Jane Stranch nominated for 6th Circuit Court of Appeals

Nashville lawyer Jane Branstetter Stranch was nominated this morning by President Barack Obama for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The seat has been vacant since earlier this year, when Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey took senior status. Stranch is a member of the firm of Branstetter, Stranch and Jennings, where she has developed a national practice in labor and employment law and specializes in complex ERISA litigation. She earned her bachelor's from Vanderbilt University in 1975 and her law degree from Vanderbilt in 1978. Her nomination requires confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

Find out more about her from NashvillePost.com

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
03 - 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.


Court: TCCA


Joe H. Walker (on appeal) and Walter B. Johnson, II (at trial and on appeal), Harriman, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kevin Donald Friedman.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Senior Counsel; Russell Johnson, District Attorney General; and Frank Harvey, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

A Loudon County Criminal Court jury found the appellant, Kevin Donald Friedman, guilty of reckless aggravated assault, a Class D felony, and underage consumption of alcohol, a Class A misdemeanor. The trial court imposed a total effective sentence of two years to be suspended after serving six months in confinement. On appeal, the appellant challenges the trial court's denial of full probation. Upon our review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.



Court: TCCA


Stephen M. Wallace, District Public Defender; and Joseph F. Harrison, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Thomas Walter Lockhart.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; James Franklin Goodwin, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Thomas Walter Lockhart, appeals from the Sullivan County Criminal Court's probation revocation for his effective sentence of three years, one month, twenty-seven days after he was convicted of possession of legend drugs, a Class C misdemeanor, possession of a weapon with intent to go armed, a Class C misdemeanor, stalking, a Class A misdemeanor, assault, a Class A misdemeanor, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor. He claims that the trial court erred in revoking his probation and ordering him to serve his sentences in incarceration. We hold that the trial court did not abuse its discretion, and we affirm its judgment.



Court: TCCA


Benjamin L. McGowan, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Bruce A. Smiley.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Matthew Bryant Haskell, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, III, District Attorney General; and Neal Pinkston, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The Petitioner, Bruce A. Smiley, pled guilty in the Hamilton County Criminal Court to one count of rape of a child and one count of especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor. Pursuant to the plea agreement, he received a total effective sentence of twenty-three years. Subsequently, the Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief, alleging that his trial counsel was ineffective and that his guilty pleas were not knowingly and voluntarily entered. The post-conviction court denied the petition, and the Petitioner appeals. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the post- conviction court.



Legal News
Supreme Court Report
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Chattanooga judges will now get cases chosen by computer
The five Hamilton County General Sessions Court judges issued a joint order Thursday mandating that the assignment of all cases will be randomly chosen by a county computer. Court officials said the order was aimed at avoiding "judge shopping" and to establish an impartial assignment of court cases. The directive comes after a flap over the handling of a case involving the son of a Criminal Court clerk and two other 19-year-olds.
Chattanoogan.com has the story
Money saver: Low-risk offenders will not go to jail
The Tennessee Department of Correction will reduce the state's prison population by 3,000 over the next two years, focusing on keeping low-risk offenders from going back to jail, as a way to cope with an ongoing budget crunch.
The Tennessean reports
Patent infringement complaint lodged against Twitter
A Texas-based company has filed a patent infringement complaint against Twitter Inc. The lawyer for TechRadium says it develops, sells and services mass notification systems and owns two patents related to digital notification systems. In its complaint against Twitter, TechRadium alleges Twitter infringes upon those patents by offering for sale and use TechRadium's patented technology without licenses to do so.
Law.com reports
Supreme Court Report
Sotomayor swearing-in to be first in history on TV
Newly confirmed Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor will be sworn in Saturday by Chief Justice John Roberts -- twice. She will repeat one oath as prescribed by the Constitution in a private ceremony at the high court. It will be open only to members of Sotomayor's family. Then, Roberts will administer a second oath with the new justice's family and friends -- and reporters present. Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said the ceremony apparently will be the first one open to television cameras in the court's history.
WRCB-TV has the AP story
Kyle may announce run for governor next week
Memphis attorney and state Sen. Jim Kyle, the minority leader in the Senate and the point man for Gov. Phil Bredesen's legislative agenda, is expected to announce on Tuesday that he will enter next year's Democratic primary in the governor's race.
The Memphis Daily News has this story
TBA Member Services
Discounts from Office Depot
Are you saving yet? Sign up for the TBA-Office Depot Program and begin saving. TBA Members receive significant discounts on office supplies from Office Depot.
Find out more

Discontinue your TBA Today subscription? ... Surely not!
But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at:

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