Memphis Law names finalists for dean

According to the University of Memphis, finalists for the School of Law dean are: Kevin H. Smith, interim dean; Penelope Eileen Bryan, associate dean of academic affairs and professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law; David Alexander Brennen, deputy director of the Association of American Law Schools; and Richard A. Bales, professor and interim dean at Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law. University Provost Dr. Ralph Faudree said the search committee is in the final stages and hopes to make an announcement soon, according to the Memphis Daily News.

Read more from the paper

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.

00 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
02 - TN Court of Appeals
09 - 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.

SHELBY COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT v. MICHAEL HARRIS

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Martin Zummach, Germantown, TN, for Appellant, Shelby County Sheriff's Department.

Linda Kendall Garner, Memphis, TN, for Appellee, Michael Harris.

Judge: STAFFORD

Shelby County Sheriff's Deputy appealed the termination of his employment for violation of SOR- 104-Personal Conduct to the Civil Service Merit Board. The Board modified the punishment to suspension without pay. The Sheriff's Department appealed the Board's modification to the Shelby County Chancery Court, which upheld the Board's decision. The Sheriff's Department appeals. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/harrism_021109.pdf


TRAVIS JASON WEBB v. MARIE CAROLINE WEBB

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Johnny Von Dunaway, LaFollette, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Travis Jason Webb.

Thomas Fleming Mabry, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Marie Caroline Webb.

Judge: BLACKWOOD

In this post trial divorce proceeding, Marie Caroline Webb ("mother") and primary residential parent of the parties' minor child, Tanner, age five, seeks to relocate to the Cayman Islands. Travis Jackson Webb ("father") filed a Petition in opposition to relocation. The trial court granted the application to relocate and father appeals. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/webbt_021109.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JERMAINE RASHAD CARPENTER

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Stephen M. Wallace, District Public Defender, and William A. Kennedy, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Jermaine Rashad Carpenter.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Deshea Dulany, Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; and Teresa A. Nelson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant, Jermaine Rashad Carpenter, was convicted of two counts of sale of Schedule II drugs over .5 grams within 1000 feet of a school, a Class A felony; two counts of delivery of Schedule II drugs over .5 grams within 1000 feet of a school, a Class A felony; and simple possession of cocaine, a Class A misdemeanor. The defendant's convictions for sale and delivery were merged, and he was sentenced to twenty-five years on both convictions for selling Schedule II drugs and to eleven months and twenty-nine days at seventy-five percent for the misdemeanor conviction. The sentences were ordered to run concurrently for a total effective sentence of twenty-five years in confinement. On appeal, he argues that the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions and that the trial court's sentence was improper. After careful review, we conclude that no reversible error exists, and we affirm the judgments from the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/carpenterj_021109.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WAYNE PRICHARD DAVIS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Robert Y. Oaks, District Public Defender, and William L. Francisco, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Wayne Prichard Davis.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Anthony Wade Clark, District Attorney General; and Cristel D. Ledford, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant, Wayne Prichard Davis, appeals the Washington County Circuit Court's revocation of his community corrections sentence. The defendant, in two separate cases, pled guilty to the following offenses: (1) possession of cocaine for resale, a Class B felony; (2) possession of methadone for resale, a Class C felony; (3) possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor; (4) reckless endangerment, a Class E felony; (5) leaving the scene of an accident, a Class A misdemeanor; and (6) failure to appear, a Class E felony. He received an effective sentence of nine years, which was to be served in the community corrections program. A violation report was filed alleging that the defendant had violated the terms of his community corrections agreement by testing positive for cocaine and absconding. Counsel was appointed, and the revocation hearing was scheduled. Prior to that time, all parties appeared before the court for what they believed to be a hearing regarding the defendant's medical condition. No witnesses were presented with regard to revocation, no proof was admitted, and the defendant was not placed under oath. However, in response to questioning by the court, the defendant admitted that he had failed to report as directed. Immediately thereafter, the court revoked the defendant's community corrections sentence and ordered incarceration. On appeal, the defendant argues that the trial court improperly conducted the revocation hearing without counsel and without giving the defendant the opportunity to present witnesses and documentary evidence. Following review of the record as a whole, we conclude that the defendant was not afforded a proper revocation hearing. As such, the judgment is reversed, and the case is remanded with instruction to the trial court to conduct a revocation hearing in accordance with the dictates of due process.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/davisw_021109.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. STANLEY A. GAGNE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Michael G. Hatmaker, Jacksboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Stanley A. Gagne.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; and William Paul Phillips, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Appellant, Stanley A. Gagne, pled guilty to felony reckless endangerment stemming from an incident that resulted in the death of his step-daughter. The trial court sentenced Appellant to a one-year suspended sentence to be served on probation. The trial court also ordered Appellant to pay restitution to a church and a funeral home in the total amount of $10,697.06. On appeal, Appellant argues that the amount of restitution ordered paid to Woodlawn Cemetery is excessive. After a thorough review of the record, we have determined that neither entity is a "victim" as contemplated by the restitution statutes. Therefore, we vacate the trial court's order with regard to restitution and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/gagnes_021109.pdf


GEORGE ALLEN KING v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Albert J. Newman, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, George Allen King.

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

Judge: SMITH

Petitioner, George Allen King, pled guilty to one count of robbery. Pursuant to a plea agreement, he was sentenced to eight years as a Range II multiple offender. He was placed on enhanced probation. After the revocation of his probation within a year of his plea, Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief. Petitioner argued that he was afforded ineffective assistance of counsel and that his plea was not entered into voluntarily. At the conclusion of a hearing on the matter, the post-conviction court denied the petition. On appeal, Petitioner argues that the post-conviction court erred because Petitioner was under the influence of drugs at the time he entered the plea and that he believed he was to receive a six-year sentence as opposed to an eight-year sentence. Because we find no credible evidence in the record to support Petitioner's claims, we affirm the decision of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/kingg_021109.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. GLENN E. PRESSINELL

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jason A. Creech, Mountain City, Tennessee, for the appellant, Glenn E. Pressinell.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Glen Anthony Wade, District Attorney General; and Kent Garland, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

he defendant, Glenn E. Pressinell, pleaded guilty in the Johnson County Criminal Court to one count of solicitation of sexual exploitation of a minor, see T.C.A. section 39-13-529(b)(1) (2006), and the trial court imposed a five-year sentence to be served as 90 days' incarceration followed by 15 years' probation. In this consolidated appeal, the defendant contends that the trial court erred by ordering, as a condition of the defendantís probation, that the defendant not reside within one mile of the victim and that the trial court erred by concluding, following the revocation of the defendant's probation, that he was required to comply with the sexual offender directives. Because the trial court has not yet revoked the defendant's probation and because no appeal as of right lies from an order modifying the conditions of probation, the appeal in case number E2008-01735-CCA-R3-CD must be dismissed. Because the trial court erred by imposing an onerous condition of probation, the judgment of the trial court in case number E2008-01290-CCA-R3-CD must be modified to reflect the removal of the condition that the defendant relocate more than one mile from the victim.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/pressinellg_021109.pdf


OMOWALE A. SHABAZZ AKA FRED EDMOND DEAN v. JAMES WORTHINGTON, WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Omowale A. Shabazz, Nashville, Tennessee, Pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; and Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The petitioner, Omowale A. Shabazz, filed in the Morgan County Circuit Court a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The habeas corpus court summarily dismissed the petition, and the petitioner appeals. The State filed a motion requesting that this court affirm the habeas corpus court's denial of relief pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. After review, we conclude that the petition was properly dismissed. Accordingly, the State's motion is granted and the judgment of the habeas corpus court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/shabazzo_021109.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MICHAEL SMALL

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Larry E. Copeland, Jr., Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael Small.

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

Judge: WOODALL

Defendant, Michael Small, was convicted by a Shelby County jury of two counts of aggravated robbery and sentenced by the trial court as a Range II, multiple offender to twenty years in the Department of Correction. Defendant raised several issues in his original direct appeal, including whether the trial court erred in finding that he had implicitly waived his right to the assistance of counsel at the sentencing phase of his trial. Without addressing the other issues, this court remanded the case to the trial court with instructions to hold an evidentiary hearing with respect to the implicit waiver or forfeiture of counsel issue. See State v. Michael Small, No. W2003-02014-CCA-R3-CD, 2006 WL 3327845, at *3 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Jackson, Nov. 15, 2006). At the conclusion of the evidentiary hearing, the trial court found that Defendant had forfeited his right to counsel by physically assaulting his attorney. Defendant now appeals, arguing that (1) the trial court erred in finding that his actions warranted the forfeiture of counsel, and (2) the trial court should have granted his motion for recusal. After a thorough review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/smallm_021109.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. KEVIN B. THOMPSON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Guy T. Wilkinson, District Public Defender, and Richard W. DeBerry, Assistant District Public Defender, for the appellant, Kevin B. Thompson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Senior Counsel; Hansel Jay McCadams, District Attorney General; and Eddie N. McDaniel, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The defendant, Kevin B. Thompson, appeals from the Hardin County Circuit Courtís probation revocation for his two-year effective sentence for his guilty pleas to violation of a motor vehicle habitual offender order, a Class E felony, and violation of the registration law, a Class C misdemeanor. He claims that the trial court erred in revoking his probation and ordering him to serve his sentence in incarceration. We hold that the trial court did not abuse its discretion, and we affirm its judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/thompsonk_021109.pdf


RAYMOND WRITER v. HOWARD CARLTON, WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Raymond Writer, Mountain City, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; and Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The petitioner, Raymond Writer, filed in the Johnson County Criminal Court a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, alleging that his sentence was void because the trial court did not follow the dictates of Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296, 124 S. Ct. 2531 (2004). The habeas corpus court dismissed the petition, finding that the petitioner did not allege a ground upon which habeas corpus relief could be granted. On appeal, the petitioner challenges the habeas corpus court's ruling. In response, the State 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. After review, we conclude that the petition was properly dismissed. Accordingly, the State's motion is granted and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/writerr_021109.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Legislative News
Disciplinary Actions
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Former DA may be disbarred
The two-year saga of former District Attorney Bill Gibson's ethical troubles may be coming to an end unless he wins a court appeal. Earlier this month, a disciplinary hearing panel recommended that Gibson be disbarred for improperly communicating with a man his office was prosecuting and helping a woman who was convicted on drug and assault charges. Gibson now has the chance to appeal the decision in chancery court.
The Cookeville Herald-Citizen has more
House trial postponed again
Judge Donald Elledge today granted a motion to delay a new trial of former death row inmate Paul House by two months. The trial, originally scheduled for March 30, will now start on June 1. Attorneys for House are waiting for final FBI forensic reports and say the findings may implicate other suspects. The defense was also given permission today to test samples of the victim's blood and a pair of House's pants. House was released in July 2008 after the U.S. Supreme Court concluded new evidence cast doubt on his conviction.
Read more from WATE Channel 6
ABA House meets Monday
The American Bar Association House of Delegates will meet on Monday at the association's mid-year meeting in Boston. Items on the agenda include amendments to model conflict of interest rules, and position statements on habeas corpus appeals, payments to attorneys in Social Security cases, youth sex offender registries, mediation in criminal cases, and use of binding arbitration in nursing home suits. Learn more at www.abanet.org. In addition, for the first time in its history, the House will web cast its proceedings.
Watch the session here
Lookout Mountain judge resigns
Lookout Mountain Judge W. Bradley Weeks announced yesterday he was stepping down from the bench after serving the city for 10 years. Weeks was recently ordained as a deacon in the Episcopal Church and said the added duties from that job, as well as stress from the judgeship, led to his decision. City commissioners quickly and unanimously selected John M. Higgason Jr., an attorney in the Chattanooga law firm of Burnett, Dobson and Pinchak, to fill the position.
Chattanoogan.com has the story
Obion County names new officers
The Obion County Bar Association has elected new officers for the 2009-2010 bar year. They are: President Damon Campbell with Conley, Campbell, Moss & Smith; Vice President Bruce Stephens (Steve) Conley with Conley, Campbell, Moss & Smith; and Secretary/Treasurer David Hamblen. All are from Union City.

UT moot court team advances
The Tennessee College of Law Trademark Moot Court Team of Chris Collins, Sally Goade and Patrick Hawley captured the 2009 Regional Championship this past weekend in Atlanta. The win qualifies the team for the national "Final Four" in Washington, DC, on March 21. Professor Gary Pulsinelli and Interim Associate Dean Carol Parker are coaching the team, reports the college.

Legislative News
Illnesses force appointment of temporary speaker
The Tennessee House is preparing to elect a temporary speaker because the chamber's top two leaders are absent due to illnesses. House Speaker Kent Williams has returned home to Elizabethton to be with his ailing mother, while Speaker Pro Tempore Lois DeBerry remains hospitalized with an unspecified illness. House Democratic Leader Gary Odom said members plan to elect Rep. Steve McDaniel, R-Parkers Crossroads, as speaker until either Williams or DeBerry return, according to the News Sentinel.

Meanwhile, earlier today, Tennessee House Democratic Caucus Leader Mike Turner was hospitalized with chest pains. A spokesman later said Turner was to undergo a stress test, but that he was feeling better. Turner, a 54-year-old firefighter, was elected to the number two leadership spot among House Democrats in November. He has served in the state House since 2001. WBIR Knoxville announced the news.

Hometown ad denounces Williams
The Tennessee Republican Party has purchased an advertisement in House Speaker Kent Williams' hometown newspaper to denounce the man they booted from the party earlier this week. The Elizabethton Star ad says Williams betrayed core values of the party when he allowed himself to be elected speaker of the House by Democrats and then assigned the best office space and staff to the other party. The Knoxville News Sentinel reported the news.

Governor files recession bill
Gov. Phil Bredesen this week filed legislation he says will help the state "manage through" the recession. Among its provisions, the bill would change existing rules to give more flexibility in dealing with state workers and authorize the issuance of bonds to spur economic development.
The Nashville Business Journal has details
Disciplinary Actions
D.C. lawyer reinstated
Washington, D.C., lawyer Paul F. McQuade has been reinstated to the practice of law in Tennessee after complying with requirements for continuing legal education.
View all attorneys suspended and reinstated for 2007 CLE violations
TBA Member Services
Save at FedEx Kinkos
Through your membership in the TBA, your business can enjoy FedEx reliability and special savings on a variety of FedEx services, including savings on FedEx Kinkos services. All you have to do is sign up. Opening an account is free and there is no minimum shipping requirement.
Find out more

 
 
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