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Court: TCCA


Richard W. Pectol and Jeffrey P. Miles, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the appellant, David A. Phillips.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; and Al Schmutzer, District Attorney General Pro Tempore, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

A Washington County Criminal Court jury convicted the appellant, David A. Phillips, of reckless homicide, vehicular homicide, reckless aggravated assault, felony reckless endangerment, and misdemeanor drag racing. The trial court merged the reckless homicide conviction into the vehicular homicide conviction and sentenced the appellant to six years. The trial court sentenced the appellant to two years for the reckless aggravated assault conviction and one year for the felony reckless endangerment conviction with all the sentences to be served concurrently for a total effective sentence of six years. The trial court dismissed the misdemeanor drag racing conviction because it was barred by the statute of limitations. On appeal, the appellant contends that (1) the evidence is insufficient to support the convictions; (2) the trial court erred by denying his motion to sever his trial from that of his co-defendant; (3) the trial court erred by allowing two State witnesses to give improper testimony; (4) his sentence is excessive and the trial court should have ordered alternative sentencing; and (5) the trial court erred by denying his motions for judgment of acquittal and a new trial. Upon review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court but remand the case to the trial court for entry of a corrected judgment as to the appellant's felony reckless endangerment conviction.

Assessment of Civil Penalty for Violation of Order of Protection

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2010-04-07

Opinion Number: 10-44


Legal News
Legislative News
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TBA Member Services

Legal News
Veile to be YLD president in 2012-2013
Lebanon lawyer David Veile will serve as president of the TBA Young Lawyers Division in 2012-2013. He will take office this June as vice president, and then automatically assume the office of president-elect in 2011 and president in 2012. Veile, who practices with Lowery, Lowery & Cherry PLLC, is considered to be elected now because he was unopposed for the office. Members of the YLD will decide the outcome of five other races, which are contested, at the division's annual meeting June 4 in Nashville.

Supreme Court releases annual report
The Tennessee Supreme Court has released its 2008-2009 annual report of the Tennessee Judiciary. The report offers an overview of the judicial system's accomplishments and provides statistical information about the courts. In an effort to "go green," this year's annual report is being published only in electronic format.
Download the report
Kennedy to replace late juvenile judge
The Bristol City Council yesterday appointed longtime Bristol lawyer Randy Kennedy to replace the late Paul Wohlford as the city's Juvenile Court judge. Council members voted 5-0 in favor of Kennedy, choosing him over finalists Sonya Slaughter Helm, a Bristol-based lawyer, and Erin McArdle, a Washington County assistant district attorney. Kennedy will serve as judge until May 17, 2011, the date of Bristol's next municipal election. The winner of that election will serve until June 2015.
WJHL NewsChannel 11 has the story
County forms oversight panel for magistrates
Dickson County has established a Judicial Commissioner Panel to provide oversight for its magistrate system. The panel will review and address complaints, hold annual public hearings and report to the county commission. Three commissioners and the local General Sessions Court judge will serve on the panel.
Learn more in the Tennessean
General Sessions clerk under investigation
The Memphis division of the FBI "is currently involved in an official investigation" of Shelby County General Sessions Clerk Otis Jackson Jr. according to a March 26 letter from the bureau requesting records related to Jackson's expense reimbursements, county e-mails and department audits. Jackson, who said he was unaware of the inquiry until asked about it by the Commercial Appeal, believes the probe is linked to his run for county mayor and maintains he has done nothing wrong.
Read more from the paper
UM moot court team places second at nationals
The University of Memphis Moot Court Travel Team finished second in the National Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition in Boston after winning the Southern Regional Championship last month. At the national competition, the team faced five intense rounds to advance to the finals. After a hard-fought final round against Columbia University, the Memphis team finished second. The team was coached by Memphis attorneys and law school alumni Andre Mathis and Kendra Tidwell, both with the Glankler Brown law firm.

Legislative News
Ramsey suggests hiring lawyer to bring healthcare suit
Senate speaker and Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron Ramsey said today he would consider hiring an independent counsel if state Attorney General Bob Cooper refuses to challenge the recently-enacted federal health law, but first will seek to pass a resolution urging Cooper to join other states filing suit. The resolution moved closer to Senate consideration today with approval by the body's Judiciary Committee.
The Memphis Daily News reports
Beavers renews call for elected AG
Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, renewed her call for direct election of the state attorney general just hours after Attorney General Bob Cooper released an opinion suggesting the Tennessee Health Freedom Act and similar legislation, which Beavers supports, would fail in the courts. She pointed to the AG opinion as evidence the system needs to be changed saying, "Someone has to be accountable to the people, and yesterday's AG opinion on the Health Freedom Act shows once again, the importance of having an Attorney General who represents the will of the people of this state."
The Tennessean reported the news
Panel rejects local input on guns in bars
A House panel on Wednesday rejected an effort to allow local governments in Tennessee to decide whether they want to ban guns in bars. Rep. Jimmy Naifeh, D-Covington, tried to attach the language to a bill that allows handgun permit holders to bring guns into any establishment that serves alcohol.
The Memphis Daily News has more
Career Opportunities
Memphis law seeks career services dean
The University of Memphis Law School is seeking an Assistant Dean for Law Career Services to design, implement and monitor a comprehensive career services program for law students and alumni. The position involves coordinating career counseling, campus recruitment, job skills workshops and job fairs. Please submit applications online at
Get details on TBA's JobLink
Civil rights figure to speak at Austin Peay
Civil rights activist Lani Guinier will speak Thursday at Austin Peay State University. The event, which will be held in the Morgan University Center Ballroom at 6 p.m., is free and open to the public. Guinier has a long history in the civil rights movement, but garnered national attention in 1993 when then-President Bill Clinton nominated her to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division but then withdrew her name from consideration. She turned that incident into a personal and political memoir, "Lift Every Voice: Turning a Civil Rights Setback into a New Vision of Social Justice."
Read more about Guinier's work in the Clarksville Leaf Chronicle
TBA Member Services
Discounts from Office Depot
Are you saving yet? Sign up for the TBA-Office Depot Program and begin saving. TBA Members receive significant discounts on office supplies from Office Depot.
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