Voluntary Pro Bono Reporting Rule adopted

The Tennessee Supreme Court today adopted a new rule requesting lawyers to report their time spent on various categories of pro bono service during the year. The report will be made part of the annual registration process administered by the Board of Professional Responsibility. Eight states require pro bono reporting. Those states say that such efforts have been successful in enhancing the reputation of lawyers by developing data on the contribution lawyers make to their communities.

Download the amendment to Rule 9, Section 20.11

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Court: TSC


IN RE: O.J.B., dob 07/24/05, A Child Under 18 Years of Age

Court: TCA


Alicia A. Howard, Memphis, TN, for Appellant/Mother

Janis H. Benson, Memphis, TN, for Appellant/Father

Robert E. Cooper, Sr., Attorney General and Reporter, Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General, Lindsey O. Appiah, Nashville, TN, for Appellee


This case involves the termination of parental rights of a mother and father. Both parents were addicted to crack cocaine, and the child tested positive for cocaine at birth. The child was taken into DCS custody and placed in a foster home at three days old. Three months later, the mother was arrested and sentenced to three years in prison as a habitual offender. When the child was 18 months old, DCS filed a petition to terminate the mother's parental rights based on the ground of abandonment by an incarcerated parent. The father had visited the child only twice since she was placed in foster care, and DCS sought to terminate his parental rights for failure to file a petition to establish paternity. The trial court terminated both parents' parental rights upon finding that termination was in the child's best interest. Both parents appeal. We affirm.



Court: TCCA


Thomas J. Tabor, Jr., Tazewell, Tennessee, attorney for appellant, Jeffrey S. Gordon.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; William Paul Phillips, District Attorney General; Jared R. Effler and Amanda Sammons, Assistant District Attorneys General, attorneys for appellee, State of Tennessee.


The petitioner, Jeffrey S. Gordon, appeals as of right from the Claiborne County Criminal Court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. The petitioner entered guilty pleas to two counts of kidnapping, three counts of aggravated assault, and one count of misdemeanor harassment and received an effective sentence of thirty years as a Range I, standard offender. His timely filed petition for post-conviction relief alleged that his guilty pleas were unknowingly and involuntarily entered as the result of the ineffective assistance of counsel. Following an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court denied relief. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the post- conviction court.



Court: TCCA


C. Brad Sproles, Kingsport, Tennessee, attorney for appellant, Jonathan Scott Lemay.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Deshea Dulany Faughn, Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; and Kent Chitwood, Assistant Attorney General, attorneys for appellee, State of Tennessee.


The defendant, Jonathan Scott Lemay, entered best interest pleas to robbery and aggravated assault, Class C felonies, in Sullivan County Criminal Court. The trial court imposed two concurrent five- year sentences to be served in the custody of the Department of Correction. In this appeal as of right, the defendant contends that the trial court erred in denying him alternative sentencing and by imposing sentences beyond the statutory minimum. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.



Court: TCCA


Howard L. Wagerman, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lontrell Williams.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Theresa McCusker, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Lontrell Williams, appeals the revocation of his probation, arguing that the trial court applied an incorrect legal standard when finding that he had violated the terms of his probation. He, therefore, requests that this court remand for a new probation revocation hearing. The State concedes that the trial court applied an incorrect standard and joins in the defendant's request for a new revocation hearing under the appropriate standard. We agree that the trial court erroneously based the revocation of the defendant's probation on a probable cause, rather than a preponderance of the evidence, standard. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for a new probation revocation hearing.


Composition of Assessment Appeals Commission

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2009-11-02

Opinion Number: 09-172


Workers' Compensation Insurance Coverage for Sole Proprietors in the Construction Industry

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2009-11-02

Opinion Number: 09-173



Celebrate Pro Bono
Legal News
Supreme Court Report
TBA Member Services

Celebrate Pro Bono
Knox event includes clinic, CLE, IOLTA luncheon
Knoxville 'celebrated pro bono' last Friday with a CLE, a legal clinic and a luncheon commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Interest On Lawyers' Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program. Eighteen lawyers and 11 law students volunteered at the Legal Advice Clinic, which served 24 clients, and 31 people attended the IOLTA luncheon.
See pictures from the event
Legal News
Belmont taps Elon professor as law dean
Jeffrey Kinsler, professor of law and senior scholar at Elon University's School of Law in North Carolina, will be the founding dean for Belmont University's new college of law. Before going to Elon, he was dean of the Appalachian School of Law. Kinsler, who will start his new job early next year, was a consultant in the planning process for the new college, which will open in the fall of 2012 in a new $25 million building.
NashvillePost.com reports
Rezoning suit asks if Nashville schools are resegretated
Beginning Tuesday, John T. Nixon's federal courtroom will be the setting for new arguments over whether a school rezoning policy, enacted this year, unlawfully resegregates Nashville's schools. It's not a new subject for Nixon: as a young attorney in the 1960s, he worked on behalf of the federal government to bring white and black leaders together in Southern communities torn by racial tension.
The Tennessean has more
Jury's contribution praised
In an editorial this weekend, the News Sentinel recognized the contribution made by the jurors who served in the Lemaricus Davidson trial, "a tremendously grueling ordeal for these ordinary citizens who serve on behalf of all of us." Editor Jack McElroy writes that "with the exception of being drafted into the military, jury duty is the most direct service our nation demands of us."
Read the editorial
Supreme Court Report
Court declines to take up 1964 kidnap case question
The U.S. Supreme court today declined to hear a case to determine what statute of limitations applies in the federal prosecution of James Ford Seale, a Ku Klux Klan member accused in the kidnap and murder of two black teenagers in Mississippi in 1964. The question, which could affect prosecution of long-ago civil rights cases in the South, will go back to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals unresolved.
The Blog of Legal Times has more
Downtown Nashville blood drive Nov. 4
The Red Cross will hold a blood drive for attorneys and staff Nov. 4, from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. in Nashville. The event, sponsored by the Tennessee Bar Association and the Nashville Bar Association, will be at the Tennessee Bar Center, 221 4th Ave. North. Reservations can be made at www.givelife.org. Enter code: "bar assn" to view the times available for this drive. When you donate, you will be entered into a drawing for a free round of golf for four at the private, members-only
Old Natchez Country Club.
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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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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