TBA mobilizes for legal assistance to flood victims

The Tennessee Bar Association today began recruiting lawyers willing to provide disaster legal services to the public or donate office equipment, resources and office space to fellow attorneys affected by flooding in and around Nashville. The TBA is working with the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services and other organizations to recruit lawyers to staff a legal hotline, handle cases and volunteer at two disaster service centers that will be open from noon to 8 p.m. every day this week in Bellevue and South Nashville. Attorneys will be provided with onsite training. A disaster services manual is also available on the TBA web site for lawyers to use in helping clients.

Register to help or find resources for affected law offices

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.

01 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
03 - TN Court of Appeals
01 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
02 - 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: TSC



Court: TCA


Alan R. Beard, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Clyde Richard Aslinger.

Carrie Lynee Aslinger, Soddy Daisy, Tennessee, Pro Se.


This is a divorce case. Father/Appellant appeals the trial court's decision to designate Mother/Appellee the primary residential parent of the parties' two minor children, and the trial court's refusal to enter an order restraining the Mother's paramour from being around the children. This Court concludes that the evidence does not preponderate against the trial court's factual findings, and that the custody decision is not contrary to the children's best interests. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.



Court: TCA


Lawrence P. Leibowitz and Jennifer L. Knapp, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Lamar Tennessee, LLC d/b/a Lamar Advertising of Tennessee and TLC Properties, Inc.

David A. Ives, Susan Emery McGannon, and William E. Squires, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellees, Murfreesboro Board of Zoning Appeals and City of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Judge: KIRBY

This appeal concerns a billboard permit. The petitioner billboard owner applied to the respondent city for a permit to tear down and replace a grandfathered billboard. The city granted a permit for an indirectly illuminated billboard. The owner then built a billboard with a digital display face. The city revoked the owner's permit because, inter alia, the sign actually constructed varied from the permit. The owner appealed to the city's board of zoning appeals, which upheld the city's revocation of the billboard permit. The billboard owner filed a petition for a writ of certiorari, seeking judicial review of the revocation. The trial court dismissed the billboard owner's petition, finding that the city's revocation of the permit was valid because the billboard erected by the owner was not covered by the permit. The billboard owner now appeals. We affirm.



Court: TCA


Frank M. Fly, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Monica Villarreal.

No appearance on behalf of appellee, Robert Justice.


Mother and Father filed separate petitions to modify custody, both alleging a different material change of circumstances. The trial court entered a new parenting plan with custody provisions identical to those in a former parenting plan, but it failed to issue findings of fact and conclusions of law. Because the trial court failed to meet the requirements of Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 52.01, we vacate the judgment and remand for further proceedings.



Court: TCCA


Michael G. Hatmaker, Jacksboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Clois Dean Asbury.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; William Paul Phillips, District Attorney General; and Latasha H. B. Wassom, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


A Campbell County Criminal Court jury convicted the appellant, Clois Dean Asbury, of driving under the influence of an intoxicant (DUI), sixth offense, and violating the Tennessee implied consent law. On appeal, the appellant contends that (1) there was insufficient evidence to convict him on either count because he was not specifically identified in court, and (2) the trial court's admission of the appellant's medical records, which revealed the appellant had a blood alcohol content level of 0.26 percent, violated his right to confront witnesses against him. Upon review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


Conversion of the Shelby County School Board into a Special School District

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2010-05-03

Opinion Number: 10-59


Media Credential Policies Adopted by State Universities

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2010-05-03

Opinion Number: 10-60



Legal News
Flood Impact
Supreme Court Report
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Judge Colton changes retirement date
John P. Colton Jr., criminal court judge for the 30th Judicial District has announced that his retirement will be effective April 30, rather than June 30 as originally planned. The move will allow election commissioners to begin the election process immediately and give candidates an opportunity to file in time for the Aug. 5 election. The Judicial Nominating Commission will not fill the position in the interim. By special arrangement, Colton will continue hearing cases until a new judge takes office Sept. 1.
Read more from the AOC
State asks for West's execution date
The state has asked the Tennessee Supreme Court to set an execution date for Stephen Michael West, who was convicted in a 1987 East Tennessee murder and kidnapping. The state's petition said that West has completed the standard three-tier appeals process, making the setting of an execution date appropriate. Download the petition
The News Sentinel has more
Former juror fights Owens' execution
Fulya Sobczak, a juror who voted for Gaile Owens to be put to death for killing her husband 25 years ago, now says she made the wrong decision. Sobczak is joined in her plea by influential Nashvillians including the high-powered public relations firm of McNeely Pigott & Fox, former Tennessean newspaper publisher John Seigenthaler Sr., Americana singer-songwriter Marshall Chapman and noted civil rights attorney George Barrett, who all are fighting Owens' execution.
The Tennessean has the story
Flood Impact
TALS to operate out of TBA
The Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services, with offices in Nashville's Metro Center, will be operating for the next week out of the Tennessee Bar Center. The TALS office space is inaccessible due to flooding and lack of electricity in the Metro Center area. The organization's phone will be re-rerouted to the TBA, as the group continues its regular work and coordinates the state's legal assistance efforts in Middle Tennessee.

Davidson County elections postponed
Due to flooding from heavy rains, the Davidson County primary election has been postponed from tomorrow, May 4, to May 18. The county Election Commission appeared before Chancellor Russell Perkins today during an emergency hearing to make the request. Elections scheduled in other counties are proceeding as planned tomorrow.
Learn more from Nashville.gov
House session cancelled
Speaker Kent Williams moved to cancel today's scheduled session of the state House of Representatives because of flood conditions in Nashville and West Tennessee. Committee meetings scheduled for Tuesday will start one hour late. The Senate was not scheduled to meet today.
See the message from Speaker Williams on Tennessee Report
Governor declares disaster
Gov. Phil Bredesen announced he would designate 52 Tennessee counties a disaster after devastating weekend storms and flooding. According to the Associated Press, Bredesen also said that President Barack Obama offered to expedite the process for federal disaster assistance in the state. And according to the Nashville Post, FEMA Director Craig Fugate headed to the region today to survey damage in Tennessee and Kentucky.

AG warns against price gouging
In the wake of Nashville's disaster, Attorney General Bob Cooper warned he would prosecute price-gougers who try to exploit flood victims. Cooper urged Tennesseans to be on the lookout for businesses or individuals charging exorbitant prices for basic items in high demand during a disaster. Those who suspect price gouging should call the AG's consumer hotline at (800) 342-8385.
The Nashville City Paper has more
Bass Berry looks for temporary office space
One of the few office buildings in downtown Nashville that has closed because of flooding is the new Pinnacle at Symphony Place -- home to Bass, Berry & Sims PLC and Pinnacle National Bank. The building was shut down this afternoon as the Cumberland River overflowed its banks and filled the parking garage with 40 feet of water. According to the Nashville Business Journal, the law firm is looking for temporary space.

Flood photos available on TBA Connect
Flood waters today reached within blocks of the Tennessee Bar Center in downtown Nashville. Photos from the TBA's Jenny Jones show the Cumberland River rising out of its banks.
Log in to TBAConnect to see the pictures
TBA disaster recovery news on Twitter
The TBA will be posting regular updates on disaster recovery information and volunteer opportunities on Twitter. Flood items will carry the tag #nashflood.
Follow us on Twitter @TennesseeBar
Water rising in Juvenile Justice Center
Flood waters continued to rise this afternoon in the Davidson County Juvenile Justice Center where crews were pumping water out of the building's bottom level. Bill Kostrub, the JJC director of security, said about 18 to 24 inches of water filled the three-story building's bottom level and was continuing to rise along with the Cumberland River.
Read more in the City Paper
Supreme Court Report
Short list gets shorter
President Obama's interviews of potential Supreme Court nominees continued on Friday when he reportedly spoke to Solicitor General Elena Kagan. Sources have said Obama is considering 10 people to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. But the Wall Street Journal claims fewer lawyers are on the true short list, which it says includes Kagan, 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Sidney Thomas, Federal Appeals Court Judge Merrick Garland and Judge Diane Wood of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The ABA Journal has a wrap-up
Clinton not interested in court appointment
Hillary Rodham Clinton said yesterday on NBC's "Meet the Press" that she intends to serve as secretary of state throughout the first term of the Obama administration, that she does not want to serve on the Supreme Court and has never wanted to be a judge.
WATE News6 has this AP report
Opinion: Supreme Court needs regional diversity
Associated Press writer Mark Sherman suggests the U.S. Supreme Court is way out of regional alignment as it is heavily tilted toward the Northeast corridor, and predicts it could become even more so as President Barack Obama prepares to fill an upcoming vacancy. He suggests there could be value in choosing someone who lives far from the Eastern Seaboard.
The Times Free Press reports
Supreme Court closing iconic front entrance
The U.S. Supreme Court is closing its iconic front entrance beginning tomorrow. Instead of ascending the wide marble steps to enter the building, visitors will use a central screening facility to the side of and beneath the steps. While the move is designed to increase security, two justices -- Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg -- called the change unfortunate and unjustified.
WKRN has this AP story
TBA Member Services
First Tennessee is TBA's preferred provider
First Tennessee has crafted a package of discounts to meet the specific needs of Tennessee Bar Association members.
Find savings on merchant credit services, checking and savings, financial planning and more

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

Questions, comments: Email us at TBAToday@tnbar.org

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