BPR launches new online services

The Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility has announced two new online services that will help attorneys comply with licensing requirements. The first is a new site that allows lawyers to register and pay their 2010 annual fee online. Also new for the 2010 registration, which will run from Jan. 15 to March 1, is a revised statement that includes an IOLTA compliance statement, a pro bono reporting statement and a contact verification form. For more information about the online registration process visit www.tbpr.org. The second new service, the Attorney Online Portal, allows lawyers to review and update their contact information, and see their BPR history on the board's web site.

Learn more about this service

Click on the category of your choice to view summaries of today’s opinions from that court, or other body. A link at the end of each case summary will let you download the full opinion in PDF format. To search all opinions in the TBALink database or to obtain a text version of each opinion, go to our OpinionSearch page. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on TBALink at the TBA's Membership Central.

01 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
01 - TN Court of Appeals
04 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR

You can obtain full-text versions of the opinions two ways. We recommend that you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. 1) Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This should give you the option to download the original document. If not, you may need to right-click on the URL to get the option to save the file to your computer. 2) Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion.


Court: TSC


John E. Herbison, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Robin Lee Stanfill and Robyn Ann Stanfill.

Scott C. Williams and Rhonda A. Scott, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, John T. Mountain and Melony Mountain.

David A. Bates and C. Nicholas Fossett, Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellee, Carl Brooks.

Judge: LEE

The buyers of real property brought this action against the sellers and the real estate agent after discovering numerous allegedly dangerous and defective conditions in the house and on the property. The issue in this case is the propriety of the trial court's grant of summary judgment to the defendants. After review, we conclude that there are no genuine issues of material fact and the defendants are entitled to judgment as a matter of law on the plaintiffs' claims regarding the alleged mold infestation of the house, and that Mrs. Mountain is entitled to summary judgment on the plaintiffs' claim regarding the underground fuel storage tanks. As to the remainder of the plaintiffs' claims, we conclude that summary judgment was improper because the plaintiffs met their burden in establishing the existence of several genuine issues of material fact. We affirm in part and reverse in part the trial court's judgment and remand for further proceedings.


HOLDER concurring in part and dissenting in part

IN THE MATTER OF: J.D.L. (d.o.b. 10/27/05) and D.M.L. (d.o.b. 4/21/07), Children Under the Age of Eighteen

Court: TCA


Nicholas Perenich, Jr., for the Appellant, S.D.L.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General, and Elizabeth C. Driver, Senior Counsel, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee, Department of Children's Services.

Cynthia H. Moore, Guardian Ad Litem.


The juvenile court terminated the parental rights of S.D.L. ("Mother"), B.D.T., J.G.P., and Unknown Father on February 20, 2009. The court found multiple grounds for termination and concluded that termination was in the best interests of the minor children. Only Mother appeals. We affirm.



Court: TCCA


Robert Brooks, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Marquis Day.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; James G. Woodall, District Attorney General; and Alfred Lynn Earls, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The petitioner, Marquis Day, appeals from the post-conviction court's denial of post-conviction relief as it relates to the petitioner's convictions of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, fabricating evidence, and the unlawful possession of a weapon. On appeal from the judgment of the post-conviction court, the petitioner asserts that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel at trial and on direct appeal. Following our review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court denying post-conviction relief.



Court: TCCA


J. Liddell Kirk, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lisa McCroy Strickland.

Robert E. Cooper, Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Lisa McCroy Strickland, appeals the trial court's order revoking her probation for her Class E felony conviction for forgery. The State has moved this court to affirm the trial court's order pursuant to Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals Rule 20. The State's motion is granted, and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.



Court: TCCA


W. Gerald Tidwell, Jr., Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Paul William Ware.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Matthew Bryant Haskell, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, III, District Attorney General; and Neal Pinkston, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The petitioner, Paul William Ware, appeals from the Hamilton County Criminal Court's denial of post-conviction relief from his convictions for first degree murder and two counts of rape of a child. On appeal, the petitioner argues that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel at trial in that trial counsel failed to: (1) call a defense expert who would have "opined that the FBI protocols for mitochondrial DNA were not adequate to justify admission of said evidence into the record"; (2) request DNA testing of a hair found on the victim's body; and (3) call an investigator who would have testified regarding a conversation between the emergency room doctor who treated the victim and the petitioner's attorney. We affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.



Court: TCCA


J. Liddell Kirk, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kevin Matthew Yanick.

Robert E. Cooper, Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Kevin Matthew Yanick, appeals the trial court's order revoking his probation for his convictions for possession with intent to deliver more than one-half gram of cocaine, a Class B felony, possession with intent to deliver a Schedule III controlled substance, a Class D felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor. The State has moved this court to affirm the trial court's order pursuant to Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals Rule 20. The State's motion is granted, and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.



Legal News
Disciplinary Actions

Legal News
Court reporting board meets, elects officers
The new Tennessee Court Reporting Board recently met to elect officers and lay out its agenda. Knoxville court reporter Jimmie Jane McConnell was named chairwoman; Dresden court reporter Kenneth Mansfield was elected vice chair; and Knoxville court reporter Ginger Truesdel was elected secretary. Under the law creating the board, at least two members are to be lawyers. Governor Phil Bredesen appointed Memphis lawyer Earl W. Houston II of Martin, Tate, Morrow & Marston PC and Jasper attorney William Killian. One member must also be a judge. Bredesen appointed Nashville Chancellor Russell T. Perkins, but Perkins later submitted his resignation due to concerns that suits filed by or against the board would likely end up in his court. Bredesen is expected to appoint a replacement by mid-December.
Learn more about the board in the Memphis Daily News
Limits placed on lawyer access to courtroom halls
A recent decision by some Hamilton County judges to restrict access to the back halls of their courtrooms is raising concerns for lawyers, who are accustomed to conducting business in those areas, and at least one county commissioner. Commissioner John Brooks wrote to all general sessions and city court judges questioning by what authority the change was made. In response, the judges cited safety concerns and the wish to avoid the appearance of impropriety when lawyers are allowed to walk freely in the back halls. Under the new rules no one except judges, administrative staff, bailiffs and court officers may access the halls on the second floor of the courts building. The Times Free Press has the story.

Late today, city judge Russell Bean said he welcomes lawyers to his office and in the hallways behind the courtrooms, and that he signed the order to keep witnesses out of of those areas. Given the controversy the move has created, Bean suggested that all interested parties sit down and talk through the issues.
Read his comments on Chattanoogan.com
DOJ official stepping down
The U.S. Justice Department announced this morning that its second-in-command, Deputy Attorney General David Ogden, is leaving in February after 11 months on the job. Ogden was not available for comment, but said in a statement that he has accomplished the objectives he set out a year ago and plans to return to private practice. Prior to joining the Justice Department, Ogden chaired the Obama Administration's transition team for the department and was a partner at the law firm of WilmerHale.
The Blog of Legal Times reported the news
More indictments in the Shelby County clerk case
A state grand jury has returned indictments against three people associated with bribing or attempting to bribe employees of the Shelby County clerk's office. W. Mark Welch, owner of Fleet Equipment LLC and Fleet Leasing, and company employee James L. Welch were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery of a public servant and five counts of bribery of a public servant. One other individual was also named in the indictment, but is not in custody. The investigation of the office has centered on allegations that clerks were paid off for favors, including registering cars without proof of inspection.
Memphis News Channel 3 has the story
Love of law, helping people central to success
Yolanda Elder has used a background of working for defense lawyers and a love of the law to help hundreds of people in her position as administrative assistant and translator at the Memphis Community Legal Center. Learn more about her in a Midsouthmoms.com profile from the Commercial Appeal.
Read the full interview
Candidates lining up for Tanner's seat
U.S. Rep. John Tanner's decision to retire has created a wide-open race for the 8th District congressional seat. State Sen. Roy Herron, D-Dresden, immediately declared his candidacy, but could face a host of primary challengers. State Sen. Doug Jackson of Dickson, former state Rep. Phillip Pinion of Union City, and veteran Agricultural Extension Service leader Mary Kate Ridgeway of Paris said they're strongly considering running. Others said to be exploring the race are state Rep. Jimmy Naifeh, D-Covington; Rep. Judy Barker, D-Union City; and Sen. Lowe Finney, D-Jackson. On the Republican side, Crockett County farmer and gospel singer Stephen Fincher and network systems engineer Donn James of Brighton announced their candidacies this summer.
The Commercial Appeal has the story
Cammack pulls out of gubernatorial race
Nashville businessman Ward Cammack is ending his campaign for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. With the departure of State Sen. Roy Herron from the race this week as well, the field has narrowed to three: state Senate Democratic Leader Jim Kyle of Memphis, Clarksville lawyer and former state House Democratic Leader Kim McMillan, and Jackson businessman Mike McWherter.
Read more from the Commercial Appeal
Disciplinary Actions
Columbia lawyer suspended
On Nov. 20, the Tennessee Supreme Court suspended Columbia lawyer Matthew Q. Bastian for one year with all time to be served on probation if the following conditions are met: Bastian must engage a practice monitor for one year, obtain professional liability insurance, pay $20,000 in restitution, attend 15 hours of law office management CLE and pay the costs of the disciplinary proceedings. Bastian was disciplined for failing to (1) communicate with clients, (2) file a lawsuit as requested, (3) fully pay funds agreed to in a settlement, and (4) advise clients of a potential conflict of interest.
Download the BPR notice
Chattanooga lawyer reinstated
Chattanooga lawyer Gary Kendrick Bond was reinstated to the practice of law after complying with requirements for continuing legal education. He was suspended on Aug. 31 for failing to meet CLE requirements in 2008.
View all attorneys suspended and reinstated for 2008 CLE violations
Traffic stop legal clinic planned this weekend
The Nashville branch of the NAACP will hold a traffic stop legal clinic this Saturday, Dec. 5, from 9 a.m. to noon in PJ Hall of Fisk University's Jubilee Hall. The event, which is free and open to the public, is designed to educate attendees about an individual's rights during a traffic stop. The discussion will be moderated by attorney Lynda Jones with The Jones Law Group. Panelists will include Jerrilyn Manning, a member of the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and Metropolitan Public Defender Dawn Deaner.

Discontinue your TBA Today subscription? ... Surely not!
But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at:

Questions, comments: Email us at TBAToday@tnbar.org

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.

© Copyright 2009 Tennessee Bar Association