Equal Justice Conference to feature Cooper, Behm

The Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS) has tapped Attorney General Robert E. Cooper Jr. and Margaret L. Behm, chair of the Tennessee Supreme Court's Access to Justice Commission, to speak at this year's Equal Justice Conference. A full year's worth of continuing legal education is offered during the three-day conference, Sept. 23-25. Join TALS and co-sponsor TBA at Paris Landing State Park for this year's conference.

Check out the TALS site for more information

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Court: TSC



Court: TCA


Eugene B. Dixon, Maryville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, John C. Polos.

Andrew N. Wilson, Sevierville, Tennessee, for the Appellees, Ralph Shields and Joann Shields.


John C. Polos ("Plaintiff") filed this lawsuit claiming that Ralph and Joann Shields ("Defendants") had constructed a fence that encroached upon Plaintiff's property. Defendants claimed they had adversely possessed the land at issue to the extent the fence encroached upon Plaintiff's property. The Trial Court implicitly rejected Defendants' adverse possession claim and determined that the fence did encroach upon Plaintiff's property and that each party should be responsible for relocating a specified one-half of the encroaching fence posts that encroached six inches or more onto Plaintiff's property. The Trial Court also found that the fence was a partition fence and the parties must share equally the cost of erecting and maintaining the fence. Plaintiff appeals claiming the Trial Court erred when it found that he should be responsible for relocating any of the encroaching fence posts, and in finding that he should be responsible for one-half of the cost of erecting and maintaining the fence. Defendants appeal the implicit rejection of their adverse possession claim. We affirm the judgment of the Trial Court that the encroaching fence posts must be relocated to the boundary line, but modify the portion of the judgment limiting relocation to those fence posts which encroached six inches or more. The judgment of the Trial Court is affirmed in all other respects.



Court: TCCA


Billy P. Sams, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Teresa G. Waters.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; William Paul Phillips, District Attorney General; John W. Galloway, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.


After the trial court denied her suppression motion, the Defendant, Teresa G. Waters, pled guilty to multiple felonies and misdemeanors involving the possession of controlled substances, reserving several certified questions of law pursuant to Tenn. R. Crim. P. 37(b)(2). On appeal, the Defendant contests the validity of the search warrant used to find the controlled substances in the Defendant's residence. After a thorough review of the record and the applicable law, we affirm the trial court's judgment.



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Legal News
Rule 9 amendment adds new section
On Friday, the Tennessee Supreme Court amended its Rule 9 by adopting Section 32, establishing guidelines for suspending the license of an attorney who fails to comply with Tenn. Code Ann. sections 67-4-1701 and 1710. These T.C.A. sections apply to attorneys subject to the Privilege Tax. The amendment was published for comment earlier this year and will become effective Jan. 1, 2010.
Download the order and the amendment
Jackson to be sworn in Thursday
Gov. Phil Bredesen will formally swear in Vanessa Agee Jackson as Circuit Court judge of the 14th Judicial District, on Sept. 17, at 3 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Manchester. Jackson was appointed by Bredesen in April to fill the vacancy created by the death of Judge John W. Rollins in January. The 14th Judicial District serves Coffee County.
Find out more from the Administrative Office of the Courts
MALS: Legal services even more critical in this economy
The Legal Services Corporation and 137 nonprofit legal aid programs help balance the legal scales, at least in civil matters. In Memphis, Memphis Area Legal Services Inc. (MALS) has been doing its part for more than 41 years when 30 local lawyers pooled their own funds and volunteered their time after normal work hours -- and with the help of local law students -- to help the poor with legal matters. Today, MALS has a 53-person staff, including 20 attorneys, 12 paralegals and housing counselors and five intake counselors, handling 5,596 cases in 2008 and 4,519 for the first half of this year.
The Commercial Appeal provides this analysis
Model Rules uniformity nearly 100 percent
A story in the September issue of the ABA Journal details how, after New York finally adopted the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, only one state -- California -- has not. Although lawyer regulation traditionally has been the province of the states, many practitioners and ethics experts say uniformity is becoming increasingly attractive as law practices expand to new jurisdictions. "Whether you are a divorce lawyer in Jackson, Tenn., or a bond lawyer in Los Angeles, the work is becoming more regional and national," Memphis lawyer Lucian T. Pera, a member of the national Ethics 2000 Commission, told the Journal.
Read the story
6th Circuit: consider ineffective assistance for Thompson case
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday asked the district court to consider four claims of ineffective assistance for death row inmate Gregory Thompson, including whether his defense attorney should have cross-examined a psychiatric expert who testified for the government.
JohnsonCityPress.com carried this AP story
McBride: Not much has changed at TVA since '70s
Tennessee Valley Authority board nominee Neil G. McBride says he has been surprised about how little had changed at the nation's largest public utility since the 1970s. McBride, general counsel for the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, said that when he was concentrating on the TVA in the 1970s, problems included poor decision-making practices, environmental issues arising from coal use and modest programs to reduce demand for electricity. "I was really preparing to be out of date," he said. "For better or for worse, almost all those issues are still there."
The News Sentinel has the story
Baker expands Nashville office
Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz is expanding its downtown Nashville office by another floor and more than 20,000 square feet, the Nashville Post reports today. As part of the deal, Baker Donelson also will put its name on the 10-year-old building now known as the Commerce Center. Since late 2004, Bass Berry & Sims (the Pinnacle at Symphony Place under construction), Stites & Harbison (SunTrust Plaza) and the firm now known as Bradley Arant Boult Cummings (Roundabout Plaza) all have signed on for new space.

Roberts predicts long tenure with Sotomayor
U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts told University of Michigan law students and their dean on Friday that he expects to enjoy working with the newest justice, Sonia Sotomayor. "She's going to be a delightful, wonderful colleague," Roberts said of President Barack Obama's first Supreme Court appointee. "We're going to be working together closely, who knows, for 25 years." The Bush nominee also said that he hopes the new court will reach consensus more. "I think we do a better job as judges if we can come to an agreement," Roberts said.
WRCB-TV carried this AP story
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