Convention: Bredesen, McWherter, Haslam, Ramsey and Wamp talk about issues lawyers care about

Saying the Tennessee Plan "gives us a far better result than we could get any other way," Gov. Phil Bredesen addressed judicial selection and other law-related issues today during the Tennessee Bar Association's annual convention in Nashville. He thanked the TBA for "efforts to see that our judiciary remains strong." At the same event and on behalf of the Tennessee Alliance of Black Attorneys, Chancellor Richard Dinkins and Andrea Perry presented Bredesen with an award for "the commitment he has made to appoint judges who reflect the racial, ethnic and gender diversity" of the state.

Earlier in the day, a gubernatorial forum featured time with each of the four major candidates for governor -- Democrat Mike McWherter and Republicans Bill Haslam, Ron Ramsey and Zach Wamp -- as they addressed judicial selection, criminal justice, indigent defense funding, the civil justice system, workers' compensation and methods for the selection of the state attorney general.

See pictures of the events on TBAConnect

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.

02 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
02 - TN Court of Appeals
03 - 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


Samuel J. Muldavin, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Timothy Darnell Flowers.

Krisann Hodges, Disciplinary Counsel, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Board of Professional Responsibility.

Judge: KOCH

This appeal involves a disciplinary proceeding against a Memphis lawyer whose practice focuses on immigration law. Following a hearing, one of the Board of Professional Responsibility's hearing panels unanimously determined that the lawyer should be suspended from the practice of law for one year and should be required to make restitution to three clients. The lawyer sought judicial review of the hearing panel's suspension of his license. Based on the record of the proceedings before the hearing panel, the Chancery Court for Shelby County determined that twenty-three of the twenty-six courses of conduct found by the hearing panel to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct were supported by substantial and material evidence and that the evidence supported the hearing panel's reliance on seven aggravating factors. Accordingly, the trial court determined that the suspension of the lawyer's license for one year was supported by the ABA Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions (2005) and was not arbitrary and capricious. The lawyer appealed to this Court. We affirm the suspension of the lawyer's license to practice law for one year and the order directing him to make restitution to three of his clients.


Court: TSC


Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Cameron L. Hyder and Elizabeth Bingham Marney, Assistants Attorney General; Charles Crawford, District Attorney General; and Ann L. Filer and Hollyn Hewgley, Assistants District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

S. Craig Moore, Fayetteville, Tennessee (on appeal) and A. Jackson Dearing, III and Dorothy Buck, Shelbyville, Tennessee (at trial) for the appellee, James Rae Lewter.

Judge: LEE

A jury convicted the defendant of burglary and theft in connection with the break-in of a dental office. The Court of Criminal Appeals reversed the convictions, finding that the evidence, which included a white shirt bearing the defendant's DNA found at the crime scene, was insufficient to support the jury's verdict. Upon further review by this Court, we hold that the evidence was sufficient to support a reasonable inference of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals and remand for further proceedings.


Court: TCA


Robert A. Cole, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, C.W.M.

Wesley D. Stone, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, K.C.


K.C. ("Grandmother") filed a petition seeking to terminate the parental rights of C.W.M. ("Father") to the minor children Christopher M., Jr. and Darius M. ("the Children"), and to adopt the Children. The case was tried and the parties stipulated that grounds existed to terminate Father's parental rights under Tenn. Code Ann. Sections 36-1-113(g)(6) and (g)(7). After trial, the Trial Court entered its order terminating Father's parental rights finding and holding, inter alia, that it was in the best interest of the Children for Father's parental rights to be terminated. Father appeals to this Court the finding that it was in the best interest of the Children for his parental rights to be terminated. We affirm.


Court: TCA


Michael L. Weinman, Jackson, Tennessee, and Thomas L. Long, Collierville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Teresa Lynn Stanfield, Individually, and on behalf of the heirs at law of Trista Jane Greene, Deceased.

Dixie W. Cooper, Chris J. Tardio, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, John Neblett, Jr., M.D., and West Tennessee Neurosurgical Clinic. P.C.


This is a medical malpractice case. The jury returned a verdict, finding that the Appellee/Doctor deviated from the standard of care, but that his deviation was not the legal cause of the injury. Appellant contends that the trial court erred in denying her motion for a directed verdict, erred in ruling on her objections to Appellee's experts and the impeachment of her experts, that she was prejudiced by the language used on the verdict form, and that the trial court abused its discretion in allowing Appellee to make a powerpoint presentation during opening statements and closing arguments. Finding no error, we affirm.


Court: TCCA


David W. Dunn, Pro Se, Mountain City, Tennessee.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

In 1985, a jury found the petitioner, David W. Dunn, guilty of first degree murder. He received a life sentence. In his petition for habeas corpus relief, the petitioner contended that the judgment against him was void because the trial court sentenced him as a Range I, standard offender, and the trial court did not have jurisdiction to impose a life sentence with a thirty percent release eligibility. The habeas corpus court denied relief and remanded the case to the Criminal Court of Davidson County for entry of a corrected judgment. Following our review of the parties' briefs, the record, and the applicable law, we conclude that the petitioner failed to timely file his notice of appeal and that his claims do not warrant consideration in the "interest of justice." Therefore, we dismiss his appeal.


Court: TCCA


S. Joanne Sheldon, Newport, Tennessee, attorney for appellant, Joe Maine.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Senior Counsel; James B. Dunn, District Attorney General; Joe C. Crumley, Assistant District Attorney General, attorneys for appellee, State of Tennessee.


Following a jury trial, the Defendant, Joe Maine, was convicted of the 1997 first degree murder of Amy Lynn King and conspiracy to commit first degree murder. The Defendant waived a jury determination of his sentence, and the trial court sentenced the Defendant to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for the first degree murder conviction and a concurrent twenty-five year sentence for the conspiracy conviction. In this appeal as of right, the Defendant contends, relative to his first degree murder conviction, that (1) the trial court erred in denying the Defendant's motion to suppress his statement; (2) the trial court erred in declining to declare a mistrial when inadmissible photographs were published to the jury; (3) the trial court erred in allowing the State to use the actual skull of the victim as an exhibit for demonstrative purposes; (4) the evidence was insufficient to support the jury's verdicts; (5) the trial court erred in sentencing the Defendant; and (6) the trial court erred in not granting a new trial. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Stephen M. Wallace, District Public Defender; and Joseph F. Harrison, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Adam D. Sluder.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lindsy Paduch Stempel, Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; and Julie Canter, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Adam D. Sluder, pled guilty to theft over $500, two counts of violating the sexual offender registration law, six counts of statutory rape, and felony failure to appear, all Class E felonies. The Defendant received a two-year sentence for each offense as a Range I, standard offender with the failure to appear sentence to be served consecutively, for an effective four-year sentence. The trial court denied the Defendant's request to serve his sentence on probation or in community corrections. The Defendant appeals the trial court's decision, contending that confinement is an improper punishment given the nature of the offenses, his criminal history, and his rehabilitation. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Distribution of Tennessee Valley Authority Payments in Lieu of Taxes

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2010-06-03

Opinion Number: 10-79

General Sessions Court of Jackson County

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2010-06-03

Opinion Number: 10-80


Legal News
Legislative News
Court of the Judiciary
Flood Impact
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Follow convention activities
Keep up with activities from the 129th Annual Tennessee Bar Association Convention even if you can't be there. Watch for regular posts from events on TBAToday and TBAConnect, or follow the TennesseeBar on Twitter (#TBA2010) or on Facebook.

Memphis wants its money back from Herenton defense
Memphis City Attorney Herman Morris said today that he has asked former mayor Willie Herenton and his attorney, Robert Spence, to return roughly $10,000 that former City Attorney Elbert Jefferson paid for Herenton's defense against a federal grand jury investigation just days before the former mayor left office last year.
The Commercial Appeal reports
Clinton library to add to Kagan's paper trail
Today the William J. Clinton Presidential Library began releasing the first group of the 160,000 pages of records from Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's service in the former president's White House. Kagan is President Barack Obama's choice to succeed retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.
Link to the story and the records at the Blog of Legal Times
Officials outline steps taken to prevent abuse
A federal panel heard Tennessee officials describe today what they have done to rein in alleged abuses at Woodland Hills Youth Development Center. Steven Hornsby, deputy commissioner of the Department of Children's Services, told the Justice Department's Review Panel on Prison Rape that they had put up 40 posters around the facility with a phone number for reporting abuse, extended staff training from three weeks to nine weeks and installed surveillance cameras throughout the facility. The hearing was in response to a survey that ranked Woodland Hills among the worst in the country.
The Tennessean has the story
Legislative News
House, Senate OK budget bill
After winning unanimous House approval today, a $29 billion state budget passed by the Senate late Thursday night, now goes to Gov. Phil Bredesen for approval. The governor has expressed general support for the budget, so it is likely the 106th General Assembly will adjourn on Saturday.
Read more about the budget deal from
Court of the Judiciary
Judge suspended for misconduct
Cocke County General Sessions Judge John Bell was found guilty of judicial misconduct and was suspended with pay for 90 days on Thursday by a state disciplinary panel. Presiding Judge Don R. Ash announced the decision after he and a seven-member panel of the Court of the Judiciary had deliberated for two hours.
Read more about the decision from
Ode to Otha Celebration set for Saturday
Nashville attorney Bill Ramsey's annual Ode to Otha Birthday Celebration will be Saturday, from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sweetbriar Avenue. The annual charity fundraiser celebrates the traditional music of Mississippi sharecropper Otha Turner and raises money to benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank.
Learn more about the event
Flood Impact
Free! Get trained to give legal services to flood victims
Take part in a one-hour free web cast that will provide an overview of disaster legal services in Tennessee and equip volunteer lawyers to handle disaster-related pro bono cases. Using a YLD-produced Disaster Assistance Manual as a guide, the presenters will identify the types of legal issues that most frequently arise after a natural disaster, and highlight the resources available for lawyers who volunteer to help disaster victims.
Learn more here
TBA Member Services
Secure, compliant data backup service now available
The TBA's official data protection, backup and recovery vendor of choice, i365, offers secure online backup solutions. i365 minimizes downtime by backing up files quickly and easily, and helps lawyers remain compliant by maintaining file integrity. Get i365 and be confident your data is securely stored and protected. TBA members enjoy a 10 percent savings on all services. For more information on this member benefit Denise Lucas at (407) 523-9774.
Learn why lawyers trust i365 for online data backup solutions

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