Vanderbilt names new associate academic dean

Vanderbilt University Law School announced today that Lisa Bressman has been named associate dean for academic affairs and will be responsible for the law school's teaching and research missions. Bressman has taught at the school since 1998 and has made a name for herself in the area of administrative law. Prior to joining the faculty, she worked at the U.S. Department of Justice and the law firm of Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel PLLC in Washington, D.C. She also clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. Bressman earned her law degree at the University of Chicago.

Read more about her background

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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STEPHEN GEORGE BEEM v. JOAN NAN GALLINA BEEM

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Leah Lloyd Hillis, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Stephen George Beem.

Amy J. Amundsen, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Joan Nan Gallina Beem.

Judge: KIRBY

This appeal involves a motion to set aside a marital dissolution agreement. After a long marriage, the parties filed cross-petitions for divorce. After mediation, they entered into a marital dissolution agreement settling division of the considerable martial estate. The parties presented the MDA to the trial court, and it was approved and incorporated into the final decree of divorce. Several weeks later, the husband filed this pro se petition to have the MDA set aside, claiming that, at the time it was signed, he was not mentally competent to enter in to such an agreement. The husband's motion was denied, and the wife was awarded attorney fees pursuant to the terms of the MDA. The husband now appeals. We affirm. We hold that the evidence supports the factual finding below that the husband was mentally capable of understanding the consequences of the MDA, and we find no abuse of its discretion in the trial court's denial of the husband's motion to set it aside. We also affirm the award of attorney fees to the wife, and award attorney fees for this appeal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/beems_042810.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CHRISTOPHER JONES

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

George M. Googe, District Public Defender; Gregory D. Gookin, Assistant Public Defender, for the Defendant-Appellant, Christopher Jones.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; James G. Woodall, District Attorney General; and Shaun Brown, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCMULLEN

The Defendant-Appellant, Christopher Jones, appeals the revocation of his probation by the Circuit Court of Madison County. Jones pled guilty to three Class A misdemeanors: possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. For each conviction, he was sentenced to eleven months and twenty-nine days in the county jail. He was also fined a total of $1,150. The trial court ordered the sentences for possession of cocaine and possession of marijuana to be served concurrently, with the sentence for possession of drug paraphernalia to be served consecutively. All three sentences were suspended, and Jones was placed on probation. On appeal, he claims the trial court erred by revoking his probation and restoring his original sentences. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/jonesc_042810.pdf


Patient's Right to Privacy

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2010-04-28

Opinion Number: 10-56

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2010/ag_10_56.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

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Legal News
AG considers challenge to Arizona immigration law
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said yesterday that the federal government may go to court to challenge Arizona's new law, which makes it a state crime to be in the United States illegally. Holder said he feared potential abuse of the law and the wedge it could create between communities and law enforcement. President Barack Obama instructed the department to examine the law, which he said threatens to "undermine basic notions of fairness."
WKRN has this AP story
Lawyers receive advocacy awards
The Tennessee Alliance for Progress has announced the winners of its annual Long Haul Awards. Among the group are two attorneys: Gordon Bonnyman with the Tennessee Justice Center, who will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and Katherine Esquivel with Justice for Our Neighbors, who will receive the 2010 award. The award ceremony -- which will feature a silent auction, music by Kathy Chiavola and a keynote speech by author, activist and speaker Tim Wise -- will take place May 22 at 7 p.m. at St. Ann's Episcopal Church in Nashville. Tickets are $40 or $75 for two. For more information visit taptn.org
Make reservations for the ceremony
Knoxville tree event a big hit
Members of the Knoxville Ice Bears hockey organization (including the mascot "Chilly") joined TBA volunteers in distributing saplings at the ljams Nature Center during Arbor Day festivities Friday in Knoxville. Under the leadership of TBA YLD President-elect Tasha Blakney, the group distributed 100 trees along with care instructions.
See photos from the event on TBAConnect
Judge calls for new gang laws
Chattanooga City Court Judge Russell Bean said gangs in his city are making the town unsafe and that tougher laws are needed to deal with gangs, youths with guns and those who provide guns to young people. Among his ideas for reform are proposals making it a felony to steal a gun during a burglary, characterizing gangs as organized crime and making it a misdemeanor offense to claim membership in a gang.
Chattanoogan.com has more
Business Tennessee names best employers in the state
Business Tennessee released its annual list of the best employers in Tennessee and two law firms have made the cut. In the large company category (250 or more employees), the Memphis office of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC comes in at number 6. In the small and medium category (25-249 employees), Kramer Rayson LLP in Knoxville ranked number 13.
See the full lists
University paper details law school dedication
The University of Memphis student paper, the Daily Helmsman, provides a summary of last week's faculty convocation and law school dedication. The paper reports that U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen attended the event to honor his alma mater. Speaking about the importance of training future generations of attorneys, Cohen said "We wouldn't be the great country that we are if it weren't for lawyers."
Read the story
Wal-Mart faces class action suit
The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, in a 6-5 ruling, has approved class action status for a lawsuit alleging Wal-Mart Stores Inc. discriminates against female employees by paying them less than men who do the same job, promoting them less and making them wait longer than male counterparts for promotions. The retail giant has fiercely fought the lawsuit since it was first filed by six women in 2001.
Memphis Daily News has the story
Legislative News
LSC asks for authorization, funding increase
The Legal Services Corporation recently appeared before a subcommittee of the U.S. House Judiciary in support of legislation that would authorize the agency for five years and approve a funding level of $750 million per year. In his testimony, corporation Chairman John G. Levi said 54 million Americans now qualify for legal assistance and reiterated that the legal needs of many continue to go unaddressed for lack of funding. He said his priorities for the agency are finding a new president, increasing public and private funding for legal services, improving oversight and accountability, and developing a new five-year strategic plan.
Read Levi's testimony
Upcoming
Event helps visual artists and their lawyers
The Volunteer Lawyers & Professionals for the Arts (VLPA) will sponsor a seminar tomorrow at the Frist Center in Nashville on the topic "Gallery Relationships: A Legal Perspective for Visual Artists." The event will run from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and include free parking and admission to the galleries, which stay open late on Thursday nights. The cost is $10 for group members and $15 for non-members. RSVP at VLPA@abcnashville.org or (615) 743-3055.
Learn more about VLPA
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.
Find out more

 
 
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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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