'Anatomy of a Hoax' a part of TBA Convention programming

The Duke University Lacrosse team scandal made headlines across the country and rocked the respected North Carolina university. Now you can hear from the attorneys who were ethics prosecutors in the case -- James Cooney, Wade Smith and Joseph Cheshire -- as they give their fascinating "Anatomy of a Hoax" presentation at the annual Tennessee Bar Association Convention this June 18-20 at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis.

Register now or find out more about this program and other convention events

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IN RE B.L.S.C., D.L.S., & D.J.C.

Court: TCA


Hilary H. Duke, Dickson, Tennessee, for the appellant, S.L.S.C.

Amy Teresa McConnell and Douglas Earl Dimond, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Children's Services.

Bradley Kyle Sanders, Dickson, Tennessee, Guardian Ad Litem.


Mother appeals a juvenile court order terminating her parental rights to her three children based upon four separate grounds. Finding clear and convincing evidence to support the juvenile court's determinations on the grounds of mental incompetence and persistence of conditions, we affirm.



Court: TCA


Jennifer Davis Roberts, Dickson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Billy Eugene Puckett.

William E. Porter, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Eileen Ann Puckett.


This appeal arises from a post-divorce proceeding to construe a final decree entered in 2005. The trial court interpreted its order as awarding Wife one-half of Husband's total pension benefit. We affirm.



Court: TCCA


Jay Norman, Nashville, Tennessee, attorney for appellant, Terrance Lavar Davis.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; and Mark A. Fulks, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, attorneys for appellee, State of Tennessee.


The petitioner, Terrance Lavar Davis, appeals as of right the Hickman County Circuit Court's summary dismissal of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The petition alleges that his bargained-for sentences of twenty-two years to be served at one hundred percent for two counts of possession of cocaine for resale in a drug-free school zone is illegal because the release eligibility is in contravention to the 1989 Criminal Sentencing Reform Act. The State argues that release eligibility is non-jurisdictional and can be an element of a plea-bargained sentence. Following our initial review, we reversed the judgment of the trial court and remanded for further proceedings. Terrance Lavar Davis v. State, No. M2007-01729-CCA-R3-HC, 2008WL1958174 (Tenn. Crim. App. May 6, 2008). The State applied for permission to appeal this court's decision with the Tennessee Supreme Court pursuant to Rule 11 of the Rules of Appellate Procedure. On January 5, 2009, the supreme court granted the application for permission to appeal for the purpose of remanding the case to this court for reconsideration in light of the supreme court's opinion in Edwards v. State, 269 S.W.3d 915 (Tenn. 2008). Terrance Lavar Davis v. State, M2007-01729-SC- R11-HC (Tenn. Jan. 5, 2009) (Order Granting Perm. App. and Remanding for Reconsideration). Following our reconsideration, we conclude that the judgment of the trial court should be reversed and the case remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.



Court: TCCA


Joe H. Walker, District Public Defender and Walter B. Johnson, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Dustin Wayne Capps.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; J. Scott McCluen, District Attorney General, and Frank Harvey, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Appellant, Gale Marleen Krizka, was indicted for first degree murder for the death of her husband. At the conclusion of the proof at trial, the trial court dismissed the first degree murder charge. The case proceeded to the jury on several lesser included offenses. After deliberating, the jury found Appellant guilty of second degree murder. As a result, the trial court sentenced her to twenty-two years in incarceration. Appellant seeks a review of her conviction, arguing that the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction for second degree murder and that the trial court improperly instructed the jury on criminal responsibility for the acts of another. We determine that the evidence presented at trial supports a jury instruction on criminal responsibility for the acts of another and that the evidence was sufficient to support the second degree murder conviction. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.



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Legal News
Behm outlines challenges for new commission
Margaret Behm, chair of the Tennessee Supreme Court's new Access to Justice Commission, spoke recently with the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Portions of her interview and an accompanying article, which outlines the growing legal aid crisis across the state and efforts being made to help, are available from the paper.
Access the information here
Web may be used for proposed constitutional amendments
A proposal to amend the Tennessee Constitution to allow greater restrictions on abortions could for the first time allow the state to notify citizens about constitutional changes through government Web sites rather than statewide newspapers. The state estimates it will save $20,000 by moving to an online notification system.
Memphis Daily News has more
Baker Center names new interim director
The Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee has named law professor Carl Pierce as its interim director, beginning June 1. He replaces Alan Lowe, who left the center to become director of the George W. Bush Presidential Library. Pierce has taught at the law school since 1972 and served as assistant dean from 1972-1974. A search for a permanent director has begun.
The News Sentinel reports
Lawsuit targets Georgia's public defenders
Georgia's struggling public defender system was hit with a lawsuit Tuesday that seeks to halt prosecutions in hundreds of cases until lawyers are found to represent defendants. The suit, which alleges that 300 defendants have been languishing in jail for six months without representation, is one of the stiffest legal challenges yet to the system, which has been criticized since its inception.
Learn more from the Chattanooga Times Free Press
DOJ to name new ethics head
Attorney General Eric Holder reportedly is preparing to name Mary Patrice Brown, a career prosecutor in the District of Columbia, as new head of the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR). Brown currently leads the criminal division in the district's U.S. attorney's office. The OPR has been reviewing Bush-era interrogation policies and was investigating lapses in the government's case against former Alaska senator Ted Stevens. The shake-up comes one day after a U.S. district judge expressed lack of confidence in the office.
The Washington Post has the story
Security officials working to keep terror memos secret
Some U.S. security officials are working to overturn a decision by Attorney General Eric Holder to release three 2005 Justice Department memos that reportedly approved harsh interrogation tactics. Despite the order by Holder and approval by White House counsel Greg Craig, several high-ranking intelligence aides are pushing back. The department has delayed release of the documents for two weeks while it resolves the issue, according to Newsweek.

O'Connor touts computer games for civics lessons
Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said Tuesday that using technology is the way to teach students about the Constitution. Two of the games she is promoting -- "Do I Have a Right" and "Supreme Decision" -- are designed for middle school students to play in class. The games should be ready this summer as part of a project called Our Courts, which is backed by Georgetown University and Arizona State University, but is privately funded.
WREG-TV Memphis has more
Herron said to be poised for gubernatorial run
The Nashville Post reports that West Tennessee state Sen. Roy Herron, D-Dresden, will run for governor in 2010. Herron would join former state Rep. Kim McMillan and Nashville businessman Ward Cammack, who have already declared for the Democratic primary. Mike McWherter, a Jackson businessman and son of former Gov. Ned McWherter, and state Sen. Andy Berke, D-Chattanooga, are rumored to be on the verge of entering the race as well.
Read more from the Nashville Post (subscription required)
Legislative News
Track legislation of interest to Tennessee attorneys
The TBA Action List tracks bills in the General Assembly that the TBA has a direct interest in. This means it has either initiated the legislation, taken a postiion on the bill or has a policy on the issue. The TBA Watch List is a broader list of bills of interest to the Tennessee legal community.
TBA Bill Tracking Service
Disciplinary Actions
Florida lawyer reinstated
Tamara Lynn Trimble has been reinstated to the practice of law in Tennessee after complying with requirements for continuing legal education. She had been suspended in September 2004. Trimble is from Winter Park, Fla.

Connecticut lawyer reinstated
Norwalk, Conn., lawyer Kellye Lambert Walker has been reinstated to the practice of law in Tennessee after complying with requirements for continuing legal education. She had been suspended in September 2003.

TBA Member Services
Program offers savings on auto insurance
See how being a member of the TBA could help you save 8 percent on car insurance. GEICO offers 24-hour sales, service and claims. Call GEICO at (800) 368-2734
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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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