Volunteers needed to help 200 first responders with wills

As part of its ongoing public service, the TBA Young Lawyers Division will be preparing free wills and basic end-of-life documents for first responders in Nashville this Saturday, Feb. 27. More than 200 police, firefighters and emergency personnel have signed up for the service and attorneys, witnesses and notaries are still needed. No specific estate planning experience is necessary as the software program prompts each question and generates the final document. If you are willing to volunteer please contact Jenney Springer at (615) 297-1007 or jspringer@kcbattys.com. Shifts are available for the morning or afternoon.

Learn more about Wills for Heroes

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Court: TSC


John P. Williams and Thomas V. White, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Home Builders Association of Middle Tennessee.

Jeffrey Dean Moseley and Elisabeth M. Carson, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellees, Williamson County and its Board of Adjustments and Appeals.

Judge: LEE

This appeal involves a question of law concerning the interpretation of the Williamson County Adequate Facilities Tax Act, which imposes a privilege tax based upon the gross square footage of new construction in Williamson County. In 2005, the County notified certain builders of new residential construction that a review for the period from January 1, 1998, through December 31, 2003, indicated that the builders owed an additional amount of privilege tax because the actual square footage of the completed construction was greater than the projected square footage at the time the privilege tax was paid. The builders objected to payment of the additional privilege tax and filed an action for declaratory judgment, contending that the County's belated collection attempts were in derogation of the Act. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the County, and the Court of Appeals affirmed. We accepted this case for review to determine whether, after the privilege tax is paid based upon the projected square footage of new development before construction, the County is authorized to collect an additional privilege tax after construction based upon the actual completed square footage. We hold that after the County collects the privilege tax based upon the projected square footage, the language of the Act prohibits the County from later collecting additional privilege taxes based upon the actual square footage of the completed project. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals, vacate the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the County, grant summary judgment in favor of the builders, and remand to the trial court for further proceedings as necessary.


WADE dissenting


Court: TCA


Dennis McCarthy, Knoxville, Tennessee, for appellant, Ambrose C. Burnett, Jr.

Martin B. Bailey, Knoxville, Tennessee, for appellee, America's Collectible Networks, Inc. d/b/a Jewelry Television.


In this action for retaliatory discharge, the plaintiff/employee brought suit under both the common law and the Tennessee Public Protection Act, Tenn. Code Ann. section 50-1-304(b), claiming that the defendant/employer had terminated the plaintiff's employment in retaliation for the act of reporting a supervisor's misappropriation of company materials and employees' time. The defendant claimed that the plaintiff was legitimately terminated for insubordination. The trial court granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment. The plaintiff timely appealed. We affirm.



Court: TCA


Sarah Y. Sheppeard and E. Maxey Hackworth, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, John A. Goodwin, Jr.

Martha Meares and Paul Dillard, Maryville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Debra A. Goodwin.


In this divorce action following a long-term marriage, John A. Goodwin, Jr. ("Husband") appeals the value placed by the Trial Court on a company owned and operated by Husband known as Interstate Steel Corporation ("ISC"). More specifically, the Trial Court adopted the value testified to by Wife's expert witness, that value being $1,650,000. Husband was awarded that entire asset, with Wife being awarded other assets roughly totaling that same amount. Husband appeals claiming the Trial Court erred when it adopted the value placed on ISC by Wife's expert and that the Trial Court should have used ISC's value at the point in time when Wife's employment with ISC was terminated by Husband almost two years before trial. Husband also claims the overall property distribution was inequitable and further that he should have been awarded certain bedroom furniture. We agree with Husband as to the bedroom furniture and modify the final judgment accordingly. In all other respects, the judgment of the Trial Court is affirmed.



Court: TCA


David B. Hamilton and William P. Price, III, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Jack Lane.

Darryl G. Lowe, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellees, Jerrold L. Becker and Becker, Fleishman & Knight, P.C.

Ann Gerber, Avon Lake, Ohio, pro se.

Judy Sloan, Alcoa, Tennessee, pro se.


Plaintiff brought claims of malicious prosecution, outrageous conduct, civil conspiracy, punitive damages, and respondeat superior against defendants for filing a lawsuit against him, on behalf of their clients. The trial court dismissed all the claims. We affirm.



Court: TCCA


Ardena J. Garth, District Public Defender (on appeal); Richard Kenneth Mabee, Assistant District Public Defender (on appeal); and Mary Ann Green, Assistant District Public Defender (at trial), for the appellant, Richard Lee Kizer.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, District Attorney General; and C. Matthew Rogers, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Richard Lee Kizer, appeals from the trial court's revocation of his probation and imposition of his full sentence for domestic aggravated assault. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Local Community Groups as Nonprofit Organizations Under Tenn. Code Ann. Section 5-9-109

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2010-02-25

Opinion Number: 10-19


Juvenile Court's Authority to Release Delinquent Child from DCS Custody

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2010-02-25

Opinion Number: 10-20


Felon or Domestic Violence Offender Obtaining a Tennessee Hunting License

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2010-02-25

Opinion Number: 10-21



Legal News
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Legal News
We the People files for bankruptcy
The legal document preparation services company We The People USA Inc. filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week. The company and its affiliate, We The People LLC, had $24 million in sales and 138 franchised locations in 2006, but by 2009 was down to only eight franchises and had lost $2.4 million on $1.4 million in revenue. The companies blame their lack of profitability on an acquisition and legal costs from defending suits filed by franchisees and customers. In 2006, the state of Tennessee sued the company for alleged unauthorized practice of law. The company settled the case agreeing to compensate consumers and make a $70,000 payment to the state.
Read about the Tennessee action
Learn about the bankruptcy filing
Direct appeal allowed in 'judge shopping' case
Special Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood has granted a defendant's request to have his case heard by the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals although it has not worked its way through the trial courts. Blackwood ruled on Jan. 7 that the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency had practiced "judge shopping" when prosecuting cases in Hamilton County General Sessions Court. He stopped short, however, of granting a defense motion to dismiss criminal charges based on the ruling and, instead, sent the case back to the court to be retried by a different judge. Yesterday he agreed it was in the interest of justice to allow the case to be directly appealed to the appellate court.
The Times Free Press has the story
AG files against notario publico
Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper has filed suit against former Nashville business owner Mirella Garcia and her company -- Centro de Apoyo al Immigrante -- for allegedly using misleading advertisements to promote the sale of "international driver's" licenses and using the term "notario publico" without the required disclaimer. In Tennessee, a notario publico who is not an attorney must state that he or she is not an attorney and is not authorized to give or accept fees for legal advice. The office asked anyone who paid Garcia for services to report it by calling (800) 342-8385 or going online.
Read the filings in the case
Justice Koch speaks in support of merit selection
Speaking yesterday to the Rutherford-Cannon Bar Association, Tennessee Supreme Court Justice William C. Koch Jr. said choosing appellate and high court justices by merit seems to be the best system for three reasons: the process does not require fundraising, provides more access for women and people of color, and provides an unbiased mechanism to evaluate judges.
Read his comments in the Murfreesboro Post
6 cases granted court review: Read analysis
Six new cases have been granted review by the Tennessee Supreme Court, including questions on whether the Tennessee Title Pledge Act provides a private right of action, the constitutionality of the excise tax on a non-domiciliary subsidiary corporation that conducted business in the state, and whether a creditor may bring a direct cause of action against the officers and directors of an insolvent corporation.
Read analysis from the Raybin Perky Tennessee Supreme Court Hotlist
Sheriff completes probe into Lockett shooting
The Knox County Sheriff's Office has completed its investigation into the death of William S. "Trent" Lockett III, concluding he was accidentally shot once in the head with a semiautomatic handgun. Lockett, who is the son of Knox County law director Bill Lockett, was shot by his 11-year-old brother Stephen. The department, however, is refusing to release the statements of witnesses present at the time of the shooting.
The News-Sentinel has the story
Kentucky considers public juvenile hearings
A Kentucky legislative panel has approved a proposal that calls for the state Supreme Court to test a plan to open some juvenile court hearings on child abuse and parental rights to the public.
WKRN News 2 reports
Court of the Judiciary
Dumas loses fight to limit evidence
Nashville Judge Gloria Dumas yesterday lost a motion to limit the evidence being sought in her alleged misconduct trial. Court of the Judiciary Presiding Judge Don Ash rejected the arguments of defense counsel and ordered Dumas to produce much of what is being requested by the court's disciplinary counsel.
News Channel 5 reports
Feinberg to speak tomorrow at Vanderbilt conference
Kenneth Feinberg, better known as President Obama's executive pay czar, will deliver the keynote speech for a day-long executive pay conference tomorrow, Feb. 26, at the Vanderbilt Law School. The lecture, scheduled for noon in Flynn Auditorium, is free and open to the public. Feinberg is a partner in Feinberg Rosen, a New York firm he founded in 1993. Before his appointment, he served as special master of the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund and worked as the late Sen. Edward Kennedy's chief of staff in the 1970s.
Learn more about the conference
TBA in the News
4ALL award in the news
News of the TBA's most recent award for its Justice 4ALL campaign was picked by the Associated Press and covered by the Chattanooga Times Free Press and on Tri-Cities.com. The Memphis Daily News also carried the story. The award, the third for the yearlong initiative, was presented to the TBA by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and the Center for Association Leadership.

Legislative News
Track legislation of interest to Tennessee attorneys
The TBA Action List tracks bills in the General Assembly that the TBA has a direct interest in. This means it has either initiated the legislation, taken a postiion on the bill or has a policy on the issue. The TBA Watch List is a broader list of bills of interest to the Tennessee legal community.
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Your customers expect you to deliver -- the new FedEx Tracking makes it easy
Lets face it. Information about your in-transit shipments is critical to your business. Now when you track a package on fedex.com, you have even greater visibility into the status of your shipments. You can customize your tracking results page, organize your shipments by status, easily send and receive proactive e-mail notifications on shipments, and save time with the updated and streamlined Signature Proof of Delivery request process.
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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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