The Complete Lawyer: Plan Your Estate Now

Despite these difficult economic times, there are many reasons that now is a good time for lawyers to set up plans for their estates. For those who may be subject to federal or state estate tax, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to accomplish unique planning goals and objectives, according to reports in the current issue of The Complete Lawyer, the online magazine brought to you as a TBA member service. Here are a few of the stories you'll find: It's A "Perfect Storm" For Lawyers' Estate Planning; Women Need To Be Educated About Estate Planning; Asset Protection Considerations For Business Owners; Tax Aspects Of Life Settlement Arrangements; The Irrevocable Income-Only Trust; and Succession Planning For Solos.

Check out these and other stories in this month's Complete Lawyer

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOHN P. HENRETTA

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Charles G. Currier, Madisonville, Tennessee (on appeal and at trial); Steven B. Ward, Madisonville, Tennessee (on appeal); and Charles Corn, District Public Defender (at trial), for the appellant, John P. Henretta.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Mark E. Davidson, Senior Counsel; Jerry Estes, District Attorney General; and Sandra Donaghy, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

A Bradley County Criminal Court jury convicted the defendant, John P. Henretta, of premeditated murder, see T.C.A. Section 39-2-202(a)(1) (1982), felony murder, see id., two counts of robbery with a deadly weapon, see id. Section 39-2-501(a), two counts of aggravated rape, see id. Section 39-2-603(a), and two counts of aggravated kidnapping, see id. Section 39-2-301. The trial court merged the felony murder and premeditated murder convictions into a single conviction, and the jury imposed a sentence of death after determining that the State had proven four aggravating circumstances and that the aggravating circumstances outweighed the mitigating circumstances beyond a reasonable doubt. See id. Section 39-2-203. The trial court also merged the non-capital convictions into a single conviction of each offense and imposed concurrent, Range II sentences of 45 years for robbery with a deadly weapon, 50 years for aggravated kidnapping, and 50 years for aggravated rape. The court ordered the effective 50-year sentence to be served consecutively to the sentence of death. In this appeal, the defendant challenges his conviction of first degree murder and the accompanying death sentence as well as his conviction of aggravated kidnapping. He contends (1) that the trial court erred by refusing to dismiss the indictment for a lack of jurisdiction; (2) that the trial court erred by refusing to suppress evidence obtained pursuant to a search of his person; (3) that the trial court erred by refusing to dismiss the death penalty notice on the basis of the delay between his confession and indictment; (4) that the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction of aggravated kidnapping; (5) that the trial court's refusal to instruct the jury on the effect of a non-unanimous verdict at the capital sentencing hearing deprived him of due process; and (6) that Tennessee's death penalty scheme violates the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgments of the trial court. Following our mandatory review, see T.C.A. Section 39-13-206(c)(1) (2006), we also affirm the sentence of death.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/henrettaj_041409.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Legislative News
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Commission to begin process of filling judicial opening
Applicants interested in being considered for the open 13th Judicial District Circuit Court position created by the retirement of Judge John A. Turnbull have until April 28 to apply. The Judicial Selection Commission will meet May 22 in Cookeville to hear public comments and consider the candidates.
Find an application and other information
Bankruptcy filings soar with recession
Despite a three-year-old federal law that made it much tougher for Americans to file for bankruptcy, the number of U.S. businesses and individuals filing to escape their debts is rising with a vengeance, a new report shows. Nearly 1.2 million debtors filed for bankruptcy in the past 12 months, according to federal court records collected and analyzed by the Associated Press. Last month, 130,831 sought bankruptcy protection -- an increase of 46 percent over March 2008 and 81 percent over the same month in 2007.
The Commercial Appeal has more
Study: drug imprisonments for black Americans on decline
For the first time since crack cocaine sparked a war on drugs 20 years ago, the number of black Americans in state prisons for drug offenses has fallen sharply, while the number of white prisoners convicted for drug crimes has increased, according to a report prepared from federal Bureau of Justice statistics.
The Washington Post reports
Strain on immigration courts creating problems
The American judicial system deems everyone innocent until proven guilty and guarantees a fair hearing with a lawyer -- but not when it comes to immigration. Reporting by the Associated Press has found that the U.S. immigration system -- which already grants fewer rights than criminal courts -- is straining under pressure from a flood of new cases. The result is that U.S. citizens are sometimes being arrested as illegal immigrants and are facing deportation without representation or sometimes without hearings.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press has the story
Legislative News
New judgeship proposed for 22nd Judicial District
Legislation filed by state Rep. Ty Cobb, D-Columbia, and state Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, would add another circuit court judgeship to the 22nd Judicial District, which includes Maury, Giles, Lawrence and Wayne counties. The bill also would increase the number of assistant district attorney positions from eight to nine and the number of public defender positions from five to six, the Columbia Daily Herald reports.

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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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