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

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Grants & Denials List

Court: TSC


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

Court: TCA


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


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.



Court: TCA


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.


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.



Court: TCA


Glenna Robilio, Memphis, Tennessee, pro se

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


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.



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