2010 Leadership Law class chosen

Thirty four emerging leaders in the Tennessee legal community have been chosen to make up the 2010 TBA Leadership Law class. The diverse class was selected from an original pool of several hundred nominations. The program will kick off with an opening retreat this coming January at Montgomery Bell State Park and will include day-long programs on policy and politics, the courts, community leadership, and leadership in action. Graduation will take place during the 2010 TBA Annual Convention in Nashville.

Those chosen are Shauna Billingsley, City of Franklin Law Department; Bob Bowman, Kramer Rayson LLP; Michael Brezina, Hodges Doughty & Carson PLLC; Jeff Cherry, Lowery Lowery & Cherry PLLC; Evan Cope, Cope Hudson Scarlett Reed & McCreary; Jason Creasy, Wilkerson Gauldin Hayes & Jenkins; Sherie Edwards, State Volunteer Mutual Insurance; John Elder, Paine Tarwater and Bickers LLP; Jason Fisher, Jenkins & Jenkins PLLC; John Heacock, attorney at law; Tricia Herzfeld, ACLU of Tennessee; Kim Hodges, Federal Express Corporation; Tim Housholder, Gilreath & Associates; Eric Hudson, Butler Snow O'Mara Stevens & Cannada PLLC; Rhonda Kinslow, Waller Landsen Dortch & Davis; and Sean Lewis, attorney at law.

Also chosen were Aimee Luna, Legal Aid of East Tennessee; Joe Lynch, Wimberly Lawson Seale Wright; Bill Maddox, attorney at law; Amy Martin, The Landers Firm; Jeffrey Matukewicz, Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz PC; Robert McConkey, Knox County Law Director's Office; Alonda McCutcheon, Bass Berry & Sims PLC; Timothy Mickel, Husch Blackwell Sanders LLP; Rachel Moses, Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands; Junaid Odubeko, Office of the Governor; Emily Ogden, The Justice Project; Sharon Reavis, EMI Christian Music Group Inc.; Sara Reynolds, Walker Tipps & Malone; Donna Roberts, Stites & Harbison PLLC; William Stover, Stover Law Firm; Kamilah Turner, Turner Law Firm; Bridget Willhite, Carter Harrod & Willhite PLLC; and Mason Wilson, Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz PC.
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Court: TSC


Daniel D. Warlick, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Cedric Ruron Saine.

Shannon E. Poindexter, Assistant District Attorney General; Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Mark A. Fulks, Senior Counsel, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The defendant was indicted following a search of his residence and vehicle that resulted in the discovery and seizure of cocaine. The trial court granted the defendant's Motion to Suppress the evidence relating to both searches. The State appealed, and the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the trial court's suppression of the evidence seized from the defendant's residence and reversed the suppression of the evidence seized from the defendant's vehicle. Both parties appealed to this Court. We hold that the search warrant for the defendant's residence was supported by probable cause and that the search of the defendant's vehicle was conducted pursuant to the automobile exception to the warrant requirement. We therefore reverse in part and affirm in part the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals and remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.



Court: TCA


Grayson Smith Cannon, Goodlettsville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Hozell Anderson.

James W. Price, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Rosia Marie Anderson.


The husband appeals the trial court's finding that by transmutation separate property became marital property after the property was refinanced and improved by loan proceeds via a note and mortgage that wife co-signed and after wife helped make loan payments during the 16 year marriage. We affirm.



Court: TCA


Helen S. Rogers and Lawrence J. Kamm, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Larson Douglas Hudson.

Phillip Robinson and Philip E. Smith, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Elizabeth Leanne Hudson.


This case involves an appeal concerning the relocation of Elizabeth Leanne Hudson ("Mother") and her two minor children from Nashville, Tennessee, to Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Larson Douglas Hudson ("Father") opposed the relocation. After a three day bench trial, the trial court granted Mother's request to relocate after finding, pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. section 36-6-108, that the relocation was reasonable and not vindictive. The trial court also awarded Mother attorney's fees. For the following reasons, we affirm the holding of the trial court regarding the relocation but reverse concerning the attorney's fees.


SWINEY Concurring in part and dissenting in part


Court: TCA


David Day, Benjamin D. Marsee, Cookeville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Robert Estep, and wife, Anne Estep.

Michael Savage, Livingston, Tennessee, for the appellee, Lou Mee.


The defendants challenged the trial court's refusal to grant a declaratory judgment on their defenses cast as counterclaims under the Declaratory Judgment Act, Tenn. Code Ann. section 29-14-101 et seq., after the plaintiff non-suited at the close of plaintiff's proof. We affirm.



Court: TCA


D. Michael Kress II, Sparta, Tennessee, for the appellant, Robert Dewayne Parker.

Steven D. Qualls, Cookeville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Robin Dawn Parker.


The non-owner spouse appeals the trial court's finding that an increase in equity in the owner spouse's separate property during the marriage is not marital property subject to division under Tenn. Code Ann. section 36-4-121(b)(1)(B). Finding there was no increase in equity during the marriage, we affirm the trial court.



Court: TCA


Philip A. Condra, District Public Defender, and Robert G. Morgan, Assistant Public Defender, Jasper, Tennessee, for Appellant, Carl O'Neal Perkins.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter, and John H. Bledsoe, Senior Counsel, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellee, State of Tennessee.


Juvenile defendant filed appeal after juvenile court found him in violation of the conditions of his aftercare program and committed him to the custody of the Department of Children's Services. Thetrial court affirmed the ruling of the juvenile court. We affirm.



Court: TCA


Vanessa A. Jackson, Tullahoma, Tennessee, for the appellants, Tommy Wright, Norma Wright, Wright Paving Company, Inc. and Custom Stone, LLC.

Mary Byrd Ferrara, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, City of Shelbyville, the Shelbyville City council and the Shelbyville Municipal Planning Commission.


Property owners challenge an amendment to a zoning ordinance affecting their property on the ground that the content of the published notice was inadequate in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. section 13-7-203. Since the published notice failed to provide reasonable notice to landowners that their property may be affected , we find the notice to be insufficient. The Chancery Court is reversed and the ordinance declared invalid.


Legislative Authority Concerning Judicial Elections and Appointments

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2009-11-04

Opinion Number: 09-174



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UT Knoxville launches social justice center
The University of Tennessee has formed the Center for the Study of Social Justice to provide a framework for scholars of sociology, psychology, education, social work, law, geography, political science and philosophy to collaborate on research and share insights about society's most pressing social issues. Through unbiased research, the center seeks to produce science-based solutions to help policymakers respond more effectively to needs in society. The center will hold its inaugural event on Nov. 10 with Jeremy Rifkin, president of the Foundation on Economic Trends. The free public lecture is set for 7 p.m. in the ballroom of the University Center.
Learn more about the center
General sessions handbook released
Stewart County General Sessions Judge G. Andrew Brigham and Nashville attorney Thomas B. Norris Jr. have authored a new handbook to assist judges and attorneys who practice in Tennessee's general sessions courts. According to the publisher, the book is packed with more than 500 pages of guidance on substantive law and procedure for both civil and criminal cases, and includes a disc with forms and a searchable index.
Learn more about the resource
Memphis bar earns communications awards
The Memphis Bar Association was recently recognized with awards for its web site and its Memphis Lawyer magazine. The Luminary Awards for excellence in communications were presented to the MBA by the National Association of Bar Executives during a Las Vegas workshop. Judges placed the entries at the top of the small-sized bar association category, saying the web site provides a "plentiful amount of member resources" in a professional tone, and that the magazine is "a very straight forward publication with good articles and a clean layout."

County's legal representation in limbo
In September, the Rutherford County Commission voted to retain Murfreesboro attorney Jim Cope for up to four years, while phasing in a plan for its own full-time lawyer and legal staff. But the commission now is facing criticisms that it hired outside counsel before amending a private act that specifies who is authorized to make such decisions. In response, the commission's steering committee has recommended that the commission rescind the retainer until the private act is modified. The commission will take up the issue at its next meeting on Nov. 12.
Read more in the Daily News Journal
National Law Journal announces pro bono award
The National Law Journal is seeking nominations of attorneys for its 2009 Pro Bono Awards. Past winners include lawyers whose pro bono work has entailed significant financial sacrifice, has had a broad impact or, because of the clients' unpopularity, has exposed the lawyer to criticism. Send nominations and any relevant supporting material by Nov. 20 to Assistant Managing Editor Michael Moline, The National Law Journal, 120 Broadway, 5th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10271-1101 or by e-mail to mmoline@alm.com
Read about the awards
Asbestos suit alleges death from second-hand exposure
A lawsuit filed on behalf of Ruby Neely, who died of mesothelioma this year, seeks to pin her death on exposure to asbestos unwittingly carried home each day by her husband who worked for DuPont. The suit claims that although the company knew of the dangers, it did not provide any warnings or instructions for employees working with asbestos. Neely's husband, Lively, also died of an asbestos-related disease but had settled a suit with the company in the 1980s. The case comes on the heels of a settlement between Alcoa and a Maryville woman who alleged she became terminally ill after being exposed to asbestos her father carried home from work.
The Tennessean has the story
Deportees reach settlement with U.S.
Five immigrant men who were detained in roundups and eventually deported following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks have reached a $1.26 million settlement with the U.S. government. The men were part of a lawsuit against the government over the roundups and alleged abuse they suffered in U.S. custody. The Center for Constitutional Rights, which represented the detainees, said the men were treated as terrorists simply because they were Arab and Muslim.
Read more in this story by the AP posted on CBSNews.com
Memphis lawyer dies
Joseph Walker Barnwell Jr. of Memphis died Sept. 22 from complications of pneumonia. He was 72. Barnwell graduated from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law in 1969. He practiced law in Memphis for 40 years and retired in 2007 from Evans and Petree. Memorials may be sent to St. John's Episcopal, 3245 Central Avenue, Memphis 38111; the Church Health Center, 1115 Union Ave., Memphis 38104; or the Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association, 233 Henry Ave., Memphis 38107.

Former Nashville lawyer dies
Former Nashvillian and retired lawyer Thomas O. H. Smith Jr. died of Guillain-Barre Syndrome Oct. 23 at the age of 77 in Kitty Hawk, N.C. Smith earned his law degree from the Vanderbilt University Law School in 1955. He served as a lieutenant in the judge advocate division and later established a law practice in Nashville. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions be made to the GBS/CIDP Foundation International, 104 1/2 Forrest Ave., Narberth, PA 19072.

Disciplinary Actions
Hendersonville attorney suspended
On Oct. 26, the Supreme Court of Tennessee suspended Garry Christopher Forsythe from the practice of law after finding that he misappropriated funds and posed a threat of substantial harm to the public. The suspension will remain in effect until dissolved or modified by the court.
Download the BPR notice
Three lawyers reinstated after completing CLE
Henry Clay Barry of Lebanon, Richard Lee Burnette of Johnson City and Michael Scott Collins of Nashville have been reinstated to the practice of law after complying with requirements for continuing legal education. They were suspended this fall for failing to meet CLE requirements in 2008.
View all attorneys suspended and reinstated for 2008 CLE violations
Trees for the terrace
Join TBA Executive Director Allan Ramsaur and others on TBAConnect for a discussion of trees for the Fifth Floor Terrace at the Tennessee Bar Center. The terrace, which is behind the facade of the historic Tennessee Bar Center building, is surrounded by walls, but is open to the sky. It is one of the newest features the TBA has adopted in the historic building. To comment or add to the discussion of the kind of trees that can survive in the harsh, urban environment, go to the discussion now on TBAConnect.
Join TBAConnect now to take part
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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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