IOLTA revenues up following rule changes

Monthly IOLTA income is up, and more banks are participating in the program following the adoption of new Supreme Court rules governing the program. The Tennessee Bar Foundation, which administers the Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts program in Tennessee, reports in its latest newsletter that monthly income more than doubled from September 2009 to June 2010. In addition, 30 more banks have started offering IOLTA accounts to their lawyer customers. The rule changes, recommended by the Tennessee Bar Association and other legal organizations across the state, require all client funds held by a lawyer for a short time, or which are small in amount, to be placed in special accounts, with the interest going to IOLTA. Money from the IOLTA program is distributed to organizations that provide direct legal services to the indigent, to organizations that seek to improve the administration of justice and to students, in the form of scholarships, at state-supported law schools.

Learn more about the IOLTA program

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CORRECTION on page 1 changes "Tenn.R.App.P.3" to "Tenn.R.App.P.10" and changes the spelling of the appellant's attorney's name from "Shaffner" to "Schaffner"

Court: TCA


Mary Martin Schaffner, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, St. Thomas Hospital.

John P. Williams, T. Chad White, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Mary Coleman, Chloe Nguyen and Cassandra Dixon.


Plaintiffs filed suit against their employer, alleging common law negligence and negligent infliction of emotional distress due to their exposure to carbon monoxide in the workplace. The employer filed a motion for summary judgment, contending that Plaintiffs' tort claims were barred by Tennessee's workers' compensation law. The trial court denied the employer's motion for summary judgment, concluding that Plaintiffs' injuries did not "arise out of" their employment. The employer's application for an extraordinary appeal was granted. We reverse and remand for entry of an order granting summary judgment to the employer.


Court: TCA


Terry Abernathy, Selmer, Tennessee, for the appellant, Erie Hurst, individually and as Executrix of the Estate of Arnold Hurst.

Paul G. Summers, Joseph A. Woodruff and Eileen Burkhalter Smith, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Flagstar Enterprises, Inc.


Defendant appeals the award of summary judgment to Plaintiff in this action for specific performance of an option to purchase real property which Plaintiff asserts is contained in a lease agreement. Finding a genuine issue of material fact exists regarding the authenticity of the option to purchase, we reverse and remand for further proceedings.

With Concurring Opinion

Court: TCA


Al H. Thomas and Kenneth R. Besser, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellants, Tina Johnson, Regina Salinas and Jennifer Norton o/b/o Mary A. French.

Joseph M. Clark and Michael E. Keeney, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, David J. Richardson, M.D.


This is a medical malpractice case. Plaintiff/Appellant appeals from the trial court's disqualification of her expert witness and grant of the Defendant/Appellee's motion for directed verdict. Finding that the Appellant failed to show that her expert was familiar with the standard of care in a community similar to the defendant's community, we affirm the decision of the trial court.

KIRBY concurring


Court: TCA


Rebecca L. Million, Chuckey, Tennessee, pro se.

Douglas K. Shults, Erwin, Tennessee, for the appellee, Fairly Vanover.


Plaintiff's action sought to reopen a divorce case which became final in 1982, to obtain part of her former husband's military pension. The Trial Court held the action was not filed within a reasonable time after the divorce and dismissed the action. On appeal, we affirm.

Corrected Opinion

Court: TCCA


Wesley D. Stone, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jamie Scott Brock.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; William Paul Phillips, District Attorney General, and Jared Effler, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

The Claiborne County Grand Jury indicted Appellant, Jamie Scott Brock, for the murder of his wife. After a lengthy trial, he was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. He now appeals his conviction. He does not appeal his sentence. Appellant argues several issues on appeal: (1) the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress; (2) the trial court erred in excluding evidence of three anonymous letters; (3) the trial court erred in allowing evidence in at the trial concerning the autopsy because the order was illegally obtained; (4) the trial court erred in admitting autopsy photographs into evidence; (5) the trial court erred in denying his motion to dismiss based upon the State's failure to preserve evidence; (6) the trial court erred in allowing the State to introduce evidence through a rebuttal witness; and (7) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction. After a thorough review of the record and the law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Erik R. Herbert, Nashville, Tennessee (at motion to suppress), and Ronald Jerome Gleaves, Pro se, Clifton, Tennessee (on appeal).

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; Shannon E. Poindexter, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellant, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Ronald Jerome Gleaves, was indicted following the execution of a search warrant that led to the discovery and seizure of narcotics. The Defendant moved to suppress the evidence seized during the search, arguing the warrant was unconstitutionally issued. The trial court granted the Defendant's motion and dismissed the charge against the Defendant. The State appeals, contending the warrant was valid, and the evidence was admissible. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we reverse the order suppressing the drugs found during the execution of the search warrant. We vacate the order dismissing the indictment and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.


Court: TCCA


Robert M. Linder, Wartburg, Tennessee, Pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Michael L. Flynn, District Attorney General; and Robert L. Headrick, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

Petitioner Robert M. Linder was convicted of especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor following a bench trial in the Blount County Circuit Court. The trial court sentenced him to 12 years, and on appeal this Court modified his sentence to 11 years. He then filed a petition for post-conviction relief and, due to irreconcilable differences with his appointed counsel, has proceeded through the post-conviction process pro se. After an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court denied relief. Petitioner now appeals, alleging numerous errors in his conviction and subsequent appeals as well as ineffective assistance of trial, appellate, and post-conviction counsel. Although we conclude that the trial court enhanced Petitioner's sentence in violation of the rule announced in Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296 (2004), that violation was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, it does not provide the basis for an ineffective assistance of counsel claim. Similarly, none of Petitioner's other claims afford a basis for post-conviction relief. Consequently, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.


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Nashville lawyer reinstated
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Avis benefits 'try harder'
TBA members are offered a rental car discount through Avis. Enroll in the Avis Preferred Service at to bypass the rental counter and go directly to your car for a faster, easier rental experience. Enter code AWD# A570100.

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