FTC delays so-called 'Red Flags Rule'

Citing uncertainty among small businesses about compliance obligations, the Federal Trade Commission yesterday suspended implementation of its controversial "Red Flags Rule" until Nov. 1. The new regulations, which require businesses, including law firms, to develop policies to combat identity theft, have drawn fire from the ABA and state and local bar associations, including the TBA. The FTC said delaying the rule will give it more time to clarify which businesses are covered by the rule and what those businesses must do to comply.

Read more about the rule and its impact on law firms from an earlier issue of TBA Today

Read about the FTC's action

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Court: TCA


David W. Camp, Jackson, TN, for Appellants.

Sean Antone Hunt, Memphis, TN, for Appellee.


After being abducted from a mall parking lot, the plaintiff filed suit against the security company that provided security services to the mall. The trial court granted summary judgment to the security company, concluding that only the premises owner, i.e., the mall, owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. Plaintiff appeals. We reverse and remand for further proceedings.



Court: TCA


Stephen C. Barton, Memphis, TN, for Appellant, Shelter Insurance Company.

Glenn K. Vines, Jr., Laura M. Owings, Memphis, TN, for Appellee, Andrea S. Martin.

Darryl D. Gresham, Heather W. Fletcher, Memphis, TN, for Appellee, Metropolitan Group Property and Casualty Insurance Company.


The central issue in this case is which of two insurance companies is required to provide uninsured motorist coverage to the Plaintiff, who was injured in an automobile accident. The trial court granted summary judgment to the company through which Plaintiff had automobile insurance, finding that the company insuring the automobile in which Plaintiff was a passenger held the primary policy. We reverse and remand.



Court: TCA


Jerry E. Farmer, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellants, Donnie Vaught, et al.

Mark Allen Polk, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellees, Alan Jakes, Sr. and wife Deborah Jakes, et al.

James C. Cope, Thomas S. Santel, Jr., Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellee, Rutherford County, A Political Subdivision of the State of Tennessee.


A group of Rutherford County landowners whose property abutted one side of a private road which they maintained at their own expense filed a suit for trespass against a neighbor and developer who used the same road for access to houses he was building on the other side. Their suit also included a due process claim against the County for erroneously granting building permits for those houses. At the conclusion of the plaintiffs' proof, the trial court announced that it agreed that the building permits were granted in error, but it ruled that the county's action was an innocent error rather than a due process violation. The trial court also granted the developer's motion to dismiss the plaintiffs' claims against him, holding that he was entitled to use the road because of a permanent easement he had acquired from his predecessors-in-interest. We affirm the trial court's dismissal of the due process claim. However, we vacate its dismissal of the trespass claim because the plaintiff was able to present evidence that the individual who sold the property to the defendant had abandoned the easement and, thus, that the defendant had no right to use the road. We remand this case for further proceedings to give the defendant the opportunity to present evidence.



Court: TCCA


Anthony S. Caldwell, Pro Se.

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


Defendant, Anthony S. Caldwell, appeals the trial court's dismissal of his Motion for Amended Judgment and/or Motion for Reduction of Sentence in which Defendant sought a modification of his pre-trial jail credits. After review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court, but remand for the entry of corrected judgments consistent with this opinion in counts 3 through 7.



Court: TCCA


Jerry H. Summers and Marya L. Schalk, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Eddie D. Johnson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, District Attorney General; and Cameron Williams, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Eddie D. Johnson, appeals from his Hamilton County bench trial conviction of driving under the influence. He challenges the legal sufficiency of the conviction evidence. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.



Court: TCCA


Timothy Russell, Wartburg, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; and Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Timothy Preston Russell, pled guilty to one count of theft of property valued $10,000 or more but less than $60,000, a Class C felony, and three counts of theft of property valued $1,000 or more but less than $10,000, a Class D felony. He was sentenced to eight years as a Range II, multiple offender for the Class C felony and six years as a Range II, multiple offender for each Class D felony. Two six-year sentences were to be served concurrently to each other but consecutively to the eight-year sentence, to which another six-year sentence ran concurrently, for an effective fourteen-year sentence. The trial court denied probation and imposed incarceration. Appealing the denial of his motion to withdraw the four guilty pleas, the Defendant contends that he should be able to withdraw his guilty pleas to correct manifest injustice and that the trial court erred in not advising him that he would not be able to withdraw the guilty pleas if the court did not accept the plea agreement. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.



Court: TCCA


Ardena J. Garth, District Public Defender, for the appellant, Timothy Jerome Washington, alias Timothy Jerome Hughlett.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, III, District Attorney General; and Cameron B. Williams, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Timothy Jerome Washington, alias Timothy Jerome Hughlett, appeals the revocation of his two community corrections sentences by the Criminal Court for Hamilton County. The Defendant initially pled guilty to theft of property valued over $1,000, a Class D felony, for which he received a two-year suspended sentence in the community corrections program. While on community corrections, he pled guilty to theft of property valued over $10,000, a Class C felony, and he received a four-year suspended sentence to be served in community corrections consecutively to the two-year sentence. The trial court found that he violated the terms of both community corrections sentences, revoked the Defendant's sentences, and ordered him to serve the effective six- year sentence in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court was without jurisdiction to revoke the two-year sentence and that the trial court erred in revoking the sentences because the Defendant did not "willfully" violate the terms of his sentence. We affirm the judgment revoking the Defendant's community corrections sentence in case 258929, vacate the judgment revoking the community corrections sentence in case 255487 because the sentence had expired, and remand the case for correction of the amended judgment in case 258929.



Court: TCCA


Robert Brooks, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Alfonzo Williams.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Paul F. Goodman, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Petitioner, Alfonzo Williams, appeals from the Shelby County Criminal Court's denial of post- conviction relief from his conviction for second degree murder and sentence of twenty years in the Department of Correction. The Petitioner argues that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel at trial in failing to object to the trial court's self-defense jury instruction, failing to request a supplemental instruction, failing to object to the trial court's answer in response to a jury question, and failing to raise the issue in his motion for new trial. He also argues that he received the ineffective assistance of appellate counsel because counsel did not address these issues on appeal. We conclude that the Petitioner failed to prove that his counsel was ineffective. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.


THOMAS dissenting

The Rutherford Reader, as Revised, as a Newspaper of General Circulation

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2009-07-30

Opinion Number: 09-137


The Monroe County Buzz as a Newspaper of General Circulation

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2009-07-30

Opinion Number: 09-138



Supreme Court Report
Legal News
TBA Member Services

Supreme Court Report
Tenn. senators split on Sotomayor vote
U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander announced today he will vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, making him one of only a handful of Republicans to back her appointment. Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker said yesterday he would vote against Sotomayor, believing she views the court too much like a policy-making body. The Senate is expected to vote on the nomination next week. Read more about Alexander's position in the News Sentinel. Read more about Corker's statement in the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Legal News
AG says his office has no case against Lockett
State Attorney General Robert E. Cooper Jr. said yesterday that formal ouster proceedings by his office are not appropriate in the case of Knox County Law Director Bill Lockett, because the acts in question took place before Lockett took office. Lockett is under investigation on several fronts for keeping money from clients intended for his former law firm.
The News Sentinel has the story
Serbians visit Nashville to observe judicial system
As part of its program of assisting Serbian judicial and criminal reform efforts, the U.S. Department of Justice organized a visit to the United States for high-ranking Serbian officials. During its eight-day visit, the delegation visited Washington, D.C. and Nashville. While in Nashville, the group observed criminal court proceedings and discussed the U.S. criminal justice system with, among others, a Tennessee Supreme Court justice, a federal appellate judge, federal district judges, the Tennessee Attorney General, present and former U.S. attorneys, assistant U.S. attorneys, FBI agents and the federal public defender.
Read about the program
Judicial foundation awards law school scholarships
The Tennessee Judicial Conference Foundation has awarded seven $1,000 scholarships to students attending each of Tennessee's four law schools. The foundation was established in 1995 by the membership of the Tennessee Judicial Conference, which consists of all state trial and appellate judges. Its mission is to award need-based scholarships to students attending law school in the state. It is funded through gifts and pledges from members of the Tennessee judiciary.
View the list of recipients
Memphis attorney booked on theft charges
Memphis attorney J. Richard Rossie turned himself in to authorities and was booked on theft charges after a Shelby County grand jury indicted him on two theft counts. The charges allege that he stole more than $60,000 from each of two clients who had granted him power of attorney. Rossie is being held on a $10,000 bond. One of the conditions of his release will be that he wear an ankle monitor.
The Commercial Appeal has more
ABA annual meeting gets underway in Chicago
The American Bar Association opened its annual meeting in Chicago today with a civics theme. On Saturday evening, newly retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter will talk about the need for civics education and the policy-making House of Delegates will consider the issue on Monday and Tuesday. Topics addressed today include concerns facing women and minority partners, the law school accreditation process and the appropriate role publicity should play in high-profile prosecutions. Follow news from the meeting at ABANow.org or The ABA Journal

Law firm alliances on the rise
Law firms are more frequently forming partnerships with each other or joining networks to better serve clients and improve overall performance, reports the Memphis Daily News. The paper looks at a partnership between Memphis firm Butler, Snow, O'Mara, Stevens and Cannada PLLC and Nashville firm Waddey & Patterson PC as an example of how firms are leveraging each other's expertise. It also explores the growing number of firms joining official legal networks to expand their services.
Learn more
Candidates consider Stanley's senate seat
At least one Republican has announced his candidacy and two other GOP leaders are considering a run for the soon-to-be-vacant state Senate seat held by Germantown Republican Paul Stanley. Shortly after news broke of Stanley's resignation, state Rep. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, declared his candidacy. Other GOP names that have emerged include Shelby County Board of Education Chairman David Pickler of Germantown and state Rep. Steve McManus, R-Cordova. No Democratic names have surfaced yet.
The Commercial Appeal has more
New state GOP director named
Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney has hired John Newman to be his chief of staff and state director. Newman is a long-time Republican grassroots leader from West Tennessee with extensive experience in campaign management and administration. He will manage the day-to-day operations of the party and oversee grassroots and political development throughout the state.
Read more about Newman on Chattanoogan.com
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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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