Legal sector loses 300 jobs while others increase

Though the U.S. economy added 151,000 jobs last month, the legal services field saw 300 disappear, according to the latest employment report released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The decrease stops a positive streak of three straight months with employment gains in the field.

The AmLaw Daily reports

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Court: TCA


Bill W. Petty, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Quint Bourgeois.

John T. Buckingham, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellees, McCurdy and Candler, LLC, Bridgewater and Associates, Inc., and MCC TN, LLC.


The pertinent order in this case was entered by the trial court on August 25, 2010. Therefore, the thirtieth day from and after the date of entry of the order was Friday, September 24, 2010. The date of September 24, 2010, was not a legal holiday and there is nothing before us to indicate that it was a day when "weather or other conditions have made the office of the court clerk inaccessible." Tenn. R. App. P. 21(a). The appellant's notice of appeal was received and filed by the trial court clerk on Monday, September 27, 2010. As can be seen, the notice was not filed and received by the trial court clerk within 30 days of the date of entry of the order from which the appeal was taken. Accordingly, we have no jurisdiction of this appeal due to the untimely filing of the notice of appeal. Appeal dismissed.


Court: TCA


Eric J. Morrison and Douglas L. Rose, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, David Wilson Pitts.

Connie Reguli, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the appellee, Jennifer (Pitts) Bradford.


The father was paying child support, became disabled and filed a Petition to suspend child support payments until his disability insurance began paying. By the time of the hearing on his Petition, his disability insurance began paying a monthly amount. The Trial Judge ultimately refused to lower the child support payments, finding that the father established no variance between his income before and after his disability. The father tendered his income tax return for the year when the child support obligation was set, but the Trial Court refused to consider this evidence. On appeal, we vacate and remand.


Court: TCA


Patrick E. Stegall, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael C. M., Sr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General, and Marcie E. Greene, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee, Department of Children's Services.


The trial court terminated Father's parental rights upon a finding of abandonment and upon determining termination was in the best interests of the children. Father appeals. We affirm.


Court: TCCA


Laura Clift, District Public Defender; and Jeffrey A. DeVasher, Katie Bottom, and Aimee Solway, Assistant Public Defenders, attorneys for appellant, Willie Earl Brown, Jr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Sharon Reddick and Anton Jackson, Assistant District Attorneys General, attorneys for appellee, State of Tennessee.


Following a jury trial, the Defendant was convicted of 11 counts of rape of a child, a Class A felony, and was sentenced to an effective sentence of 74 years. In this appeal as of right, the Defendant contends that (1) the evidence was insufficient to sustain his convictions of rape of a child in counts 13 and 14; (2) the Defendant's conviction of rape of a child in counts 4 and 5 violated the principles of double jeopardy; (3) the trial court erred in admitting evidence of uncharged conduct in violation of Tennessee Rule of Evidence 404(b); (4) the trial court erred in refusing to allow cross-examination of the victim regarding her pregnancy; (5) the trial court erred in admitting statements from a clinical social worker that were not obtained for the purpose of medical diagnosis and treatment; and (6) the trial court erred in sentencing the Defendant. Following our review, we conclude that the trial court erroneously admitted evidence of the Defendant's uncharged sexual conduct with the victim and that this error was not harmless. Accordingly, we reverse the judgments of the trial court and remand the Defendant's case for a new trial.


Court: TCCA


David Collins, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Billy J. Coffelt.

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

Judge: SMITH

In Davidson County Criminal Court, following a jury trial, Petitioner was convicted of felony escape, two counts of aggravated assault and three counts of especially aggravated kidnapping. State v. Lyle T. Van Ulzen, No. M2004-02462-CCA-R3-CD, 2005 WL 2874654, at *1-2 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Nashville, Oct. 31, 2005); State v. Billy J. Coffelt, No. M2002- 01214-CCA-R3-CD, 2003 WL 22116628, at *1-2 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Nashville, Sept. 11, 2003), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Feb. 2, 2004). After direct appeal to this Court and resentencing, Petitioner's effective sentence was ninety years. Lyle T. Van Ulzen, 2005 WL 2874654, at *6-7. Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. Following an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court denied the petition. On appeal, Petitioner argues that the post-conviction court erred in denying his petition. Petitioner specifically argues that trial counsel was ineffective because trial counsel: (1) refused to allow Petitioner to testify at trial and failed to request a Momon hearing; (2) failed to request Pattern Jury Instruction 8.02 and an instruction on the elements of false imprisonment as a lesser included offense of especially aggravated kidnapping; (3) failed to request a jury instruction for the natural and probable consequences rule; (4) failed to raise in either the motion for new trial or on direct appeal the issue of stipulation of the offense for which Petitioner was incarcerated at the time of his escape; and (5) failed to request a severance from the co-defendant. After a thorough review of the record on appeal, we affirm the post-conviction court's denial of the petition.


Court: TCCA


James O. Martin, III (on appeal); and Paul Walwyn (at trial), Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Sean Terrell Horton.

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

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Sean Terrell Horton, appeals his Davidson County Criminal Court jury convictions of possession with the intent to deliver or sell 26 grams or more of cocaine, a Class B felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor. On appeal, he contends that the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


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