Ashworth sworn in as TBA president

Gail Vaughn Ashworth was installed as the Tennessee Bar Assocaition's 127th president today at the association's annual convention in Memphis during the Lawyers Luncheon. Chief Justice Janice Holder gave Ashworth the oath of office. Ashworth succeeds Memphis lawyer Buck Lewis, saying she will continue his excellent work in access to justice issues, increasing diversity in the profession, civics education and legislative issues. "I pledge to work hard and closely with the leaders coming beside and behind me," she says. Ashworth is a partner with Gideon & Wiseman in Nashville.

The Frank F. Drowota award was presented to Judge Herschel P. Franks; Ross Pepper of Nashville won the Joe Henry Award for Outstanding Legal Writing; and President's Awards were given to Danny Van Horn, Allan Ramsaur and Linda Warren Seely. The Fellows of the TBA Young Lawyers Division gave its William M. Leech Public Service Award posthumously to Ross Alderman, which was accepted by his wife, Judge Patricia Cottrell.

See more pictures of the Lawyers Luncheon

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
00 - TN Court of Appeals
05 - 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.

FRANCISCO JESUS ESPARZA-RAMOS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

John D. Drake, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Francisco Jesus Esparza-Ramos,

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

This matter is before the Court upon the State's motion to dismiss or in the alternative to affirm the judgment of the trial court by memorandum opinion pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Petitioner, Fransisco Jesus Esparza-Ramos, has appealed the Rutherford County Circuit Court's order dismissing his "Motion for Post-Conviction Relief Pursuant to the All-Writs Act 28 U.S.C. section 1651(a) - Writ in the Nature of Coram Nobis Alleging Denial of Counsel and Denial of Due process in Violation of the Sixth Amendment Supreme Court Jurisprudence as Set Forth in Gideon v. Wainright (1963) 372 U.S. 335" in which Petitioner alleged that: (1) his guilty plea was entered involuntarily; (2) he was denied counsel; (3) he was unaware that his guilty plea could be used to enhance subsequent convictions; and (4) he was never advised that he had a right to appeal. Upon a review of the record in this case, we are persuaded that the trial court was correct in dismissing the petition for relief and that this case meets the criteria for affirmance pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Accordingly, the State's motion is granted, and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/esparza-ramosf_061909.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JACKIE HARDIN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Russell T. Greene, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jackie Hardin.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Kenneth Irvine, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Defendant, Jackie Renae Hardin, was indicted, along with co-defendant, Jonathan Lynn Smith, on three counts of aggravated assault, a Class C felony. Defendant's case was severed from that of Mr. Smith. Following a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of the lesser included offense of assault, a Class A misdemeanor, in counts one and two of the indictment, and of the charged offense of aggravated assault in count three of the indictment. The trial court merged the two misdemeanor assault convictions into the aggravated assault conviction and sentenced Defendant as a Range III, persistent offender, to thirteen years. In her appeal, Defendant argues that the evidence was insufficient to support her conviction of aggravated assault, and that the verdict form incorrectly characterized criminal responsibility as a lesser included offense of aggravated assault. We affirm the judgment as to aggravated assault in count 3 of the indictment. We remand the judgments in counts 1 and 2 for entry of an order reflecting that these convictions are merged with the conviction for aggravated assault.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/hardinj_061909.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TIMOTHY S. KAYLOR

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Frank L. Slaughter, Jr., Bristol, Tennessee, for the appellant Timothy Kaylor.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Joe Crumley, District Attorney General and Kenneth Baldwin, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Appellant, Timothy S. Kaylor, was indicted for theft of property over $10,000. The State denied pretrial diversion. Appellant pled guilty to the offense. At sentencing, Appellant sought judicial diversion. The trial court denied the request for judicial diversion and sentenced Appellant to a sentence of three years, ordering Appellant to serve 90 days of the sentence in incarceration before being released to probation. Appellant seeks a review of the trial court's denial of judicial diversion. We determine that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying judicial diversion and, therefore, affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/kaylort_061909.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MICHAEL DAVID VELAZQUEZ

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Leslie M. Jeffress, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael David Velazquez.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Jeff Blevins, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The appellant, Michael David Velazquez, pled guilty in the Knox County Criminal Court to felony driving under the influence, possession of less than .5 grams of cocaine with the intent to sell, evading arrest, and misdemeanor driving under the influence. The plea agreement provided that the appellant would receive a total effective sentence of seven years, with the trial court to determine the manner of service of the sentences. On appeal, the appellant challenges the trial court's denial of alternative 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/velazquezm_061909.pdf


JANUARI LAKEITHA WILLIAMS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Januari Lakeitha Williams, Pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; and William H. Cox, III, District Attorney General; for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The petitioner, Januari Lakeitha Williams, appeals the Hamilton County Criminal Court's summary dismissal of her post-conviction petition on the grounds that it was untimely filed. We affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/williamsj_061909.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Legislative News
TBA Member Services

Legal News
U.S. House approves $440 million for LSC, Blackburn amendments fail
The House approved a Fiscal 2010 appropriations bill today that would provide the Legal Services Corporation with $440 million in funding, an increase of $50 million. Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, introduced an amendment that would have cut spending for the Commerce and Justice Departments, the Office of Science and Technology Policy and NASA by 5 percent. She said it would have saved $3.2 billion in the fiscal year that begins in October. The vote was 177 to 248. U.S. Reps. John Tanner and Steve Cohen, both D-Tenn., and Bennie G. Thompson and Travis W. Childers, both D-Miss., voted against it.
The Commercial Appeal has the story
New YLD president takes office, division elects new vice president
Nashville lawyer David Changas with Lewis King Krieg & Waldrop assumed the presidency of the TBA Young Lawyers Division today. He takes over for outgoing president Michelle Sellers of the Jackson law firm Rainey, Kizer, Reviere & Bell. Also at the division's annual meeting and elections today, six contested races were decided. Memphis lawyer Mason Wilson, with Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz, was elected vice president. He will serve as YLD president in 2011-2012. The division also elected Springfield lawyer Marisa Lee Combs of the Law Offices of Larry D. Wilks as its new treasurer, and Jackson lawyer Paul Whitt with Rainey, Kizer, Reviere & Bell as West Tennessee Governor. Three others were elected district representatives.

High court says rapist can't test evidence, Holder stresses expansion of DNA evidence
The Supreme Court said Thursday that a convicted rapist has no constitutional right to test biological evidence used at his trial in Alaska years earlier, leaving it to the states to decide when prisoners get access to genetic evidence that might free them. But today Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. underscored the Justice Department position that seeks to expand access to DNA evidence in the courts, the the Blog of Legal Times reports.
The Commercial Appeal carried this AP story
House votes to impeach Kent
Making legal history, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted today to impeach U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent. Not a single representative spoke on the imprisoned jurist's behalf, and the vote on the first of four articles of impeachment was 389-0. The charges accuse the Texas-based judge of abusing his power by sexually assaulting two female court workers and lying about his conduct to authorities.
ABAJournal.com connects you to the story
Moncier says law director's office part of consipiracy
A lawsuit filed this week by Knoxville lawyer Herbert Moncier alleges that a conspiracy working out of the Knox County law director's office has been in control of county government and misappropriated county funds in legal proceedings in an effort to retain power.
Read more in the News Sentinel
Stanford indicted and jailed
R. Allen Stanford was indicted and jailed today on charges his international banking empire was really just a Ponzi scheme built on lies, bluster and bribery.
The Commercial Appeal has more
Legislative News
Budget passes, legislators head home
Lawmakers passed a $29.6 billion budget plan that includes $2.2 billion in federal stimulus money. The state share of the spending plan -- $12.1 billion -- represents a more than 10 percent reduction from the previous budget year. As a bonus, they adjounred and went home for the year.
Find out more from the Tennessean
TBA Member Services
Secure, compliant data backup service now available
The TBA's official data protection, backup and recovery vendor of choice, i365, offers secure online backup solutions. i365 minimizes downtime by backing up files quickly and easily, and helps lawyers remain compliant by maintaining file integrity. Get i365 and be confident your data is securely stored and protected. TBA members enjoy a 10 percent savings on all services. For more information on this member benefit Denise Lucas at (407) 523-9774.
Learn why lawyers trust i365 for online data backup solutions

 
 
Discontinue your TBA Today subscription? ... Surely not!
But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at:
http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/unsub_tbatoday.php

Questions, comments: Email us at TBAToday@tnbar.org

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