading firms, large and small, makes you proud to be a Tennessee lawyer. As we enter the coming new year braced for more tough times, I hope many other firms will join them in meeting the critical legal needs of our fellow Tennesseans." Supreme Court Chief Justice Janice Holder agrees, calling these policies "a clear message about the legal profession's commitment to helping meet the growing legal needs crisis in Tennessee."

Here is a list of all the firms that have so far notified the TBA that they have pro bono policies. If your firm has a pro bono policy or is interested in adopting one, contact the TBA for information.

Learn more about model law firm pro bono policies

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Corrected opinion on page 8, third line, second paragraph: "failed to" removed and "title" changed to "titled"

Court: TSC


William R. Willis, Jr. and Alan D. Johnson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ronald K. Nevin.

Nancy S. Jones, Chief Disciplinary Counsel, James A. Vick, Deputy Chief Disciplinary Counsel, and Krisann Hodges, Disciplinary Counsel, for the appellee, Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee.


We granted this appeal to determine whether the Chancery Court properly affirmed a Board of Professional Responsibility Hearing Panel's six-month suspension of the appellant, Ronald K. Nevin. Nevin argues that the Hearing Panel erred in finding that he violated several disciplinary rules and in finding aggravating circumstances. He also argues that the six-month suspension is not commensurate with sanctions imposed in similar cases or the relevant American Bar Association Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions. After reviewing the record of the proceedings before the Hearing Panel and the Chancery Court, we affirm the Chancery Court's judgment.


Court: TCA


Stuart B. Breakstone and Kathy Baker Tennison, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Joyann E. Butler.

Martin W. Zummach, Germantown, Tennessee, for the appellee, James Michael Butler.


In this divorce proceeding, Wife appeals the trial court's decision not to enforce the parties' Marital Dissolution Agreement, the trial court's distribution of the marital assets, and the trial court's failure to sanction Husband for failure to comply with the discovery rules. After Wife filed for divorce, the parties executed a Martial Dissolution Agreement. The trial court, however, refused to enforce the Marital Dissolution Agreement because some of Husband's property was damaged while within Wife's exclusive control. The trial court admitted as evidence Wife's attorney's statement that he would not permit Wife to damage husband's property. We affirm that attorney's statement was properly admissible parole evidence and the trial court properly denied Wife’s motion to enforce the Martial Dissolution Agreement. Wife also argues that the trial court failed to equitably distribute the marital assets and that the court erred by failing to sanction Husband for discovery violations. This Court affirms the trial court's division of marital assets, as modified, and its order denying Wife's request for sanctions.


Court: TCA


Jonathan Harwell, D. Alexander Fardon, and D. Matthew Foster, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, City of Forest Hills.

James Blumstein, Nashville, Tennessee, Special Counsel for City of Forest Hills. Joe M. Haynes, Goodlettsville, Tennessee, for the appellant, City of Goodlettsville.

Lora Barkenbus Fox, Kevin Klein, Kathryn Evans, James W. J. Farrar, Paul J. Campbell, and Matthew J. Sweeney, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee.


Six cities within Davidson County sued the Metropolitan Government claiming they were discriminated against in the provision of services in violation of Metropolitan Charter Section 18.15. The chancellor held that the matter was nonjusticiable. Two cities appealed. We reverse the chancellor's order and, in the interest of judicial economy, determine the meaning of Section 18.15.


Court: TCA


Louis Hammond, Pro se.

Lawrence W. Kelly, Atlanta, Georgia, for the Appellee, Lasalle Bank National Association.


This is an appeal from an order of the trial court granting a motion for summary judgment filed by Lasalle Bank National Association (Lasalle Bank). It appears from the record before us that Lasalle Bank obtained a judgment for possession in the General Sessions Court of Madison County for the parcel of real estate which is the subject of this appeal. It further appears from the record that the Defendant, Louis Hammond, executed a deed of trust on a parcel of real estate described as 39 Cherokee Drive, Jackson, Tennessee, to secure a note payable to United Companies Lending Corporation. The deed of trust was ultimately assigned to Lasalle Bank. The property was subject to foreclosure proceedings and was sold at public auction to Lasalle Bank.


Court: TCA


Arthur G. Seymour, Jr. and Benjamin C. Mullins, Knoxville, Tennessee for the Appellants, The Wadlyn Corporation and Camdun Realty I, LLC.

Charles W. Swanson, Elizabeth A. Ward, and Sharon E. Boyce, Knoxville, Tennessee for the Appellants, City of Knoxville and the Knoxville City Council.


The Wadlyn Corporation ("Wadlyn") and Camdun Realty I, LLC ("Camdun") sued the City of Knoxville ("City") and the Knoxville City Council ("City Council") concerning the City Council's reversal of the Knox County Metropolitan Planning Commission's ("MPC") approval of a Concept Plan/Use-on-Review ("Use-on-Review") resulting in the denial of the Use-on-Review. After a hearing, the Trial Court dismissed Plaintiffs' complaint. Plaintiffs appeal to this Court. We affirm.


Court: TCCA


Bruce E. Poston, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Anthony Woods.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Del Holley, Assistant Attorney Genreral, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Anthony Woods, pleaded guilty to one count of reckless aggravated assault, a Class D felony. The trial court sentenced him to three years to be served on probation. In this appeal, he challenges that court's decision to deny judicial diversion. After considering the lack of a factual basis for his guilty plea, however, we conclude that the trial court's acceptance of that plea violated Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(b)(3). We accordingly vacate the judgment of conviction and remand to the trial court for further proceedings.


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