Court: Money can influence judicial elections, decisions

In a landmark ruling that could affect state judicial elections nationwide, the U.S. Supreme Court today said that due process can require a state judge to recuse when a party in a case before him or her has had a "significant or disproportionate" influence on placing the judge on the court through large campaign donation. The 5-4 decision in Caperton v. Massey Coal Co. introduces for the first time a constitutional standard into the debate over the influence of big money on judicial elections, which supporters said was a victory for the rule of law.

Read the details in the National Law Journal

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IN THE MATTER OF: L.W., d/o/b 07/04/1991, A Child Under Eighteen (18) Years of Age

Court: TCA


Andrew L. Wener, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Dennis Martin.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General and Elizabeth C. Driver, Senior Counsel, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee, Department of Children's Services.


The trial court sustained the petition to adjudicate dependency and neglect filed by the Department of Children's Services. We affirm.


Court: TCA


Robin Ruben Flores, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for appellant, Harvey Joe Oakes.

Cindy A. Howell, Sparta, Tennessee, for appellee, Rhonda Gail Oakes.


This is an appeal from the ruling of the Trial Court, following the appeal to this Court, wherein we remanded with enforcement of the Trial Court's Judgment, as modified. After remand, the wife moved for contempt against the husband for not paying as ordered, and at a hearing on that motion the Trial Court found the husband guilty of contempt and ordered him to serve ten days in confinement for each finding of contempt. The order provided that the sentence would be suspended if he paid the sum due. The husband paid the sum due and appealed. On appeal, we affirm the Judgment of the Trial Court.


Court: TCA


Connie Reguli, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Cydnie Browning O'Rourke.

Helen S. Rogers and Lawrence J. Kamm, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, James Patrick O'Rourke.


Respondent appeals the trial court's judgment finding her guilty on two counts of criminal contempt and imposing a sentence of twenty days in jail, with sixteen days suspended. We affirm.

KIRBY Dissenting


Court: TCA


Herbert D. Hurst and Jill M. Shirley, Hurst Law Firm, P.A., Memphis, Tennessee, Louis P. Chiozza, Jr., Memphis, Tennessee, and Steven R. Walker, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Marcus Willis.

Reid R. Phillips and Chapman Sellers Morrow, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Correctional Medical Services, Inc. Debra L. Fessenden, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Shelby County, Tennessee.


This appeal arises from the removal of a state court action to federal court. Once the federal court granted the defendants summary judgment regarding plaintiff's federal claims, it dismissed plaintiff's state law claims without prejudice. Approximately one year later, the plaintiff sought to present its state law claims in state court by filing a motion titled to be a "Motion to Reassume Jurisdiction" and refiling its entire cause of action in state court. The trial court dismissed both cases with prejudice because the statute of limitations had run. We affirm in part and reverse in part.


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