'Tacky for Teens' campaign asks legislators to support youth courts during special session

As the Tennessee General Assembly gathers this week for a special session on education reform, the Tennessee Bar Association is offering legislators an opportunity to have a little fun and raise money for the state Youth Court Program. The TBA, through its charitable arm, the Tennessee Legal Community Foundation, kicks off the first annual "Tacky For Teens: A Second Chance For Hideous Neckwear" on Tuesday. The campaign encourages lawmakers, staff and lobbyists to wear tacky neckwear during the special session. For a $25 contribution to the foundation you will receive a lapel pin letting colleagues know that YOU know your accessories are hideous.

Learn more here

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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
02 - 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.

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TOMMY HOLMES

Court: TSC

Attorneys:

Claiborne H. Ferguson, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tommy Holmes.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; John H. Bledsoe, Senior Counsel; David H. Findley, Senior Counsel; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Amy Weirich, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: CLARK

We granted permission to appeal in this case to address whether the trial court erred in ruling that an indigent defendant forfeited his right to counsel at trial by telling his appointed lawyer, "I know how to get rid of you," and, at a subsequent meeting, physically assaulting his lawyer by striking the lawyer's eyeglasses with his finger. The defendant was tried by a jury pro se and convicted of aggravated rape. We hold that, under the facts and circumstances of this case, the trial court committed reversible error in ruling that the defendant had forfeited his right to appointed counsel at trial. While the defendant's physical attack on his lawyer was serious misconduct, it did not rise to the level of "extremely serious misconduct" sufficient to warrant an immediate forfeiture. State v. Carruthers, 35 S.W.3d 516, 548 (Tenn. 2000). Because the defendant was erroneously denied his fundamental constitutional right to counsel, we must reverse his conviction and remand this matter for appointment of new counsel and a new trial. The judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals is reversed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2010/holmest_011210.pdf


BETTY BRASFIELD v. RAYMOND C. DYER, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

David S. Wigler, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Betty Brasfield.

A. James Andrews, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Raymond C. Dyer.

Mark S. Cizek, Clinton, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Conley R. Dockery.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General, and Kimberly J. Dean, Deputy Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SWINEY

Betty Brasfield ("Plaintiff") sued a former co-worker, Raymond Dyer, and a former boyfriend, Conley Dockery, claiming both defendants had defamed her and intentionally interfered with her employment contract with the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole ("the Board"). The Trial Court dismissed the intentional interference with contract claims before trial. At the end of a lengthy trial on the defamation claims, the jury returned a verdict against Dyer for $250,000, and against Dockery for $100,000. Both Dyer and Dockery ("Defendants") filed a post-trial motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict or, alternatively, for a new trial. The Trial Court granted Defendants' motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and entered judgment for Defendants. Plaintiff appeals raising numerous issues. We conclude that Plaintiff presented no material evidence that her reputation was damaged by Defendants' alleged defamatory statements and, even if her reputation was damaged, that it was Defendants who were responsible for that damage. Accordingly, we affirm the Trial Court's granting Defendants' motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict. We further conclude that there was no breach of contract and, therefore, the Trial Court properly dismissed before trial Plaintiff's claim for intentional interference with contract.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/brasfieldb_011210.pdf


COREY GREENE, ET AL. v. YASEEN TITI D/B/A CRUSH NIGHT CLUB, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Aaron S. Guin and Mark W. Honeycutt, II, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellants, Corey Greene and Caroline Greene.

Travis B. Swearingen and William S. Walton, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellee, Tennessee Protection Agency, Inc.

Judge: MCCLARTY

This negligence action arose from a gunshot injury suffered by the plaintiff, Mr. Greene, when he was a customer at the co-defendant's night club in Nashville. The shooter was never identified. Mr. Greene filed suit against the night club and the agency providing security at the club, claiming that the security agency was negligent in allowing an individual into the club with a weapon. The defendant security agency moved for summary judgment. After a hearing, the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant security agency, holding that the agency affirmatively negated an element of Mr. Greene's claim by refuting his allegation that a security guard accepted a bribe and by showing that the agency did not breach any duty to Mr. Greene. The plaintiffs timely appealed. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/greenec_011210.pdf

SWINEY Concurring in part and dissenting in part
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/greenec_CON_011210.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. SHANE THOMAS COX

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Charles Richard Hughes, Jr., District Public Defender, and Chessia Cox, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Shane Thomas Cox.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Robert Steve Bebb, District Attorney General; and Paul Donald Rush, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The Defendant, Shane Thomas Cox, appeals the trial court's order revoking his probation for aggravated burglary, a Class C felony, and theft of property over $500, a Class E felony, and ordering him to serve his effective three-year sentence in the Department of Correction. We hold that the trial court failed to give the Defendant a proper hearing. The judgment of the trial court is reversed, and the case is remanded for a new revocation hearing.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/coxs_011210.pdf


ERIC TYREESE DAVIS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

A. Ensley Hagan, Jr., Lebanon, Tennessee, for the appellant, Eric Tyreese Davis.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Melissa Roberge, Assistant Attorney General; Tom P. Thompson, Jr., District Attorney General; and David E. Durham, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Petitioner, Eric Tyreese Davis, appeals the post-conviction court's dismissal of his post- conviction petition in which Petitioner alleged that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance of trial counsel in connection with the entry of his pleas of guilty, and that his guilty pleas were not voluntarily or knowingly entered. After a thorough review we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/davise_011210.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. THOMAS EUGENE DAVIS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Randall E. Reagan, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Thomas Eugene Davis.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; Jeff Blevins, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

After the trial court denied his motion to suppress evidence against him, the Defendant, Thomas Eugene Davis, pled guilty to possession with intent to sell more than .5, but less than 300, grams of cocaine, reserving several certified questions of law pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 37(b)(2). The certified questions are as follows: (1) whether the search warrant failed to sufficiently particularize the items to be seized; (2) whether officers executing the search warrant failed to comply with the "knock and announce" rule; and (3) whether officers executing the search warrant failed to serve the Defendant with a copy of the warrant. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the trial court's judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/davist_011210.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RUBEN HERNANDEZ MARTINEZ

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jerry Gonzalez (on appeal), Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ruben Hernandez Martinez.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Mark A. Fulks, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Pamela Anderson and Lisa Naylor, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The defendant, Ruben Hernandez Martinez, pled guilty to five counts of aggravated rape, Class A felonies. The trial court sentenced him to serve an effective eighty-eight year sentence in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the defendant argues that (1) the trial court considered impermissible factors when enhancing the defendant's sentence, (2) the trial court considered impermissible factors when ordering that the defendant's sentences run consecutively, (3) the trial court erred by sentencing the defendant to eighty- eight years in violation of the extradition agreement, (4) the trial court erred in finding that the defendant was a dangerous offender, and (5) the trial court erred in denying the defendant pretrial jail credit. After a thorough review, we affirm the defendant's convictions and sentences. We remand the case for entry of corrected judgments consistent with this opinion.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/martinezr_011210.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Politics
Legislative News
Disciplinary Actions
Career Opportunities
Upcoming
TBA Member Services

Legal News
YouTube broadcast widens debate on court access
The controversy over the YouTube video broadcast of the trial over Proposition 8, the anti-gay marriage measure approved by California voters in 2008, should serve as an alert to the high court and Congress that the issue of access by cameras, microphones, and now Internet video, cannot be easily avoided. This may be the first of many in the debate over broadcast access to the federal courts.
The First Amendment Center explores
Domestic violence vigil supports victims
The Domestic Violence Awareness Vigil at the Blount County Justice Center held last fall had a record turnout of people showing their support for victims. "It's important young people learn the signs of domestic violence so they don't just accept it," said Monica Aistrop, a credentialed victims advocate specializing in domestic violence.
Blount Today has the story
Scalia looks to foreign law standards on child abduction
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is known for his aversion to consulting foreign law to help interpret the U.S. Constitution. But today he found himself looking approvingly to other countries in a case over an international custody dispute. The court is taking its first look at how American authorities handle the Hague Convention on child abduction, aimed at preventing one parent from taking a child to another country without the other parent's permission.
WKRN.com carried this AP story
Politics
Ford Jr. says he may run for U.S. Senate ... from New York
Former Memphis Congressman Harold Ford Jr. announced in the pages of The New York Post this morning that he is "strongly considering" a run for the U.S. Senate in New York. Ford, a regular commentator on television who works for Merrill Lynch and teaches a course at New York University, said he has lived in New York for three years and is registered to vote in the city.
The Commercial Appeal reports
Legislative News
State House: Delay on workers' comp law possible
A controversial workers' compensation law will not go into effect until Feb. 28, 2011, under a proposal raised this morning in the state House of Representatives. The delay, which is sponsored by Reps. Judd Matheny, R-Tullahoma, and Joe Pitts, D-Clarksville, is meant to buy the legislature time to rewrite the law. The law went into effect Dec. 31, 2009, and some lawmakers want to suspend its effective date before contractors are forced to buy workers' compensation policies or face fines.
The Tennessean reports
Senate votes to delay Voter Confidence Act
The state Senate voted 22-10 today to delay for two years implementation of the Tennessee Voter Confidence Act, which it passed in 2008. That law required new voting systems across the state in time for this year's November general election.
The Commercial Appeal has the story
Disciplinary Actions
John Jay Hooker suspended
On Jan. 7, the Tennessee Supreme Court suspended Nashville lawyer John Jay Hooker for 30 days for filing frivolous litigation and making statements with reckless disregard of their truth or falsity concerning judges.
Read the BPR news release
Career Opportunities
Lawyer sought to open Memphis office for firm
A regional creditors' rights law firm with a growing practice is seeking an associate attorney with three to five years of experience to open a Memphis office for the firm. A successful candidate would be able to manage the office, be self motivated, have at least three years experience representing lenders in the fields of real estate, litigation and/or bankruptcy matters, and have a Tennessee and Mississippi law license. Submit a resume to job011110@tnbar.org.
Learn more about the job on TBA JobLink
Upcoming
U of M Law School grand opening this week
The grand opening of new facilities for the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law is set for Jan. 16, and will feature performers from the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music, as well as nationally recognized jazz soloist, Joyce Cobb. The black-tie-optional event is expected to draw more than 1,500 attendees from across the city, state and country.
Learn more about the Grand Opening
TBA Member Services
TBA, Bank of America team up for no-fee credit card
The TBA World Points Rewards MasterCard from Bank of America places a new world of rewards, privileges, and service at your command -- with no annual fee.
Click here to learn more

 
 
Discontinue your TBA Today subscription? ... Surely not!
But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at:
http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/unsub_tbatoday.php

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 2010 Tennessee Bar Association