Retirement ceremony tomorrow for Judge Echols

Robert L. Echols, U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Tennessee, is retiring tomorrow, Thursday, July 22, after 18 years on the bench. A ceremony commemorating his service and a portrait presentation will be held tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. in Room 874 of the federal courthouse in Nashville (801 Broadway). All interested parties are invited to attend.

Read about the judge's plans for future

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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ROB MATLOCK d/b/a ROB MATLOCK CONSTRUCTION v. REGINA M. ROURK

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Regina M. Rourk, Sewanee, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Frank Van Cleave, Tullahoma, Tennessee, for the appellee, Rob Matlock d/b/a Rob Matlock Construction.

Judge: COTTRELL

A homeowner and a contractor agreed to use mediation to resolve their disagreement over the contractor's bill for home renovations. The mediation resulted in an agreement, signed by both parties and their attorneys, which provided that the homeowner would pay the contractor $14,000 and that the parties would release each other from any and all claims. The homeowner paid $11,000, but refused to pay the rest. The contractor sued for the deficiency and filed a motion for summary judgment. The homeowner argued that she did not owe the money because the mediation procedure was unfair and because it did not comply with the requirements of Supreme Court Rule 31. The trial court granted summary judgment to the contractor and ordered the homeowner to pay him $3,000. We affirm the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/matlockr_072110.pdf


THELMA MORRIS v. JOHN MORRIS

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Kenneth O. Fritz, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, John W. Morris.

John Harvey Cameron, Jr., Jasper, Tennessee, for the appellee, Thelma J. Morris.

Judge: DINKINS

Husband appeals trial court's finding of substantial and material change in circumstances and modification of alimony awarded Wife in the parties' divorce. Finding no error, the trial court's judgment is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/morrist_072110.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RAYMOND BRADLEY, JR.

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Mike J. Urquhart, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Raymond Bradley, Jr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and J.W. Hupp, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

The Defendant, Raymond Bradley, Jr., pleaded guilty to one count of facilitation of aggravated burglary, a Class D felony. See Tenn. Code Ann. section 39-11-403(b), -14-403(b). He was sentenced to four years to be served on probation. He was also ordered to pay a total of $15,500 in restitution at a rate of $323 per month. In this direct appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred in setting the amount of restitution and in determining that he had the ability to pay the ordered monthly payments. After our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/bradleyr_072110.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ERIC CATHEY

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Phyllis Aluko, Assistant Public Defender, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Eric Cathey.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General, and Scott Bearup, Assistant District Attorney General for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

In December 2006, the Shelby County Grand Jury indicted Appellant, Eric Cathey, for one count of felony first degree murder, one count of aggravated child abuse, and one count of aggravated child neglect. These charges were the result of the death of Appellant's two- month-old daughter. At the conclusion of a jury trial, the jury found Appellant guilty of all three counts. The trial court held a sentencing hearing and merged the aggravated child neglect conviction into the aggravated child abuse conviction. The trial court imposed a sentence of life with parole for the felony first degree murder and twenty years for the aggravated child abuse. The trial court ordered that these sentences be served concurrently. Appellant now appeals his convictions and sentence arguing that: (1) the trial court erred in overruling his objection to the State's use of its peremptory challenges at jury selection; (2) the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions; (3) the trial court erred in allowing certain photographs into evidence; and (4) the trial court erred by imposing an excessive sentence. After a thorough review of the record, we conclude that Appellant's issues do not require reversal. Therefore, the judgments of the trial court are affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/catheye_072110.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ANTOINETTE FEASTER

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Robert L. Jolley, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Antoinette Feaster.

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

Judge: WELLES

The Defendant, Antoinette Feaster, was convicted of one count of possession with intent to deliver over twenty-six grams of cocaine, a Class B felony. See Tenn. Code Ann. section 39-17- 417(i)(5). She was sentenced, as a Range I, standard offender, to eight years in the Department of Correction. In this direct appeal, she contends that: (1) the trial court erred in denying her motion to suppress the cocaine underlying her conviction; (2) the trial court erred in allowing a witness, who was not listed on the Defendant's indictment or in discovery material, to testify; (3) the trial court erred in failing to require the State to elect a single offense to be presented to the jury; (4) the State presented evidence insufficient to convict her; (5) the trial court erred in charging the jury; (6) the trial court erred in declining to allow the jury to consider the search at issue in this case; and (7) the trial court erred in denying the Defendant a community corrections sentence. After our review, we conclude that the trial court erred in denying the Defendant's motion to suppress due to an unlawful initial stop. We accordingly reverse and remand this case for further proceedings.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/feastera_072110.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DERRICK LEMON GOODE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Robert L. Marlow, Shelbyville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Derrick Lemon Goode.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clark B. Thornton, Assistant Attorney General; Charles Crawford, District Attorney General; and Michael D. Randles, Assistant District Attorney General, Tennessee, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

Following a jury trial, the Defendant, Derrick Lemon Goode, was convicted of ten counts of forgery, a Class E felony. See Tenn. Code Ann. section 39-14-114(c). The trial court merged each even-numbered count with the odd-numbered count preceding it, leaving convictions for Counts One, Three, Five, Seven, and Nine. He was sentenced as a Range II, multiple offender to three years and six months for each count. The trial court ordered the Defendant to serve these five sentences consecutively to each other, for a total effective sentence of seventeen and one-half years in the Department of Correction. In this direct appeal, the Defendant contends that: (1) the State presented evidence insufficient to convict him and; (2) the trial court erred in ordering consecutive sentences. After our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/gooded_072110.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DEWAYNE LEWIS STARR

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Richard Dugger, Shelbyville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Dewayne Lewis Starr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; Charles Crawford, District Attorney General; and Michael D. Randles, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

The Defendant, Dewayne Lewis Starr, appeals the sentencing decision of the Bedford County Circuit Court. Following his guilty plea to being a motor vehicle habitual offender, a Class E felony, the trial court imposed a six-year sentence as a Range III, persistent offender to be served in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant asserts that his sentence is excessive and that the trial court erred in denying alternative sentencing. After a review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/starrd_072110.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Election 2010
Upcoming
Disciplinary Actions
Correction
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Consideration of Stranch nomination blocked
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., yesterday blocked the U.S. Senate from setting a date to consider the nomination of Jane Branstetter Stranch to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Stranch, a Nashville attorney, was nominated by President Barack Obama on Aug. 6, 2009, to replace Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey. She has the support of Tennessee's senators but McConnell noted four members of the Judiciary Committee voted against her.
The Nashville Post reports
No charges to be filed in U.S. attorneys firings
According to the Justice Department, prosecutors have wrapped up their two-year investigation into the Bush administration's firing of U.S. attorneys and concluded there is insufficient evidence to prove a prosecutable criminal offense. The review focused on the removal of New Mexico's U.S. Attorney David Iglesias, but the investigative team also determined that the evidence did not warrant expanding the investigation beyond that case.
The Blog of Legal Times has more
Former medical examiner pleads not guilty
Former Tennessee Medical Examiner Bruce Levy was indicted on a charge of possession of marijuana and arraigned this week in Madison County, Miss. He pleaded not guilty to the offense. Levy was arrested in March after investigators found marijuana in his possession. Mayor Karl Dean suspended him indefinitely following the arrest.
WZTV Fox 17 has more
Flap develops over proposed takeover of city court
A draft of an agreement that would have the Hamilton County criminal court clerk's office operating the Chattanooga city court clerk's office beginning in September was distributed to court employees yesterday. The move raised the ire of city judges and county commissioners, who said no such plan was discussed with them. Criminal Court Clerk Gwen Tidwell quickly responded saying she has no plans to take over the city office, though she admitted meeting with the mayor about the issue.
Chattanoogan.com has the story
Judge won't comment on expungment controversy
Maury County Judge Jim T. Hamilton says he will not comment publicly on allegations that two felons had their records illegally expunged given that petitions have been filed to reinstate the criminal records. The district attorney is investigating who signed the expungement orders, which contained false information about the disposition of the cases.
The Columbia Daily Herald reports
Vanderbilt law prof to lead neuroscience project
Vanderbilt University professor Owen Jones has been named director of the Law and Neuroscience Project, an interdisciplinary network examining the impact of neuroscience on criminal law that will be based at Vanderbilt. The project is supported by a $10 million grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Jones said the primary goal of the project is to "help the legal system sensibly assess and evaluate the new brain science it increasingly encounters, in ways that can contribute to the fair and effective administration of criminal justice."
The Nashville Post carried the story
Election 2010
Shelby Co. interim mayor gets nephew's support
Shelby County Interim Mayor Joe Ford was endorsed today by his nephew and former congressman Harold Ford Jr. He is hoping the announcement will give him a boost against his primary opponent and if he prevails, his well-funded opponent in the general election. Ford Jr. praised his uncle's months in office, saying he has maintained a balanced budget, is committed to finding funding for the regional medical center and wants to keep taxes low.
Read more in the Commercial Appeal
Upcoming
Nashville YLD holds fundraiser ball this Saturday
The Nashville Bar Association Young Lawyers Division is holding its 13th Annual Carbolic Smoke Ball this Saturday, July 24, from 7-11 p.m. at the Hermitage Hotel. The event, which benefits Davidson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and Hands On Nashville, will feature live entertainment, heavy hors d'oeuvres and an open bar. Tickets, which are $65 per person in advance and $75 at the door, can be purchased online. For more information contact Robb Bigelow at RBigelow@dickinson-wright.com or Colleen Sweeney at colleen.sweeney@wallerlaw.com.
Learn more on the bar's website
Disciplinary Actions
Morgan County lawyer censured
Morgan County lawyer Andrew N. Hall was censured by the Board of Professional Responsibility on July 21 for failing to have his client sign or swear to a petition for writ of certiorari, which is required by statute and case law. In addition, because Hall did not remedy the failure within the allowable time frame, the case was dismissed. The board determined that these actions violated Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1 and 1.3.
Download the BPR's notice
Correction
An item in yesterday's TBA Today incorrectly identified the hometown of Williamson County Bar Association Secretary Craig Brent. Brent, a solo practitioner, has maintained a practice in Franklin for the past 19 years.

TBA Member Services
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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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