Court adopts changes to Rules of Professional Conduct

The Tennessee Supreme Court today adopted the first set of comprehensive amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct since the new rules became effective in March 2003. These amendments, to be effective Jan. 1, 2011, come as a result of a six-year revision process initiated by the Tennessee Bar Association, an extensive comment period and an oral argument in June 2010. Revisions touch upon confidentiality, conflicts, client consent, advance payments of expenses, non-refundable fees, responsibilities of a prosecutor, receipt of inadvertently disclosed confidential information and advertising.

In adopting the rules, Chief Justice Connie Clark said, "We are grateful for the extraordinary efforts of the Tennessee Bar Association and various organizations, attorneys and individuals who submitted comments or participated in the oral argument regarding the proposed revisions."

The TBA's Ethics Road Show CLE and an upcoming issue of the Tennessee Bar Journal will provide more analysis.

Read a summary of the changes and or download a full copy of the order

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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CHARLES H. BRYSON, ET AL. v. THE CITY OF CHATTANOOGA, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Bryan H. Hoss, C. Leland Davis, and Whitney Durand, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellants, Charles H. Bryson, Randall Vincent Dean, James Terry Marlin, Paul W. Lee, Jr., Randy W. Dunn, Francene H. Fleming, Anderson G. Hass, Danny B. Hill, Thomas B. Kennedy, Thomas D. McKinney, Sully Batts, Kimberly K. Miller, Kenneth D. Phillips, Kimberly Reavley, and Bryan D. Moody.

Christopher A. Crevasse, Neil A. Brunetz, and Robert F. Parsley, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Chattanooga Fire and Police Pension Board.

Michael A. McMahan, City Attorney, and Valerie L. Malueg, Assistant City Attorney, for the Appellee, City of Chattanooga.

Judge: SWINEY

Before November 4, 1986, members of the Chattanooga Police and Fire Departments were allowed to buy back retirement credit for time served while employed in other departments within the City of Chattanooga. On November 4, 1986, a city-wide referendum was passed which established a cut-off date of June 1, 1987, in which to buy back these retirement credits. Almost nineteen (19) years later, this lawsuit was brought by fifteen (15) police officers ("Plaintiffs") against the City of Chattanooga (the "City") and the Chattanooga Fire and Police Pension Board (the "Pension Board"). Plaintiffs claimed, among other things, that the 1986 referendum unconstitutionally deprived them of a property right. Plaintiffs sought a declaration that they be allowed to buy back retirement credits for time served in other City departments. The Trial Court concluded that the statutes of limitation had run on all of the claims, with the exception of some of the plaintiffs' equal protection claim. The Trial Court then concluded that Defendants were entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law as to the one timely claim. Plaintiffs appeal, and we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/brysonc_092910.pdf


NATALIE HAGAN v. MICHAEL PHIPPS ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Stephen Andrew Lund, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Natalie Hagan.

Jennifer Garman Rowlett and Marc Bradley Gilmore, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Alfred L. Hodges.

Judge: BENNETT

This appeal involves claims by a home purchaser against a licensed contractor and a business associate of the unlicensed builder who built the home in question and sold it to the plaintiff. The trial court granted the contractor defendant's motion for summary judgment on all claims against him based upon its conclusions that the unlicensed builder was not the agent of the licensed contractor and that there was no predicate tort for civil conspiracy because the builder intended to use the house for his personal residence. Because we find that there are issues of material fact that must be resolved, we reverse the trial court's grant of summary judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/hagann_092910.pdf


RONNIE HERMAN ET AL. v. JERRY HUTCHINS, JR. ET AL.
CORRECTED


Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Adam Wilding Parrish, Lebanon, Tennessee, for the appellants, Jerry Hutchins, Jr. and Laura Hutchins.

Sue N. Puckett-Jernigan, Smithville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Ronnie Herman, Marsha Herman, and Ben Herman.

Judge: COTTRELL

CORRECTION: On page two (2) of the opinion, within the second full paragraph, the last sentence has been deleted and the following language added in its place: Mr. and Mrs. Hutchins have filed a response setting forth the circumstances behind the late filing but also requesting dismissal of their appeal on the ground the parties are discussing a possible alternative resolution of this case. On page two (2), within third full paragraph, the first sentence has been deleted and the following language added in its place: The appellants assert that the May 13, 2010 order was sent to their counsel's old address and that their counsel did not become aware of the order until July 9, 2010. However, the time for filing the notice of appeal runs from the date of entry of the order appealed, not from the date of notice. Tenn.R.App.P.4. Moreover, the time limit is mandatory and jurisdictional. Albert v. Frye, 145 S.W.3d 526, 528(Tenn.2004); Binkley v. Medling, 117 S.W.3d 252, 255(Tenn.2003). On NEW page three (3), after "S.W.3d at 869.", the following language has been added: Because this court lacks jurisdiction to hear the appeal, Mr. and Mrs. Hutchin's request for voluntary dismissal is immaterial.On page two (2) the fourth paragraph has been deleted and the following language added in its place on new page three (3): The appeal is hereby dismissed. The costs are taxed to Jerry Hutchins, Jr. and Laura Hutchins and to their surety for which execution, if necessary, may issue.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/hermanr_CORR_092910.pdf


REX HUBBARD v. HELEN LOUISE HUBBARD

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Clinton H. Swafford, Winchester, Tennesse; Russell Anne Swafford, Dunlap, Tennessee, for the appellant, Helen Louise Hubbard.

John Mark Stewart, Winchester, Tennessee, for the appellee, Rex Hubbard.

Judge: COTTRELL

Wife argues on appeal that the trial court erred by awarding her a little more than half the parties' assets and alimony of $3,000 per month for 7 years while the physician Husband's earning capacity is considerably more than Wife's. During the parties' almost forty (40) year marriage, Wife reared 7 children and focused primarily on the family finances and not her individual finances. We agree with Wife and award her an additional $300,000 in marital assets. The matter is remanded to the trial court to determine reallocation of assets in accordance with this opinion.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/hubbardr_092910.pdf


TENNESSEE RAND, INC. v. AUTOMATION INDUSTRIAL GROUP, LLC,

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Gary R. Patrick and R. Jonathan Guthrie, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellants, Automation Industrial Group, LLC, and Richard Roach.

Richard W. Bethea and Tom Greenholtz, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tennessee Rand, Inc.

Judge: SUSANO

In the apt words of the trial court, this case is a "complex business divorce case." The "divorced" and now adverse entities are Tennessee Rand, Inc. ("Rand"), and Automation Industrial Group, LLC ("Automation"), formerly Tennessee Rand Automation, LLC. Rand builds automated robotic equipment such as that used in the automobile industry. Automation was formed by the principals of Rand and some skilled collaborators for the purpose of doing the electrical and computer aspects of Rand's work. The entities fell out of favor with each other when the principals in Rand - Randy Nunley and Richard Roach - each a 50% shareholder in Rand, began to have conflicts. Nunley ended up as the sole owner of Rand and Roach acquired Nunley's interest in Automation. Rand initiated this litigation (1) to enjoin Automation from using the name, "Tennessee Rand Automation, LLC," (2) to recover the value of assets that Rand had transferred to Automation, and (3) to recover payments of rent and taxes that Rand had made on buildings occupied by Automation. Rand also named as defendants numerous principals and officers of Automation, including Roach. Automation filed a counterclaim seeking an award against Rand for some $6,000,000 in unpaid labor and expenses. In the bench trial that followed, the counterclaim accounted for 20-plus days of the 25-day trial. By the time the trial court announced its decision in a written memorandum opinion, the only parties remaining in the case were Rand and Automation, Roach having previously been dismissed by Rand with prejudice. The trial court found that the names of the entities were confusingly similar and ordered Automation to change its name. This was accomplished and is not an issue on this appeal. The trial court found that Automation was unjustly enriched by Rand's contribution of assets to Automation in the amount of $500,000. Also, the trial court found that Automation had been unjustly enriched in the amount of $162,818.80 by Rand's payment of rent and taxes on buildings used by Automation. Despite the prior dismissal of Roach as a defendant, the trial court held Roach liable to Rand for the rent and tax payments made out of Rand's account. On Automation's counterclaim, the trial court initially awarded it $2,270,759.22 plus prejudgment interest. Both parties filed a motion to alter or amend. The trial court determined that Automation was guilty of fraud in the pursuit of its counterclaim and set aside that part of the judgment with the result that Automation recovered nothing on its counterclaim. Automation and Roach have appealed raising issues as to the counterclaim, the unjust enrichment award against Automation based upon the assets it received from Rand, and the unjust enrichment award against Automation and Roach based on the rent and tax payments. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand for further proceedings.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/tennrand_092910.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CHRISTOPHER JARROD ALEXANDER

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Mark A. Kovach, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Christopher Jarrod Alexander.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clark B. Thornton, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Rob McGuire, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Appellant, Christopher Jarrod Alexander, was convicted by a Davidson County Jury of robbery. As a result, the trial court sentenced Appellant as a Range II, multiple offender, to a sentence of ten years. After the denial of a motion for new trial, Appellant filed an untimely notice of appeal. The timely filing of the notice of appeal was waived. On appeal, the following issues are presented for our review: (1) whether the evidence was sufficient to convict Appellant of robbery; (2) whether Appellant's sentence is excessive; and (3) whether the trial court erred by refusing to grant an alternative sentence. After a review of the record, we conclude that the evidence supports the conviction and that the trial court properly sentenced Appellant. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/alexanderc_092910.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOSHUA LEE ARP
With Concurring Opinion


Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Edward C. Miller, District Public Defender; and Amber D. Haas, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Joshua Lee Arp.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Senior Counsel; James B. Dunn, District Attorney General; and Barry A. Williams, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Joshua Lee Arp, was convicted by a Sevier County Circuit Court jury of attempted aggravated robbery, a Class C felony; attempted robbery, a Class D felony; and public intoxication, a Class C misdemeanor. He was sentenced as a Range III offender to fifteen years on the attempted aggravated robbery conviction and twelve years on the attempted robbery conviction, to be served concurrently. On appeal, he challenges the sentences imposed by the trial court. After review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/arpj_092910.pdf

TIPTON concurring
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/arpj_CON_092910.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. REGINALD FOWLER

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Mark E. Stephens, District Public Defender, and Robert C. Edwards, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Reginald Fowler.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Matthew Bryant Haskell, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Ta Kisha Fitzgerald, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The Defendant, Reginald Fowler, was found guilty of aggravated arson, a Class A felony, following a bench trial in the Knox County Criminal Court. On appeal, he argues (1) that the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction, (2) that the trial court erred in failing to enforce the Rule of Sequestration in violation of Rule of Evidence 615, and (3) that the trial court erred in permitting the State to call a rebuttal witness. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/fowlerr_092910.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ORLANDO DANIEL GARCIA

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

William D. Massey and Lorna S. McClusky, Memphis, Tennessee, and C. Michael Robbins, Covington, Tennessee, for the appellant, Orlando Daniel Garcia.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Senior Counsel; D. Michael Dunavant, District Attorney General; James Walter Freeland, Jr. and P. Neal Oldham, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant, Orlando Daniel Garcia, was convicted by a Tipton County jury of facilitation of first degree murder, a Class A felony, and possession of a Schedule VI controlled substance with intent to deliver, a Class E felony, and was sentenced to concurrent sentences of nineteen years and eighteen months for the respective convictions. On appeal, the defendant has raised three issues for our review: (1) whether the evidence was sufficient to support the conviction for facilitation of first degree murder; (2) whether the trial court erred in admitting portions of a video tape of the crime into evidence; and (3) whether the trial court erred in admitting evidence that the defendant purchased and wore a shirt with a Superman logo shortly after the incident. Following review of the record, we affirm the judgments of convictions.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/garciao_092910.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RODNEY E. HOWARD

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jeffrey A. DeVasher, Assistant Public Defender, on appeal, and J. Michael Engle, Assistant Public Defender, at trial, for appellant, Rodney E. Howard.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, District Attorney General; and Jeff Burks, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Appellant, Rodney E. Howard, was indicted by the Davidson County Grand Jury for first degree murder. After a jury trial, Appellant was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. After the denial of a motion for new trial, this appeal ensued. Appellant seeks resolution of the following issues on appeal: (1) whether the evidence was sufficient to convict Appellant of first degree murder; and (2) whether the trial court erred by refusing to admit the transcript of the preliminary hearing testimony of a defense witness. After a review of the record, we determine that the evidence was sufficient to convict Appellant of first degree murder. Additionally, we determine Appellant waived the issue regarding the admission of the transcript for failure to move for the introduction of the transcript under the rule of completeness. Moreover, any error with respect tot he transcript was harmless. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/howardr_092910.pdf


LARRY PAUL KOFFMAN v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jordon D. Mathies, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Larry Paul Koffman.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; John W. Carney, District Attorney General; and Dent Morris, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The petitioner, Larry Paul Koffman, appeals from the Robertson County Circuit Court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. After reviewing his issues, we hold that his first issue has been previously determined and that all other issues are waived, and we affirm the order of the circuit court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/koffmanl_092910.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ROBERT M. LINDER

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

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

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Senior Counsel, Michael L. Flynn, District Attorney General; and Robert L. Headrick, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The Appellant, Robert M. Linder, filed a motion in the Blount County Circuit Court seeking a reduction in his sentence. The trial court denied the motion. The Appellant filed an appeal contesting the trial court's ruling. In response, the State filed a motion requesting that this court affirm the trial court's ruling pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we conclude that the motion was properly dismissed. Accordingly, the State's motion is granted and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/linderr_092910.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. FRANK EDWARD NIXON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Emma Rae Tennent, Assistant Public Defender, on appeal, and Jonathan F. Wing, Assistant Public Defender, at trial, for appellant, Frank Edward Nixon.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Ben Ford, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Appellant, Frank Edward Nixon, Jr., was indicted by the Davidson County Grand Jury for attempted first degree murder. Pursuant to Hicks v. State, 945 S.W.2d 706 (Tenn. 1997); he pled guilty to attempted voluntary manslaughter, a Class D felony, in exchange for a negotiated, out-of-range sentence of eight years as a Range I, standard offender. The trial court held a sentencing hearing to determine the manner of service of the sentence. After the hearing, the trial court denied alternative sentencing, finding that confinement was necessary: (1) to avoid depreciating the seriousness of the offense; (2) to protect society from Appellant's conduct; and (3) because measures less restrictive than confinement had been unsuccessfully applied to Appellant. Appellant filed a timely notice of appeal. On appeal, Appellant contends that the trial court improperly denied alternative sentencing. After a thorough review, we determine that the trial court properly denied alternative sentencing. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed. However, the matter is remanded to the trial court for entry of a corrected judgment to reflect that Appellant pled guilty to attempted voluntary manslaughter, a Class D felony.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/nixonf_092910.pdf


CHARLES LEE ROCHELL v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Ryan C. Caldwell, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Charles L. Rochell.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Bret Gunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Petitioner, Charles L. Rochelle, was indicted by the Davidson County Grand Jury for aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, evading arrest while operating a motor vehicle, reckless endangerment, and possession of marijuana. Petitioner pled guilty to evading arrest and was convicted of aggravated robbery and aggravated assault after a jury trial. The remaining charges of reckless endangerment and possession of marijuana were dismissed. As a result of the convictions and guilty plea, Petitioner was sentenced to twelve years for aggravated robbery, ten years for aggravated assault, and eight years for evading arrest. The sentences were ordered to be served consecutively, for a total effective sentence of thirty years. The convictions were affirmed on appeal. State v. Charles L. Rochelle, No. M2007- 00367-CCA-R3-CD, 2008 WL 762488 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Nashville, Mar. 24, 2008). Petitioner then sought post-conviction relief on the basis of ineffective assistance of counsel. After a hearing, the post-conviction court dismissed the petition. On appeal, Petitioner argues that the post-conviction court improperly dismissed the petition for post-conviction relief. After a review of the record, we determine that Petitioner has failed to show that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. Accordingly, the judgment of the post-conviction court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/rochellc_092910.pdf


CHRISTOPHER SMITH v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Brett B. Stein, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Christopher Smith.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Rachel Newton, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The petitioner, Christopher Smith, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. On appeal, he argues that his trial counsel was ineffective and that his due process rights were violated when the trial court failed to grant a severance. After careful review, we affirm the judgment from the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/smithc_092910.pdf


LEONARD EDWARD SMITH v. STATE OF TENNESSEE
CORRECTION:The trial judge's name was misspelled


Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Paul J. Morrow, Jr. and Kelly A. Gleason, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Leonard Edward Smith.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Mark E. Davidson, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The Petitioner, Leonard Edward Smith, appeals as of right from the May 21, 2004 and March 2, 2007 orders of the Hamblen County Circuit Court denying his initial and amended petitions for post-conviction relief challenging his 1985 conviction and life sentence for the first degree felony murder of John Pierce, his 1989 conviction for the first degree felony murder of Novella Webb, and his 1995 sentence of death for the murder of Novella Webb. On appeal, the Petitioner claims that the post-conviction court erred in denying relief because defense counsel provided ineffective assistance in both the trial and appellate proceedings related to these convictions and sentences and because multiple other constitutional violations call into question the validity of these convictions and sentences. After a careful and laborious review of the record, we affirm the denial of post-conviction relief relative to the Petitioner's conviction and life sentence for the murder of John Pierce and the Petitioner's conviction for the murder of Novella Webb, but we reverse the denial of post-conviction relief relative to the Petitioner's death sentence for the Webb murder and remand for a new sentencing hearing in that case. We do so based upon the conclusion that the post-conviction court erred in denying the Petitioner's claim that his trial attorneys provided constitutionally ineffective assistance in their investigation and presentation of available evidence in support of their motion to recuse the 1995 resentencing judge.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/smithl_CORR_092910.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TAJ O'CHANCEY YOUNG
CORRECTION:The Assistant Public Defender and Assistant District Attorney names have been changed


Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Roger E. Nell, District Public Defender, and Ann M. Kroeger, Assistant District Public Defender, for the appellant Taj O'Chancey Young.

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

Judge: SMITH

As a result of a guilty plea, the Robertson County Circuit Court, sentenced Appellant, Taj O'Chancey Young, to an effective sentence of four years. The sentence was ordered to be served on community corrections. Appellant was placed under the supervision of a case officer on March 20, 2009. On June 29, 2009, the case officer filed a violation warrant. A second amended violation warrant was filed on August 28, 2009, asserting additional grounds. After a hearing on the warrants, the trial court revoked Appellant's community corrections sentence and ordered Appellant to serve the remainder of his sentence in incarceration. Appellant has appealed the revocation of his community corrections sentence. After a thorough review of the record, we conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in revoking the community corrections sentence. Therefore, we affirm the decision of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/youngt_CORR_092910.pdf


Payment of Garnishment Costs

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2010-09-29

Opinion Number: 10-100

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2010/ag_10_100.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

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Legal News
'Slowness' of courts defended in Hamilton Co.
Judge Barry Steelman and District Attorney Bill Cox are interviewed by NewsChannel 9 "about the slowness and delays" of Hamilton County Courts. "There are a lot of things that come into play in a criminal trial and a lot of things that occasion delay," Cox explains. That includes time for lab results to be analyzed, witnesses to give statements, and experts to investigate. Steelman adds that many court offices simply don't have enough workers.
News Channel 9 reports
Line is long for committee applicants to lead BP litigation
More than 100 lawyers have applied for positions on the committee that will lead the multidistrict litigation against BP PLC over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The applicants to the plaintiffs' steering committee -- lawyers who are already suing BP -- cite either the extensive work they've already done or the unique role they would serve as the representative of a specific group of alleged victims. The deadline to submit applications for the committee was Monday. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Oct. 15.
Law.com brings you the National Law Journal story
Immigration lawyer's work: audits and I-9 raid info
The government raids fewer factories to arrest undocumented workers than it used to -- now it scrutinizes more paperwork like I-9 employment eligibility forms, in what are known as "silent raids." "Raids on factories are dramatic," a story on National Public Radio's "Marketplace" reports,"but audits find more people who are working illegally." Chattanooga lawyer Terry Olsen is interviewed for the story. He helps companies audit their paperwork, and points out that "managers and HR people are actually going off to jail now." Olsen, who practices immigration law, is also the chair of the Immigration Section of the Tennessee Bar Association.
Listen or read the transcript of the story on NPR
Drug court succeeds for 10 years and counting
The 23rd Judicial District Drug Court -- serving Cheatham, Dickson, Houston, Humphreys and Stewart counties -- celebrated its 10th anniversary last week. Judge Robert E. Burch presides over Drug Court each Thursday night to review participants' progress. 
Burch tells new participants how the program will work at the beginning: "We're going to run your life for the next two years because, quite frankly, you've not been doing a very good job of it."
The Dickson Herald has the story
Lack of interpreters causes unequal field
The inability to speak English may be preventing "equal justice" for some Tennesseans. "We have in Memphis and Shelby County at the criminal courts building ... speakers and signs in five languages that are covered there: French, Arabic, Vietnamese, Spanish and English," said Memphis lawyer Rehim Babaoglu. But if a person doesn't speak any of those languages they are likely to not be able to understand the charges against them or the consequences.
MyEyeWitnessNews.com has the story
Rep. Cooper urges House subcommittee to approve Nashville courthouse
Congressman Jim Cooper was scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts and Competition today (Sept. 29) to advocate for federal funding for a new Nashville courthouse. Nashville has moved up from number six to number two on the Judiciary Conference's priority list in just the last year, according to
Cooper's web site
Resources
Ethics opinion addresses lawyer web sites
Be careful what you put on your web site, is the upshot of a new ethics opinion issued by an American Bar Association committee. It provides guidance to help lawyers avoid potential pitfalls and protect the public. For lawyers, "web site marketing can give rise" to problems when web site visitors seeking legal advice rely on material posted only as general information and not intended to apply to specific situations, or make unexpected inquiries or unexpectedly provide confidential information.
Connect to Formal Ethics Opinion 10-457, the model rules and more
Disciplinary Actions
Two lawyers reinstated
Kimpi King Kendrick of Murfreesboro and Thomas Michael Leveille of Knoxville have been reinstated to the practice of law in Tennessee after complying with requirements for continuing legal education. They were suspended on Sept. 7 for failing to meet 2009 CLE requirements.
View all attorneys suspended and reinstated for 2009 CLE violations
One suspension removed, second remains for Memphis lawyer
On Sept. 24, the Supreme Court of Tennessee issued an order dissolving the temporary suspension of Memphis lawyer King Bethel Harris. He was summarily and temporarily suspended for failure to respond to a disciplinary complaint. Although the temporary suspension has been dissolved, Harris is also serving a suspension based upon a prior disciplinary matter.
Download the BPR release
Fayetteville attorney censured
On Sept. 27, the Board of Professional Responsibility issued a public censure to Fayetteville lawyer John Harwell Dickey in connection with criminal charges filed against him in August 2009. He was censured for engaging in professional misconduct by committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer, in violation of Professional Rule of Conduct 8.4(b).
Download the BPR release
Two Memphis lawyers suspended
Memphis lawyer William Newton was suspended by the Tennessee Supreme Court for one year, retroactive 11 months. He violated disciplinary rules by failing to respond to the requests of Disciplinary Counsel, making misleading statements to the court and failing to abide by court orders. Download the BPR release

On Sept. 24 Memphis lawyer Vanessa G. Keeler was suspended by the Tennessee Supreme Court for one year pursuant to Rule 9, Section 4.2, of the Rules of the Supreme Court. Her actual suspension will be three months with the remainder of the suspension period served on probation. Keeler violated disciplinary rules in 10 separate client matters that demonstrated a pattern of delay and lack of diligence. Download the BPR release
Download the BPR release
Knoxville lawyer temporarily suspended
The Tennessee Supreme Court temporarily suspended the law license of Wesley Markland Baker, a Knoxville attorney, pursuant to Section 4.3 of Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9. The Board of Professional Responsibility petitioned the court to temporarily suspend his law license because of his failure to respond to the Board concerning a request for additional information.
Download the BPR release
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A career service for Tennessee attorneys and law students, TBA JobLink is a job seeking and recruitment tool available at no charge. Whether you have a position to fill or are seeking employment, this site will guide you through a simple process to post your information.
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