First youth courts in Memphis to open this fall

Four schools in the Memphis city school system will have active youth courts by next fall thanks to the hard work of Memphis attorney Larry Scroggs, chief counsel for the Memphis Juvenile Courts as well as the support of Linda Warren Seeley with Memphis Area Legal Services and Memphis Bar Association President Ricky Wilkins, who have been long-time advocates of youth court/peer mediation initiatives in Memphis. Recruitment for volunteer lawyers will begin immediately. Youth courts, also known as teen or peer courts, are an alternative sentencing mechanism for first-time non-violent juvenile offenders who appear before and are sentenced by a jury of their peers. If you are interested in getting involved in one of these courts at Cordova, Frayser, Kirby or Whitehaven high schools please contact state youth court coordinator Alexanderia Honeycutt at or (615) 383-7421.

Learn more about youth courts here

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.

00 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
03 - TN Court of Appeals
06 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
01 - 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.


Court: TCA


Brenda Oats-Williams, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jo Ann Street.

H. Keith Morrison, Jason S. Mangrum, Fayetteville, AR, for the appellee, Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corporation.


In 1991, Ms. Street executed a note and deed of trust in favor of National Bank of Commerce. National Bank of Commerce immediately assigned the deed of trust to Troy & Nichols, Inc. In 1994, Chase acquired Troy & Nichols, and in 2003, National Bank of Commerce released the deed of trust. Chase brought suit claiming that the deed of trust had been erroneously released, seeking to rescind the releases and to reinstate the deed of trust. The trial court granted summary judgment to Chase, and we affirm.


Court: TCA


Christopher J. Pittman, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellants, John H. Key, II and Wanda Morrison.

Robert A. Maness, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Carolyn Lyle, et al.


Appellees, as shareholders, leased a commercial building and property from a relative. When the relative died, the property was left to numerous heirs, including Appellees and the non- shareholder Appellants, and Appellee Carolyn Lyle was named property manager. Appellees fell behind on their rent owed pursuant to the lease, but ultimately repaid the arrearage, and disbursements were made to the property co-owners. Appellants sued, claiming that Lyle should be removed as property manager, that she was obligated to declare the lease in default and to re-let the property, and that the Appellees breached their fiduciary duties to the other property co-owners. The trial court denied Appellants' claims, and we affirm.


Court: TCA


Mary C. Mayham, Covington, Tennessee, for the appellant, Nicholas A. Franks.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; and Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Warren A. Jasper, Senior Counsel, for appellee, State of Tennessee, ex rel., Misty Murphy.


This is a Title IV-D child support case. Appellee State of Tennessee filed a petition for contempt against Appellant Father for failure to pay child support. The trial court granted the petition, finding Father in contempt for failure to pay child support, and ordering prospective child support as well as a monthly payment on arrears. After review of the appellate record, we have determined that, although the trial court ordered monthly payments of child support arrears, the order does not indicate the total amount of Father's arrearage. Consequently, we conclude that the order appealed is not a final judgment, and dismiss the appeal for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.


Court: TCCA


David Hopkins, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Quincy Bryan Banks.

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

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Quincy Bryan Banks, appeals the consecutive-sentencing decision of the Davidson County Criminal Court, which was imposed following remand from the Court of Criminal Appeals for resentencing. See State v. Quincy Bryan Banks, No. M2007-00545-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn. Crim. App., Nashville, Apr. 11, 2008). Upon our de novo review of the order of consecutive sentencing without a presumption of correctness, we vacate the judgments of the trial court and remand for further sentencing proceedings.


Court: TCCA


Leslie Paul Hatfield, Pikeville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; and James Michael Taylor, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Petitioner, Leslie Paul Hatfield, appeals the Bledsoe County Circuit Court's partial denial of his petition for writ of habeas corpus in which he contended (1) that his conviction for incest, a Class C felony, was void because he was illegally sentenced to community supervision for life, (2) that his convictions for two counts of statutory rape, a Class E felony, and one count each of solicitation of a minor and casual exchange of a Schedule IV controlled substance, both Class E felonies, were void because he was not awarded all his pre-trial jail credits, and (3) that his convictions for statutory rape, solicitation of a minor, and casual exchange were void because he was not awarded pre-trial jail credits against the sentences that he was ordered to serve concurrently. The trial court granted the writ of habeas corpus for the Petitioner's sentence for incest, but it denied habeas corpus relief on the Petitioner's remaining grounds. Because the judgment for statutory rape reflects an illegal sentence and because the Petitioner's pre-trial credits were not applied to the sentences that he was ordered to serve concurrently, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for transfer to the Criminal Court for Scott County for the entry of corrected judgments.



Court: TCCA


Mack Garner, District Public Defender (at trial); and J. Liddell Kirk, Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal), for the appellant, Bykeem Bret Jenkins.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; and Tammy Harrington and Kathy Aslinger, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Bykeem Bret Jenkins, pleaded guilty in 2007 in the Blount County Circuit Court to possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, a Class E felony, and received a two year suspended sentence. In response to a timely petition for violation of the defendant's probation, the trial court revoked the probation and ordered the defendant to serve his sentence in the Department of Correction. The defendant appeals from the order of confinement. We affirm the trial court's order.


Court: TCCA


S. Wayne Clemons, Jr., Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Stevie Leonard Kelly.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lindsy P. Stempel, Assistant Attorney General; John Wesley Carney, Jr., District Attorney General; and John E. Finklea, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The defendant, Stevie Leonard Kelly, appeals the sentencing decision of the Montgomery County Circuit Court. The defendant pled guilty to one count of possession of a Schedule II controlled substance and two counts of evading arrest. He was subsequently sentenced to concurrent sentences of ten years for the drug conviction and five years for each evading arrest. The trial court further ordered that the effective ten-year sentence be served in the Department of Correction consecutive to sentences for which the defendant was found to be in violation of probation. On appeal, the defendant challenges the sentences, specifically contending that: (1) the trial court improperly weighed the enhancing and mitigating factors in determining the sentence lengths; (2) the court erred in ordering that the sentences be served in confinement; and (3) consecutive sentencing was improperly imposed. Following review of the record, we conclude that: (1) a challenge based upon the weighing of enhancement or mitigating factors is no longer a ground for appeal; (2) no abuse of discretion resulted from the court's decision that confinement was necessary because measures less restrictive than confinement had recently been applied; and (3) no abuse of discretion resulted from the court's decision to impose consecutive sentencing based upon the fact that the defendant was on probation at the time the offenses were committed. Accordingly, we affirm the sentences as imposed.


Court: TCCA


Cynthia M. Fort, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Latoya Danielle Patton.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Bret Gunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The petitioner, Latoya Danielle Patton, appeals the Davidson County Criminal Court's denial of her petition for post-conviction relief. The petitioner, pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement, pled guilty to second degree murder, a Class A felony, and received a sentence of forty years. On appeal, the petitioner contends that her guilty plea was not knowingly and voluntarily entered due to the ineffective assistance of counsel in advising the petitioner. Following review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.


Court: TCCA


Randall Tolley, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Defendant-Appellant, Harry Richard.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Senior Counsel; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Charles (Bo) W. Bell, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant-Appellant, Harry Richard, pled guilty in the Criminal Court of Shelby County to driving while under the influence of an intoxicant, a Class A misdemeanor. He was sentenced to eleven months and twenty-nine days in a county workhouse. This sentence was suspended, and Richard was ordered to serve eleven months and twenty-eight days on probation. He was also assessed a six hundred dollar fine and ordered to pay fifteen dollars in other fees. Richard claims on appeal that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress. Pursuant to Rule 37 of the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure, he reserved the following certified questions of law: (1) "Whether there was reasonable suspicion for a traffic stop for speeding"; (2) "Whether there was probable cause to arrest Harry Richard for DUI"; and (3) "Whether placing Harry Richard in the back of the squad car was a 'brief detention' in this instance." Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Extent of Municipal Police Authority Beyond Municipal Limits

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2010-04-14

Opinion Number: 10-48


Legal News
Legislative News
Supreme Court Report
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Obama taps Stanton as U.S. attorney for West Tenn.
Edward L. Stanton III, a FedEx lawyer and former candidate for Congress, was nominated this afternoon by President Barack Obama to be the next U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee. Stanton earned his law degree from the University of Memphis in 1997 and has worked in the FedEx legal department since 2002.
Read more of Stanton's background in the Commercial Appeal
Jury pool of 100 to be called for Palin case
The trial of UT student David C. Kernell, who is accused of illegally accessing Sarah Palin's private e-mail account, remains scheduled for trial next Tuesday. In a hearing this morning, U.S. District Judge Thomas Phillips denied a number of motions filed by Kernell's lawyer and set a final pre-trial hearing for Monday. The judge also announced that 100 prospective jurors would be summoned for the case.
The News Sentinel summarizes the motions considered today
HF Law Group moves east
The HF Law Group PLLC recently announced its intention to move from the central business district of downtown Memphis to the eastern part of Shelby County. Its new address will be 3257 Sarazen's Circle. However, the firm will keep a presence at its old offices in Suite 500 of 119 South Main Street, mostly to accommodate its mediation practice. The firm's principals, Bob Flynn and Michele Howard-Flynn, said the main reason was to be closer to most clients.
The Memphis Daily News reports
Jefferson County bar elects new president
The Jefferson County Bar Association recently elected a new president Dennis "Will" Roach II of Jefferson City. The other officers -- Vice President Christopher Brown and Secretary/Treasurer Jill Talley, both of Dandridge -- remain unchanged.

Robertson County names new vice president
In addition to naming a new president recently, the Robertson County Bar Association also has a new vice president: Jennifer Evans of Springfield. Evans was inadvertently omitted from a story earlier this month about the county bar elections.

UT moot court team reaches 'Elite 8'
The UT College of Law Jerome Prince Evidence Moot Court Team enjoyed great success in this year's competition -- advancing further than any UT team in the past decade. The team competed in two preliminary rounds, the octo-final round and the quarterfinal round before being narrowly defeated by American University. The judges in the last round commented that the teams were so closely matched they were unaware as to which team had won until the scores were tallied.

Legislative News
Senate urges AG to join health lawsuit
The state Senate voted 21-7 this week to urge Tennessee's attorney general to join states challenging the constitutionality of the federal health care overhaul. The measure was sponsored by Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey of Blountville. All votes against the resolution were cast by Democrats, with three Democrats voting in favor of the measure. The Associated Press reported the news.

Health Freedom Act ready for House vote
The push against a federal health care overhaul continued yesterday in the state House with Commerce Committee approval of a measure that seeks to overturn the new federal law. The so-called "Health Freedom Act" is now ready for a vote in the House of Representatives, WPLN reports.

Supreme Court Report
Conservatives seek tea party support for court battle
Conservative groups preparing to fight President Barack Obama over his next Supreme Court nomination are trying to recruit tea party activists to their cause, hoping their enthusiasm will help them beat back any nominee that could be too liberal for their taste. Though they were unable to stop the confirmation of Justice Sonia Sotomayor last year, conservative leaders are hoping a "whole new group of activists" will get involved this time around. Obama is considering about 10 candidates for the court and promises to make his choice quickly, reports the Associated Press.

McWherter's fundraising lags GOP rivals
Jackson businessman Mike McWherter has made a $1 million contribution to his own campaign but raised just $103,000 in the first quarter of this year. That contrasts with the Republican field, where Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam amassed nearly $1.3 million and U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Chattanooga, reported about $510,500 in contributions. Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, did not raise money this quarter because of a state law that bans contributions while the legislature is in session.
The Memphis Daily News reports
Memphis lawyer dies
Retired Memphis lawyer James T. Bland Sr. died Feb. 18 at the age of 91. Mr. Bland, who earned his law degree in 1941 from the then-Southern College of Law, practiced law as a member of Malloy Leary & Bland until his retirement. Prior to joining Malloy Leary & Bland, he worked as a claims manager for several companies, including Hertz Corporation and Bland Claim Service -- a business he opened in Memphis. The family suggests that memorial donations be made to the Memphis Bar Foundation, the Tennessee Bar Foundation or the Federal Bar Foundation.

Memphis launches Law Week with party on Friday
Attorneys in Memphis will launch the city's annual Law Week activities this Friday with a party at Court Square from 5 to 7 p.m. The event -- a complimentary, no RSVP gathering of legal organizations in the community -- will feature live music, Neely's Bar-B-Q, Boscos Beer, wine, soft drinks and ice cream. All members of the legal community are invited to attend and families are welcome, and are asked to bring a canned good or monetary donation to support the Mid-South Food Bank.

The party is hosted by the Memphis Bar Association, Tennessee Bar Association, Association for Women Attorneys, Ben F. Jones Chapter of the National Bar Association, Memphis/Mid-South Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, MBA Young Lawyers Division, University of Memphis Student Bar Association, University of Memphis Law Alumni Association, Association of Legal Administrators, Greater Memphis Paralegal Alliance, Memphis Legal Secretaries Association and Memphis area court reporters.
Learn more from the MBA's Bar Bulletin
Project Salute offers free training for veterans' appeals
Project Salute, a service project of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, is offering free training next month to help lawyers learn the basics of federal veterans' disability and pension benefits laws. Topics include how to assist veterans with disability and pension benefits appeals, understanding why claims are denied and gathering evidence to support a claim. The training will be held online May 13-14 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EST each day. In exchange, attorneys must agree to handle at least one veterans' case on a pro bono basis. On June 18-19, the program will be in northeast Tennessee to conduct a legal clinic for veterans. For more information contact Alesa Silver at or (313) 596-0258.
Register for the training
TBA Member Services
Let JobLink help you with your next career move
A career service for Tennessee attorneys and law students, TBA JobLink is a job seeking and recruitment tool available at no charge. Whether you have a position to fill or are seeking employment, this site will guide you through a simple process to post your information.
Visit the site

Discontinue your TBA Today subscription? ... Surely not!
But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at:

Questions, comments: Email us at

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