Petition to clarify disciplinary rules brought by TBA

The TBA this week petitioned the Tennessee Supreme Court to issue new rules clarifying what lawyers who have been disbarred, suspended or placed on disability inactive status with pending disciplinary complaints can do with respect to law practice, and clarifying the relationship of licensed lawyers with lawyers in this disciplinary status.

The petition proposes a new Rules of Professional Conduct 5.8 which bans disbarred lawyers from almost any involvement with lawyers or in law practice; and puts suspended lawyers and lawyers placed on disability inactive status with pending disciplinary complaints under severe restrictions in dealing with lawyers and clients.

The proposal was developed by a working group chaired by Sue Van Sant Palmer, and included TBA members involved in disciplinary matters and lawyer assistance programs. The court has yet to set a comment period for the proposal.

Read or download the petition and exhibits

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Court: TWCA


Stephen F. Libby, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, William J. Parker.

Thomas D. Yeaglin, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, HAPS Heating, Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical Services, LLC.

Judge: HAYES

Employee sought workers' compensation benefits and medical expenses for a shoulder injury he allegedly suffered while working for Employer. The trial court bifurcated the trial with regard to (1) whether the injury was compensable, and (2) if so, the extent of compensation benefits to which Employee is entitled. At the close of Employee's proof as to compensability, the trial court dismissed Employee's claim, finding that the issue of causation was not established. Employee has appealed this judgment. Employee contends that the evidence does not support the trial court's ruling that he had failed to sustain his burden of proof as to compensability. We reverse the judgment dismissing the claim and remand the case to the trial court for proceedings consistent with this opinion.


Court: TCA


Kevin W. Shepherd, Maryville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Charles Scotty Morgan.

Peter Alliman, Madisonville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Deborah Gail Davis Morgan Everett.


Deborah Gail Davis Morgan Everett ("Mother") filed a petition seeking to have Charles Scotty Morgan ("Father") held in contempt of court for failure to pay child support. Shortly thereafter, Mother was contacted by George Raudenbush ("Raudenbush") who told Mother that he was connected with the court system and that he had been contacted by Father to mediate Mother's claim for back child support. However, Raudenbush, who was Father's friend, neither was connected to the court system nor was a certified mediator. After Raudenbush convinced Mother to discharge her attorney, Mother, Father, and Raudenbush "mediated" Mother's claim. Raudenbush represented to Mother that the most a court would award her in back child support was $8,750.00. Mother eventually agreed to this amount, even though she was convinced much more was owed. An Agreed Decree was entered by the Trial Court incorporating the terms of the "mediation." Soon thereafter, Mother filed a Tenn. R. Civ. P. 60.02 motion to set aside the Agreed Decree on the basis of fraudulent misrepresentations made by Raudenbush and/or Father. Following a hearing, the Trial Court granted the motion and thereafter determined that Father owed a total of $17,375.00 in arrears. In determining the amount of Father's arrears, the Trial Court credited him with time that the children were living with him even though no petition to modify his child support payment had been filed. Father appeals, claiming the Trial Court erred when it granted Mother's motion to set aside the Agreed Decree. Mother appeals, claiming Father was not entitled to a credit for the time the children were living with him because no petition to modify had been filed. We affirm the Trial Court's judgment setting aside the Agreed Decree pursuant to Tenn. R. Civ. P. 60.02. We further hold that the credit the Trial Court gave to Father was an improper retroactive modification of his child support payment. Mother's judgment against Father is modified to be $26,125.00, plus statutory interest. We remand for further proceedings to award Mother's attorney fees incurred on appeal and the calculation of the statutory interest.


Court: TCA


Barry L. Gardner and Charles G. Blackard, III, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the appellant, Foster Business Park, Arte' Corp., Tarun Surti and Lata Surti.

Sam J. McAllester, III and William J. Haynes, III, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Billy Lowe and J&B Investments, LLC.

Daniel W. Small and Paul Allen England, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Mark Winfree and American Holdings Investments, Inc.


Maker and guarantors of promissory note brought action against various parties including the maker's former loan officer, the former holder of the note, and the current holder of the note, alleging that defendants breached their fiduciary duty to the maker, tortiously interfered with the maker's negotiations to pay off the note at a discount and violated the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act. The Chancery Court for Davidson County granted defendants' summary judgment. Maker and guarantors appealed. Finding no error, we affirm.


Court: TCCA


Eran Julian, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Keith Collins; Matthew Eggleston at trial.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Matthew Bryant Haskell, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Betsy Carnesale, Karen Cook and David Michael Zak, Jr., Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The petitioner, Keith Collins, appeals from the post-conviction court's denial of post-conviction relief. On appeal, he argues that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel which caused him to enter an unknowing and involuntary guilty plea. Following our review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court denying post-conviction relief.


Court: TCCA


Antonio Kendrick, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Michael Moore, Solicitor General; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Petitioner, Antonio Kendrick, appeals the trial court's denial 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. We conclude that the State's motion is meritorious. Accordingly, we grant the State's motion and affirm the judgment of the lower court.


Court: TCCA


Ryan B. Feeney, Selmer, Tennessee, for the appellant, Marcus Ward.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Colin Campbell, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

In 2005, the petitioner, Marcus Ward, pled guilty to three counts of aggravated assault and one count each of especially aggravated kidnapping, intentionally evading arrest in a motor vehicle, and aggravated sexual battery and received an effective sentence of thirteen and one-half years. No direct appeal was taken. Subsequently, he filed a petition for post-conviction relief, alleging that his guilty pleas were not knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily made and that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel. Following an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court denied the petition. This appeal is only as to his conviction for aggravated sexual battery, with the petitioner asserting that trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by not informing him that registration as a sexual offender was a consequence of his guilty pleas, the trial court committed plain error by not informing him of this registration requirement, and the post-conviction court erred in finding that the registration requirement was a "collateral," rather than direct, consequence of his pleas. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

TIPTON dissenting


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