Jurors and technology are often not a good mix

Technology is changing the way jurors and judges relate, adding a host of new off-limits activities for the courtroom. Judges and legal experts are particularly concerned about how technology and culture are affecting jurors and a defendant's right to a fair trial. The Internet has provided easy and instant access to newspaper archives, criminal records, detailed maps, legal opinions and social-networking sites, such as Facebook, all at the anonymous click of a mouse in jurors' homes or on the tiny keyboards of their cellular phones.

The Washington Post considers the issue

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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02 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
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02 - TN Court of Appeals
03 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR

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EXCEL POLYMERS, LLC v. RICHARD BROYLES

Court: TSC

Attorneys:

Kristin M. Cabage and David A. Chapman, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Excel Polymers, LLC.

Howell H. Sherrod, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the appellee, Richard Broyles.

Judge: LEE

In this workers' compensation case, the issues presented are whether the trial court erred in admitting the opinion testimony of the employee's treating physician on the issue of causation, whether the evidence preponderates against the trial court's ruling that the employee met his burden of proof that he suffered a compensable occupational disease as defined by Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-301, and whether the trial court erred in its disposition of the motion and suggestion of death filed by the employee's widow after the trial. We affirm the judgment of the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel and of the trial court and remand to the trial court for a determination of the employee's legal dependents and the amount of death benefits, if any, due to them under the applicable workers' compensation law.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2010/broylesr_011110.pdf


SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS Grants & Denials List

Court: TSC

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2010/certlist_011110.pdf


PAULA J. BRYANT v. JOHNNY ALAN BRYANT

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

James S. Smith, Jr., Rockwood, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Johnny Alan Bryant.

Martin W. Cash, Jr., Kingston, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Paula J. Bryant.

Judge: SWINEY

Paula J. Bryant ("Wife") filed suit seeking a divorce from Johnny Alan Bryant ("Husband") following a marriage of over twenty-one years. The parties were able to resolve all significant issues prior to trial except the amount and duration of alimony Wife would receive. Following a trial, the Trial Court awarded Wife rehabilitative alimony in the amount of $850 per month for a period of eighteen (18) months, then $500 per month for the next sixty (60) months. We affirm the Trial Court's award of rehabilitative alimony to Wife, but modify the award and order Husband to pay rehabilitative alimony to Wife for a period of twenty-four (24) months in the amount of $850 per month. As modified, the judgment of the Trial Court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/bryantp_011110.pdf


BOB FANNON, individually and as a City Councilman for the City of LaFollette v. CITY OF LaFOLLETTE, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Jon G. Roach and Emily A. Cleveland, Knoxville, Tennessee, for Appellants, City of LaFollette, Hansford Hatmaker, Mike Stanfield, and Ken Snodderly.

David H. Dunaway, LaFollette, Tennessee, for Appellee, Bob Fannon.

Judge: MCCLARTY

In this action for declaratory judgment against the City of LaFollette, the City Council, and three City Councilmen, the trial court awarded the plaintiff attorney's fees, costs and discretionary costs. On appeal, the defendants argue that the trial court erred in finding the plaintiff as the "prevailing party" in the litigation and that the trial court's award was unwarranted and erroneous. We hold that the plaintiff was not a prevailing party, and therefore, the trial court erred in awarding the plaintiff attorney's fees and costs on that basis.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/fannonb_011110.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MARK ALAN DEAKINS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Benjamin L. McGowan, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Mark Alan Deakins.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox III, District Attorney General; and Leslie Longshore and Lance Pope, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Mark Alan Deakins, appeals the revocation of his probation, claiming that the State failed to establish a probation violation by substantial evidence. Because the record establishes that the defendant violated the terms of his probationary sentence, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/deakinsm_011110.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WILLIAM HUBERT GREEN, ALIAS WILLIAM HERBERT GREEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Ardena J. Garth, District Public Defender, Richard Kenneth Mabee (on appeal) and Kandi Rankin (at trial), Assistant Public Defenders, for the appellant, William Hubert Green, alias William Herbert Green.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth T. Ryan, Associate Deputy Attorney General; William H. Cox, III, District Attorney General; and William H. Hall, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The Defendant, William Hubert Green, appeals from the Hamilton County Criminal Court's order revoking part of his probation received for an effective eighteen-year sentence for his convictions upon guilty pleas for six counts of aggravated burglary, a Class C felony, and two counts of burglary of a business, a Class D felony. He claims that the trial court erred in revoking his probation and in not imposing an alternative sentence. Although the record supports the partial revocation of the Defendant's probation, the trial court revoked the Defendant's probation for a sentence that was being served concurrently with a sentence for which the trial court intended for the Defendant to remain on probation. We reverse the judgments of the trial court and remand the case for reconsidering the revocation determinations.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/greenw_011110.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TALLIE RILEY

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Spence R. Bruner, Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal); and Charles W. Pope, Athens, Tennessee (at trial) for the appellant, Tallie Riley.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and TaKisha M. Fitzgerald, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

A Knox County Criminal Court jury convicted the defendant, Tallie Riley, of aggravated kidnapping, kidnapping, and aggravated criminal trespass. On appeal, the defendant avers that the trial court erred in permitting the assistant district attorney general to question the defendant about inadmissible prior bad acts, see Tenn. R. Evid. 404(b), and in denying his motion for mistrial. Further, the defendant alleges prosecutorial misconduct. After a careful review of the record, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/rileyt_011110.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Politics
Passages
Disciplinary Actions
TennBarU CLE
TBA Member Services

Legal News
More cases of 'unequal justice' examined
John Seigenthaler follows up on his recent article about the striking differences in sentences that state judges and juries gave three Tennessee women convicted of killing their abusive husbands. This story goes deeper in reviewing the disparate levels of punishment the courts dispensed in these and six similar cases over the last quarter-century.
Read it in the Tennessean
Belmont Law names assistant dean
Belmont University announced today that Andrew R. Matthews will join the new College of Law as the assistant dean for student services Feb. 1. Currently, Matthews serves as assistant dean at Faulkner University's Thomas Goode Jones School of Law in Montgomery, Ala.
Learn more about him
Judge Baumgartner makes a deal with jury pool
Today Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner met with about 50 potential jurors at Knoxville's Civic Coliseum and made them an offer: If you are picked to serve on this case, you will not have to serve on any other juries. But he told them that the jury would be sequestered for the trial of Raynella Dossett Leath, accused of murdering her second husband, David Leath in 2003. The trial, which begins a week from Tuesday, is expected to take 10 days.
The News Sentinel reports
Gay marriage trial starts, high courts says keep it off YouTube
The Supreme Court today ordered the federal judge hearing California's Proposition 8 trial to confine the real-time streaming of the trial to rooms within the confines of the courthouse. The temporary stay of Judge Vaughn Walker's plan to record the trial and post it on YouTube is in effect until Wednesday at 4 p.m. (EST). Follow that on Law.com. The case will decide a challenge to California's gay marriage ban that was approved by voters in 2008, and the ruling will likely be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Commercial Appeal carried this AP story
Thornton elected chair at Adams & Reese
Gif Thornton has been elected chairman of the executive committee of regional law firm Adams and Reese. The six-partner committee oversees the strategic operations of the 12-office firm, which moved into the Nashville market five years ago.
NashvillePost.com has more [subscription required]
Politics
Candidates answer tough questions on gun issues
The Tennessean asks gubernatorial candidates their thoughts on gun issues.
Find out what they said
Passages
Chancellor Neal Small dies
C. Neal Small, 83, died Jan. 9. He was a member of the Memphis City School Board and the Tennessee House of Representatives, and was a chancellor in the Memphis Court Systems. He was a graduate of Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and was licensed to practice law in 1966. Services were held this afternoon (Monday) at Trinity Baptist, Southaven, Miss. Memorials may be sent to Gideons International.
Read more in the Commercial Appeal
Services set for George Lane Foster Sr.
Chattanooga lawyer George Lane Foster Sr. died Jan. 8. He was 78. He graduated from Vanderbilt Law School in 1957. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Regency House Assisted Living, 2062 Hamill Road, Hixson, TN 37343. His children ask that if you have a good story about Mr. Foster, please document the tale and send it to cole4us@comcast.net or to P.O. Box 5146, Chattanooga, TN 37406-5146. Visitation will be held 3 to 5 p.m. Jan. 12, followed by a memorial service at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Lookout Mountain.
Read his obituary
Disciplinary Actions
New Tazewell attorney suspended
New Tazewell lawyer James Dallard Estep III, was suspended Dec. 30 by the Tennessee Supreme Court, pursuant to a conditional guilty plea, for one year. Estep violated disciplinary rules by neglecting an estate and paying himself fees out of an estate without court approval.
Read the BPR release
TennBarU CLE
What you need to know to start your own practice
Thinking about starting your own practice? Then join Brentwood attorney Donna Green Wednesday at noon for the TennBarU webcast "Ten Things New Lawyers Need to Know About Starting Their Own Practice."
Learn more or register at TennBarU
TBA Member Services
Unlimited free online legal research for TBA members
Other associations may offer you a discount for online legal research, but only the TBA gives it to you FREE with your membership. As a TBA member, you have free access to Fastcase, a leading online legal research firm offering a benefit that is national in scope with unlimited usage, unlimited customer service and unlimited printing. And it all comes AT NO COST to TBA members.
Access Fastcase now

 
 
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