Clark sworn in as new chief justice

With more than 300 family, friends, judges, lawyers and public officials looking on, Justice Cornelia A. "Connie" Clark today became chief justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court. The ceremony was held in the Historic Williamson County Courthouse, which was being renovated, but reopened early especially for the occasion. It was the site of Clark's first appearance as a lawyer and where she presided as a trial judge for 10 years. The ceremony featured remarks from judges representing every judicial and clerk's organization in the judicial branch. In her remarks, Clark said that she was borrowing the theme from the recent juvenile and family court judges conference: Different Courts, Different People, One Purpose.

See photos from the event on TBAConnect

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Court: TCA


Allen Curtis Johnson, Charlotte, Tennessee, for the appellant, Karen D. Conover.

Alfred Russell Willis, Mary Arline Evans, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Brian Scott Conover.


With the approval of the trial court, a divorced father of four children moved with the children from Tennessee to Arkansas. Four years later, the mother, who remained in Tennessee, fell behind in her child support payments and filed a petition for modification of child support. Father responded by filing a motion for contempt against the mother in the Arkansas court, and he entered a limited appearance in Tennessee for the purpose of transferring the entire cause to Arkansas. After a hearing, the Tennessee court declared Arkansas to be the children's home state, and it transferred all custody and visitation issues to that state, while retaining jurisdiction of child support matters. The court also denied Mother's petition for modification of child support. Mother argues on appeal that the trial court erred in relinquishing its jurisdiction over custody because the children still have a "significant connection" to Tennessee. We affirm the trial court.


Court: TCA


Lawrence M. Magdovitz, Cordova, Tennessee, for the appellant, John H. Meeks, Trustee of Marital Trust and Credit Shelter Trust u/w/o Michael Holliday.

R. Mark Glover, Kristine L. Roberts, Jacob A. Dickerson, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, Successor Trustees of Marital Trust and Credit Shelter Trust u/w/o Michael Holliday.


The plaintiff served as the trustee of two trusts for several years. After he was informed that his services were no longer needed, the plaintiff claimed that he was entitled to compensation in the form of trustee's fees for his service. The trial court ruled, on a motion for summary judgment, that the plaintiff had waived his right to trustee's fees and that he was equitably estopped from claiming such fees. The plaintiff appeals. We affirm.


Court: TCCA


Misty D. Parks, Spring Hill, Tennessee, for the appellant, Marty Ray Harris.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Hugh T. Ammerman, III, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Marty Ray Harris, pled guilty in the Davidson County Criminal Court to theft of property valued at $10,000 or more but less than $60,000, a Class C felony. He received a four-year sentence, to be served in split confinement of two months and the balance on probation. At issue in this appeal is the amount of restitution for damages caused by his crime. We reverse the portion of the judgment awarding restitution to Christopher Edwards, and we remand the case to the trial court for a hearing on the proper amount of restitution for the named victim, John Witherspoon.


Court: TCCA


Roger Nell, District Public Defender; Sarah R. King (on appeal) and Collier W. Goodlett (at trial), Assistant District Public Defenders, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Mario A. Reed.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; John W. Carney, Jr., District Attorney General; John Finklea and Art Bieber, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.


A Montgomery County jury convicted the Defendant, Mario A. Reed, of aggravated burglary, two counts of aggravated rape, and theft under $500, and the trial court sentenced him to an effective sentence of forty years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant contends: (1) the juvenile court erred when it transferred his case to the circuit court for him to be tried as an adult; (2) the trial court erred when it instructed the jury on aggravated rape; and (3) the trial court erred when it sentenced him. After a thorough review of the record and applicable authorities, we affirm the trial court's judgments.


Court: TCCA


Lance B. Mayes, Nashville, Tennessee; for the Appellant, Gerome J. Smith.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Clark B. Thornton, Assistant Attorney General; Lawrence Ray Whitley, District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Petitioner, Gerome J. Smith, was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. In May 2008, the Petitioner filed a petition for a writ of error coram nobis, in which he alleged the existence of newly discovered evidence. The trial court dismissed the petition based upon the one-year statute of limitations. On appeal, the Petitioner contends the dismissal was an unconstitutional denial of his right to due process. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the trial court's judgment.


Court: TCCA


Paul Julius Walwyn, Madison, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lisa Christina Simpson Tuttle.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Mark A. Fulks, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Brian Ewald, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Lisa Christina Simpson Tuttle, appeals the Davidson County Criminal Court's revocation of her suspended sentence. Because the defendant failed to file a proper notice of appeal and because the interests of justice do not require that this court excuse the failure to file the notice of appeal, we dismiss the appeal.


Court: TCCA


Ardena J. Garth, District Public Defender, and Richard K. Mabee (on appeal) and Kandi Rankin (at hearing), Assistant Public Defenders, attorneys for appellant, George Vincent Ware.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Matthew Bryant Haskell, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, III, District Attorney General; and William H. Hall, Assistant District Attorney General, attorneys for appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, George Vincent Ware, pled guilty in the Hamilton County Criminal Court in two separate cases on September 27, 2007. In Case Number 262379, the Defendant pled guilty to introduction of contraband in a penal institution, a Class C felony, and was sentenced as a multiple offender to seven years, suspended to "intensive probation." In Case Number 262471, the Defendant pled guilty to theft of property, a Class D felony; criminal impersonation, a Class B misdemeanor; and driving on a revoked or suspended license, a Class A misdemeanor. The Defendant was sentenced as a standard offender to three years, six months, and eleven months and twenty-nine days, respectively, for the convictions in Case Number 262471. The trial court ordered the sentences in Case Number 262471 to be served concurrently with one another but consecutively to the sentence imposed in Case Number 262379. Thus, the Defendant received a total effective sentence of ten years. Following the filing of a probation violation warrant and a finding that the Defendant violated the terms of his probationary sentence, the trial court revoked his probation and ordered the Defendant to serve the balance of his sentence in custody. In this appeal as of right, the Defendant contends that the trial court abused its discretion by ordering the Defendant to serve his sentence. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


Legal News
Court of the Judiciary
Election 2010
Your Practice
TBA Member Services

Legal News
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Download the amendment to Supreme Court Rule 11
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Read all filings in the case
Britton appointed NALP nominating chair
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UT Law reported the news in its weekly e-newsletter
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Littlefield files suit, city attorney to intervene
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Court of the Judiciary
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Read all filings in the case
Election 2010
Judge takes oath of office, renews vows
When criminal defense lawyer Bill Anderson Jr. officially became Judge Bill Anderson Jr. on Tuesday, he also took the opportunity to renew his marriage vows. "This is strictly a coincidence," Anderson told the crowd in General Sessions Criminal Court Division 7, referring to the fact that his swearing in ceremony fell on the same day as his 19th wedding anniversary. Anderson defeated 19 other candidates last month to succeed Judge Ann Pugh, who retired this summer after 28 years on the bench.
The Commercial Appeal has more
Memphis lawyer rejoins county commission
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My Eye Witness News reports
Clinton to stump for McWherter
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Read more about the visit here
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See the schedule
Your Practice
Survey finds associates secure, but not so happy
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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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