CLE: Media relations for attorneys

Some of the state's savviest attorneys and media professionals come together to present a hands-on program for attorneys speaking to the media or advising clients on how to deal with the media. This three-hour program will feature sessions on attorneys in the media and clients in the media and include a one-hour panel discussion chaired by attorneys and public relations specialists who compare their diverging views on hypothetical media scenarios. It all takes place this Thursday at the Tennessee Bar Center in downtown Nashville.

Register now or find out more about this program

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.

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


Court: TSC


John E. Herbison, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Frank Barrett d/b/a Barrett Construction Company.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Warren A. Jasper, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


This case presents a constitutional question of first impression: whether monetary penalties assessed by an administrative agency are subject to the fifty-dollar limitation of article VI, section 14 of the Constitution of the State of Tennessee. For the reasons discussed below, we hold that article VI, section 14 applies only to the judicial branch of government and therefore is inapplicable to monetary penalties assessed by an administrative agency, which is part of the executive branch. We therefore affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals.


Court: TSC


Michael F. Carrico, Gate City, Virginia, for the appellant, Terry Lynn Byington.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Mark A. Fulks, Senior Counsel, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee State of Tennessee.

Judge: LEE

We granted permission to appeal to review the Court of Criminal Appeals' dismissal of this case and to clarify the law as to whether a minute entry following the denial of a motion for new trial will suffice to confer appellate jurisdiction or whether a separate written order is required. The record before the Court of Criminal Appeals included a transcript wherein the trial court denied the motion for new trial, but did not contain a written order. The Court of Criminal Appeals dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction. Thereafter, pursuant to an order from this Court, the record was supplemented with a page from the trial court's minutes showing that the motion for new trial was denied. After careful review, we hold that the Court of Criminal Appeals erred in dismissing the appeal and instead should have ordered supplementation of the record to include an order denying the motion for new trial. The minute entry, however, was sufficient to confer appellate jurisdiction. The Court of Criminal Appeals' order dismissing the defendant's appeal is vacated, and the cause is remanded to the Court of Criminal Appeals for a decision on the merits.

HOME FUNDS DIRECT, A California Corporation/Delinquent Taxpayers v. William Garrett

Court: TCA


Juliet Hill, Memphis, TN, for Appellant.

John D. Horne, Memphis, TN, for Appellee.


This case involves the right to redeem property purchased at a tax sale. The trial court confirmed the petitioner's right to redeem the property, divested title from the purchaser, and vested title in the original owners. The purchaser appeals. We affirm.


Court: TCA


William B. Raiford, III, Clarksdale, MS, for Appellants.

J. Kimbrough Johnson, Elizabeth T. Collins, Memphis, TN, for Appellee Amal Rustom, M.D. Darrell E. Baker, Jr., Deborah Whitt, Susan V. Thomason, Memphis, TN, for Appellees David Piper, M.D. and Pediatric Emergency Specialists, P.C.


The plaintiffs filed a complaint alleging medical malpractice against emergency room physicians who treated their daughter. The defendants filed motions for summary judgment, claiming that the plaintiffs' only expert was not qualified to testify as to the recognized standard of acceptable professional practice in the defendants' profession and specialty in their community or in a similar community. The trial court granted summary judgment to the defendants, finding that the plaintiffs' expert did not meet the qualifications of Tennessee Code Annotated section 29-26-115. The plaintiffs appeal. We affirm.


Legal News
Disciplinary Actions
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Underwood first president of Knoxville National Bar chapter
Knoxville attorney George T. Underwood Jr., an associate with the law firm Spicer Rudstrom, has been elected founding president of the newly formed William H. Hastie Chapter of the National Bar Association. Underwood earned his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1986 and his bachelors from East Tennessee State University in 1981.

Commission will meet May 22 for Judge Turnbull's replacement
The Judicial Selection Commission will meet on May 22 in Cookeville to initiate the process of filling the vacancy in the 13th Judicial District Circuit Court created by the resignation of Judge John A. Turnbull. Deadline to apply for the position was today. Those who have qualified are Wesley Thomas Bray of Algood; Amy V. Hollars of Livingston; and Lillie Ann Sells of Cookeville.
Learn more from the AOC
Who would you pick?
The New York Times gives you an interactive opportunity to play the president and make your choice to replace Justice David H. Souter, who plans to retire from the Supreme Court in June. Make your own selection for a replacement from the list of leading contenders, or enter your own pick and see how it compares with other readers.
Choose your nominee now
Souter says he would have retired no matter who the president was
Justice David H. Souter told a blogger last weekend that he probably would have announced his retirement even if a Republican had been elected president. A blogger for the Atlantic caught up with Souter on Saturday after he spoke at an Oxford University alumni luncheon in Washington, D.C. Would the liberal Souter have retired even if John McCain had been elected? the blogger wanted to know. "Probably so," Souter replied. "I'm going to be 70 soon. I've watched other justices wait until their 80s to retire, and by that time they have nothing left to retire to. I didn't want that to be me." connects you to the story
Programs see increase in lawyers needing help
Across the country, lawyer assistance programs are seeing demand for their services grow as the economy struggles. In Illinois, for example, its assistance program in April had 42 new referrals -- nearly twice the monthly average in 2008. Attorneys should be on the lookout for colleagues who are struggling with major issues such as divorce, death or substance abuse, and shouldn't be afraid to reach out and ask whether things are OK, said Susan Riegler, a psychologist and clinical director of the Illinois Lawyers' Assistance Program. reports
Disciplinary Actions
Hamilton County lawyer censured
Hamilton County lawyer Keith Black received a public censure from the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Tennessee Supreme Court today.
Read the BPR release
Virginia lawyer reinstated
Reston, Va., attorney Amy Elizabeth Spencer has been reinstated to the practice of law in Tennessee by the Commission on CLE & Specialization. Spencer has now complied with requirements for continuing legal education. She had been suspended in October 2002.

Johnson City lawyer dies at 44
Attorney Steve Johnson of Johnson City died April 17 at his home. He was 44. He was a graduate of Samford's Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham. His family requests memorial contributions be made to The American Heart Association.
The Johnson City Press has more
TBA Member Services
First Tennessee is TBA's preferred provider
First Tennessee has crafted a package of discounts to meet the specific needs of Tennessee Bar Association members. Find savings on merchant credit services, checking and savings, financial planning and more
on the TBA Web site

Discontinue your TBA Today subscription? ... Surely not!
But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at:

Questions, comments: Email us at

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