Read stories of pro bono heroes in this new issue

The summer edition of The Tennessee Volunteer Attorney is now available. Here's what you will find inside of it: Details of the legal services that the bar quickly mobilized in response to the devastating floods; stories of pro bono lawyers and their work in the communities they serve; information about the recipients of West Tennessee Legal Services' Law Day Awards; and an account of huge amounts of pro bono work provided to the Tennessee Justice Center's clients by two large, national law firms.

Download the Tennessee Volunteer Attorney

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.

01 - TN Supreme Court
01 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
02 - TN Court of Appeals
01 - 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: TSC


Court: TWCA


James T. Shea, IV, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Peebles, Inc.

Tony Farmer, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Ricky L. Mayes.


Pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 51, this workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel for a hearing and a report of findings of fact and conclusions of law. Ricky Mayes ("Employee") sustained a compensable injury to his spine. His claim against Peebles, Inc. ("Employer") was settled in accordance with the workers' compensation statute. His authorized treating physician subsequently recommended a surgical procedure. Employer's medical utilization review provider declined to approve the procedure. After an initial administrative appeal was denied, Employee filed a motion in the trial court, seeking to compel Employer to authorize the procedure. The trial court granted the motion, and awarded attorney's fees to Employee. On appeal, Employer argues that the trial court did not have jurisdiction, because Employee did not exhaust his administrative appeals, and that the trial court erred by awarding attorney's fees. We affirm the judgment.


Court: TCA


Thomas F. Bloom, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Darrell Brewer and Lorraine Brewer.

William S. Nunnally and John T. Milburn Rogers, Greeneville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Lyle Douglas Vaughn, Syble (Vaughn) Trent, Andrew J. Shanks and wife, Jean Shanks, and Phillip Shanks and wife, Barbara Shanks.


This action was brought to determine whether a roadway that serves the plaintiff and certain of the defendants is a public or private road. The Trial Court, after hearing the evidence, declared the road to be a private road. On appeal, we affirm.

CORRECTION: Concurring opinion added to the majority opinion

Court: TCA


Herbert S. Moncier, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellants, State of Tennessee ex rel. Arlie "Max" Watson, Peggy Marshall, Gerra Davis-Mary, and John A. Meyers.

Rhonda L. Bradshaw, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Larry Waters, Sevier County Board of Commissioners, and Sevier County, Tennessee.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, and Steven A. Hart, Special Counsel, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


A group of Sevier County residents identifying themselves as "Public Spirited Citizens" ("Plaintiffs") filed a set of quo warranto lawsuits against Sevier County, the Sevier County Board of Commissioners ("Board"), and Larry Waters, the County Mayor of Sevier County ("Mayor") (collectively "Defendants"). The trial court determined that Plaintiffs lacked standing. We affirm.

SUSANO concurring

CORRECTION: Opinion mistakenly ran as a Court of Appeals decision on 8/20/10

Court: TCCA


Kevin W. Shepherd, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Veric Dean Osgood.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Matthew Bryant Haskell, Assistant Attorney General; Michael L. Flynn, District Attorney General; and Rocky H. Young, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The Petitioner, Veric Dean Osgood, pled guilty in the Blount County Circuit Court to two counts of aggravated kidnapping, one count of aggravated robbery, and one count of aggravated burglary. He received a total effective sentence of thirty years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. Subsequently, he filed a petition for post-conviction relief, alleging that his trial counsel was ineffective and that his pleas were not knowingly and voluntarily entered. The post-conviction court denied the petition, and the Petitioner now appeals. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.


Legal News
Election 2010
Court of the Judiciary
TBA Member Services

Legal News
ABA answers FTC on 'red flags' position
The Federal Trade Commission has no authority to lump lawyers in with creditors in the enforcement of regulations that govern the prevention of identity theft, attorneys for the American Bar Association said in court papers filed in in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Friday. The ABA brief responded to FTC papers that lawyers should be held to comply with so-called "red flag" rules that require financial institutions and creditors to develop identity theft prevention programs.
The Blog of Legal Times has more
Legal professionals discuss alternative legal methods
Four Memphis women prominent in legal fields talked in a public forum Sunday about alternative forms of justice. Former U.S. attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, Veronica Coleman-Davis, and Jean Handley, founder and director of the nonprofit restorative justice advocate group Turning Point Partners, advocated change in the handling and punishment of juvenile offenders. Linda Warren-Seely, director of pro bono projects at Memphis Area Legal Services and secretary of the Memphis Bar Association, and Maureen Holland, a practicing holistic attorney, make civil law about the people involved, not their money, they said. Warren-Seely advocates mediation and collaborative law, while Holland's goal is to solve people's problems and be a "healer."
Learn more in the Commercial Appeal
Judge scolds prosecutors when witness changes story
When a defense witness changed his story on Friday in the case against Raynella Dossett Leath, prosecutors implied that Dossett Leath's lawyer, James A.H. Bell, had filed perjured testimony deliberately. "This is a very, very serious allegation, and I don't know what basis there is for it," Judge Richard Baumgartner said to special prosecutors Richard Fisher and Joseph Y. "Mac" McCoin. Dossett Leath, 61, is serving a life sentence for the murder of her second husband, David Leath.
The News Sentinel has the story
NY City Bar supports right of mosque's Ground Zero spot
The New York City Bar says Mayor Michael Bloomberg did the right thing when he refused to interfere with plans to build an Islamic cultural center two blocks from ground zero. The statement by City Bar President Samuel Seymour says the group is concerned about efforts to chill the First Amendment rights of the Muslim community.
The ABA connects you to the bar's statement and the New York Law Journal story
Election 2010
Election Commission certifies Davidson primary
Today the Davidson County Election Commission certified the Aug. 5 primary and county general election. In the Tennessee Senate District 21 race, Douglas Henry won by 11 votes (5,731 to 5,720) over challenger Jeff Yarbro. But once the Democratic Party executive committee meets tonight, there may very well be a call for a recount in that race. Election Commission officials said they plan to hold the recount at 1 p.m. Tuesday if the party agrees.
WSMV-TV reports
Will Shelby's vote be contested? There's still time
With election primary results approved by the Shelby County Election Commission, the local Democratic Party and several Democratic candidates who lost must decide if they want to go back to Chancery Court. They have five days to make a decision to file. One of the issues in question is the election-day problem that concluded the wrong data -- an early voters list from the May elections -- was downloaded into electronic poll books used at the polls on the Aug. 5 election day.
The Commercial Appeal has more
Court of the Judiciary
Bell response: He shouldn't have to pay
Judge John A. Bell responded to Disciplinary Counsel's motion to alter or amend a judgment and motion to assess discretionary costs, saying they should be dismissed. "The [first] motion seeks to diminish and impair Judge Bell's compensation in violation of Tennessee law," and in the second motion says that "Disciplinary Counsel's office did not pay for the court reporter fees at issue, and assessment of discretionary costs is not one of the enumerated sanctions under the statutes governing the Court of the Judiciary."
View the document on the AOC's web site
TBA Member Services
Discounts from Office Depot
Are you saving yet? Sign up for the TBA-Office Depot Program and begin saving. TBA Members receive significant discounts on office supplies from Office Depot.
Find out more

Discontinue your TBA Today subscription? ... Surely not!
But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at:

Questions, comments: Email us at

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