Speakers name 17 to Judicial Nominating Commission

Lt. Governor and Speaker of the Senate Ron Ramsey and Speaker of the House of Representatives Kent Williams today announced their appointees to the new Judicial Nominating Commission. The commission will review and recommend applicants for vacancies on appellate and state trial courts across Tennessee. Those appointed by Lt. Governor Ramsey are Miles Burdine of Sullivan County, Christopher Campbell of Shelby County, Christopher Clem of Hamilton County, William Jenkins Jr. of Dyer County, Thomas Lawless of Davidson County, Theresa Lee of Washington County, Jack Lowery of Wilson County and William Young of Hamilton County. Those appointed by Speaker Williams are David Bautista of Carter County, Mary Helen Beard of Shelby County, Ana L. Escobar of Davidson County, Russell Johnson of Loudon County, Edward L. Martindale Jr., of Madison County, William Scott Sims of Davidson County, Denise Terry Stapleton of Hamblen County and C. Barry Ward of Tipton County. Their joint appointment was Verna Wyatt of Davidson County. The commission includes 14 lawyers, nine who had been recommended to the speakers by the TBA Board of Governors.

Read more about the nominations and access other resources

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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MARK BAYLESS ET AL. v. RICHARDSON PIEPER ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Brian Patrick Dunigan, Goodlettsville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Mark Bayless and Terri Bayless.

James Randolph Tomkins and Warren Maxey Smith, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Richardson Pieper and Unnamed Defendant State Auto Insurance Company.

Judge: BENNETT

Motorist was injured while in the course and scope of his employment and sued for compensatory damages. After settling with the tortfeasor's liability insurer for policy limits, the motorist used the proceeds to pay the workers' compensation subrogation interest and sought to recover the remainder of his damages from the uninsured motorist carrier. The trial court held that provisions in the uninsured motorist policy entitled the insurer to set off the full amount of workers' compensation benefits in addition to the full liability settlement motorist received to reduce its obligation under the policy. We find this results in a double offset for the uninsured motorist carrier and is prohibited by Boyce v. Geary, No. 01-A-01-9409-CV-00410, 1995 WL 245389, *1 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 28, 1995). The judgment of the trial court is reversed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/baylessm_082709.pdf


BELLSOUTH ADVERTISING & PUBLISHING CORPORATION, v. LOREN L. CHUMLEY, COMMISSIONER OF REVENUE, STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General, Charles L. Lewis, Deputy Attorney General, and Joe C. Peel, Senior Counsel, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellant, Commissioner of Revenue.

James W. McBride, Washington, D.C., and Carolyn W. Schott, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellee, Bellsouth Advertising & Publishing Corporation.

Judge: FRANKS

Plaintiff is subject to excise and franchise taxes in the State of Tennessee. For the five year period at issue the Commissioner issued a variance pursuant to the Uniform Division of Income for Tax Purposes Act which has been adopted by Tennessee. The variance enabled the Commissioner to alter the taxing formula and increase the amount of revenue assessed to plaintiff. Plaintiff filed this action in Chancery Court and the Chancellor voided the variance. On appeal, we hold that the Commissioner properly exercised her discretion in issuing the variance. We reverse the Chancellor and remand.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/bellsouth_082709.pdf


DONALD R. BIRD v. PAMELA STUCKY BIRD

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Eric S. Armstrong, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellant, Donald R. Bird.

Barrett T. Painter, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellee, Pamela Stucky Bird.

In this divorce case, the trial court dissolved the brief marriage of Donald R. Bird ("Husband") and Pamela Stucky Bird ("Wife") on stipulated grounds. Following a bench trial, the court awarded Wife a judgment against Husband for alimony in solido, representing the value of certain liquidated assets she brought to the marriage and the balance of loans she made to Husband. In addition, Wife was awarded transitional alimony, a vehicle, and her attorney fees. Husband appeals each of these determinations. We affirm the judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/birdd_082709.pdf


SCOTT A. HEATON, ET AL. v. DEAN STEFFEN, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

John Banks, Elizabethton, Tennessee, for the appellants, Scott A. Heaton and Daniel J. Heaton.

Bob McD. Green, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the appellee, Dean Steffen.

Judge: SUSANO

This litigation is about disputed ownership of 20 acres of mountain land in Carter County. The case was tried without a jury resulting in a judgment for Dean Steffen ("the defendant"). The trial court found that there was no question as to the amount or location of the disputed property ("the Disputed area"). Brothers Scott A. Heaton and Daniel J. Heaton ("the plaintiffs") proceeded on two theories: (1) that they had superior title to the Disputed area, and, if not, (2) that the land had been adversely possessed long enough to sustain their ownership. The court found that the defendant, who purchased his land in 1985, had superior title to the Disputed area through deeds that dated back to the 1800s. The defendant's chain of title did not vary in description or acreage. The court found that the plaintiffs' title to the Disputed Area was based solely on a deed of correction made in 1987 by family members, a deed that the court found had no legal basis. The trial court also found that the plaintiffs had not established adverse possession. After judgment was entered for the defendant, the plaintiffs moved to alter or amend the judgment, asking, among other things, for an order defining the complete boundaries of their land to include the Disputed area. The trial court denied the motion. The plaintiffs appeal. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/heatons_082709.pdf


MICHAEL J. HOGAN v. JANET KATHERINE HOGAN

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Charles E. Hodum, Andrea B. Womack, Collierville, TN, for Appellant.

Rachel L. Songstad, Arlington, TN, for Appellee.

Judge: HIGHERS

In this appeal, Father asks this Court to consider whether the arbitrator erred in finding California to be the home state of the parties' children under the UCCJEA, and in finding that Father failed to prove a material change of circumstances warranting modification of the parties' parenting plan. Mother asks us to consider whether, pursuant to Tennessee's Uniform Arbitration Act, Father is limited to the Act's statutory grounds for vacating or modifying the arbitration award. We find that the courts of this state do not have jurisdiction to enforce the parties' arbitration agreement or to modify the parties' parenting plan. Accordingly, the actions and orders of the trial court and the arbitrator are vacated, and the case is dismissed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/hoganm_082709.pdf


DONNA LASHEA MCMEEN JONES v. DAVID PATRICK MCMEEN

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Jerred A. Creasy, Dickson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Donna LaShea McMeen Jones.

Clifford K. McGown, Jr., Waverly, Tennessee, for the appellee, David Patrick McMeen.

Judge: BENNETT

Father filed a petition for contempt and to modify the parenting plan based on Mother's noncompliance with court-ordered visitation. Mother filed an answer and counterpetition for contempt and modification of the parenting plan based on Father's alcohol consumption. The chancellor found Mother in criminal contempt of court for willfully violating the visitation order and sentenced her to serve 24 hours in jail; Father was found in civil contempt for consuming alcohol around the children and ordered to pay a fine in the amount of fifty dollars. The parenting plan was affirmed as previously modified and Father's request for attorney fees was denied. Because the proceeding did not comply with the notice requirements of Tenn. R. Crim. P. 42(b) and Mother was not advised of the constitutional protections afforded criminal defendants, we reverse Mother's criminal contempt conviction. We find no abuse in the trial court's discretion with respect to its modification of the parenting plan or award of parenting time but have determined Father is entitled to an award of attorney fees caused by Mother's interference with visitation. We remand to the trial court for calculation and award of attorney fees incurred to enforce the parenting plan and visitation.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/jonesd_082709.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE, EX REL., TAMMY LAREE KENNAMORE v. ALBERT THOMPSON ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Andrew S. Johnston, Somerville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Tammy Laree Kennamore.

Harriet S. Thompson, Bolivar, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Albert Thompson.

Judge: STAFFORD

This case involves an award of retroactive child support. Following her divorce from the man she claimed was the minor child's biological father, Appellant/Mother filed a petition to establish paternity against the Appellee herein. Genetic testing revealed that the Appellee was the father, and the court awarded child support retroactive to the date of filing of the Appellant/Mother's petition, which award was a deviation from the Child Support Guidelines. Finding that the trial court's deviation from the guidelines is supported by the record, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/kennamoret_082709.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE, DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN'S SERVICES v. DEDRUS PETERSON, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Shantell S. Suttle, Cordova, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Dedrus Peterson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, and Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General, Amy T. McConnell, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellee, State of Tennessee, Department of Children's Services.

Judge: STAFFORD

This is a termination of parental rights case. Mother appeals the trial court's termination of her parental rights on grounds of persistence of conditions, abandonment by willful failure to visit or support, failure to substantially comply with the permanency plans, and mental incompetence. Finding that the grounds for termination of Mothers's parental rights are established by clear and convincing evidence in the record, and that termination is in the best interests of the minor children, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/petersond_082709.pdf


IN RE ESTATE OF CHARLYNE HUTTON PICKARD

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Christopher E. Thorsen and Kyle D. Neal, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Estate of Hutton Buchanan, Sr. and Carolyn Buchanan.

Jean L. Byassee, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Estate of Charlyne Hutton Pickard.

Judge: BENNETT

In this will construction case, the trial court found the language of the will demonstrated that the testatrix intended her real property to be administered as part of her estate subject to the administrator's control. The will further provided that the shares of any beneficiary who died before receiving his entire share would go to the surviving beneficiaries. Therefore, the petitioning estate was not an heir entitled to take future distributions under the will. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/pickardc_082709.pdf


IN RE: T.H.; A Child Under Eighteen (18) Years of Age; KAREN RILEY v. FRANKIE SUMMEOUR

Court: TCA

Judge: FRANKS

This case arose as a dispute over the custody of the minor child between the paternal aunt of the child and the maternal great aunt of the child. Following an evidentiary hearing, the Trial Court eventually awarded custody of the child to Karen Riley. Frankie Summeour has appealed. We affirm the Judgment of the Trial Court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/rileyk_082709.pdf


ROB ROTEN AND JERROLD SWAFFORD v. THE CITY OF SPRING HILL, TENNESSEE, ACTING BY AND THROUGH ITS PLANNING COMMISSION, AND IS INVESTMENT, INC.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

George A. Dean, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Rob Roten and Jerrold Swafford.

Heather C. Stewart and Douglas Berry, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, City of Spring Hill and IS Investment, Inc.

Judge: DINKINS

Residents of the City of Spring Hill brought common law writ of certiorari challenging the City Planning Commission's authority to approve site development plans for proposed construction within the City. The Chancery Court upheld the action of the Planning Commission. Finding no error, we affirm the judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/rotenr_082709.pdf


NINA SUH v. RAYMOND GIBBS, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Byron D. Bryant, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Nina Suh.

Frank H. Reeves, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Raymond Gibbs and Edith Gibbs.

Judge: SUSANO

In this litigation, Nina Suh (the "plaintiff") sued the purchaser of property once owned by Jung Lim Lee to enforce a judgment lien the plaintiff recorded against Jung L. Fowler. Lee and Fowler are the same person. The complaint asks that property identified as lot 6 of Hampton Hall Subdivision, Knoxville, be sold to satisfy the lien. The original defendants were Robert L. Davis, who purchased the property directly from Lee, and Davis' mortgagee, New Century Mortgage. Davis later sold to Raymond Gibbs and Edith Gibbs, who were substituted as defendants in place of Davis. The defendants moved for summary judgment on the ground that the lien recorded against Fowler was ineffective against them since they purchased from a title holder named Lee and the recording did not give them notice of a lien against Lee. The trial court granted summary judgment on the basis of this court's opinions in Young v. RAC Express, Inc., No. E2005-01165-COA-R3-CV, 2006 WL 1699001 (Tenn. Ct. App., filed June 21, 2006) and Gibson v. Flynn, No. 88-120-II, 1988 WL 119257 (Tenn. Ct. App., filed November 10, 1988). The plaintiff appeals. We affirm pursuant to the provisions of Court of Appeals Rule 10.1.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/suhn_082709.pdf


RONALD SWAFFORD v. DAVID AND SANDY WARD

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

David Ward, Pikeville, Tennessee, pro se.

Jennifer Austin Mitchell, Dunlap, Tennessee, for appellee, Ronald Swafford.

Judge: FRANKS

When defendants obstructed plaintiffs' and abutting owners' use of alleyway, plaintiffs filed for declaratory judgment that the alley was a city street and they were entitled to use the alleyway. After an evidentiary hearing, the Trial Judge ruled that the alley had in fact been a city street and the City had abandoned it, but plaintiffs, as abutting owners, could continue to use the alleyway for ingress and egress. Defendants have appealed. We affirm the Trial Court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/swaffordr_082709.pdf


TENNESSEE CABLE TELECOMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATION v. ELECTRIC POWER BOARD OF CHATTANOOGA

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

W. Travis Parham, Michael G. Stewart, Jamie Ray Hollin, John M. Farris, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tennessee Cable Telecommunications Association.

Misty Smith Kelley, Joe A. Conner, John M. Phillips, Gary Clark Shockley, Frederick L. Hitchcock, T. Maxfield Bahner, William R. Hannah, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, Electric Power Board of Chattanooga.

Judge: COTTRELL

An association of cable providers sued the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga in Davidson County challenging the Board's plan to provide a cable and internet network under Tenn. Code Ann. section 7-52- 601 et seq. Specifically, the association alleged that the Board was improperly funding the network in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. section 7-52-603 and that the plan submitted to the comptroller for review in Davidson County under Tenn. Code Ann. section 7-52-602 was defective. The trial court dismissed finding that since no violation allegedly occurred in Davidson County then the trial court lacked jurisdiction and venue under Tenn. Code Ann. section 7-52-609. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/tncable_082709.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. BARRY RANDY HALL

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Stephen M. Wallace , District Public Defender; and Andrew J. Gibbons, Assistant District Public Defender, attorneys for appellant, Barry Randy Hall.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; and Joseph E. Perrin, Assistant District Attorney General, attorneys for appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: THOMAS

The Defendant, Barry Randy Hall, pled guilty to one count of facilitation to sell 0.5 grams or more of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school and one count of selling 0.5 grams or more of cocaine, both Class B felonies. The parties agreed to a ten-year sentence on the facilitation to sell conviction and an eight year sentence on the selling of 0.5 grams or more conviction, to be served concurrently. At the sentencing hearing, the trial court denied probation and alternative sentencing and ordered the Defendant to serve the entirety of his sentence in confinement. The Defendant challenges the denial of alternative sentencing in this appeal. After reviewing the record, we conclude that the trial court properly sentenced the defendant and affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/hallb_082709.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DORIS NELL JONES

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Claudia S. Jack, District Public Defender; and Shipp R. Weems and Sharon D. Aizer (on appeal only), Assistant District Public Defenders, for the appellant, Doris Nell Jones.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Assistant Attorney General; T. Michel Bottoms, District Attorney General; and James G. White, II, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: THOMAS

On June 1, 2009, the Tennessee Supreme Court remanded this case for reconsideration in light of its opinion in State v. Byington, 284 S.W.3d 220 (Tenn. 2009). This court initially dismissed the defendant's appeal for lack of jurisdiction after both the defendant's motion for new trial and the trial court's order denying the motion were absent from the record. This court also denied the defendant's subsequent petition to rehear and motion to supplement the record with the missing documents. On remand, the defendant, who was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to eighteen years in the Department of Correction, again argues that the trial court erred by allowing certain out of court statements into evidence and that the State engaged in prosecutorial misconduct based on certain statements made during closing argument. After reviewing the record, we conclude that the trial court erred in admitting testimony by the defendant's mother regarding a telephone conversation between the defendant and the victim, but that such error was harmless. We also conclude that the defendant's contentions regarding the other challenged statements and the State's closing argument are waived for the defendant's failure to include them in the motion for new trial and that the issues do not merit plain error review. We therefore affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/jonesd_082709.pdf


RODNEY LAMONT LOVE v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Rodney Lamont Love, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

The Appellant appeals the trial court's dismissal of his petition for post conviction relief. The Appellant filed his petition outside the statute of limitations. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/lover_082709.pdf


HAROLD OLIVER McGEE v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Harold Oliver McGee, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

The Appellant appeals the trial court's dismissal of his petition for post conviction relief. The Appellant filed his petition outside the statute of limitations. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/mcgeeh_082709.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. HAROLD WAYNE NICHOLS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Ardena J. Garth, District Public Defender; Mary Ann Green, Assistant Public Defender; and Karla Gothard, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Harold Wayne Nichols.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Mark A. Fulks, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, III , District Attorney General; Rodney C. Strong, Assistant District Attorney General; Jason Thomas, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Following post-conviction review, Defendant, Harold Wayne Nichols, was granted a new sentencing hearing in case nos. 175423, 175425, 175438, 175433, 175440, 175442, 175490, 175492, 175495, 175497, 178087, 180535, 180536, and 180537. Prior to the resentencing hearing, Defendant filed a motion to dismiss the charges in these cases. Defendant argued that the delay in remanding these cases for sentencing violated his Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial. The trial court denied Defendant's motion to dismiss and sentenced him as a Range II, multiple offender, to an effective sentence of twenty-five years. On appeal, Defendant argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion to dismiss. After a thorough review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/nicholsh_082709.pdf


WALLACE WILLINGHAM v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Kyle Dodd, Pulaski, Tennessee, for the appellant, Wallace Willingham.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; J. Michael Taylor, District Attorney General; and Richard Dunavant and Patrick Butler, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

The Petitioner, Wallace Willingham, appeals as of right the Giles County Circuit Court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. The Petitioner was convicted by a jury of possession of more than .5 grams of cocaine with the intent to sell, a Class B felony. He was sentenced to thirty years as a career offender. On appeal, he argues that the denial was error because he did not receive the effective assistance of counsel at trial or sentencing. Specifically, he contends that trial counsel failed to convey a plea offer from the State and failed to advise him of his sentencing range as a career offender. After the appointment of counsel and a full evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court found that the Petitioner failed to prove his allegations by clear and convincing evidence and denied the petition. Following our review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/willinghamw_082709.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Supreme Court Report
TBA in the News
Upcoming
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Gov. signs merit selection, retention bill into law
Governor Phil Bredesen was joined by TBA President Gail Vaughn Ashworth and other TBA and legislative leaders at a ceremony today to formally sign legislation that will continue merit selection and retention elections for appellate court judges.
See a photo from the signing ceremony
Napier-Looby Bar Foundation honors new Fellows
The Napier-Looby Bar Foundation welcomed its inaugural class of Fellows during a reception Wednesday night at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. In addition, the organization honored the recent recipients of the Hon. Robert E. Lillard Scholarships and the Sen. Avon N. Williams Jr. Scholarships. Those welcomed as Fellows were: Julian W. Blackshear Jr. of Smith Hirsch Blackshear; Waverly D. Crenshaw Jr. of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis; the Hon. Richard H. Dinkins of the Tennessee Court of Appeals; Sheree Wright, counsel for Vanderbilt University; the Hon. Monte M. Watkins, 20th Judicial District Criminal Court Judge; and Mariah A. Wooten, Deputy Federal Public Defender for the Middle District of Tennessee.
See photos from the event
ABA sues over red flag rule
The American Bar Association today filed suit to bar the Federal Trade Commission from applying its so-called "Red Flags Rule," designed to prevent identity theft, to practicing lawyers. The rule, which is scheduled to take effect on Nov. 1, requires extensive reporting and bureaucratic compliance that would unnecessarily increase the cost of legal services, the ABA says. The suit also contends that the rule undermines the strong tradition of leaving regulation of attorneys to the states. The TBA has joined with bar associations across the country in petitioning the FTC to exclude lawyers from the rule.
Learn more or download the complaint
Meador on track for U.S. attorney job
Knoxville lawyer Melinda Meador remains the leading candidate for appointment as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, The Metro Pulse reports, and now that Justice Sonia Sotomayor and five other U.S. attorneys have been confirmed, that appointment may be forthcoming. Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Patrick Leahy, D-VT, says he hopes the remaining judicial positions can be filled when Congress returns from its summer break. Meador is an attorney at Bass, Berry & Sims and has been active in the effort to stop military tribunals.

Appeals court affirms Ford's bribery sentence
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit yesterday affirmed John Ford's bribery conviction and 66-month sentence. In doing so, the court rejected Ford's argument that the multiple bribes he accepted should be considered a single bribe deserving of a lighter sentence. Ford was convicted two years ago in the FBI's Tennessee Waltz sting.
The Commercial Appeal has more
Souter places 50-year restriction on papers
Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter has donated his personal and professional papers to the New Hampshire Historical Society but placed a 50-year ban on public access to the documents. The Blog of Legal Times says the "extraordinarily long restriction" is longer than any other justice has placed on papers in recent memory.
Read about it
Roane courthouse evacuated as precaution
The Roane County Courthouse was evacuated Monday morning for what Sheriff Jack Stockton said were precautionary reasons: three unsecured doors and suspicious wiring. A detection dog was brought in to search for explosives. Nothing was found.
The Roane County News reports
Safety at Dickson court improved
Newly remodeled holding cells and a new metal detector at the entrance to the courtroom will make the Dickson Municipal Court a safer place for judges and lawyers, the Tennessean reports. The holding cells will provide a secure place to keep defendants waiting for hearings and arraignments. Prior to the cells, prisoners were kept waiting in the courtroom jury box.
Read more
DA's office assistant retires after 29 years
For nearly three decades, Judy Watson has been a fixture in the Fourth Judicial District as an administrative assistant in the District Attorney's office. Now after 29 years, she is retiring. To celebrate Watson's years of service, friends and family gathered at the Sevier County Courthouse to praise her work.
Read about the event in the Seymour Herald
Supreme Court Report
Hot List offers analysis of 4 new cases
Nashville attorneys David Raybin and Sarah Richter report that the Tennessee Supreme Court this week granted review to four new cases. The issues involved range from habeas corpus and inverse condemnation to corporate liability and discovery issues in medical malpractice cases.
Read their analysis
TBA in the News
Access to justice work extends beyond presidency
Memphis lawyer Buck Lewis, who served as TBA president last year and oversaw the association's most ambitious effort to expand access to justice, is still at work. As vice chair of the Tennessee Supreme Court's Access to Justice Commission, Lewis is continuing his efforts. In an interview with the Memphis Daily News, he talks about initiatives being considered by the commission.
Learn more here
Leadership Law grad praises program
An interview with Jackson lawyer Craig P. Sanders in the Memphis Daily News highlights the TBA's Leadership Law program. Sanders, who was a member of the 2009 TBALL class, praised the program, saying it allowed him to meet top lawyers from across the state and interact with legislators and members of the judiciary.
Read more of his comments
Upcoming
Legal Aid holds free clinic Saturday
The Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee & the Cumberlands will host a free legal clinic for Williamson County residents on Tuesday, Sept. 1, at the Franklin Library. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. For more information contact LAS at (800) 238-1443.

TBA Member Services
Program offers savings on auto insurance
See how being a member of the TBA could help you save 8 percent on car insurance. GEICO offers 24-hour sales, service and claims. Call GEICO at (800) 368-2734
or get an online rate quote

 
 
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