Business development: How top rainmakers bring in clients

There's nothing like a recession to bring your business development skills back into the picture. The latest edition of The Complete Lawyer -- an e-magazine provided as a service to TBA members -- tackles the question "How do top rainmakers make it happen?" The magazine covers the topic from all angles: marketing strategy, public relations, writing, speaking, networking and of course direct sales.

Take a look at the latest edition of The Complete Lawyer now

TODAY'S OPINIONS
Click on the category of your choice to view summaries of today’s opinions from that court, or other body. A link at the end of each case summary will let you download the full opinion in PDF format. To search all opinions in the TBALink database or to obtain a text version of each opinion, go to our OpinionSearch page. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on TBALink at the TBA's Membership Central.

01 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
05 - TN Court of Appeals
04 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR

You can obtain full-text versions of the opinions two ways. We recommend that you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. 1) Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This should give you the option to download the original document. If not, you may need to right-click on the URL to get the option to save the file to your computer. 2) Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion.

SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS Grants & Denials List

Court: TSC

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2009/certlist_020209.pdf


MELISSA MICHELLE COX v. M. A. PRIMARY AND URGENT CARE CLINIC, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

William Kennerly Burger, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Melissa Michelle Cox.

John R. Rucker, Jr., Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellee, M.A. Primary and Urgent Care Clinic and Austin Adams.

Judge: DINKINS

Plaintiff in medical malpractice action appeals the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant doctor and clinic. The trial court found that the deposition testimony of Plaintiff's expert witness failed to establish genuine issues of material fact with respect to the requirements of Tenn. Code Ann. section 29-26-115(a). Finding error, we reverse and remand the case for further proceedings.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/coxm_020209.pdf


L. L. LUTER, IND., ET AL. v. THE VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY D/B/A VANDERBILT STALLWORTH REHABILITATION HOSPITAL

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Mark Chapman and Ronald A. Stewart, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, L. L. Luter, individually and as representative next of kin of decedent, Betty Stratton.

Tom Corts, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Vanderbilt University d/b/a Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital.

Judge: DINKINS

Plaintiff, son and next-of-kin of decedent, appeals grant of summary judgment to hospital in negligence and wrongful death action. Finding no error in the action of the trial court, we affirm the decision.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/luter_020209.pdf


KRISTEN COX MORRISON v. PAUL ALLEN ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

William R. Hannah, John G. Jackson, and Richard W. Bethea, Jr., Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Peter H. Curry, Nashville, Tennessee; for the appellants, Paul Allen, Jody Roberts, individually, and d/b/a Allen and Roberts Group, and Wiley Bros.--Aintree Capital, LLC.

Donald Capparella and Amy J. Farrar, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Kristen Cox Morrison.

Judge: BENNETT

Wife sued the insurance company for failure to pay on Husband's life insurance policy and the insurance brokers for failure to procure an enforceable life insurance policy, various torts and violation of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA"). Wife settled with the insurance company before trial and won judgments against the brokers based on failure to procure an enforceable life insurance policy ($1,000,000.00); negligence, negligent misrepresentation, and breach of fiduciary duty ($300,000.00); and violation of the TCPA (an additional $300,000.00). Defendants appeal, claiming that they should receive a credit for the amount of the settlement with the insurance company and that the other awards were improper for various reasons. We affirm the $1,000,000.00 judgment but find that a credit for the settlement is appropriate. We affirm the tort award. We also affirm the finding of a violation of the TCPA and affirm the award of the additional $300,000.00.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/morrisonk_020209.pdf


DUSTIN SCOGIN v. AUDRY SORG

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Jennifer Sheppard, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Audry Sorg.

Carrie W. Gasaway, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Dustin Scogin.

Judge: BENNETT

On Mother's petition to modify a permanent parenting plan and Father's counterpetition to modify the parenting plan, the juvenile court modified the parenting plan to make Father the primary residential parent with Mother having parenting time every other weekend and alternate Wednesdays during the school year. Mother appeals arguing that the juvenile court erred in failing to find a material change of circumstances. We have concluded that the evidence supports a finding of a material change of circumstances, but that the evidence preponderates against the trial court's conclusion that making the Father the primary residential parent was in the child's best interest.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/scogind_020209.pdf


MICHAEL SHROPSHIRE v. BETTY ROACH

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Lee Borthick, Springfield, Tennessee, for the appellant, Betty Roach.

Steve North, Mark North, Madison, Tennessee, for the appellees, Michael Shropshire and wife, Rebecca Shropshire.

Judge: COTTRELL

A home seller appeals a jury verdict finding that she intentionally misrepresented water conditions in the basement in connection with the sale of her home. According to the seller, the jury verdict was against the weight of the evidence and the trial court erroneously allowed opinion testimony from the contractor who repaired the water damage. We affirm, finding that material evidence supports that the jury verdict and that the trial court did not err in allowing the testimony.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/shropshirem_020209.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. THOMAS EDWARD CLARDY

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Patricia L. Snyder, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Thomas Edward Clardy.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Matthew Bryant Haskell, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson III, District Attorney General; and Dan Hamm and Sharon Reddick, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Thomas Edward Clardy, appeals from his Davidson County Criminal Court jury convictions of one count of first degree premeditated murder, two counts of attempted first degree premeditated murder, and three counts of reckless endangerment. He claims that the evidence was legally insufficient to support his convictions, emphasizing that the State failed to meet its burden of proof in establishing the defendant's identity as the perpetrator. The defendant also claims that the trial court erred in not granting his motion for a judgment of acquittal. Because the evidence presented was legally sufficient to support the convictions, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/clardyt_020209.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DEDRICK L. PATTON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

J. Michael Engle (at trial) and Jennifer Hall and Jeffrey A. DeVasher (on appeal), Assistant Public Defenders, for the appellant, Dedrick L. Patton.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; John Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson III, District Attorney General; and Bret Gunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

A Davidson County Criminal Court jury convicted the defendant, Dedrick L. Patton, of one count of possession with intent to sell .5 grams or more of cocaine and one count of simple possession of marijuana. The trial court imposed an effective sentence of 12 years' incarceration. In this appeal, the defendant contends that the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress and that his sentence is excessive. Discerning no error, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/pattond_020209.pdf


TIMMY REAGAN v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

John Milton Meadows, III, Cookeville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Timmy Reagan.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Assistant Attorney General; William E. Gibson, District Attorney General; and Owen Burnett and Ben Fann, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The petitioner, Timmy Reagan, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, alleging that he was deprived of the effective assistance of counsel. Because of concerns regarding the timeliness of the petition for post-conviction relief, the case must be remanded to the post-conviction court for a determination of whether the petition was filed within one year of this court's opinion affirming the petitioner's conviction or whether due process requires the tolling of the one-year statute of limitations in this case.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/reagant_020209.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOHN WILLIAM WALLER

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jeffrey A. DeVasher, Assistant Public Defender (on appeal), and Jonathan F. Wing, Assistant Public Defender (at trial), Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, John William Waller.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Mark A. Fulks, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Bernie McEvoy, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCMULLEN

This case presents an appeal as of right by Defendant-Appellant, John William Waller (hereinafter "Waller"), from a judgment by the Honorable Randall Wyatt, Judge of the Davidson County Criminal Court, revoking his probation. The only question submitted for this court's review is whether the trial court properly revoked Waller's probation. Upon a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/wallerj_020209.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
TBA Member Services
TennBarU CLE

Legal News
'CJ2' honored by Tennessee Lawyers' Assistance Program
Chief Justice Janice Holder -- dubbed "CJ2" for Chief Justice Janice -- was honored Friday night by the Tennessee Lawyers' Assistance Program (TLAP) during its annual weekend-long retreat. The retreat, held in Nashville, is an opportunity for the commissioners who run the program that provides assistance to those suffering from alcohol and drug abuse and emotional problems to plan for their upcoming year. Holder has been liaison to TLAP since it was created in 1998.

Stay of execution denied by 6th Circuit
The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has issued two orders denying Steve Henley's requests for a stay. One of those appeals challenged the constitutionality of Tennessee three-drug lethal injection protocol. Read more from The Nashville City Paper. The execution date is Feb. 4
Download the orders from the AOC
WANTED: Law school deans
At least 27 law schools throughout the country are searching for new deans -- including the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law -- and many are having a tough time filling the position. Law school deanships, once highly sought after, are now higher-stress jobs, thanks in part to the economy, LegalTimes reports. Read the story, including a list of schools with openings on
Law.com
Funding cuts put juvenile offender programs in peril
An intensive probation program in Hamilton County offered Juvenile Court judges a "last stop" before sending youths into state custody, official say, but federal cuts have caused many programs like this to end. Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Suzanne Bailey said that without the program more teens will go into state custody than will stay in the community for help. "I always felt it was one of the strongest programs in our community to attempt to turn those kids away from a life of crime," Bailey said. Graduates had a 70 percent success rate for the one-year period after leaving the program, she said.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press has the story
U.S. attorney rehired; firing based on lesbian rumors
Leslie Hagen, who last April was removed from her job because she was rumored to be a lesbian, was rehired by the Justice Department today, returning to her post at the department's Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys. She never received an official apology and has thousands of dollars in attorney fees, which the Justice Department, under President Bush, refused to pay. Hagen's attorney is hopeful though, that the new attorney general will take a different view.
National Public Radio has the story
Juvenile crime victims' names on lost flash drive
A Metro Nashville auditor misplaced a computer flash drive containing the names of more than 500 juvenile crime victims who receive government funds, potentially exposing their account numbers and balances. Although the loss happened Dec. 19, it was not reported until mid-January. The victims' addresses, phone numbers and Social Security numbers were not compromised, but each of the victims is a minor, and their names alone are sensitive information.
The Tennessean has more
Re-entry programs help recidivism, study shows
Tennessee Department of Correction spokeswoman Dorinda Carter told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that recent studies by the department show re-entry initiatives for prisoners have reduced recidivism by about 10 percent.
Read the story
Alito stresses public service
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. told an audience of about 300 people at the University of Virginia School of Law Saturday that public service remains a core ideal and a central part of the profession. "It is certainly true that lawyers are frequently criticized as greedy and unethical and there is no doubt that the criticism is sometimes justified," Alito said. "But in many segments of the profession, a devotion to the public good remains at the center of lawyers' consciousness and work."
TriCities.com carried this AP story
TBA Member Services
TBJ covers diversity, TARP, summary judgment and more
Diversity is not a black and white issue, as you'll see in this month's Tennessee Bar Journal, which focuses on gender and racial diversity. Articles by Buck Lewis, Karen Britton, Karen Neal and Cynthia Sellers outline the needs and a path toward more equality. Other timely articles include Andree Blumstein's explanation of summary judgment after Hannan and Martin, and Katie Edge's assessment of the Troubled Assets Relief Program. Edward G. Phillips asks the question "Who isn't disabled?" under the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, along with regular columns by Don Paine and Bill Haltom. You should have your copy by now, or you can
read it online here.
UPL enforcement resources available
The TBA Committee on the Protection of the Public from the Unauthorized Practice of Law encourages local bar leaders to review the sample protocol for handling UPL complaints and to urge adoption by local bar associations. The sample protocol is available on the TBA website, along with the other UPL resources.
Visit the UPL webpage for more information
TennBarU CLE
Bones of Betrayal: Update in Forensic Technology
Forensic evidence can be the linchpin in a court case, so it is crucial to stay abreast of new developments, as well as understand current forensic techniques. Join forensic anthropologist Dr. William Bass, founder of the University of Tennessee's "Body Farm," and his writing partner, Jon Jefferson, for a TennBarU CLE program Feb. 12 in Nashville to learn about current and emerging forensic anthropology research and investigative technologies and how they might be encountered in court.
Learn more or register now

 
 
Discontinue your TBA Today subscription? ... Surely not!
But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at:
http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/unsub_tbatoday.php

Questions, comments: Email us at TBAToday@tnbar.org

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.

© Copyright 2009 Tennessee Bar Association