Belmont breaks ground for law school, reveals large donor

Belmont University today broke ground on a 71,000 square foot building that will house its College of Law, and be named for Nashville philanthropists Randall and Sadie Baskin, who donated $7 million to the building fund. Baskin is the owner of the Randall Baskin Co. and the founder and former owner of Brentwood-based Continental Life Insurance Co. He has served on Belmont University Board of Trustees for 19 years and previously endowed a scholarship fund that supports five undergraduate students each year. The law school building will include a five-level underground parking garage, more than a dozen classrooms, trial and appellate courtrooms, a two-story law library and more than 20 faculty offices. Total cost for the project is estimated at $32 million. The college will begin classes in the fall of 2011, although the building is slated to be finished in the fall of 2012. At full capacity it will enroll 360 students.

Read more from the school's press release

See photos from the event courtesy of Belmont University

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Court: TCA


J. Samuel Patterson, Jr., Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tina Marie Hodge.

J. Russell Parkes, Wesley Mack Bryant & Charles M. Molder, Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellee, Chadwick Craig.

Judge: KIRBY

This is a fraud claim between ex-spouses. While the petitioner mother and the respondent were dating, the mother became pregnant, and she told the respondent that the child was his. Consequently, she and the respondent married, and the child was born during the marriage. Years later, the parties divorced, and the respondent paid child support to the mother. After several years, the respondent obtained a DNA test, which revealed that he is not the child's biological father. After he told the mother of the test results, she filed a petition requesting a court-ordered paternity test and modification of the parenting plan. The respondent filed a counter-petition, alleging negligent and/or intentional misrepresentation by the mother for falsely representing that he was the child's biological father. After a bench trial, the trial court awarded the respondent compensatory damages for past child support, medical expenses, and insurance premiums paid for the child, compensatory damages for emotional distress, and attorney fees. The mother now appeals. We conclude that under Tennessee statutes, the respondent cannot recover the past child support, medical expenses, and insurance premiums, as this would be a retroactive modification of a valid child support order. We find that the remaining damages for emotional distress cannot be awarded for the tort of fraud and misrepresentation, because such damages are non-pecuniary. Therefore, we reverse the decision of the trial court.


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Legal News
Knox court handles record number of cases
Starting this week, a Knox County judge is hearing cases in an unusual place: a room in the City County Building. The Old Knox County Courthouse, where small claims are usually heard, was just too small to fit the 610 cases that were on the docket yesterday. The court's deputy clerk said the turnout is the largest the civil division has ever handled in one day.
WATE News has the story
Parts of health reform lawsuit can proceed
U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson of Florida ruled Thursday that parts of a lawsuit by 20 state attorneys general seeking to void the recently enacted health care law can go to trial, saying he wants to hear additional arguments from both sides over whether the law is unconstitutional. By contrast, a federal judge in Michigan threw out a similar lawsuit last week.
Read the AP story from WKRN News
Counsel On Call ramps up staffing
Attorney outplacement firm Counsel On Call has ramped up its business development team. Jay Brenner, who previously served as a litigation attorney in the firm's E-Discovery Division, now will focus on candidate selection and assignment in Memphis. Richard Ferri has been hired to manage new business development in the southeast from his Atlanta office. He previously worked as regional sales manager for Canon Business Solutions. And Bob Garms has been hired to work in Chicago as a midwest account executive. He previously was senior litigation consultant and director of court reporting for 24 Seven Discovere.
The Nashville Post reported the news (subscription required)
Tennessee militia makes national news
A group that tried to take over the grand jury and town of Madisonville earlier this year is now featured in a Time magazine cover story this week. "Locked and Loaded: The Secret World of Extreme Militias" includes the escapades of Walter Fitzpatrick of Sweetwater, who stormed the Monroe County Courthouse on April 2 and tried to arrest the grand jury foreman. Then in May, Darren Huff of Dalton, Ga., was arrested after traveling to Madisonville to take over the county courthouse, free Fitzpatrick and arrest officials who had charged Fitzpatrick. Both men face trial in December.
Read more from the Chattanooga Times Free Press
Officer recognized for domestic violence work
Murfreesboro Police detective Kelvin Jones has been named winner of this year's Judge Wheatcraft Award from the Tennessee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. The award, established in honor of Judge Jane Wheatcraft, is given to a member of the judicial or law enforcement profession for leadership in improving access to justice for victims.
Read more in Murfreesboro Daily
Celebrate Pro Bono
Tri Cities holds legal clinic Saturday
Lawyers in the Tri-Cities area will hold a legal clinic this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Downtown Kingsport Association. Groups involved include the Bristol Bar Association, Kingsport Bar Association, Legal Aid of East Tennessee and TBA Young Lawyers Division. For more information or to volunteer contact Carla Forney at Legal Aid at (423) 928-8311 or Adam Moore, TBA YLD District Representative, at (423) 224-2030.
See a list of events across the state
Career Opportunities
Position open for judicial commissioner
The Shelby County Board of Commissioners will interview candidates for the vacant position of General Sessions Criminal Court judicial commissioner on Oct. 20 at 11 a.m. Applications are due by the close of business on Tuesday, Oct. 19. The completed application and a resume must be hand delivered or faxed (901-545-3713) to Shelby County Board of Commissioners Chief Administrator Steve Summerall.
Learn more about the job

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