1,159 people helped during 'Celebrate Pro Bono' month

A record number of people received free legal assistance during recent Celebrate Pro Bono Month events across Tennessee. More than 450 volunteers -- including 291 lawyers and 161 non-lawyers (such as paralegals, law students, social workers and interpreters) -- gave their time to help meet the legal needs of 1,159 Tennesseans during October. Last year, 217 lawyers and 66 non-lawyers provided assistance to 416 people in the statewide campaign coordinated by the Tennessee Bar Association. In addition, three free CLE programs provided training to 115 lawyers who have agreed to provide pro bono service either through a clinic or by taking on pro bono cases. See photos from the events on TBAConnect.

Learn more about Celebrate Pro Bono and the groups that participated

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Court: TCA


Amanda G. Crowell, Lebanon, Tennessee, for the appellant, Diane Nixon.

J. Branden Bellar, Carthage, Tennessee, for the appellee, Beverly Angel.


The paternal grandmother of a three-year-old child filed a petition seeking visitation pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. section 36-6-306. The grandmother contended that the child's mother prevented the grandmother from seeing the child following the death of the child's father. Grandmother also contended that she had a significant existing relationship with the child and that the loss of this relationship was likely to cause severe emotional harm to the child. The trial court granted the petition and awarded the grandmother three hours of visitation every third Sunday at the grandmother's home. The mother appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in making the award to the grandmother, because the mother did not oppose visitation. Alternatively, she argued that the proof did not support a finding that the grandmother had a significant existing relationship with the child or that the child would be severely emotionally harmed from severance of that relationship. We affirm the trial court's determination that the grandmother is entitled to three hours of visitation every third Sunday.



Court: TCA


Herbert S. Moncier, Pro se.


This is an appeal from a judgment summarily holding attorney Herbert S. Moncier in direct, criminal contempt of court. Because the trial court improperly exercised its summary contempt authority several weeks after the cited conduct occurred, we vacate its judgment and remand this case for additional proceedings.



Court: TCA


Stanley M. Ross and R. Mitchell Ross, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Larry E. Metcalf.

Steven T. Atkins, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, James Jay Harris.

Mark A. Rassas and Julia P. North, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Charles E. Foust, Jr.


Plaintiff filed this action to quiet title to a strip of land along a former railroad line. Defendant, an adjacent landowner, asserts that Plaintiff has no interest in the disputed property because the deed that purportedly conveyed the property to Plaintiff was champertous and void due to the fact Defendant was adversely possessing the property under color of title at the time of the deed. The trial court ruled in favor of Plaintiff, finding that Defendant failed to establish that Plaintiff's deed was champertous or that Defendant had acquired title by seven years of adverse possession under color of title for thirty years. We have determined the trial court applied an erroneous legal standard by holding that Defendant had to prove seven years of adverse possession to establish that Plaintiff's deed was champertous. Instead, Defendant need only prove that he was in adverse possession at the time of the deed to Plaintiff. Defendant established he was in adverse possession under color of title of the disputed property at the time of Plaintiff's deed; accordingly, the deed is champertous. Champertous deeds are void; therefore, Plaintiff never acquired a legal interest in the disputed property. We reverse the judgment of the trial court quieting title in favor of Plaintiff. As for Defendant's prayer that he be declared the owner of the disputed property, we have determined that an indispensable party is missing, the grantor of the deed to Plaintiff; therefore, we make no ruling concerning Defendant's claim that he owns the property by adverse possession of at least seven continuous years under color of title pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. section 28-2-105.



Court: TCA


Daniel Kidd, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Marian N. Miller.

Jodi Loden, Clinton, Tennessee, for the appellee, Clarence E. Miller.


Husband filed for divorce after twenty-five years of marriage alleging inappropriate marital conduct as grounds for divorce. Wife filed a counter-claim for divorce also alleging inappropriate marital conduct. After a bench trial, the court found that the parties had lived separately for at least 10 years; awarded a divorce to Husband; and awarded alimony in futuro to Wife. Wife appeals challenging the trial court's award of a divorce to Husband, the division of the marital property, and the award of alimony. Upon review of the record, we affirm.



Court: TCA


Katherine M. Hamilton, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Robert Bailey, Lisa Bailey Dishner, and Richard Neal Bailey.

Bianca F. White and Thomas M. Hale, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Dale Littleton, Alice Littleton, Kimber Littleton, and Mark Lee Littleton.


Robert Bailey, Lisa Bailey Dishner, and Richard Neal Bailey ("the Baileys") were sued by Arthur B. Roberts and Tia Roberts with regard to a boundary line dispute. The Baileys filed a third party complaint against Dale Littleton, Alice Littleton, Kimber Littleton, Mark Lee Littleton ("the Littletons"), and Charlotte Dutton seeking to quiet title to real property, including the property involved in the boundary line dispute. The Baileys filed a motion for partial summary judgment against the Littletons. After a hearing, the Trial Court entered an order denying the motion for summary judgment and certifying the judgment as final pursuant to Tenn. R. Civ. P. 54.02. The Baileys appeal to this Court. We affirm.


With Dissenting Opinion

Court: TCCA


Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Senior Counsel; Hansel Jay McCadams, District Attorney General; and R. Adams Jowers, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

Steven L. West, Huntingdon, Tennessee, for the appellee, James Alvin Castleman.

Judge: GLENN

The State appeals the grant of Petitioner James Alvin Castleman's petition for writ of error coram nobis, arguing, inter alia, that the trial court erred in finding that the statute of limitations should be tolled for due process reasons. We agree with the State and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court and reinstate the judgment of conviction.


WILLIAMS dissenting

With Dissenting Opinion

Court: TCCA


James R. Hickman, Jr., Sevierville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Donna Harvey.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; James Dunn, District Attorney General; and Emily Abbott, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Donna Harvey, and a codefendant pled guilty in the Sevier County Circuit Court to theft of at least $1,000 but less than $10,000, a Class D felony. See T.C.A. sections 39- 14-103, -105(3) (2006). The Defendant received a four-year sentence as a Range II, multiple offender, suspended to time served with the balance on supervised probation. The trial court ordered the Defendant and co-defendant to pay $64,852 in restitution with joint and several liability. At issue in this appeal is the amount of restitution for damages caused by the crime. We reverse the order setting the restitution amount and remand for a restitution hearing, at which the trial court shall consider the Defendant's financial resources and ability to pay and determine the proper amount and schedule of restitution.


WITT dissenting

Impairment of Judicial Compensation

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2010-11-09

Opinion Number: 10-112



Legal News
Election 2010
U.S. Supreme Court
TBA Member Services

State Rep. Ulysses Jones dies
State. Rep. Ulysses Jones Jr. of Memphis has died at the age of 59. The Memphis Democrat died early Tuesday in Memphis of an illness, said state Rep. Larry Miller, a longtime friend. Jones represented District 98 in Shelby County. He was a battalion chief of the Memphis Fire Department. He served in the 95th through the 106th General Assemblies. Arrangements are incomplete at this time.
The Commerial Appeal has more
Services set for Knoxville lawyer Bill Banks
William Richard "Bill" Banks died yesterday (Nov. 8). He was 82. Mr. Banks practiced law with the firm of Banks & Jones. He graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1950 and then went overseas as a war crimes prosecutor during the Korean War. He was licensed in 1958 and practiced law in Knoxville for more than 50 years. The family will receive friends from 5:30-7:30 p.m. tomorrow (Nov. 10) at Rose Mortuary Mann Heritage Chapel at 6200 Kingston Pike. A funeral service will be 11 a.m. on Thursday at Cokesbury United Methodist Church, 9919 Kingston Pike, with interment following at Lynnhurst Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials may be made to the Emerald Youth Foundation, 1718 North Central St., Knoxville 37917.
Read his obituary in the News Sentinel
Legal News
DOJ: No charges filed in CIA videotape case
The U.S. Department of Justice has decided not to pursue any charges over the destruction of videotapes showing harsh interrogation techniques used on two terrorism suspects during the administration of President George W. Bush. Two sources close to the investigation say a federal prosecutor has concluded there isn't enough evidence to bring an indictment. The statute of limitations on criminal law covering the tapes' November 2005 destruction expired this week, making future prosecution impossible. The Blog of Legal Times and
National Public Radio have more
Proctor named officer of defense bar organization
Nashville lawyer Laura E. Proctor has been named secretary-treasurer of DRI, The Voice of the Defense Bar. A defense attorney for 18 years, Proctor is associate general counsel for Louisiana Pacific Corporation where she is responsible for all aspects of the company's litigation. She was a founding member of DRI's Corporate Counsel Committee and served as chair for DRI's Alternative Dispute Resolution and Young Lawyers committees.
Learn more about DRI
Juvenile justice expenditures approved
Montgomery County commissioners approved $81,421 last night to pay for an additional part-time juvenile magistrate, a full-time youth service officer through the end of the current fiscal year, and for the remodeling of a dispute-resolution room into a juvenile courtroom.
The Leaf Chronicle reports
Murder victims' relative comments on execution delay
Relatives of murder victims Wanda and Sheila Romines are tired of waiting for the execution of Stephen West, 24 years after the crime. "I just don't see why they have to make the families of the victims go through any more time when it's over. The road to appeals are done," Eddie Campbell said. The Tennessee Supreme Court granted early this week a temporary stay of execution for West pending the outcome of a law suit that contends Tennessee's three-drug lethal injection protocol is cruel and unusual punishment because inmates are likely awake and conscious when the second and third drugs are administered. As for the defense's challenge, Campbell points out that the murder victims "were awake too."
WATE.com reports
Election 2010
Brown expected to take oath soon
Dan Brown, who was elected to fill the unexpired term of the late George McCrary, could take the oath of office for Bartlett municipal judge within the next two weeks. Brown and city officials are waiting for certification of the Nov. 2 election results to make his victory official.
The Commerial Appeal has the story
U.S. Supreme Court
Case heard today could 'end class-action litigation'
The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing a case today that could "end class-action litigation in America as we know it," according to Vanderbilt law professor Brian Fitzpatrick. The case was brought by cell phone customers who are suing AT&T for advertising discounted cell phones but charging sales tax on the full retail price. AT&T contends their suit can't be maintained as a class action because of provisions in their cell phone contract requiring arbitration and banning class actions. According to Fitzpatrick, now a visiting professor at Fordham Law School, a ruling for AT&T could have "staggering" consequences. "It could be the end of class action litigation," he writes in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Get details from ABAJournal.com
National Moot Court comes to Memphis this weekend
The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law will host the regional competition for the 2010 National Moot Court Competition, Nov. 11-13. Sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers and the New York City Bar, the competition will bring law students, law professors, attorneys and judges from throughout the region to Memphis. Participating schools include the U of M, Cumberland School of Law, Faulkner University, Louisiana State University, Loyola University, the University of Mississippi, Mississippi College, the University of Tennessee and Vanderbilt University.

TBA Member Services
TBA survey coming to members
All Tennessee Bar Association members should soon receive an email asking them to take part in a Membership Survey. Please respond to this short survey to help the TBA identify ways to increase the value of your membership. The survey is being conducted for the TBA by Memphis-based Yacoubian Research. If you do not receive the email from Yacoubian, please check your spam filters to see if it was blocked. If you need to have the survey re-sent, please contact Yacoubian Research. Your participation in this effort is important, and we thank you for your participation.

Secure, compliant data backup service now available
The TBA's official data protection, backup and recovery vendor of choice, i365, offers secure online backup solutions. i365 minimizes downtime by backing up files quickly and easily, and helps lawyers remain compliant by maintaining file integrity. Get i365 and be confident your data is securely stored and protected. TBA members enjoy a 10 percent savings on all services. For more information on this member benefit Denise Lucas at (407) 523-9774.
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