E-newsletter to share justice info with non-lawyer groups

The Coalition for Justice issued its first e-newsletter today, covering court funding, judicial selection, judicial independence and access to justice issues. The national group "works to build public trust and confidence in the justice system -- and in the legal profession -- through partnerships with non-lawyer organizations." The new publication is produced by the American Bar Association. Tennessee Bar Association Executive Director Allan Ramsaur was recently appointed as a member of the coalition.

Download the Coalition for Justice E-News and Resources

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.

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Court: TCCA


Frances X. Santore, Jr., Greeneville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Israel Dean Bolinger.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; C. Berkeley Bell, Jr., District Attorney General; and J. Chalmers Thompson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The appellant, Israel Dean Bolinger, was indicted by the Greene County Grand Jury on one count of aggravated robbery. He was convicted of the lesser-included offense of facilitation of aggravated robbery and was sentenced to five years in prison. On appeal, he contends the trial court erred in denying his motion for acquittal, failing to apply the physical facts rule, denying certain redactions in a statement, and in determining his sentence. We affirm.



Court: TCCA


Terita M. Hewlett, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Frederick Carey.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; and William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The petitioner, Frederick Carey, pled guilty pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement to three counts of the sale of cocaine, Class B felonies, two counts of assault, Class A misdemeanors, and one count of resisting official detention, a Class B misdemeanor. The petitioner agreed to a sentence of ten years in the Tennessee Department of Correction for each Class B felony, to be served concurrently, and to time served for the misdemeanor convictions. On appeal from the post-conviction court's denial of relief, the petitioner argues that he received ineffective assistance of counsel because his trial counsel presented an unenforceable plea agreement upon which he relied in choosing to plead guilty. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.



Court: TCCA


J. Thomas Marshall, Jr., District Public Defender; and Nancy Meyer, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Ernest Hurd.

Robert E. Cooper, Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Senior Counsel; David S. Clark, District Attorney General; and Sandra N.C. Donaghy, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Ernest Hurd, appeals as of right from the Anderson County Criminal Court's denial of his motion to set aside the judgment declaring him to be a motor vehicle habitual offender (MVHO). See Tenn. Code Ann. sections 55-10-601, et seq. In this appeal as of right, the Defendant argues that the default judgment declaring him to be a MVHO is void because it was not properly certified under Tenn. R. Civ. P. 58. Therefore, he argues that he cannot be convicted of violating the MVHO statute. See Tenn. Code Ann. section 55-10-616. Following our review, we hold that the default judgment met the requirements of Rule 58 and that, even if the judgment had not met these requirements, a delay of over sixteen years in challenging the judgment precludes any relief under Tenn. R. Civ. P. 60.02. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.



Court: TCCA


Barry W. Ritchie, Pro Se, Wartburg, Tennessee.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Matthew Bryant Haskell, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The petitioner, Barry W. Ritchie, appeals the habeas corpus court's order summarily dismissing his pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus. Following our review of the record, the parties' briefs, and applicable law, we affirm the court's order.



Court: TCCA


Lance R. Chism, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Paul Wilson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Summer Morgan, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The petitioner, Paul Wilson, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief and contends that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. He was convicted of aggravated robbery and sentenced to thirty years as a career offender. After careful review, we affirm the judgment from the post-conviction court.



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Court of the Judiciary
Daniel rejects need for Dumas to depose him
Today Steve Daniel, disciplinary counsel of the Court of the Judiciary, issued a motion asking that he not be required to appear in a deposition, regarding the case of General Sessions Judge Gloria Dumas. Daniel say he "is entitled to claim and does claim attorney-client privilege and 'work product' protection." He says requiring him to appear in a deposition is calculated to subject him to "annoyance, embarrassment, oppression or undue burden or expense" and that it is in bad faith and would create an ethical dilemma.
Download the motion
Legal News
Archer says sit-ins helped push cultural tolerance
Dennis Archer was the keynote speaker in the Nashville Bar Association's Law Day celebration today in front of downtown Nashville's historic Davidson County Courthouse. This year's event honored the actions of attorneys who in the 1960s aided students who were arrested for staging sit-ins at area businesses in support of racial integration. "The seeds of cultural tolerance that sprouted in Nashville spread to other areas of the south, and set the area up to be an open and respectful place to do business," he told the Nashville Business Journal in an interview. That will be critical going forward, he said, citing the nation's increasing proportion of minorities.
Read the story in the Nashville Business Journal
Study says keeping maiden name earns you more: Reeves doesn't think so
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The News Sentinel has the story
Gay-marriage trial wraps up this week
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National Public Radio reports
Cole hearing for deputy attorney general begins
As his confirmation hearing for deputy attorney general got underway today, lawyer James Cole endorsed the use of both civilian courts and military commissions for trying suspected terrorists, aligning himself with the Obama administration's push for flexibility in such cases. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) had already met privately with Cole to discuss the use of military commissions. Graham, who supports their use, said he felt comfortable that Cole understands the role that such commissions can play. "I assume you'll be confirmed," Graham told the nominee.
The Blog of Legal Times has more
New apprenticeship model gives more training to first-year associates
Three law firms unveiled apprenticeship programs during the summer of 2009, partially in response to pushback from clients increasingly reluctant to pay for on-the-job training of young lawyers. One of them, Frost Brown Todd, with offices in Nashville, started its yearlong first-year associate program in September. Proponents hail the programs as a positive step away from the sink-or-swim environment many young attorneys encounter when they show up at large firms, but so far there's no rush to jump on the apprenticeship bandwagon.
Read the National Law Journal story
Conte to host panel discussion on erosion of civil discourse
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Learn more
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.
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TennBarU CLE
CLE Webcast: Learn to speak so people listen
If you need help learning how to engage your audience, structure your presentations in a clear and concise manner, and develop examples to make legal information relevant to your clients, tune in to the upcoming "Speak So People Listen" webcast from the Tennessee Bar Association's TennBarU. Veteran journalist and public relations consultant Mimi Bliss will teach you how to use Power Point as a visual aid and not a crutch, and teach you how to speak with confidence using eye contact, voice, and body language. The session will be an interactive presentation using a volunteer to help demonstrate these key points.
Find out more or register now

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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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