Report says U.S. lags on rule of law issues

A report released yesterday by the World Justice Project -- a three-year-old initiative sponsored in part by the American Bar Association -- shows the United States lags behind other developed nations on all but one of nine key measures of adherence to the rule of law. The measures include factors such as access to civil justice, absence of corruption, stable laws, fundamental rights and effective criminal justice. Among the nations in the high-income group, Sweden, the Netherlands and Austria ranked highest for most of the factors.
Read more from the ABA Journal

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Court: TCCA


Jonathan M. Holcomb, Morristown, Tennessee, for the appellant, Terry O'Neil Greene.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; C. Berkeley Bell, Jr., District Attorney General; and Kimberly Morrison, Assistant District Attorney General for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Terry O'Neil Greene, was convicted by a jury of driving under the influence of an intoxicant, second offense. In this appeal as of right, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred in admitting the results of his breath-alcohol test. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Robert Brooks, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Petitioner-Appellant, Eldridge Hill.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Kevin R. Rardin, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Petitioner, Eldridge Hill, appeals from the Shelby County Criminal Court's denial of post-conviction relief from his conviction for especially aggravated robbery. In his appeal, he claims that trial counsel was ineffective in failing to make a motion for judgment of acquittal regarding the especially aggravated robbery charge and that appellate counsel was ineffective in failing to challenge the sufficiency of the conviction on appeal based on his claim that the victim's shooting did not occur prior to or contemporaneously with the robbery. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.


Court: TCCA


Steve McEwen, Mountain City, Tennessee (on appeal); and William A. Kennedy, Assistant Public Defender (at trial), for the appellant, Angela Milhorn.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Matthew Bryant Haskell, Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; and Kent Chitwood, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Angela Milhorn, appeals the denial of her request for judicial diversion, arguing that the trial court abused its discretion by placing undue emphasis on the circumstances of her offense while ignoring positive factors in favor of diversion. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Larry G. Roddy, Sale Creek, Tennessee, for the appellant, Julius W. Weaver.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; James Michael Taylor, District Attorney General; and James W. Pope, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

Appellant, Julius W. Weaver, was indicted by a Rhea County Grand Jury on three counts of aggravated sexual battery. On count one of the indictment, he was convicted of the lesser included offense of Class B misdemeanor assault. The jury found him not guilty on counts two and three. The trial court sentenced Appellant to six months incarceration. He now appeals the length and manner of service of his sentence. We affirm.


Celebrate Pro Bono
Legal News
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Disciplinary Actions
TBA Member Services

Celebrate Pro Bono
Legal clinics tomorrow in Chattanooga, Jackson
A clinic called "Know Your Immigration Legal Rights" will be held Saturday, Oct. 16, from 9 a.m. until noon in the Development Resource Center Room 1A, 1250 Market St., Chattanooga. Volunteering at the event are the TBA Immigration Law Section, La Paz Chattanooga, Bridge Refugee Services of Chattanooga, Korean Association of Chattanooga and the Filipino-American Association of Chattanooga.

In Jackson tomorrow, attorneys will provide documents and advice at a Living Wills Clinic from 8 a.m. to noon at Pringles Park. The event is sponsored by West Tennessee Legal Services and the Jackson-Madison County Bar Association.

Legal News
Compensation after death row dismissal up to governor
There are 23 states that don't have laws allowing compensation for those wrongly convicted of crimes and released from prison. But former Tennessee death row inmate Paul House, whose murder conviction was dismissed over DNA tests, has one shot to receive any compensation from the state that incorrectly held him for more than two decades. House could get up to $1 million under Tennessee state law, but he must be exonerated by the governor first.
Read the AP story in the Daily News Journal
MALS celebration features special guests
At a reception celebrating the 40th anniversary of Memphis Area Legal Services (MALS) last night, lawyers were greeted by two special guests: Vic Fortuno, executive director of the Legal Services Corp., in Washington, D.C., and retired circuit court judge George H. Brown. Brown was the agency's first director -- at a time when it "was just him and an empty office." Fortuno praised MALS for its proud history of providing legal services to those who live at or below the poverty line. Read about the event in the Memphis Daily News

In related news, MALS Executive Director Harrison D. McIver III, in a guest column in the Memphis Commercial Appeal, writes that despite an increased workload and greater need among clients, the agency is committed as ever to the principle of equal access to the law. "As MALS enters its fifth decade, we are determined to carry out the dedication and vision of its founders and to help the people of West Tennessee fulfill the promise of equal justice for all," he said.
Read the column
Nashville YWCA honors attorneys
Seven Nashville women -- including Tennessee Chief Justice Connie Clark, Judge Barbara Haynes and lawyer Susan Short Jones -- recently were inducted into the YWCA's Academy of Women for Achievement, which recognizes women for their leadership and service in the community. The YWCA also named the law firm of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP as a corporate honoree.
News Channel 5 has the story
Governor appoints lawyers to state boards and commissions
Gov. Phil Bredesen has appointed 112 men and women to serve on 37 state boards and commissions. Among them are nine attorneys: Prince C. Chambliss Jr., Germantown, Historical Commission Foundation; Pete Claussen, Knoxville, Conservation Commission; J. Houston Gordon, Covington, Ethics Commission; Jason F. Hicks, Cookeville, Community Services Agency Board of Directors; and Paul A. Matthews, Memphis, Historical Commission. Two attorneys, Martha L. Boyd and Robert D. "Bob" Tuke of Nashville, were appointed to the Governor's Council on Service Members, Veterans & Their Families, while two others, Jeannine Alday of Chattanooga and Delta Anne Davis of Nashville, were named to the Heritage Conservation Trust Fund Board of Directors.
See the full list on the state website
Court of the Judiciary
Dumas impresses Brown, complaint is dismissed
One count of the complaint against Davidson County General Sessions Judge Gloria Dumas was dismissed today by order because she had complied with a stipulation of an earlier order: She was to be monitored by retired judge John P. Brown for 90 days. Brown's certification accompanied the order, saying that Dumas "has convened court in a timely manner and has regularly conducted her own docket," and that she "continues to manage the cases to which she is assigned in an effective, timely, and fair manner. I find her to be a quality jurist and an asset" to the bench. This document, in addition to previous filings in the matter, can be found on the AOC website.
Access the documents here
Space still available for death penalty dialogue
The First Amendment Center and Vanderbilt University School of Law in Nashville will sponsor "A Dialogue on the Death Penalty: Shaping Policy" Oct. 22 from 3 to 5 p.m. The free event will take place at the center's auditorium and feature a range of speakers on both sides of the issue. Participants include former Supreme Court Justice A.A. Birch Jr., Davidson County Assistant D.A. Kathy Morante, Richard Dieter of the Death Penalty Information Center, and Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. Email for more information or to RSVP.
Download the invitation
Disciplinary Actions
Four lawyers reinstated
Harold Scott Bates of Orlando, Fla.; Paulette R. Burgess of Spokane, Wash.; Raymond A. Shirley Jr. of Knoxville; and Bradley A. Teplitsky of Cordova were reinstated to the practice of law in Tennessee on Oct. 13 after complying with requirements for continuing legal education. They all were suspended on Sept. 7 for failing to meet 2009 CLE requirements.
View all attorneys suspended and reinstated for 2009 CLE violations
Hendersonville lawyer reinstated
Hendersonville lawyer Randall H. Stamps has been reinstated to the practice of law in Tennessee after complying with requirements for continuing legal education. He was suspended on Aug. 26, 2008, for failing to meet CLE requirements in 2007.

Texas lawyer reinstated
Donna E. Palmer of McKinney, Texas, has been reinstated to the practice of law in Tennessee after complying with requirements for continuing legal education. She was suspended on Jan. 29, 2002, for failing to meet CLE requirements in 2001.

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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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