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

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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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00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
04 - TN Court of Appeals
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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.

MARY COLEMAN, ET AL. v. ST. THOMAS HOSPITAL
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

Attorneys:

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.

Judge: HIGHERS

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.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/colemanm_CORR_081310.pdf


FLAGSTAR ENTERPRISES, INC. v. ERIE HURST, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS EXECUTRIX OF THE ESTATE OF ARNOLD HURST, DECEASED

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

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.

Judge: FARMER

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.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/flagstarenterprises_081310.pdf


TINA JOHNSON, ET AL. v. DAVID J. RICHARDSON, M.D.
With Concurring Opinion


Court: TCA

Attorneys:

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.

Judge: STAFFORD

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.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/johnsont_081310.pdf

KIRBY concurring
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/johnsont_CON_081310.pdf


REBECCA L. (VANOVER) MILLION v. FAIRLY VANOVER

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

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

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

Judge: FRANKS

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.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/millionr_081310.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JAMIE SCOTT BROCK
Corrected Opinion


Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

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.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/brockj_CORR_081310.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RONALD JEROME GLEAVES

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

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.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

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.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/gleavesr_081310.pdf


ROBERT M. LINDER v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

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.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/linderr_081310.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Election 2010
Upcoming
Disciplinary Actions
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Chancellor Peoples joins Miller & Martin
Former Chancellor Howell N. Peoples has joined Miller & Martin PLLC's Chattanooga office in an of counsel position. Peoples comes to Miller & Martin after 32 years on the bench.
Chattanoogan.com has more
Knox County jail not overcrowded
Knox County officials told a federal judge Thursday that jail overcrowding was no longer a problem. The county has been under a mandate to manage its jail population going back to a lawsuit in 1987, and the court requires the jail to provide progress reports. The maximum number of inmates allowed is 215 and on Thursday, they had 150.
WATE.com reports
Law Day theme announced
The American Bar Association today announced the theme for Law Day 2011 as "The Legacy of John Adams From Boston to Guantanamo." The theme focuses on Adams' role in the 1770 Boston Massacre trials as an example of commitment to the rule of law and the rights of the accused, even when the cause or the client is unpopular. The topic is meant to stimulate discussion about the role lawyers play when defending the rule of law in the face of public controversy. Resources such as lesson plans, planning guides and themed-merchandise will be available soon.
Visit the ABA's Law Day website for more details
Proposed 'justice index' would rank courts like law schools
America needs a "justice index" to evaluate how criminal courts are working, one lawyer-writer says. "The index, compiled according to national standards, would function roughly like college rankings," Amy Bach writes, "evaluating county courts on factors like cost, recidivism, crime reduction and collateral consequences, including whether people lose their jobs or homes after contact with the criminal justice system."
Read her opinion piece in The New York Times
Election 2010
Anderson County Commission to decide juvenile judge race
The race for Anderson County juvenile judge is still deadlocked, with each candidate receiving 6,442 votes. The impasse is between interim Juvenile Judge Brandon Fisher, the Democratic nominee, and GOP nominee Zach Farrar. State law decrees that county commissions must decide the winner in tie votes. The current commission meets Monday, and discussion of a called meeting on possibly breaking that tie is on the agenda.
The News Sentinel has the story
Haslam and McWherter agree to 3 debates
The two main candidates for governor -- Republican Bill Haslam and Democrat Mike McWherter -- have agreed to debates on Sept. 14 in Cookeville, Oct. 7 in Knoxville and Oct. 9 in Memphis. But as this political blog reports, McWherter wanted more.
Read Humphrey on the Hill in the News Sentinel
Zelenik fires back over defamation suit
A campaign ad for 6th District Congressional candidate Lou Ann Zelenik is at the heart of a suit filed Tuesday in Nashville. In the filings Zelenik's lawyers described a defamation suit brought last month by Aegis Sciences Corp. -- a testing company run by the husband of primary winner Diane Black -- as frivolous and "an attempt to harass and silence the political speech of a candidate running against a major Aegis shareholder and family member of Aegis' CEO and president." Zelenik contends that Black conspired with her husband's company to suppress the advertisement once she realized it was effective. Zelenik, who lost the race by about 300 votes, has not conceded to Black, but says she will await final certification of the results, which will take place Sept. 2.
Learn more from the Daily News Journal
Upcoming
Justice Thomas to speak to UT Law School guests
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas will be at the University of Tennessee College of Law in mid-September for a private lecture. Thomas, an associate justice on the high court since 1991, will be speaking to invited guests only at the school on Sept. 17. A reception, open to UT Law alumni only, will be from 5-6:30 p.m. While at UT, the law school reports that Thomas will also preside over the final round of the College of Law's annual internal appellate advocacy competition
The News Sentinel has more
Disciplinary Actions
Nashville lawyer reinstated
Nashville attorney Ivan Omar Lopez was reinstated to the practice of law on Aug. 11. He had been suspended in July 2010 for noncompliance with his Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program monitoring agreement.
Read the BPR's notice
Knoxville lawyer suspended
Knoxville lawyer Vanessa Lynn Lemons was temporarily suspended from the practice of law on Aug. 11 for failure to respond to a complaint of ethical misconduct.
View the BPR release
TBA Member Services
Avis benefits 'try harder'
TBA members are offered a rental car discount through Avis. Enroll in the Avis Preferred Service at www.avisawards.com 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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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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