McClarty named to Court of Appeals

Governor Phil Bredesen today appointed John Westley McClarty to the Tennessee Court of Appeals, Eastern Section. McClarty, a solo practitioner in Chattanooga, fills a vacancy created in September when Bredesen appointed Sharon Gail Lee to the Tennessee Supreme Court. McClarty, 60, earned his law degree in 1976 from the Southern University School of Law in Baton Rouge, La.

Learn more about him in this statement from the governor

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STATE OF TENNESSEE v. GREGORY DWIGHT BOWMAN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

R. Jackson Rose, Harrogate, Tennessee (at trial); and Wesley D. Stone, Knoxville, Tennessee (at sentencing, motion for new trial, and on appeal), for the appellant, Gregory Dwight Bowman.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; William Paul Phillips, District Attorney General; and Jared Effler and Thomas E. Barclay, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: THOMAS

In August 2005, a Claiborne County jury convicted the defendant, Gregory Dwight Bowman, of one count of aggravated vehicular homicide, a Class A felony; one count of vehicular homicide, a Class B felony; one count of vehicular assault, a Class D felony; one count of theft of property valued more than $1000, a Class D felony; and one count of driving on a revoked license, a Class B misdemeanor. The trial court merged the aggravated vehicular homicide and vehicular homicide convictions and sentenced the defendant to an effective sentence of twenty-four years in the Department of Correction as a Range I, standard offender. On appeal, the defendant argues that (1) the trial court erred by failing to suppress the defendant's blood sample, which was drawn shortly after the accident while he was unconscious; (2) the defendant was denied his right to a speedy trial; (3) the trial court erred by admitting the preliminary hearing testimony of a witness who died before trial; (4) the trial court erred by refusing to admit a prior inconsistent statement by the deceased witness; (5) the trial court erred by failing to instruct the jury regarding accomplice testimony; (6) the evidence produced at trial was insufficient to convict the defendant of vehicular assault, aggravated vehicular homicide, and theft; and (7) the trial court imposed an excessive sentence. After reviewing the record, we conclude that the trial court committed error as to the defendant's fourth issue, but such error was harmless. We also conclude that the trial court committed no error as to any other issues and therefore affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/bowmand_011409.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Supreme Court Report
Legislative News
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Process begins to fill general sessions seat
The Shelby County Board of Commissioners is now accepting applications from those interested in serving on General Sessions Criminal Court Division 10 -- a post held by Judge Anthony Johnson until his death on Jan. 2. Applications are due by Jan. 21; the same day the commission will interview applicants. However, the commission could leave the position vacant until voters pick a successor in the August 2010 county elections. Retired General Sessions Court judges Bernie Weinman and Arthur Bennett will preside over Division 10 in the interim.
Read more in the Memphis Daily News
Durham applies for district court post
David Earl Durham, deputy district attorney general for the 15th Judicial District in Lebanon, has applied for the criminal court vacancy created by the death of Judge James O. Bond. The deadline to submit applications for the position is Jan. 21. The Judicial Selection Commission will meet on Feb. 10 to hear from candidates.
Learn more on the AOC web site
Judge grants Obama access to DOJ documents
A federal judge ruled yesterday that the incoming Obama administration must be given copies of documents the White House has been withholding from Congress on the firings of nine U.S. attorneys. The order is a minor victory for the House Judiciary Committee, which is trying to investigate the matter. The committee feared it would lose access to the documents once the National Archives takes possession of them when President Bush leaves office on Jan. 20.
The AP has the story
Federal litigation up 9 percent last year
According to the 2009 edition of the Law360 Litigation Almanac, litigation in federal courts rose by 9 percent last year with employment, antitrust and product safety cases seeing the largest increase. The report also found that shrinking corporate budgets had no impact on the overall case volume in federal court and predicts that trend will continue, or even accelerate, given fallout from the financial crisis and the expected increase in regulations under the Obama administration.
Read more in the Memphis Business Journal
New wrinkle in DOJ hiring suit
With news that some applicants for the Department of Justice Honors Program were rejected on political grounds, Attorney General Michael Mukasey last fall invited them to apply again. Now plaintiffs in a suit alleging political influence in departmental hiring decisions say the letter from Mukasey violated ethical prohibitions on communication with represented parties.
Learn more from ABC News
Thornton receives firm's pro bono award
Memphis lawyer Laurie M. Thornton of Glankler Brown PLLC has received the firm's second annual Frank J. Glankler Jr. Pro Bono Award, which was created last year to honor an attorney who makes an exceptional commitment to pro bono work. Thornton practices residential and commercial real estate law at the firm. She previously worked as a prosecuting attorney and public defender for Shelby County.
Read about her in the Memphis Daily News
Supreme Court Report
Court hears speedy trial claim
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday in a case accusing the state of Vermont of violating a defendant's right to a speedy trial. Career criminal Michael Brillon went through six state-funded defense attorneys before standing trial for hitting his girlfriend. The case raises two issues: if governments can be held responsible for delays caused by public defenders and if such delays amount to constitutional violations.
The AP has the story
Obama, Biden at Supreme Court today
President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden planned to make a preinaugural visit to the Supreme Court today at the invitation of Chief Justice John Roberts. The visit has become a tradition for incoming presidents and their vice presidents, who take time to pay their respects to the court.
WRCB-TV Chattanooga has this AP report
Legislative News
State GOP moves against Williams
The Tennessee Republican Executive Committee is reportedly moving swiftly to oust newly elected House Speaker Kent Williams, R-Butler, from the party after he collaborated with House Democrats to defeat Republican Jason Mumpower for the post yesterday. Eighteen members of the committee have signed a document challenging the "bona fide" status of Williams, who admits he probably did violate his oath to the party.
The Times Free Press reports
TBA Member Services
TBA, Bank of America team up for no-fee credit card
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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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