Practicing divorce law in the midst of economic turmoil

While economists and political leaders may quibble over whether we are in a recession, a deep recession or a full-fledged depression, family lawyers know that the current economic turmoil is having a profound effect on divorce and post-divorce legal practice. To get a handle on the situation, you need to attend the Family Law Forum, coming up this Thursday at the Tennessee Bar Center in Nashville. This seven-hour seminar will focus on: what assets and debts are really worth in today's economic climate; how marital property and income can be hidden or distorted; and how to look behind income tax returns and financial statements to help determine what really is "in play."

Learn more about the Family Law Forum or sign up now

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Court: TCA


Max Huff, Oneida, Tennessee, for the appellant, Boyce Wayne Boyatt.

Johnny V. Dunaway, LaFollette, Tennessee, for the appellee, Joann A. Boyatt.


This is a divorce case. After dissolving the marriage of Joann A. Boyatt ("Wife") and Boyce Wayne Boyatt ("Husband"), the trial court divided the marital property and awarded Wife alimony. Husband appeals, challenging the lump-sum award to Wife of $98,000 as her share of the marital estate and the award of alimony. We affirm.


Court: TCA


Charles P. Dupree, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kristine Dirks.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Rebecca Lyford, Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights and Claims Division; Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Clinton Tudors.


On March 22, 2006, Kristine Dirks filed an action styled "Complaint for Damages" against Clinton Tudors, a trooper with the Tennessee Highway Patrol, arising out of a stop and arrest on September 11, 2003. The trial court granted Trooper Tudors' motion for summary judgment. The plaintiff appeals. We affirm.


Court: TCA


Phillip L. Davidson, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellant, Candace Mullins.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General, and P. Robin Dixon, Jr., Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellee, State of Tennessee.


This is a claim filed against the State by a minor-decedent's mother for the wrongful death of her child based on T.C.A. Section 9-8-307(a)(1)(E) (Negligent Care, Custody and Control of Person). The child was murdered while in the care of a relative after he had been removed from the mother's home by the Tennessee Department of Children's Services. The mother contended that if the caseworker assigned to her son's case had properly investigated an earlier allegation of abuse at the home in which the child had been placed, the child would have been removed from the placement before the murder occurred. The Claims Commission held that it did not have the subject matter jurisdiction to hear the mother's claims under T.C.A. Section 9-8-307(a)(1)(E) because the child was not in the care, custody, or control of the State at the time of the alleged negligence. The mother appeals. We affirm the judgment as modified.


Court: TCCA


Dawn Deaner, District Public Defender; and Jeffrey A. DeVasher (on appeal) and J. Michael Engle (at trial), Assistant Public Defenders, for the appellant, Richard Cleveland Martin.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Katrin Novak Miller and Bret Thomas Gunn, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The defendant, Richard Cleveland Martin, was convicted by a jury in the Criminal Court for Davidson County of first degree premeditated murder and first degree felony murder. The trial court merged the convictions and imposed a life sentence for first degree premeditated murder. On appeal, the defendant contends that (1) the evidence is insufficient to convict the defendant of first degree murder, (2) the trial court erred in admitting two prior violent incidents between the defendant and the victim, and (3) the trial court erred in denying the defendant's motion for mistrial or, in the alternative, a continuance when the testimony of the State's DNA expert differed qualitatively from the report provided during discovery. We affirm the judgments.


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Kentucky lawyer reinstated
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Justice Lee to headline women's summit
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Program offers savings on auto insurance
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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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