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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.

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Court: TSC


Court: TCA


Dale Conder, Jr., and Todd D. Siroky, Jackson, Tennessee, Joseph J. Krasovec, III, Chicago, Illinois, for the Appellant, Graco Children's Products.

John S. Little and Andrew V. Sellers, Jackson, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Shelter Mutual Insurance Company.


This is a negligence case. Appellant brought suit against Appellee alleging that Appellee negligently destroyed a piece of evidence. This evidence was relevant to a separate lawsuit involving Appellant. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Appellee finding that Appellee did not owe a duty of care to Appellant. Finding no error, we affirm.


Court: TCCA


Robert. T. Vaughn, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Edith Lamonne Bodhaine.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Senior Counsel; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Matthew Pietsch, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The appellant, Edith Lamonne Bodhaine, was convicted by a jury of driving under the influence (DUI), and she received a sentence of eleven months and twenty-nine days. On appeal, the appellant argues that the trial court erred by not granting her motion for judgment of acquittal at the close of the State's proof and compounded the error by failing to overturn the verdict when acting as thirteenth juror. Upon our review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Agnes Sipple Trujillo, Bean Station, Tennessee, for the appellant, Bobby Killion. D. Clifton Barnes, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Stephen Ewing.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; C. Berkely Bell, District Attorney General; and Kim Morrison, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

A Hamblen County Criminal Court jury convicted the defendants, Bobby Killion and Stephen Ewing, of one count each of dog fighting, a Class E felony, see T.C.A. section 39-14-203 (2006), and assessed a $2,800 fine against each defendant. The Hamblen County Criminal Court sentenced each defendant as a Range I, standard offender to two years' incarceration in the county jail and ordered a fine of $2,000. The defendants appeal, arguing that the trial court erred by denying their motions to suppress evidence found in Mr. Ewing's basement because the discovery of the evidence occurred during an illegal search. The defendants maintain that Mr. Ewing's consent to search his basement, which was the result of an illegal seizure and duress, was not voluntarily given. The defendants further argue that the convicting evidence was legally insufficient and that their two-year sentences were excessive. Mr. Killion individually challenges the trial court's finding during the suppression hearing that a 9-1-1 call implicated dog fighting, and he argues that the cumulative effect of the State's characterization of the evidence entitled him to a new trial. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Ricky Lee Nelson, Pro Se, Mountain City, Tennessee.

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

Judge: MCLIN

The petitioner, Ricky Lee Nelson, appeals the criminal court's dismissal of his petition for postconviction relief. The state has filed a motion requesting that this court affirm the court's judgment pursuant to Rule 20 of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals. We conclude that the state's motion is meritorious. Accordingly, we grant the state's motion and affirm the judgment.


Court: TCCA


Charles Ray O'Quinn, Tiptonville, Tennessee, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; and Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The petitioner, Charles Ray O'Quinn, appeals from the denial of his petitions for post-conviction relief and writ of habeas corpus. In this appeal, he contends that the trial court erred by summarily dismissing the petitions. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Jeffrey Rider, Tullahoma, Tennessee (at trial) and Russ Heldman, Franklin, Tennessee (on appeal), for the appellant, Susan Gail Stephens.

Robert E. Cooper, Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Mickey Lanyne, District Attorney General; and Jason Ponder, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Susan Gail Stephens, was charged with two counts of statutory rape and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The State denied her application for pretrial diversion, and she petitioned for a writ of certiorari to review the State's decision. The Circuit Court of Coffee County upheld the denial of pretrial diversion. The Defendant now appeals, arguing that the State, in its memorandum, considered irrelevant factors and failed to consider all relevant factors. After our review, we vacate the judgment of the trial court and direct that this case be remanded to the district attorney general for further consideration.


Court: TCCA


Greg B. Perry, Manchester, Tennessee, for the appellant, Rebecca Gail Wilhoite.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Deshea Dulany Faughn, Assistant Attorney General; Charles Crawford, District Attorney General; and Hollyn Eubanks and Ann L. Filer, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Petitioner, Rebecca Gail Wilhoite, pleaded guilty to one count of second degree murder and one count of especially aggravated robbery, both Class A felonies. As part of her plea agreement, she was sentenced as a Range II, multiple offender to forty years for her second degree murder conviction and twenty years for her especially aggravated robbery conviction, those sentences to be served concurrently in the Department of Correction. She now appeals from the Moore County Circuit Court's order denying her post-conviction relief. She argues that this denial was error because: (1) she was not granted funds to hire an expert witness on the subjects of battered woman syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder; and (2) she received the ineffective assistance of counsel and consequently entered her pleas involuntarily and unknowingly. After our review, we affirm the decision of the post-conviction court.


Legal News
TBA Convention 2009
Disciplinary Actions
TBA Member Services

Legal News
New student loan program can help lawyers reduce debt
A new federal program intended to help borrowers manage their student debt goes into effect on July 1. The legislation -- called the College Cost Reduction & Access Act -- will cap monthly loan payments according to income and forgive student debt balances after designated periods of time. For attorneys, the main beneficiaries will be those who go on to have long-term public interest careers. But the program will also make loan payments more affordable for all attorneys with high debt loads and relatively low incomes.
The National Law Journal reports
Sotomayor bucks trend on constitutional originalism
Each Supreme Court nominee over the past 15 years has ascribed to the conservative legal theory known as originalism, which seeks to interpret the Constitution the way it was written. Sonia Sotomayor's nomination changes that.
National Public Radio looks at the issue
More Nixon tapes released
Memos and tape recordings were released today by the Nixon Presidential Library shedding light on fateful moments of Nixon's second term. More than 150 additional hours of tape recordings are now available online. The tapes cover January and February 1973, spanning Nixon's second inauguration, the peace deal with Hanoi and the trial and conviction of burglars whose break-in at Democratic headquarters at the Watergate complex precipitated the cover-up that wrecked Nixon's presidency.
NewsChannel 9 carried this AP story
AGs reach agreement with TJ Maxx in data breach
Attorney General Bob Cooper and Division of Consumer Affairs Director Mary Clement, together with 40 other state attorneys general today announced a settlement with the TJX Companies Inc., totaling $9.75 million dollars. The agreement between the parties, filed in Davidson County Circuit Court today, resolves an investigation concerning TJX's data security practices following a massive data breach that placed consumers' personal data at risk, nationwide.
The Attorney General's news release is here
TBA Convention 2009
Whitt, McCarty and McDowell win YLD Awards
Jackson attorney Paul Whitt with Rainey, Kizer, Reviere & Bell and Knoxville lawyer Chris McCarty with Lewis, King, Krieg & Waldrop won the YLD President's Award for their work as chair and vice chair of the Wills for Heroes Committee -- which organized 13 legal clinics and served 416 first responders and their families across the state this past year. The awards were given last weekend at the TBA Young Lawyers Division and Fellows' annual dinner. Chattanooga attorney David McDowell with Gearhiser, Peters, Lockaby, Cavett & Elliott won best service project of the year for a golf tournament he sponsored, which raised more than $12,000 for a local charity.
See pictures from the YLD and other convention events
Baker suggests 'radical' way to choose judges
Former U.S. Sen. Howard Baker suggested this weekend that Tennessee move toward the way a federal judge is chosen. "I will just be radical for a moment," Baker said as he proposed allowing the governor to appoint whomever he or she wants and have the state Senate or both chambers of the legislature confirm the nominee. "I think that's an appropriate check and balance," he said during the TBA annual convention in Memphis. He was on a panel along with Harold Ford Jr.
Read this indepth story in the Memphis Daily News
Disciplinary Actions
Springfield attorney censured
On June 22, Fletcher W. Long of Springfield received a public censure from the Tennessee Supreme Court. Long violated the Rules of Professional Conduct and Disciplinary Rules by neglecting client matters and failing to communicate with his clients in a satisfactory manner.
Read the BPR release
Downtown Nashville may lose Arcade Post Office
U.S. Postal representatives will hold a meeting at the Nashville Public Library Auditorium, 615 Church Street, at 6 p.m. on June 29 to discuss a proposed consolidation of all postal operations in zip code 37219 to the Broadway station. That would result in the closure of the Arcade Post Office, which is heavily used by many downtown law firms.

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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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