Bar results available on TBA web site

The Tennessee Bar Association welcomes 147 new lawyers to the legal profession. The state Board of Law Examiners today released the list of those passing the February 2009 Tennessee Bar Examination. The list of successful applicants is available on TBA Link.

See the list

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
04 - TN Court of Appeals
08 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
03 - 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.

MARK BRADLEY v. ALL AMERICAN CLASSICS OF TENNESSEE, INC., D/B/A CLASSIC CARS SOUTHEAST

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Steve North, Madison, Tennessee, for the appellant, Mark Bradley.

Shawn Joseph McBrien, Lebanon, Tennessee, for the appellee, All American Classics of Tennessee, Inc., d/b/a Classic Cars Southeast.

Judge: BENNETT

Buyer purchased a car from seller. Buyer never examined the car but relied upon seller's web site, representations and pictures. The car was not what it was represented to be, and seller would not take it back and return the purchase price. Buyer sued based on fraud and the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act. After buyer's roof, seller moved for a directed verdict, which the trial court granted because buyer did not inspect the car before the purchase. We reverse.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/bradleym_041709.pdf


RICHARD V. FULLER, ET AL. v. JOHN DENNIE CRABTREE, JR., M.D.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Arthur P. Brock, H. Dean Clements, Carl Eugene Shiles, Jr., Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, John Dennie Crabtree, Jr., M.D.

Ralph M. Bard, Jason Ryan Reeves, Tullahoma, Tennessee, for the appellees, Richard V. Fuller and MaryAnn Fuller.

Judge: COTTRELL

A doctor who earlier submitted an affidavit in this medical malpractice action and who also participated in the peer review process at the defendant doctor's hospital entered an appearance as plaintiffs' counsel. The trial court declined the defendant doctor's request to have the physician/attorney disqualified as plaintiffs' counsel. After considering the issue on interlocutory appeal, we reverse and find that the physician/attorney is disqualified and may not represent plaintiffs.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/fullerr_041709.pdf


INGRID MARIA ROGERS v. ROBERT DONALD ROGERS

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Gregory Dye Smith and Rebecca Kathryn McKelvey, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Robert Donald Rogers.

Laurie Young, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellee, Ingrid Maria Rogers.

Judge: BENNETT

In this parental relocation case, mother seeks to move to Germany with the parties' two minor children. We have determined that the evidence preponderates against the trial court's finding that the mother's relocation had a reasonable purpose. We, therefore, reverse the trial court's decision.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/rogersi_041709.pdf


MARY MARGARET WESTER v. RONALD ALLAN MCDOW

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Russ Heldman, John J. Hollins, Sr., Mary Frances Lyle, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellMary Margaret Wester.

Helen Sfikas Rogers, Siew-Ling Shea, for the appellee, Ronald Allan McDow.

Judge: COTTRELL

In this highly contentious divorce case, the trial court found both parties in contempt of its orders and ordered them each to serve ten days in jail, starting immediately. The parties were released after 12 hours, and the remainder of their sentences were stayed for six months to be vacated upon future compliance with court orders. The wife argues on appeal that her sentence should have been suspended or vacated rather than stayed, and that the trial court erred by sentencing her without taking the principles of Tenn. Code Ann. section 40-35-103 into account. Because this court cannot provide any real or practical relief, we decline to address the issues raised by the wife and dismiss the appeal as moot.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/westerm_041709.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. KENNETH FORD

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Gregory D. Gookin, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kenneth Ford.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; James G. Woodall, District Attorney General; and Alfred Earls, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The appellant, Kenneth Ford, was convicted by a jury in the Madison County Circuit Court of three counts of aggravated assault and one count of reckless endangerment. Following the verdict, the trial court sentenced the appellant to a total effective sentence of twenty-two years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the appellant challenges the trial court's imposition of consecutive sentencing. Upon our review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/fordk_041709.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DAVID F. HENNING

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

James E. Lanier, District Public Defender, and H. Tod Taylor, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, David F. Henning.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Melissa Roberge, Assistant Attorney General; C. Phillip Bivens, District Attorney General; and Karen W. Burns, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant, David F. Henning, appeals the order of the Dyer County Circuit Court revoking his probation. The defendant pled guilty to aggravated assault, a Class C felony, and received a three-year sentence, suspended to supervised probation except for ninety days to be served in the county jail. Subsequently, a probation violation warrant was filed, alleging numerous violations of the terms of the defendant's probation. Following a hearing, his probation was revoked, and he was ordered to serve the balance of his sentence in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the defendant argues that the trial court abused it discretion when it found that he had violated the terms of his probation. Finding no abuse of discretion, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/henningd_041709.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOHN FRED HOWARD

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Timothy J. Williams, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, John Fred Howard.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Glen Baity and Rachel Newton, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant, John Fred Howard, was convicted of first degree premeditated murder by a Shelby County jury and subsequently sentenced to a term of life imprisonment. On appeal, he has raised eight issues for our review: (1) whether the evidence at trial was sufficient to support the verdict, specifically the jury's rejection of his claim of self-defense and the element of premeditation; (2) whether the trial court erred in refusing to sequester the jury; (3) whether the trial court erred in failing to suppress graphic photographs of the deceased; (4) whether the trial court erred in admitting test results from two blood samples which the defendant did not get until the second day of trial; (5) whether the trial court erred in admitting certain evidence without the establishment of a valid chain of custody; (6) whether the trial court erred in allowing witness testimony which was highly prejudicial to the defendant; (7) whether the trial court erred by refusing to allow defense counsel to publish certain exhibits to the jury immediately after they were admitted, which minimized their impeachment value and violated the defendant's right of cross-examination; and (8) whether the cumulative error at trial demands a reversal in the case. Following review of the record, we find no reversible error and affirm the judgment of conviction.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/howardj_041709.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ROGER L. HUNT

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Claudia S. Jack, District Public Defender, and Robert H. Stovall, Jr., Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Roger L. Hunt.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; T. Michel Bottoms, District Attorney General; and Joel Douglas Dicus, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The defendant, Roger L. Hunt, pled guilty to third offense driving under the influence, possession of drug paraphernalia, and misdemeanor possession of a Schedule II controlled substance, after the trial court denied his motion to suppress. The defendant's plea agreement preserved a certified question of law regarding the legality of the police stop before his arrest, which was based upon the defendant not having a light illuminating his license plate. Upon consideration of the certified question, we hold that the trial court erred in denying the motion to suppress. We reverse the judgments of the trial court and vacate the convictions.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/huntr_041709.pdf


KEVIN LAWRENCE v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

James P. DeRossitt, IV, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kevin Lawrence.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Senior Counsel; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Chris Scruggs, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The petitioner, Kevin Lawrence, was convicted of felony murder and was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole. Subsequently, the petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief, alleging that his trial counsel were ineffective. The post-conviction court found that the petitioner's counsel were not ineffective and denied the petition. On appeal, the petitioner challenges the court's ruling. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/lawrencek_041709.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WILED MCMILLIAN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Tracey A. Brewer-Walker, Ripley, Tennessee (on appeal), and James Horner and James E. Lanier, Dyersburg, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, Wiled McMillian.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Deshea Dulany, Assistant Attorney General; C. Phillip Bivens, District Attorney General; and Karen Burns, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The appellant, Wiled McMillian, pled guilty in the Dyer County Circuit Court to one count of the sale of .5 grams or more of cocaine, and he received a sentence of ten years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. Thereafter, the appellant filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea. The trial court denied the motion. On appeal, the appellant challenges the ruling of the trial court. Upon our review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/mcmillianw_041709.pdf


MAURICE NASH v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Lyle A. Jones, Assistant District Public Defender, for the appellant, Maurice Nash.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; D. Michael Dunavant, District Attorney General; and James Walter Freeland, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The petitioner, Maurice Nash, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, arguing that the post-conviction court erred in finding that he received effective assistance of trial counsel. Following our review, we affirm the denial of the petition.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/nashm_041709.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. NEIL THOMPSON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Robert Jones, Shelby County Public Defender; Phyllis Aluko, Assistant Public Defender (on appeal); and Timothy Albers, Assistant Public Defender (at trial), for the appellant, Neil Thompson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Damon Griffin, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Neil Thompson, was convicted by a Shelby County Criminal Court jury of robbery and sentenced to three years, suspended after service of six months, followed by three years of probation. He appeals, arguing: (1) the trial court erred in failing to grant a mistrial due to a tainted jury, (2) the trial court erred in admitting a copy of the victim's telephone records into evidence, (3) the evidence is insufficient to sustain his conviction, (4) the trial court imposed an excessive sentence, and (5) he is entitled to relief due to cumulative error. After our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/thompsonn_041709.pdf


Sales Tax Exemption for Trailers Used in Agriculture

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2009-04-17

Opinion Number: 09-57

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2009/ag_09_57.pdf

Testimony of a Forensic Interviewer

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2009-04-17

Opinion Number: 09-58

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2009/ag_09_58pdf

Sale/Lease of State Property to Religious Group without Advertisement

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2009-04-17

Opinion Number: 09-59

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2009/ag_09_59.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Judicial Selection, Retention
Legal News
Politics
Court of the Judiciary
Disciplinary Actions
Legislative News
TBA Member Services

Judicial Selection, Retention
TBA officials urge lawyers to support merit selection
The Tennessee Bar Association's president and executive director addressed Kingsport-area bar members yesterday, urging them to contact their elected officials to pass legislation reviving a merit-based system of selecting judges. The current plan is slated to sunset on June 30, and Tennessee officials believe the state will have no legal mechanism for filling appellate court vacancies if the legislature does not act before then. In other words, if a sitting appellate court judge dies or retires after July 1, the vacancy "would just stay vacant," said TBA President Buck Lewis.
Read more on TriCities.com
Legal News
With fewer legal jobs out there, 43,000 graduates hit the market
The nation's 200 accredited law schools will spit out about 43,000 graduates next month, with roughly half of those lawyer-hopefuls expecting to take jobs in private practice. But they will be entering an employment market that already is swarming with laid-off associates, resulting in a "massive pile-up of attorneys looking for work."
Law.com has this National Law Journal report
Drug court saved this dad's life
A recent graduate of the Eighth Judicial Drug Court gives credit to the program for saving his life and helping him get custody of his son, who he had never met. Drug Court Director Jonathan Finley said the court works because of its basic premise: "Treatment, intensive compliance monitoring and behavior modification are the keys." For Wesley Willoughby and his young son, it has been a lifesaver.
The Lafollette Press has more
Politics
Horne will not run for governor after all
Knoxville entrepreneur Doug Horne, who had planned to run openly as a tax reformer, announced today he won't run for governor next year.
Find out why in the Memphis Commercial Appeal
Court of the Judiciary
Memphis judge reprimanded for long decision time
Judge Carolyn Wade Blackett of Memphis has been publicly reprimanded for taking too long to decide a capital case."This post-conviction petition in a capital case was filed April 13, 1998," the letter from Court of the Judiciary Presiding Judge Don Ash says. "The case was not decided by you until May 23, 2006, a time lapse of seven years, five months and twenty-one days." Tenn. Code Ann. Section 40-30-111(d) requires such a post-conviction petition to be concluded in the trial court within one year of the filing of the petition.
Read the letter of reprimand
Disciplinary Actions
Nashville attorney suspended
Nashville attorney Reginald Lamont Horton was temporarily suspended from the practice of law by the Tennessee Supreme Court today for posing a threat of substantial harm to the public: Horton had offered to provide legal services in exchange for stolen property.
Read the BPR release
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
TBA Member Services
Let JobLink help you with your next career move
A career service for Tennessee attorneys and law students, TBA JobLink is a job seeking and recruitment tool available at no charge. Whether you have a position to fill or are seeking employment, this site will guide you through a simple process to post your information.
Visit the site

 
 
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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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