Coffee County Judge John Rollins dies

The Hon. John Wiley Rollins, Circuit Court Judge in the 14th Judicial District of Tennessee, died Jan. 24, following an extended illness. He was 66. Rollins was elected Circuit Court Judge for Coffee County in 1990 after serving as assistant district attorney in the 6th and 14th Judicial Districts and in private practice after earning his law license in 1973. He graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1972. He was a member of the Tennessee Bar Association House of Delegates for nearly 20 years, served as chair of the TBA General Practice Section in 1983-84, and was a fellow of the Tennessee Bar Foundation.

Visitation will be at the Coffee County Funeral Home in Manchester on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 8 p.m. On Jan. 28, a procession to Manchester City Cemetery will leave the funeral home at 10:30 a.m., for a graveside service at 11.

Read more about him on the AOC web site

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS Grants & Denials List

Court: TSC

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2009/certlist_012609.pdf


WILLIAM A. BAKER, II v. HOMER J. JOHNSON, SR.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Randall Pierce, Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, for the appellant, Homer J. Johnson, Sr.

Jeffrey Spark, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, William A. Baker, II.

Judge: COTTRELL

Shortly after the parties entered into a contract for the sale of a piece of real estate, the seller refused to transfer possession and informed the buyer that he did not intend to close on the property. The buyer filed suit for breach of contract and demanded specific performance. The seller denied that the contract of sale was valid or enforceable and presented a number of different and inconsistent allegations to support his contention. The trial court granted summary judgment to the buyer. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/bakerw_012609.pdf


ELIZABETH DIAZ GRAHAM v. CHRISTOPHER SCOTT GRAHAM

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

James F. Logan, Jr., Cleveland, Tennessee, for appellant, Elizabeth Diaz Graham.

William J. Brown, Cleveland, Tennessee, for appellee, Christopher Scott Graham.

Judge: FRANKS

The parties to this action were divorced in Bradley County, Tennessee, and the mother then moved to Florida with the children as the custodial parent under the agreed Parenting Plan. The father brought this action, charging the mother with contempt of court and petitioned the Court to modify the existing Parenting Plan by awarding the father custody of the minor children. Among the defenses raised by the mother was the lack of subject matter jurisdiction in this State, but the Trial Judge held that courts in Tennessee had subject matter jurisdiction over the issues in dispute. On appeal, we reverse on the basis that the courts of Tennessee do not have subject matter jurisdiction over the issues, and remand for transfer of the matter to the appropriate Florida court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/grahame_012609.pdf


RICHARD LAFEVER ET AL. v. LLOYD B. LAFEVER ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Henry D. Fincher and Craig P. Fickling, Cookeville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Lloyd Lafever and Mary Ellen Lafever.

Jerry A. Jared, Cookeville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Richard Lafever, Rita Lafever, Robert Lafever, and Joanne Lafever.

Judge: BENNETT

In this boundary dispute, the trial court found in favor of the plaintiffs. Although we have concluded that the trial court erred in applying a presumption based upon the payment of taxes, the evidence does not preponderate against the trial court's determination of the proper boundary line. We therefore affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/lafeverr_012609.pdf


DON R. MOSES v. CITY OF JELLICO, TENNESSEE

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Michael G. Hatmaker, Jacksboro, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Don R. Moses.

Jon G. Roach, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, City of Jellico, Tennessee.

Judge: LEE

The issue in this case is whether the Tennessee General Assembly may delegate to a municipality its constitutional authority to vest judicial power in a court by establishing and ordaining a court. After review, we affirm the trial court's ruling that the Jellico City Court was not validly created by Chapter 167 of the Private Acts of 2002 and the subsequent Jellico city ordinance because it resulted from an impermissible delegation of the Tennessee General Assembly's constitutional authority to establish and ordain a court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/mosesd_012609.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Legislative News
Upcoming
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Supreme Court reverses 6th Circuit in retaliation case
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously today that workers who cooperate with internal investigations of retaliation by their employers are sheltered by federal laws prohibiting job discrimination. In the opinion, the justices held that Vicky Crawford, a longtime school system employee in Nashville can pursue a civil rights lawsuit over her firing. The ruling reverses the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling that the anti-retaliation provision of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act does not apply to employees who merely cooperate with an internal probe rather than complain on their own or take part in a formal investigation.
The News Sentinel carried this AP story
Ramsaur is new Middle District criminal chief
Jimmie Lynn Ramsaur today assumed the duties of criminal chief in Tennessee's Middle District U.S. Attorneys Office. She will serve as acting chief until final approval from the U.S. Department of Justice. The appointment by U.S. Attorney Ed Yarbrough comes as Criminal Chief Eli Richardson prepares to depart for an assignment in Eastern Europe.

Commissioners fill Shelby judicial post
Lee Wilson was appointed as the new judge of Division 10 General Sessions Criminal Court in Shelby County today, filling the opening left by the death of Judge Anthony Johnson. Wilson was one of 15 applicants seeking the appointment from the Board of Commissioners.
Read more in the Memphis Daily News
King appointed to ethics commission
Knoxville lawyer John King, a former state revenue commissioner who also has been a registered lobbyist at the state level, has been appointed by Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen to the Tennessee Ethics Commission.
The News Senitiel has more
Hunt applies for 30th Circuit seat
Sean Antone Hunt, an attorney with Spicer, Flynn & Rudstrom in Germantown, has has become the first candidate to fill the vacancy on the 30th Judicial District Circuit Court created by the death of Judge Rita Stotts. The deadline to submit applications is Feb. 3. The Judicial Selection Commission will meet on Feb. 25, in Memphis to initiate the process of filling the vacancy.
For more information on how to apply, check here
Legal Aid offers pro se divorce clinic
Divorce is "a luxury item for low-income people," Legal Aid of East Tennessee Associate Director Debra House said. "You can live without getting divorced. You can't live without food on your table and clothes on your kids' backs." Because of the extra challenges in the current economy, LAET's "pro se" divorce clinic is even more needed now. The group has offered the clinic since 2004 to help low-income residents end their marriages.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press has the story
Analysis: Cone case shines light on capital punishment
When death row inmate Gary Bradford Cone's lawyers went to Washington D.C. for the appeal of his death sentence, they told the Supreme Court that the Shelby County district attorney's office had withheld important evidence from the attorney who represented Cone in his 1982 trial. The bad press was misleading, according to John Campbell, an assistant district attorney in Shelby County who has been prosecuting first-degree murder cases since 1985. But the Cone case nevertheless sharpened the focus on a state death penalty system with a serious problem.
The Commercial Appeal has this opinion piece
Editorial: Ensuring fairness in death penalty most important
An editorial in the Commercial Appeal asks "What could be more important than perfecting laws and policies to ensure fairness and equity in the application of capital punishment?" The newspaper advocates making sure all custodial interrogations with murder suspects are recorded; creating protocols for the conditions under which the death penalty may be sought so that punishment will be uniform across the state; and making sure that attorneys appointed to defend indigent suspects are up to the job and well compensated.
Read the editorial
Rove called to testify about firings
The House Judiciary Committee chairman subpoenaed former White House adviser Karl Rove today to testify about the Bush administration's firing of U.S. attorneys and prosecution of a former Democratic governor.
Read the AP story in the Commercial Appeal
Legislative News
Mumpower and Casada complaints dismissed
The Tennessee Ethics Commission has dismissed an ethics complaint filed against two House GOP lawmakers. Former state Rep. Nathan Vaughn, a Kingsport Democrat, had accused House Majority Leader Jason Mumpower of Bristol and Rep. Glen Casada of Franklin of improper conduct in the 2008 campaign by setting up Web sites that misled voters. But Commission General Counsel David Himmelreich found the complaint was not "legally and factually sufficient."
The Tennessean carried this AP story
Upcoming
Martial arts master offers self defense/self awareness programs for lawyers
Martial arts master Patrick Wrenn will present a pair of self defense/self awareness programs for attorneys in Nashville and Knoxville next month. Wrenn, who was incorrectly identified as an attack victim in a TBA Today item last month, is a 10th degree black belt and six-time world record holder. He is also the karate instructor of Chief Justice Janice Holder. On Feb. 26, he will present a self defense course open to all Knoxville Bar Association (KBA) members followed by a "Legal Warrior" CLE program that will teach discipline and focus as drawn from the 17th Century Japanese text "The Book of Five Ring." You can learn more about the program from the KBA web site. On the following day, Feb. 27, Wrenn will be in Nashville to take part in a program called the "Healthy Bar Party: How to Incorporate Health & Wellness in Your Life and Law Practice." Sponsored jointly by the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program and the Nashville Bar Association's Wellness Committee, the day-long event will include classes in yoga, organization, mindfulness and nutrition in addition to Wrenn's session. For more information, contact Laura Gatrell or Ted Rice

TBA Member Services
New benefit provides communications solutions
PAETEC personalizes communications solutions for professional practices in Tennessee, offering a comprehensive suite of data, voice and IP services, as well as enterprise communications management software, network security solutions, CPE and managed services. The TBA has teamed up with the company to offer special products and pricing for members and their firms. For more information contact Sharon Joyce in Nashville at (615) 324-1845, Mark Priest in Memphis at (901) 312-1802, or Mark Morrell in Knoxville/Chattanooga at (865) 251-1765.


 
 
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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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