DUI Science: Understanding intoxication, sobriety tests

Learn the nuts and bolts of DUI investigations in an upcoming live seminar from the Tennessee Bar Association's TennBarU. The Nashville program will be held next Friday at 1 p.m. and will provide information on the fundamentals of field sobriety tests, the influence of different drugs, the process of the intoxilyzer machine and how breath samples are formulated. Speakers include qualified experts and officers who will discuss each process to you.

Watch the video to learn more about this program

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.

00 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
01 - TN Court of Appeals
06 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - 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: TCA


Brett D. Stokes, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, William Robert Lindsley.

Damon Wooten, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Lisa Whitman Lindsley.


The plaintiff had filed suit for divorce against defendant and defendant moved for summary judgment on the ground that plaintiff had a prior marriage and theirs was a bigamous relationship. The Trial Judge held that defendant had a prior marriage and voided the parties' marriage ab initio and dismissed the action. Plaintiff has appealed. We hold that under Texas law where they married, and California law where they resided prior to coming to Tennessee, they could, under the statute, enter into a common-law marriage after the spouse was divorced in the prior marriage. The disputed issue of fact in the summary judgment is whether the parties entered into a common-law marriage after the plaintiff's prior marriage ended. We remand for a determination of this factual issue.



Court: TCCA


J. Liddell Kirk, Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal); Raymond Mack Garner, District Public Defender; and Stacey D. Nordquist, Assistant District Public Defender, attorneys for appellant, James David Allen, III.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; Michael L. Flynn, District Attorney General; and Clinton Evan Frazier, Assistant District Attorney General, attorneys for appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, James David Allen, III, pled guilty to vandalism, a Class E felony, and received a sentence of two years of probation under the judicial diversion program. See Tenn. Code Ann. section 40-35-313(a)(1)(A). Following the filing of a violation of probation warrant and an amended violation of probation warrant, the Defendant was sentenced to serve seven consecutive weekends in the Blount County Jail. Following the service of the seven weekends in jail, the Defendant was directed to return to supervised probation for the balance of his sentence. On April 7, 2009, a second violation of probation warrant was filed. Following a revocation hearing, the trial court revoked the Defendant's sentence of probation and ordered the Defendant to serve the remainder of the two-year sentence. In this appeal as of right, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred in denying alternative sentencing. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.



Court: TCCA


George Morton Googe, District Public Defender; and Gregory D. Gookin, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Dominic Delvekio Carter.

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

Judge: GLENN

Following a jury trial, the defendant, Dominic Delvekio Carter, was convicted of three counts of aggravated rape, one count of aggravated burglary, and one count of theft of property under $500. The trial court sentenced the defendant as a multiple rapist to an effective sentence of fifty years at 100% in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the defendant argues that the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions and that the trial court erred in imposing consecutive sentencing. Based upon our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.



Court: TCCA


Benjamin S. Dempsey, Huntingdon, Tennessee, for the appellant, David Jones Milton.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Senior Counsel; Hansel J. McCadams, District Attorney General; and Beth Boswell-Hall, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The petitioner, David Jones Milton, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, arguing that the post-conviction court erred in finding that he received effective assistance of trial counsel. Following our review, we affirm the denial of the petition.



Court: TCCA


Mark Donahoe, Jackson, Tennessee, for the Defendant-Appellee, Terry Rainey.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; James G. (Jerry) Woodall, District Attorney General; and Benjamin Mayo, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellant, State of Tennessee.


The State appeals the Chester County Circuit Court's decision to order pretrial diversion for the Defendant-Appellee, Terry Rainey. Rainey was indicted for reckless endangerment, a Class E felony, and two counts of aggravated assault, Class C and D felonies. The State claims it properly appealed as of right under Rule 3(c) of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure. Alternatively, the State asserts the circumstances of this case warrant review as an extraordinary appeal under Rule 10(a) of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure. Upon review, we hold that the State cannot appeal the trial court's decision to order pretrial diversion under Rule 3(c). We also decline review under Rule 10(a). Accordingly, the State's appeal is dismissed.



Court: TCCA


Gerald S. Green, Memphis, Tennessee (on appeal); Robert C. Felkner and Kindle E. Nance, Assistant Public Defenders (at trial), for the appellant, Jerry Tate.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Senior Counsel; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Corliss Shaw and Muriel Malone, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Jerry Tate, was convicted by a Shelby County Criminal Court jury of second degree murder and sentenced to twenty years in the Department of Correction. On appeal, he challenges the sufficiency of the convicting evidence. After review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.



Court: TCCA


William D. Massey and Lorna S. McClusky, Memphis, Tennessee, attorneys for the appellant, Patrick Trawick.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Senior Counsel; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; Betsy Carnesale and Greg Gilbert, Assistant District Attorneys General, attorneys for appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Patrick Trawick, was convicted by a Shelby County jury of one count of premeditated first degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault related to the death of his estranged girlfriend and the aggravated assault of her companion. The jury found life without the possibility of parole to be the appropriate sentence for the premeditated first degree murder count. Following a separate sentencing hearing, the trial court imposed concurrent six year sentences for the two aggravated assault counts to be served consecutively to the sentence of life without the possibility of parole. In this appeal as of right, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred by (1) failing to recuse itself, (2) ruling admissible for impeachment purposes the Defendant's prior rape conviction, (3) admitting crime scene photographs of the victim's body, and (4) failing to instruct the jury regarding all lesser included offenses for premeditated first degree murder. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.



Legal News
Supreme Court Report
Career Opportunities
Flood Impact
TBA in the News
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Lefko joins Vanderbilt Law as legal writing director
Tami Lefko has been named director of legal writing at Vanderbilt University Law School. She joins the faculty after moving from the University of Southern California, where she was associate director of LL.M. legal writing and advocacy, and an adjunct assistant professor. At Vanderbilt, Lefko will head a faculty of eight legal writing teachers. She earned her law degree from Harvard Law School.
Read more about her background
Bredesen signs legislative fix for court reporters
Gov. Phil Bredesen signed a bill into law this week that reinstates a prohibition on court reporters having ongoing financial relationships with parties in cases they cover. An amendment to the state's court reporter law last year inadvertently removed this restriction. The Tennessee Court Reporters Association requested that legislation be passed to restore the language. Court reporters that violate the law would come under the jurisdiction of the Tennessee Board of Court Reporting, which was created last year. New licensing requirements for reporters begin July 1. PR Newswire carried the story.

Georgia man charged in Tenn. courthouse plot
A Georgia man faces federal charges that he armed himself and came to Tennessee to help extremists take over the Monroe County Courthouse and the town of Sweetwater. Court documents say Darren Wesley Huff of Dalton, Ga., talked freely to police about the scheme, which allegedly was motivated by the Monroe County grand jury's refusal to indict President Barack Obama on treason charges. Huff was arraigned Friday in Knoxville and pleaded not guilty.
The News Sentinel has this AP story
Trial set for clerk bribery case
A Nov. 29 trial date was set yesterday for three men accused of bribing clerks in the Shelby County Clerk's Office to process titles and registrations faster and in greater numbers than normal. The three, which have been charged with conspiracy to commit bribery of a public servant and bribery of a public servant, pleaded not guilty. They are among more than a dozen civilians and clerks accused of participating in bribery schemes related to the clerk's office.
The Commercial Appeal reports
Aug. 16 is deadline for new student loan payment program
Full-time civil legal aid attorneys with federal student loan debt have until Aug. 16 to apply for the U.S Department of Education's new Civil Legal Assistance Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program. Successful applicants will receive $6,000 in loan repayment assistance in exchange for a three-year service commitment. Students should be aware though that they cannot receive benefits from the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program while participating in the repayment program.
Learn more from Equal Justice Works, which has set up a web site and plans to produce webinars about the program
Young lawyers named finalists for emerging leader award
The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and YP Nashville announced finalists for the 2010 Nashville Emerging Leader Awards (NELAs) today. The finalists in the legal services category are: Rachel L. Bell, The Law Office of Rachel L. Bell/Pinnacle Title & Escrow; Sam Funk, Sherrard & Roe PLC; Matt Potempa, Law Office of Matt Potempa PLLC; Chris Sloan, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP; and Brooks Smith, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP. Winners in each category will be announced at an awards ceremony on Thursday, July 29. Visit www.YPNashville.org for more information.
The Tennessean has the story
Supreme Court Report
GOP senators criticize Kagan's writings as court clerk
Two senior Republican senators, Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona and Jeff Sessions of Alabama, criticized Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan yesterday for memos she wrote as a young law clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall. The pair said the papers reveal that Kagan was highly opinionated and wanted to use the law to achieve specific policy results, rather than deciding legal questions on the merits. Read more about the claim from the Associated Press.
WRCB-TV Chattanooga has the story
New documents released on Kagan's White House days
As a counsel to former President Bill Clinton, Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan wrote many memos. Today, the Clinton Presidential Library released 40,000 pages of documents related to her time in the position. It is the second installment in a 160,000-page cache of records -- including files about Kagan's failed nomination to the federal bench. Even with all these documents, it is estimated that another 80,000 pages of e-mail correspondence must still be provided to the Senate.
NewsChannel 5 carried this AP story
Career Opportunities
Counsel On Call looking for litigation attorneys
Counsel On Call is seeking experienced litigation attorneys to assist with electronic discovery review and analysis for a number of Fortune 50 companies. This work will be done on-site in Counsel On Call's offices in multiple cities, including Nashville and Memphis. Successful applicants will have at least three years of litigation experience, preferably in a law firm or corporate environment; solid academic credentials; an active law license; and immediate availability. Prior electronic document review experience is strongly preferred. There are also opportunities for team leaders. Interested candidates in Memphis should submit resumes to estelle.winsett@counseloncall.com. Nashville candidates should submit resumes to claudia.levy@counseloncall.com.
Learn more on TBA JobLink
MBA to host reception for ABA president
The Memphis Bar Association and Butler Snow O'Mara Stevens & Cannada PLLC are hosting a reception on June 22 for American Bar Association President Carolyn Lamm, who will be in town that day to address the Memphis Rotary Club. The event will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Reading Room of the University of Memphis School of Law. For more information contact the MBA at (901) 527-3573.

Flood Impact
Flood fairs planned for businesses next week
Business owners who have been impacted by last month's flood are invited to attend a pair of free flood resource fairs in Nashville next week. The first one will be June 15 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Hickory Hollow Mall. The second event will be June 16 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Millennium Maxwell House. An array of federal, state and local officials will be at the event to lend advice and assistance. Businesses may also request assistance online.
The Nashville Business Journal has details
Nashville firms 'get back to normal'
A special report in today's Memphis Daily News looks at how Nashville lawyers fared during massive flooding in the region last month. The piece recounts the challenges faced by lawyers at Bass, Berry & Sims PLC and Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC who were displaced from their offices in the days after the storm.
Read the account here
TBA in the News
Memphis station covers Law Day winners
Memphis WMC-TV 5 covers news from the Tennessee Bar Association that a Memphis high school senior won first place in the TBA's Law Day essay contest, while a local eighth grader won second place in the Law Day art contest.
View the coverage here
TBA Member Services
Let JobLink help you with your next career move
A career service for Tennessee attorneys and law students, TBA JobLink is a job seeking and recruitment tool available at no charge. Whether you have a position to fill or are seeking employment, this site will guide you through a simple process to post your information.
Visit the site

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