Apply now for new Judicial Nominating Commission

The Administrative Office of the Courts today began accepting applications for the new Judicial Nominating Commission, which will review and recommend applicants for vacancies on the appellate and state trial courts for the governor's consideration. Applications, which can be obtained from the AOC web site, must be submitted by Friday, July 31 at 4:30 p.m. central time. Once applications have been received by the AOC, information about each applicant will be posted on its web site for a 14-day public comment period. During that time, the TBA Board of Governors will make recommendations for candidates to fill a minimum of 10 and maximum of 14 seats for lawyers in the new body. Following this period, the speakers of the state House and Senate will have 14 days to appoint members to the Judicial Nominating Commission.

Read the full Administrative Office of the Courts news release

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
02 - 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.

WILLIAM ST. NAGY v. PATRICIA JEAN DUBOIS

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Sandra Lee Stanbery-Foster, Greeneville, Tennessee for the Appellant, Patricia Jean Dubois.

Roger A. Woolsey, Greeneville, Tennessee for the Appellee, William St. Nagy.

Judge: SWINEY

William St. Nagy ("Husband") and Patricia Jean Dubois ("Wife") were divorced in 2003. In March of 2007, Husband filed a motion asking the Trial Court to order Wife to reimburse Husband for an amount paid by Husband toward the parties' joint federal income tax obligation for the year 2002. After a trial, the Trial Court entered an order on December 7, 2007 finding and holding, inter alia, "that the tax obligation to the Internal Revenue Service incurred by the parties prior to their divorce of forty one thousand eight hundred seventy six ($41,876.00) dollars is a marital obligation...," and ordering Wife to pay Husband $18,762.00. Wife did not appeal this judgment. In July of 2008, Wife filed a motion seeking relief from the December 2007 judgment under Tenn. R. Civ. P. 60.02. The Trial Court denied Wife's motion for relief under Rule 60.02. Wife appeals to this Court. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/nagyw_062609.pdf


ERIC WALLACE v. TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS,. ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Eric Wallace, Whiteville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter, Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General, Jennifer L. Brenner, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Corrections.

Judge: DINKINS

Petitioner seeking review of disciplinary action taken by warden of prison appeals the dismissal of his petition for writ of certiorari. Finding the trial court did not err, we affirm the dismissal of the petition.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/wallacee_062609.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. NICHOLAS FLETCHER

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Ryan B. Feeney, Selmer, Tennessee, for the appellant, Nicholas Fletcher.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; Michelle Parks, Assistant District Attorney General; and James Wax, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Following a jury trial, Defendant, Nicholas Fletcher was found guilty of first degree felony murder, attempted especially aggravated robbery, a Class B felony, and aggravated assault, a Class C felony. Defendant was sentenced as a Range I, standard offender, to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole for his felony murder conviction, eight years for his attempted especially aggravated robbery conviction, and three years for his aggravated assault conviction. The trial court ordered Defendant to serve his sentences concurrently for an effective sentence of life with the possibility of parole. On appeal, Defendant argues that (1) the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress; (2) the prosecutor engaged in prosecutorial misconduct during the cross-examination of Cordareyes Torry; and (3) the cumulative effect of these errors denied Defendant his constitutional right to a fair trial. After a thorough review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/fletchern_062609.pdf


KENYALE PIRTLE v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Bob C. Hooper, Brownsville, Tennessee (on appeal); Tom W. Crider, District Public Defender; J. Diane Blount, Assistant Public Defender, Trenton, Tennessee (at trial); for the petitioner-appellant, Kenyale Pirtle.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General; Garry G. Brown, District Attorney General; Larry Hardister and Matt Hooper, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCMULLEN

The petitioner, Kenyale Pirtle ("Pirtle"), appeals the summary dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus. In this appeal, Pirtle raises a single issue for our review. He argues that the trial court erred in granting the motion to dismiss because the Attorney General and Reporter, acting through one of his assistants, had no authority to file a motion to dismiss in the habeas court. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/pirtlek_062609.pdf


MARCUS ROGERS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jason Poyner, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Marcus Rogers.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Rachel Newton and John A. Irvine, Jr., Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The petitioner, Marcus Rogers, appeals from the post-conviction court's denial of post-conviction relief as it relates to the petitioner's convictions on one count of second degree murder and two counts of attempted second degree murder. On appeal, the petitioner argues that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel. Following our review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court denying post-conviction relief.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/rogersm_062609.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MICHAEL WAYNE THOMAS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Vanessa King (at hearing), Philip A. Condra and Robert G. Morgan (on appeal) Jasper, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Michael Wayne Thomas.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Melissa Roberge, Assistant Attorney General; J. Michael Taylor, District Attorney General; Steve Blount, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

The Defendant, Michael Wayne Thomas, pled guilty to manufacturing a Schedule II controlled substance, and the trial court sentenced him to a four-year suspended sentence and ordered him to meet the conditions of a community corrections sentence. A warrant was issued alleging the Defendant had violated his probation, and, after a hearing, the trial court revoked the Defendant's probation. On appeal the Defendant concedes that he violated his probation but contends that his probation supervision was in violation of Tennessee Department of Correction ("TDOC") rules regarding the use of community corrections funding and that this Court should review the record and law to determine whether this violation should nullify the order revoking his probation. After a thorough review of the evidence and the applicable authorities, we affirm the trial court's judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/thomasm_062609.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DERRICK BRANDON WELLS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Christopher Westmoreland (at trial), Shelbyville, Tennessee, and Hershell D. Koger (on appeal), Pulaski, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Derrick Brandon Wells.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; Charles F. Crawford, District Attorney General; Michael D. Randles, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

A jury convicted the Defendant, Derrick Brandon Wells, of both the sale and delivery of over .5 grams of a Schedule II controlled substance, crack-cocaine. The trial court merged the convictions and sentenced the Defendant as a Range II, multiple offender to twenty years and fined the Defendant $75,000. The Defendant appeals, contending the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction of the sale of crack-cocaine. After reviewing the record and relevant authorities, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/wellsd_062609.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Politics
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Indigent defense fund gets additional money
An additional $5 million has been added to the state's indigent defense fund to pay remaining claims from the 2008-2009 fiscal year. Attorneys will begin receiving checks next week, a spokeswoman for the Administrative Office of the Courts says. The supplemental funding comes as part of the newly approved state budget that already included $21.4 million for the 2009-2010 fiscal year. AOC Director Libby Sykes said that the indigent defense fund is fundamental to the administration of justice in Tennessee and thanked the governor and general assembly for including the supplemental funds, and Tennessee attorneys for being patient in awaiting payment.

McCoy takes reins as Judicial Conference president
Twentieth Judicial District Chancellor Carol McCoy was elected president of the Tennessee Judicial Conference during the organization's recent meeting in Memphis. Chancellor McCoy replaces outgoing Conference President Bill Acree, circuit court judge of the 27th Judicial District. Chancellor McCoy is the first female president of the conference.
Read more from the AOC
Ceremony bittersweet for new judge
As she took the oath of office this week, Lorrie Ridder told a group of friends, family and fellow judges that the experience was bittersweet. Ridder is filling the vacancy created by Rita Stotts' January death. "She was taken from us all too soon," Ridder said of her longtime friend and associate.
The Memphis Daily News has more
Memphis law school names new associate dean
The University of Memphis' Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law has named David S. Romantz, a professor at the school since 1998, as the school's new Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. He succeeds Barbara Kritchevsky, who has been appointed to a newly-created position, Director of Advocacy.

Attorneys turn out for annual 5K race at convention
The final day of the TBA Convention began at 7 a.m. with the running of the 28th Annual Race Gestae. In the men's division, first place went to Nashville attorney John Triggs with Waddey & Patterson PC; second place went to Nashville lawyer Gif Thornton of Adams and Reese LLP; and third place went to Chattanooga attorney Andy Pippenger with Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan PLLC. In the women's division, first place went to Chattanooga attorney Alicia Oliver with Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel PC; second place went to Audrey Coppock-Seal, daughter of Strawberry Plains lawyer Dawn Coppock; and third place went to Sevierville lawyer Cynthia Wyrick with Ogle, Gass & Richardson PC. This year's race was sponsored by Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare. Special thanks to former TBA president Bill Haltom who served as MC of the award ceremony and Methodist Healthcare representative Sue Matthews who was on hand to recognize the winners.
See photos from the event
Politics
Who will be Memphis' next mayor?
Mayor Willie Herenton's resignation Thursday means Memphis will have a wide-open race for its top elected post for the first time in decades. A Commercial Appeal editorial columnist looks back over recent elections and handicaps likely candidates to replace Herenton.
Read more in the Commercial Appeal
TBA Member Services
FedEx delivers value, reliability and proven performance to TBA members
Many things are affecting the shipping industry right now -- from published reports about DHL's reduced capabilities to overall economic challenges. In these uncertain times, it is important to have service choices, flexibility and options you can rely on in order to effectively manage your costs. That is why the TBA chose FedEx as its exclusive shipping provider. In addition to these benefits, FedEx provides special TBA member discounts of up to 21% on select FedEx services and up to 20% on select FedEx Office SM services. To learn more call 800-923-7089. When you enroll, please provide code: RGWUQH06. Enroll today and start saving!
Learn more or enroll in the program now

 
 
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