TBA presents arguments for changes to ethics rules

The Tennessee Supreme Court heard argument today for more than four hours on the 15 issues that it had outlined for discussion as the court considers adoption of major revisions to the Rules of Professional Conduct proposed by the Tennessee Bar Association. Arguing for the TBA were TBA President Gail Vaughn Ashworth; TBA Ethics & Professional Responsibility Committee Chair Brian Faughnan; former TBA President and committee member Al Harvey; former committee chair Lucian Pera; committee member David Wade; TBA General Counsel Bill Harbison; former TBA President and committee member Paul Campbell III; committee member Tom Dillard of Knoxville; and Vanderbilt University Law School professor and committee member Sue Kay.

The argument focused on a wide range of issues including confidentiality, conflicts, withdrawal, sale of a law practice, client file materials and solicitation. Also appearing were James Vick representing the Board of Professional Responsibility, Scott Brown for the Christian Legal Society and Gerald Melton for the Public Defenders Conference.

Read about the proposed rule changes and written comments filed earlier

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
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SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS

Grants & Denials List


Court: TSC

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2010/certlist_060110.pdf


DANA CORPORATION v. LOREN L. CHUMLEY, Commissioner of Revenue, State of Tennessee

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Charles A. Trost, Brett R. Carter, and Christopher A. Wilson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Dana Corporation.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Jonathan N. Wike, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, Commissioner of Revenue, State of Tennessee.1

Judge: MCCLARTY

This appeal involves the denial of a claim for job tax credits by the Commissioner of Revenue. The taxpayer asserts that it qualifies for the credits pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. Section 67-4-2109(c)(2)(A). The trial court determined that the taxpayer, as a successor to the entity that originally earned the credits, is barred by Tenn. Code Ann. Section 67-4-2109(e)(1) from utilizing the remaining credits for the years at issue. The taxpayer appeals. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/danacorp_060110.pdf


IN RE KEISHEAL N.E. ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Jeffrey C. Gruber, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Keith E.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, and Joshua Davis Baker, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Children's Services.

Judge: CLEMENT

Father appeals the termination of his parental rights to his children. The trial court found three grounds upon which Father's parental rights could be terminated: lack of mental capacity to care for the children, abandonment by failure to visit, and substantial noncompliance with the permanency plan. The psychologist who testified at trial stated that Father was presently unable to properly care for his children due to the diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder. The psychologist also testified that it was possible Father could become a competent parent with the proper medication and treatment. The Department, however, provided no mental health services to assist Father. The statutory ground of mental incompetency as a basis for the termination of a parent's rights requires clear and convincing proof that the parent's mental condition is presently so impaired and is so likely to remain so that it is unlikely the parent will be able to care for the children in the near future. The Department proved that Father's mental condition was such that he could not presently care for the children; however, the Department failed to prove that Father's mental condition is likely to remain impaired to the degree that it is unlikely Father will be able to care for the children in the near future. We have also determined the Department was not excused from exerting reasonable efforts and yet it failed to establish that it exerted reasonable efforts to assist Father to accomplish the goal of reunification because it provided no services that dealt with the root of Father's problems, his mental illness. For the above reasons, we find the Department failed to prove any ground upon which Father's parental rights could be terminated. Accordingly, we reverse the termination of Father's parental rights.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/keishea_060110.pdf


SELF HELP VENTURES FUND v. GLENNA ROBILIO

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Glenna Robilio, Memphis, Tennessee, pro se

Harris P. Quinn, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Self Help Ventures Fund

Judge: HIGHERS

The pro se defendant in an unlawful detainer action appeals an award of summary judgment in favor of the ultimate purchaser at foreclosure. Because the purchaser has demonstrated undisputed facts that show the existence of the elements of its unlawful detainer action, and because the defendant has failed to show the existence of a genuine issue of material fact, we affirm the trial court's grant of summary judgment. We further dismiss the defendant's remaining issues.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/selfhelpventures_060110.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Legislative News
Supreme Court Report
Flood Impact
Politics
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Help for those who are 'one car crash away' from crisis
Tennessee's legal system has at least one hole in it, which has not gone unnoticed by the Tennessee Supreme Court and its Access to Justice Initiative. In 2008, the court asked more than 140 judges, lawyers, teachers and citizens to look for solutions. As a result of that, the court created a commission to provide formal recommendations to justices. Some of the ideas in its report, which was finished April 1, could be adopted this month. Many people are one medical emergency or car crash away from a crisis, says Becky Rhodes, who was hired by the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts to coordinate a new program that extends legal help to people who can't afford it.
The Daily News Journal carried this story
Mattice and Dedrick discuss the U.S. attorney job
As Jasper attorney Bill Killian awaits Senate confirmation of his nomination for U.S. attorney for the Eastern district, the Times Free Press talks to area U.S. attorneys from the past and present: U.S. District Judge Harry S. "Sandy" Mattice and Russ Dedrick, who is the current U.S. attorney for the Eastern district.
Learn more from the Times Free Press
Investigations opened into Gulf oil spill
Federal authorities have opened criminal and civil investigations into the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill, Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday, saying federal clean air and pollution laws give him the power to open the investigations.
Learn more from National Public Radio
Some rights can conflict with others
The executive director of the First Amendment Center explains in an opinion piece how the "The First Amendment's five freedoms ensure that government doesn't run roughshod over our religious-liberty and free-expression rights." But that, as in the case of terrorism or public safety, those rights don't trump in all cases.
The Leaf Chronicle carried this editorial from the First Amendment Center
Attorneys on 'mission from God' to unseat Calif. judges
A group of conservative attorneys say they are on a mission from God to unseat four California judges in an election that has been called by both sides "a battle for the integrity of U.S. courts." Vowing to be God's ambassadors on the bench, the four San Diego Superior Court candidates are backed by pastors, gun enthusiasts, and opponents of abortion and same-sex marriages.
WKRN.com carried this AP story
Attention jurors! Do not fraternize with the witnesses
The juror who recently asked a witness for a little medical advice in a Memphis case has had a stern lecture by the judge but then was free to go. Circuit Court Judge Donna Fields told Corey Carr how serious it was for him, as a juror, to ask a testifying medical professional in the case for advice. But the judge let him off with only a severe warning. His attorney, Vanessa Keeler, told the judge she was "floored" by her client's actions and that she had prepared him for the possibility of going to jail.
The Commercial Appeal reports
Legislative News
Happy Birthday, John Jay
The man who helped jump-start Baker v. Carr, the case establishing the one-man-one-vote principle; was Robert Kennedy's counselor when Kennedy ran the Department of Justice; and who was the Democratic Party nominatee for Tennessee governor in 1970, was honored by the state legislature last week on his 80th birthday. Who is this man? John Jay Hooker, of course.
Read the City Paper's story
Supreme Court Report
Court: You must speak to remain silent
In a 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an inmate's claim that his "persistent silence" for nearly three hours of police questioning indicated he had refused to waive his Miranda rights. A suspect who wants to invoke his right to remain silent must do so unambiguously, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote.
ABAJournal.com connects you
Flood Impact
Help for flood victims
A toll-free legal assistance line is available for victims of recent storms and flooding in the counties that have been designated as federal disaster areas. Victims facing legal issues may call (888) 395-9297. Victims who qualify for assistance will be matched with Tennessee lawyers who have volunteered to provide free legal help.
Volunteer to help or learn more about recovery efforts
Politics
Herenton surprises Cohen campaign
Outside Rep. Steve Cohen's campaign headquarters Friday, his opponent in the 9th Congressional District race, Willie Herenton, threw down the gauntlet. "I want to debate Cohen," he said. "I'm here today to respectfully call Steve Cohen out to give the people the right to hear us debate." Cohen's campaign spokesperson, Stephanie Young, said staffers were surprised by the visit. "We had no idea that he was deciding to come here to hold a press conference to discuss a debate situation at all," she said.
WMC-TV reports
TBA Member Services
Health savings accounts now available
The TBA has partnered with First Horizon Msaver Inc. to offer Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and HSA-qualified health plans for individuals and groups to members. HSAs are tax-advantaged accounts that let you set aside money to pay for current and future medical expenses. For more information, or to obtain an instant quote for an HSA-qualified health plan, call the TBA's dedicated toll-free customer care line at (866) 257-2659 or visit the TBA member web site.
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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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