TALS awarded grant for partnership with libraries

The Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS) has been awarded a 2011 Legal Services Corporation Technology Initiative Grant for its Library/Legal Aid Partnership. The program is designed to give state libraries and librarians greater access to information about legal aid for low-income Tennesseans. TALS reports that its program will serve as a model for others around the country. It has been assisted in the effort by the Tennessee State Library, the Access to Justice Commission, the Tennessee Supreme Court, West Tennessee Legal Services and legal aid programs across the state.
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Court: TCCA


Patrick McGill, Assistant District Public Defender, for the appellant, William Anthony Jones.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; C. Phillip Bivens, District Attorney General; and Karen Burns, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

A Dyer County Circuit Court jury convicted the defendant, William Anthony Jones, of aggravated assault. On appeal, he argues that the trial court erroneously prohibited him from "argu[ing] that the defendant lacked the mental state of intentionally or knowing[ly] with respect to causing serious bodily injury." Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.



Court: TCCA


Robert G. Morgan, Assistant District Public Defender, for the appellant, Lanny Wayne Waddell.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; J. Michael Taylor, District Attorney General; and Steven M. Blount, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

A Franklin County Circuit Court jury convicted the defendant, Lanny Wayne Waddell, of domestic assault, see T.C.A. section 39-13-111(b) (2006), and the trial court imposed a sentence of 11 months and 29 days. In this appeal, the defendant challenges the sufficiency of the convicting evidence. Finding the evidence sufficient, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.



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Legal News
Some judges don't properly file forms on substitutes
More than a year after the Administration Offfice of the Courts reminded judges how to document the use of substitutes, some Davidson County General Sessions judges still are not following the rules, reports the Tennessean. Records of substitutions, including signed oaths, are supposed to be filed with the appropriate court clerk. But when the Tennessean sought forms for the last few months, it found that court clerks did not have the records on file because judges had them in their offices.
The paper looks at the issue
West gets court date for lethal injection hearing
Death row inmate Stephen Michael West, who was slated for execution this week but was given a temporary stay, will go before the Davidson County Chancery Court on Nov. 18 and 19 to make his case that those executed by lethal injection suffer unconstitutionally severe pain.
The Tennessean has more
Kaczynski brother says justice system fails the mentally ill
David Kaczynski, the brother of the so-called "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski, brought his message to Tennessee this week with appearances in Memphis and Chattanooga. In speaking about his brother, Kaczynski stressed that people with severe mental illness are more likely to make false confessions, fire their lawyers and represent themselves in court. He called for legislation to protect the severely mentally ill from the death penalty.
The Times Free Press reports
General Assembly News
City seeks alternate process for legal notices
The city of Chattanooga plans to seek legislation in the new General Assembly that would allow publication of required legal notices by a method other than printing in the newspaper, the mayor's office said this week. The city is joining with other municipalities in asking legislators "to consider allowing the notices to be placed in a central place on the Internet." The city estimates the move would save up to $75,000 next year.
Read more on Chattanoogan.com
Election 2010
Haslam names transition staff
Gov.-elect Bill Haslam this week named his campaign's chief consultant, Tom Ingram, to head a three-man team to manage his transition to the governor's office. Prior to joining Haslam's campaign, Ingram was chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. He also was chief of staff when Alexander served as governor. Also named to the transition team were Haslam's campaign manager Mark Cate and Lewis Lavine, another one-time gubernatorial chief of staff for Alexander. Campaign finance director Kim Kaegi was tapped with planning the inaugural celebration scheduled for Jan. 15 in Nashville. In other news, Haslam announced a transition website -- www.billhaslam.org -- where visitors can make suggestions for the new administration and apply for jobs.
The In Politics Blog has the story
U.S. Supreme Court
Court weighs gender differences in citizenship law
The U.S. Supreme Court wrestled yesterday with a citizenship law that treats fathers and mothers differently. The law governs citizenship procedures for children born abroad to one American and one non-American parent who are unwed, but imposes longer residency requirements on American fathers than on American mothers.
WKRN News 2 reports
Career Opportunities
Reminder: CLE director applications due Friday
The Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education (CLE) and Specialization is seeking a licensed attorney to fill the executive director position vacated by David Shearon , who announced his resignation last month. Shearon, who will leave Dec. 31, has held the position for 23 years. The Administrative Office of the Courts is accepting applications through Nov. 12. The new executive director will begin on Jan. 1, 2011.
See details of the job
Services set for former state representative
Funeral services for state Rep. Ulysses Jones Jr., who died earlier this week, will be held Monday at noon at Hope Presbyterian Church, 8500 Walnut Grove Road in Cordova. On Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m., the family will receive visitors at Greater Middle Baptist Church, 4982 Knight Arnold Road in Memphis. Jones was elected to represent District 98 in the legislature in 1986.

Services tomorrow for retired court administrator
Robert John Mathews Jr., who served as Shelby County Circuit Court deputy administrator for 36 years, died Nov. 4. Funeral services will be held tomorrow, Nov. 12, at 11 a.m. at First Chapel, located at the corner of Hacks Cross and Hwy. 178. After retiring from the court, Mathews became pastor of New Hope Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. He was serving in that capacity when he died.
View his obituary in the Commercial Appeal
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