Corporate counsel pro bono award nominations due Friday

This Friday, Feb. 26, is the deadline to submit nominations for the 2010 Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative Awards, which recognize a law firm and a corporate legal department in the state that best exemplify access to justice ideals and pro bono service. Award winners will be announced at the Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative Gala March 27 at the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville. That event honors outstanding pro bono contributions and raises funds for access to justice projects across Tennessee.

Learn more about the initiative or nominate a candidate

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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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.

IN RE D.L.D., JR., ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

D.L.D. Sr., Nashville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Jill Z. Grim, Assistant Attorney General, General Civil Division, Nashville, Tennessee, for appellee, Tennessee Department of Children's Services.

Judge: SUSANO

This is a dependent and neglect proceeding. The trial court found and held that the children and stepchildren ("the subject children") of D.L.D., Sr. ("the Adult") are dependent and neglected within the meaning of Tenn. Code Ann. section 37-1-102(b)(12) (Supp. 2009). As one of its decrees, the trial court ordered that the Adult was to have no contact of any kind with the subject children. The Adult filed a petition against the Tennessee Department of Children Services seeking to be relieved of the court''s "no contact" order. The trial court denied the Adult's petition. The case was appealed to the Court of Appeals. We have no jurisdiction of this appeal. Such appeals are to circuit court. See Tenn. Code Ann. section 37-1- 159(a) (2005). This appeal is transferred to the Fourth Circuit Court for Knox County pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. section16-4-108(a)(2) (2009) and Tenn. R. App. P. 17.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/dld_022410.pdf


DORIAN JONES v. RONALD HICKS, INDIVIDUALLY AND DBA R AND R COLLISION

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Dorian Jones, Johnson City, Tennessee, appellant, Pro Se.

No appearance by, or on behalf of, appellee, Ronald Hicks.

Judge: SUSANO

Dorian Jones left his Jeep with Ron Hicks dba R and R Collision for restorative repairs in the summer or fall of 2005. On or about November 3, 2008, Hicks sent Jones a letter stating that the Jeep would be "auctioned unless all repair and storage fees are paid in full within fifteen (15) days of receipt of this letter." Jones called Hicks and, when he learned that Hicks had not performed any repairs, insisted on return of the Jeep without any payment. Hicks refused. Jones filed an action for replevin of the Jeep. Hicks filed a counterclaim asserting that he was entitled to sell the vehicle for collection of his repair and storage fees. After a bench trial, the court entered an order stating that Hicks was entitled to recover $564 without specifying what was to happen with the vehicle. Jones filed a motion to alter or amend simultaneously with a notice of appeal. The trial court entered an order amending its earlier order by addition of a paragraph which provided that the vehicle would be returned to Jones upon payment of the $564 plus accrued interest. Jones contends in this appeal that Hicks was not entitled to any repair charges or storage fees under their informal unwritten arrangement since Hicks performed no repairs and gave him no notice that he would be charging storage fees. We agree with Jones and reverse the judgment in favor of Hicks.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/jonesd_022410.pdf


IN RE JUSTINE P. ET AL.
Corrected Opinion: On page 1, Susie Piper McGowan, Guardian Ad Litem, has been added as counsel, which resulted in pagination changes on pages 2-6


Court: TCA

Attorneys:

C. Michael Cardwell, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Daisy P. Dennis L. Nordhoff, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Antonio 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.

Susie Piper McGowan, Nunnelly, Tennessee, Guardian Ad Litem.

Judge: BENNETT

The trial court terminated the parental rights of mother and father to their four children. Because there was clear and convincing evidence to support the trial court's decision, we affirm that decision.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/justinep_CORR_022410


CARROLL C. MARTIN, v. JIMMY BANKSTON, et al.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Bryan B. Martin, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the appellant, Carroll C. Martin.

James W. Clements, III., Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellees, Jimmy Bankston and Cathy Bankston.

Judge: FRANKS

Plaintiff sued defendants, seeking to enforce the restrictive covenants on defendants' property as to an outbuilding constructed on defendants' property and seeking an injunction against defendants' alleged operation of a business on their premises in violation of the restrictive covenants. The Trial Court ruled in favor of defendants, and plaintiff has appealed. We affirm the Judgment of the Trial Court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/martinc_022410.pdf


IN RE: MAVERICK H., SAMANTHA ANN MOORE, a/k/a MICHELLE M. HARTMAN, v. MARK W. GIVLER

Court: TCA

Judge: FRANKS

In this action to establish paternity and recover back child support, plaintiff did not appear when the case was set for trial and the Trial Judge dismissed the action. Plaintiff then filed a Rule 60 motion to reinstate the case to the trial docket, which the Trial Judge denied. On appeal, we affirm the Judgment of the Trial Court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/maverickh_022410.pdf


MELVIN QUARLES, ET AL. v. BARBARA ATKINS SMITH, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

James Stephen King, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellants, Melvin Quarles, Charlotte Quarles, Glen Hayden and Cheryl Hayden

Thomas D. Forrester, Covington, Tennessee, for the appellee, June Walker, Jr., a/k/a J. G. Walker, Jr.

Judge: HIGHERS

This case involves a boundary line dispute. Plaintiffs brought suit to enjoin Defendant Walker from entering property they claimed to own. However, Defendant Walker filed a counter-claim against Plaintiffs asserting, among other things, ownership by adverse possession. The trial court found that title to the disputed property had vested in Defendant Walker, and therefore, it granted summary judgment in his favor. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/quarlesm_022410.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. KENNETH LEE BURRUS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Michael Jonothan Collins (at trial), Shelbyville, Tennessee, and Andrew Jackson Dearing, III (on appeal), Shelbyville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Kenneth Lee Burrus.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; Charles Crawford, District Attorney General; Michael D. Randles, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

The Defendant, Kenneth Lee Burrus, pled guilty to one count of filing a false report and two counts of violating the sex offender registry. The trial court sentenced the Defendant to three years for each of the violating the sex offender registry convictions and to five years for the filing a false police report conviction. The trial court ordered the Defendant to serve his two three-year sentences consecutively to his five-year sentence for a total effective sentence of eight years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant contends the trial court erred when it imposed consecutive sentencing. After a thorough review of the record and applicable authorities, we affirm the trial court's judgments.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/burrusk_022410.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DARRELL TYWON LOCKRIDGE and CHRISTOPHER ALLEN TURNER

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

David M. Hopkins, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Darrell Tywon Lockridge; and Michael A. Colavecchio, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Christopher Allen Turner.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, District Attorney General, Amy Eisenbeck and Rachel Sobrero, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Appellants, Darrell Tywon Lockridge and Christopher Allen Turner, were indicted by the Davidson County Grand Jury in July of 2006 for attempted especially aggravated robbery and attempted first degree murder. After a jury trial, Appellant Lockridge was convicted of attempted second degree murder and attempted especially aggravated robbery. Appellant Turner was found not guilty of attempted first degree murder but was convicted of attempted aggravated robbery. Appellant Lockridge was sentenced to an effective twenty-year sentence, and Appellant Turner received a nine-year sentence. Both Appellant Lockridge and Appellant Turner appeal their convictions and sentences. After a review of the record, we determine that the evidence is sufficient to support the convictions and that the trial court properly sentenced both Appellants. Accordingly, the judgments of the trial court are affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/lockridged_022410.pdf


ROBERT D. MENDENHALL v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Gerald L. Melton, District Public Defender, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Robert D. Mendenhall.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; William C. Whitesell, Jr., District Attorney General, and Thomas Parkerson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

On February 1, 2007, Petitioner, Robert D. Mendenhall, pled guilty in Rutherford County to thirteen counts of the unlawful sale of unregistered securities, theft over $60,000 and theft over $1,000. He agreed to a sentence of twenty years pursuant to his plea agreement. Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief asserting that he had been afforded ineffective assistance of counsel and that his plea was entered involuntarily and unintelligently based upon the ineffective assistance of counsel. After holding an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court found that Petitioner had been afforded effective assistance of counsel and had entered his plea voluntarily. Therefore, the post-conviction court denied the petition. On appeal, Petitioner argues that the post-conviction court erred in denying his petition. After a thorough review of the record, we conclude that the evidence presented at the evidentiary hearing does not preponderate against the findings of the post-conviction court. Therefore, we affirm the denial of the petition for post-conviction relief.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/mendenhallr_022410.pdf


PAUL CARR MOSS, JR. v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Peter J. Strianse, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Paul Carl Moss, Jr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; John Carney, District Attorney General, and Dent Morriss, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Petitioner, Paul Carr Moss, Jr., appeals the denial of post-conviction relief. After Petitioner was convicted of the second degree murder of his wife, he appealed his conviction and sentence. State v. Moss, 13 S.W.3d 374 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1999). On appeal, his conviction and sentence was affirmed. Id. at 389. A petition for post-conviction relief was filed by the attorney who represented Petitioner on appeal. Petitioner instructed the post-conviction court that the petition was submitted without his knowledge or consent and to ignore the petition. Petitioner subsequently filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief. Once counsel was appointed, Petitioner filed an amended petition for post-conviction relief. After a hearing, the post-conviction court denied relief. Petitioner appeals the denial. After a review, we determine that the Petitioner has failed to show that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. Accordingly, the judgment of the post-conviction court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/mossp_022410.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. BRYAN RAY PHILLIPS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Donna Orr Hargrove, District Public Defender; Assistant Public Defender, Andrew Jackson Dearing, III, Shelbyville, Tennessee, for the Defendant-Appellant, Bryan Ray Phillips.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; Charles F. Crawford, Jr., District Attorney General; and Michael D. Randles, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCMULLEN

The Defendant-Appellant, Bryan Ray Phillips, entered open guilty pleas in the Bedford County Circuit Court to one count of theft of over $10,000.00, a Class C felony; one count of evading arrest with risk of death or injury, a Class D felony; and one count of evading arrest, a Class A misdemeanor. The sole issue presented for our review is whether the trial court erred in ordering Phillips to serve his felony sentences consecutively. Upon review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/phillipsb_022410.pdf


LEROY SEXTON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Leroy Sexton, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; and William Paul Phillips, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Petitioner, Leroy Sexton, was convicted by a Fentress County jury of one count of rape of a child. The trial court sentenced him to twenty-five years. Petitioner's direct appeal to this Court was unsuccessful. State v. Leroy Sexton, No. M2004-03076-CCA-R3-CD, 2007 WL 92353 at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Nashville, Jan. 12, 2007). Petitioner subsequently filed a petition for post-conviction relief. The post-conviction court summarily dismissed the petition for being filed outside the statute of limitations and because the issues presented are either waived or previously-determined. After a thorough review of the record, we conclude that Petitioner's issues presented in his petition are indeed waived or previously determined. Therefore, we affirm the post-conviction's dismissal of the petition.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/sextonl_022410.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ADRAIN KEITH WASHINGTON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jeffrey A. DeVasher, Assistant Public Defender, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Adrain Keith Washington.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Matthew Bryant Haskell, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, District Attorney General, and Sharon Reddick, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Appellant, Adrain Keith Washington, appeals his conviction for aggravated sexual battery after a jury trial in Davidson County. Appellant was sentenced to twelve years in the Department of Correction. After a motion for new trial was denied, Appellant sought appeal. On appeal, Appellant argues: (1) the trial court erred by failing to instruct the jury on the State's election of offenses; (2) his conviction for aggravated sexual battery violates double jeopardy where he was acquitted of that offense in count one; and (3) his sentence is excessive. We determine that the trial court's failure to instruct the jury regarding election was harmless. Further, we determine that Appellant's conviction for aggravated sexual battery does not violate double jeopardy. Finally, the trial court properly sentenced Appellant. Therefore, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/washingtona_022410.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Court of the Judiciary
Supreme Court Report
Correction
TBA Member Services
TennBarU CLE

Legal News
Tennessee immigration court overwhelmed
The federal immigration court in Memphis, which handles cases from Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky and the northern half of Mississippi, has one of the nation's highest caseloads per judge. In 2008, for example, Memphis had only two judges to handle 3,500 pending cases. Today, the situation is worse: one of the judges has been moved to a Virginia court. The result? Hundreds of people recommended for deportation haven't been given a court date and those who have must wait a year for their cases to be heard.
The Tennessean investigates
3 interviewed for juvenile court judge
The Bristol City Council on Tuesday interviewed three finalists for the city's juvenile court judge. The post came open in January with the death of long-time Judge Paul Wohlford. The council questioned the three in separate sessions and will make a final decision at its March 2 meeting. Among those being considered are Assistant District Attorney Erin McArdle, and Bristol lawyers Sonya Slaughter Helm and Randy Kennedy. The new appointee will serve until May 17, 2011, at which time he or she will face the voters. The winner of the election will serve until June 2015.
Tri-Cities.com reports
AG says 'not so fast' to O'Keeffe art sale
After the Tennessee Supreme Court this week declined to hear a case about the future of an art collection given to Fisk University by artist Georgia O'Keeffe, school officials were feeling confident about moving forward with a sale of the art. The state attorney general, however, has weighed in saying neither party should be allowed to move the collection until the Chancery Court rules in the matter. He also suggested that the court's decision is far from certain since financial conditions that might have supported a sale no longer exist.
Learn more in the Tennessean
LegalZoom accused of unauthorized practice
A class action suit filed by Missouri consumers claims that LegalZoom -- the online legal document prep service -- is engaged in the unauthorized practice of law and seeks a refund of all fees paid to the company by customers. The suit cites a cease-and-desist letter from the North Carolina State Bar's Unauthorized Practice Committee, which challenged the company's right to do business in the state. A spokesman for LegalZoom says the company is confident it has not broken any laws.
Read more in the ABA Journal
Court of the Judiciary
Tempers flare in Dumas case
A judge-versus-judge battle in the Gloria Dumas case now has spilled over to involve Dan Eisenstein, the presiding judge of Davidson County General Sessions Court. Former Judge Steve Daniel, who is now chief disciplinary counsel for the Court of the Judiciary, asserted this week that Eisenstein had instructed court employees not to answer questions about fellow General Sessions Judge Gloria Dumas, who is facing possible disciplinary action for being late to court and improperly employing her daughter as a court officer. Eisenstein's counsel, Nashville attorney David Raybin, called the claim a "damn lie," saying the court is willing to cooperate but that Daniel, like any prosecutor, must obtain a subpoena to seek personnel records or confidential documents.
The Nashville Post.com reports
Supreme Court Report
Legal blog predicts appointment for Kagan
A blog known for its breaking-news coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court is making a bold prediction: the next new justice will be Solicitor General Elena Kagan and by this fall she will be sitting on the bench asking questions.
Read the reasons why from SCOTUSBLOG
Correction
Yesterday's TBA Today included incorrect information regarding recent decisions in the dispute between Fisk University and the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum. On Monday the Tennessee Supreme Court declined to hear the case. The Court of Appeals had held that the O'Keeffe Foundation did not have standing to participate in the case, and that Fisk must go back to Chancery Court for a trial on the issues of whether cy pres relief is available and, if so, to determine what the appropriate relief is. This may or may not include sale of the famous art collection.

TBA Member Services
Health savings accounts now available
The TBA has partnered with First Horizon Msaver Inc. to offer Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and HSA-qualified health plans for individuals and groups to members. HSAs are tax-advantaged accounts that let you set aside money to pay for current and future medical expenses. For more information, or to obtain an instant quote for an HSA-qualified health plan, call the TBA's dedicated toll-free customer care line at (866) 257-2659 or visit the TBA member web site.
Click here
TennBarU CLE
New webcast series: Spanish for Lawyers
The TBA's TennBarU and the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute have teamed up to provide a special opportunity for lawyers who are interested in serving the Hispanic population in Tennessee. The new Spanish for Lawyers webcast series will cover: Spanish language skills to improve client communication, cultural tips, working with interpreters, and a brief review of resources for lawyers.
Learn more or sign up now

 
 
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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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