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Court: TCA


Kenneth O. Fritz, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for appellant, City of Chattanooga d/b/a Chattanooga City Council.

Jack Benson, Jr., Chattanooga, Tennessee, for appellee, Shawn Cunningham.


The Chattanooga Police Department terminated petitioner's employment as a policeman for the City of Chattanooga. Petitioner appealed to the City Commission, whose hearing panel upheld his termination. He filed a Petition for Certiorari with the Chancery Court which was granted, and then filed a Motion for Summary Judgment which the Trial Court also granted inter alia on the grounds that the City Council employed unlawful procedures which violated petitioner's rights to a fair, impartial and unbiased appellate panel. We affirm the Judgment of the Trial Court and remand.


Court: TCCA


Dawn S. Kavanagh, Ashland City, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Shamar Rafael Lewis.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; Dan M. Alsobrooks, District Attorney General; Carey J. Thompson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Shamar Rafael Lewis, pled nolle contendre to two counts of casual exchange of a controlled substance and pled guilty to two counts of sale of less than .5 grams of a controlled substance, and the trial court sentenced him to probation. While on probation, probation violation warrants were issued for the Defendant. A hearing was held, and the trial court revoked the Defendant's probation and ordered the Defendant to serve his sentences in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant claims that the trial court abused its discretion by failing to consider a "less restrictive alternative" to confinement. After a thorough review of the record and the applicable law, we conclude that the trial court properly exercised its discretion. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court's judgments.

Revenues Earmarked Under Tenn. Code Ann. Section 56-4-205(c)

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2009-09-11

Opinion Number: 09-154


Legal News
Legislative News
Disciplinary Actions
TBA Member Services

Legal News
New Museum of Crime & Punishment has local artifacts
At Washington, D.C.'s new National Museum of Crime & Punishment, some items are from Tennessee, including the lie detection machine used on accused MLK assassin James Earl Ray. From the estate of noted polygraph examiner Chris Gugas, the exhibit also features photographs and the original questions Ray was asked during the 1977 investigation when it was determined that Ray's responses were deceptive. Other artifacts include the state's electric chair used in 125 executions from 1916-1960, original mug shot photos of George Barnes "Machine Gun" Kelly, a Barrell Factory photo of the James Gang in Nashville, and a U.S. Marshal's badge worn by R.W. Austin, who was involved with the arrest and incarceration of Kid Curry of the Wild Bunch after he robbed a train and shot two Knoxville policemen.
The Columbia Daily Herald reports
Gibbons considering ouster of city attorney
Shelby County District Attorney General Bill Gibbons announced this afternoon that he has initiated an investigation into recent actions by Memphis City Attorney Elbert Jefferson to determine if he should be ousted from office. Jefferson has come under fire since news broke that he approved paying $55,000 to a private lawyer to cover legal fees incurred by former Mayor Willie Herenton. Herenton ran up the legal bill as a federal grand jury investigated corruption allegations about him. In related news, a resolution on whether to fire Jefferson will be heard by the City Council on Tuesday.
The Commercial Appeal reports
Rutherford considers starting legal department
The Rutherford County Commission could establish a full-time attorney and legal department by November 2011 if a plan to do so is approved next week. Members of the Steering, Legislative & Governmental Committee unanimously voted Wednesday to send the plan to the full 21-member commission next Thursday. The county has contracted its legal services with Murfreesboro attorney Jim Cope for about 25 years. "He has been an outstanding county attorney for us," Commissioner John Rodgers said, but noted it's time to establish a full-time legal department.
The Daily News Journal has more
Jackson attorney to dispute BPR allegations
Jackson attorney Thomas Verner Smith plans to file a response to allegations by the Board of Professional Responsibility that he violated conflict of interest rules, including engaging in prohibited business transactions. Smith said he did not commit any unethical actions and would seek dismissal of the BPR's petition.
Read more in the Jackson Sun
Chattanooga lawyer James D. Robinson dies
James D. Robinson, a Chattanooga lawyer, died on Aug. 28. He was 76. He was a trial attorney who had practiced law in Chattanooga more than 44 years. At the time of his retirement, he was the senior partner in the law firm of Robinson, Smith & Wells. He received his law degree in 1958 from the University of Tennessee. has more
Legislative News
Kelsey's primary challenger drops bid
State Rep. Brian Kelsey's only Republican primary opponent in the race to fill a vacant suburban Memphis Senate seat is withdrawing. James Harrell announced yesterday that he would drop out of the race, clearing the way for Kelsey to resign from the House this month. The primary election for his House seat now likely will be scheduled on the same day as the Dec. 1 general election in the Senate race.
The Memphis Daily News has more
Disciplinary Actions
Maryland attorney reinstated
John Craig Shiffman, an attorney in Glen Echo, Md., has been reinstated to the practice of law in Tennessee after paying annual BPR fees and required fines. He was suspended in 2007 for failure to pay the fees.

Yesterday TBA Today reported the death of Memphis lawyer John Thomas Wilkinson Jr. In the story, his name was incorrectly listed. He was a graduate of the University of Mississippi Law School and practiced law for 55 years. Wilkinson was buried earlier this week at Barbee Cemetery in Lula, Miss. Memorials may be sent to King's Daughters and Sons Home in Bartlett or a charity of the donor's choice.

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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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