Deadline approaching for public service award nominations

Each year the Tennessee Bar Association recognizes outstanding service by attorneys who have donated their time to help others. Lawyers may be nominated in three categories: the Ashley T. Wiltshire Public Service Attorney of the Year, which recognizes a public service lawyer who demonstrates dedication to the development and delivery of legal services to the poor; the Harris Gilbert Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year Award, which recognizes significant pro bono work by a private attorney; and the Law Student Volunteer Award, which recognizes a student who has provided dedicated and outstanding pro bono services during the past year. Award nominations are due by Sept. 10. Award winners will be honored at the Tennessee Bar Association's Public Service Luncheon Jan. 22 in Nashville.

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Memorandum Opinion

Court: TCA


R. Campbell Hillyer, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Hardwood Sales & Planning Services, Inc.

No attorney on record for the appellee.


This appeal arises out of a dispute between a buyer and seller of lumber. The seller filed suit against the buyer alleging a right to recover in breach of contract, quantum meruit, and/or quantum valebant for an outstanding balance owed on several shipments of lumber. The trial court determined that the buyer accepted approximately half of the disputed shipments due to its failure to timely reject the initial deliveries but was not liable for additional shipments that it timely rejected. The trial court, however, did not address whether the buyer revoked its acceptance of the initial shipments or whether the buyer was entitled to reimbursement for expenses incurred in an attempt to salvage the rejected shipments. Because the parties tried these issues by consent, the order appealed is not a final judgment and the appeal must be dismissed.


Court: TCCA


David Bankston, Tiptonville, Tennessee, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; and Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The petitioner, David Bankston, appeals from the summary dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus, alleging that the two-year sentence imposed for his 2007 conviction of ninth offense driving under the influence has expired. Because the petitioner has failed to establish that his sentence has, in fact, expired, or that he is otherwise entitled to habeas corpus relief, we affirm the denial of habeas corpus relief.


Court: TCCA


Doug Thurman (on appeal) and Ed Ryan (at trial), Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, David Henry Hammon.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Deshea Dulany Faughn, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Amy Eisenbeck, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, David Henry Hammon, was convicted by a Davidson County jury of domestic assault and child abuse, both Class A misdemeanors, and was sentenced by the trial court to an effective term of eleven months, twenty-nine days to be served on supervised probation. On appeal, he argues that the trial court erred by denying his request for judicial diversion without considering and weighing all the appropriate factors. Following our review, we affirm the trial court's denial of judicial diversion but remand for the entry of corrected judgments to reflect that the defendant was sentenced to concurrent terms of eleven months, twenty-nine days for the child abuse conviction and six months for the domestic assault conviction as stated in the trial court's sentencing order.


Court: TCCA


Hershell D. Koger, Pulaski, Tennessee (on appeal); Wesley Mack Bryant, Columbia, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, Randy Clayton Norman.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; T. Michel Bottoms, District Attorney General; and Lawrence R. Nickell, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Randy Clayton Norman, was convicted by a Maury County Circuit Court jury of second degree murder, a Class A felony, and sentenced to twenty years in the Department of Correction. On appeal, he argues that: (1) he received the ineffective assistance of counsel; (2) the trial court did not perform its duty as the thirteenth juror; (3) the evidence is insufficient to sustain his conviction; and (4) the trial court erred in sentencing him. After review, we affirm the defendant's conviction but modify the defendant's sentence to fifteen years.


Court: TCCA


Michael J. Collins (at trial and on appeal) and William Harrell (at trial), Assistant Public Defenders, for the appellant, Demetrie Darnell Owens.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; Charles F. Crawford, Jr., District Attorney General; and Weakley E. Barnard, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Demetrie Darnell Owens, was convicted by a Marshall County jury of aggravated burglary, a Class C felony, and theft of property over $1000, a Class D felony, and was sentenced by the trial court as a Range II offender to an effective sentence of ten years in the Department of Correction. On appeal, he argues that the evidence was insufficient to sustain his convictions and that the trial court erred by imposing an excessive sentence. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


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Legal News
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The News Sentinel has the story
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WSMV Channel 4 has the story
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Shelby County District Attorney General Bill Gibbons this week created a new special victims unit to prosecute all rapes, aggravated rape, child sexual abuse and severe physical abuse cases. He also announced the unit will handle cases "vertically," which means one or two prosecutors will stay with cases from start to finish. (Under "horizontal" prosecution, different lawyers handle a case as it moves through the process.) Gibbons argues the vertical method produces a better work product and provides better service to victims and their families.
The Memphis Daily News reports
Grand jury report slams judicial system
Hamilton County's regular grand jury has ended its four-month term and submitted a grim report of its findings to Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman. The report echoes statements of previous grand juries, criticizing what is seen as a revolving door in the criminal justice system as well as punishments deemed to be too soft. The Chattanooga Times Free Press carried the story.
Download the grand jurors' report
Napolitano visit focuses on flood, crime collaboration
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was in the state on Wednesday to find out what more can be done to help Tennesseans recover from springtime floods. While in town she met with emergency management officials but also used the visit to announce a new collaboration with southeastern states to share information about criminal activity. She also announced an expanded "If You See Something, Say Something" campaign, which encourages the public to report suspicious activity to law enforcement. She countered critics who have argued such a program will encourage ethnic and racial profiling.
Read more about her visit from WSMV-TV
Goble inducted as new judge
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The Leaf Chronicle has more
Hamblen court clerk retires
Hamblen County Circuit Court Clerk Kathy Trent Mullins is retiring after 21 years and was fetted at a reception this week at the Hamblen County Justice Center. Mullins was appointed to the clerk's position in 1989, replacing her husband Gary Trent who died in a car accident. At the event, the county sheriff and General Sessions Judge Joyce Ward were among those who spoke in support of Mullins. The event ended on a high note with the Hamblen County Commission chair presenting Mullins a proclamation making Tuesday "Kathy Trent Mullins Day" in the county.
The Citizen Tribune reports
Sept. 17 is Constitution Day
On Sept. 17, 1787, delegates to the Constitutional Convention gathered in Philadelphia to sign the U.S. Constitution. Now we celebrate that moment with "Constitution Day." Americans are encouraged to use the day to reflect on how the Constitution has shaped our democracy. Resources for lesson plans, conversation starters and landmark Supreme Court cases are available from the ABA at Other sources of information for celebrating the day are ConSource, a free online library of constitutional source documents, and Liberty Day, which is dedicated to educating the next generation about the Constitution.

Nashville lawyer dies
Nashville lawyer David Raymond Cole died Aug. 23 at the age of 82. Cole earned his law degree from the Cumberland University School of Law in 1951 and graduated first in his class. He spent his career working in the property and casualty insurance industry, and in 1964 was awarded the coveted Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation. Cole lived in both Clarksville and Nashville. He was admitted to practice law in the states of Illinois, Nebraska and Tennessee. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the mission program of Nashville's First Presbyterian Church, 4815 Franklin Rd., Nashville, TN 37220 or to a charity of one's choice.
Read the full obituary
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