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TODAY'S OPINIONS
Click on the category of your choice to view summaries of today’s opinions from that court, or other body. A link at the end of each case summary will let you download the full opinion in PDF format. To search all opinions in the TBALink database or to obtain a text version of each opinion, go to our OpinionSearch page. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on TBALink at the TBA's Membership Central.

01 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
01 - TN Court of Appeals
17 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR

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MICHAEL SANFORD v. WAUGH & COMPANY, INC. ET AL.

Court: TSC

Attorneys:

Joseph A. Woodruff and S. Keenan Carter, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Troy Waugh, Carol Waugh, and Waugh & Company, Inc.

Timothy L. Warnock and Elizabeth O. Gonser, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Michael Sanford.

Judge: LEE

The primary issue presented in this appeal is whether an individual creditor of an insolvent corporation may bring a direct cause of action for breach of fiduciary duty against the corporate directors and officers. We hold that a creditor of an insolvent corporation may not bring a direct claim, only a derivative claim, against officers and directors for breach of the fiduciary duties they owe to the corporation. We adopt the reasoning of the Delaware Supreme Court in North American Catholic Educational Programming Foundation, Inc. v. Gheewalla, 930 A.2d 92 (Del. 2007), observing that corporate creditors are adequately protected by existing law, and that recognizing a new direct cause of action is unnecessary and would impede corporate governance. We further hold that the trial court properly excluded evidence of conspiracy to interfere with contract and dismissed the claim for punitive damages. The judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2010/sanfordm_121710.pdf


ZULA GRAY v. JOE BEDNARZ, JR.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

David C. Risner, Kingston Springs, Tennessee, and Harry W. Miller, III, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Zula Gray.

Gail Vaughn Ashworth, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Joe Bednarz, Jr.

Judge: CLEMENT

Plaintiff appeals a jury's determination that she was 60 percent at fault for the injuries she sustained. We find there is material evidence to support the jury's verdict. Therefore, we affirm the judgment entered in accordance with the jury's findings.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/grayz_121710.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TERENCE ALAN CARDER

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Chadwick G. Hunt, Savannah, Tennessee, for the appellant, Terence Alan Carder.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; D. Michael Dunavant, District Attorney General; and Bob Gray, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant, Terence Alan Carder, appeals the order entered against him by the McNairy County Circuit Court, ordering that he pay $80,000 in restitution. The defendant pled guilty to theft of property over $1000, a Class D felony, and was sentenced to two years of probation following the service of sixty days in jail. Additionally, the court ordered the defendant to pay $80,000 in restitution at a rate of $1000 per month. On direct appeal, a panel of this court affirmed the sentence but remanded the case to the trial court for reconsideration of the amount of restitution in light of the defendant's ability to pay. On remand, the trial court, while acknowledging that the defendant would not be able to pay the entire $80,000 in restitution during the term of his sentence, nonetheless, entered an order that the amount of restitution ordered would remain at $80,000. However, the court did modify the terms of repayment to $100 per month. On appeal, the defendant again contends that, given his financial resources and ability to pay, the trial court erred in ordering him to pay $80,000 in restitution. We agree. Because it is unclear from the record exactly how many months the defendant has remaining on his sentence in light of his recent incarceration for a separate crime, we must again remand the case to the trial court with instructions to enter an order of restitution reflecting a total amount of $100 times the months remaining on the defendant's sentence in which he is expected to pay.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/cardert_121710.pdf


PERDIDO COOK v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jason R. Poyner, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Perdido Cook.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Senior Counsel; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and David Zak, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The petitioner, Perdido Cook, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. After being convicted of especially aggravated robbery, aggravated robbery, and attempted aggravated robbery, he was sentenced to an effective twenty-five-year sentence. On appeal, he contends that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to properly investigate and prepare for his case. After careful review, we affirm the denial of post-conviction relief.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/cookp_121710.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CHARLES COX

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

George Morton Googe, District Public Defender, and Susan D. Korsnes, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Charles Cox.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Brian Clay Johnson, Assistant Attorney General; James G. Woodall, District Attorney General; and Jody S. Pickens, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The defendant, Charles Cox, stands convicted of aggravated burglary, a Class C felony, and theft of property under $500, a Class A misdemeanor. The trial court sentenced him to 11 months, 29 days in the county jail for the misdemeanor and to eight years as a Range II, multiple offender in the Tennessee Department of Correction for the felony, to be served concurrently. On appeal, the defendant challenges the sufficiency of the convicting evidence. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/coxc_121710.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CHARLES HALL

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Matthew Ian John, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Charles Hall.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Stacy McEndree, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Charles Hall, was convicted by a Shelby County Criminal Court jury of two counts of alternate theories of aggravated robbery, a Class B felony. The court merged the second count into the first count and sentenced the defendant as a repeat violent offender to life without the possibility of parole. On appeal, the defendant argues that: (1) the pretrial photographic identification by the victim was overly suggestive and the trial court erred in failing to hold an evidentiary hearing or rule on his motion to suppress the identification; (2) the trial court erred in allowing evidence that a small child was present during the commission of the robbery; (3) he was dissuaded from testifying because of the comments of the prosecutor and trial court; (4) the evidence was insufficient to sustain his convictions; (5) the trial court erred in determining that he was a repeat violent offender; and (6) the trial court erred in ordering consecutive sentences. After review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/hallc_121710.pdf


RICKY LYNN HILL v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Ricky Lynn Hill, Tiptonville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; James G. Woodall, District Attorney General; and Alfred Lynn Earls, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

On August 18, 2008, the petitioner, Ricky Lynn Hill, pled guilty to DUI, leaving the scene of an accident, and attempted tampering with evidence; he also pled nolo contendere to vehicular assault. After holding that the petitioner could not be convicted of DUI for double jeopardy reasons, the circuit court sentenced the petitioner to an effective sentence of five years, eleven months, and twenty-nine days. The petitioner subsequently filed a petition for habeas corpus relief. The petitioner now appeals the judgment of the Chester County Circuit Court dismissing his petition for habeas corpus relief. After review, we affirm the judgment denying habeas corpus relief.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/hillr_121710.pdf


MATTHEW JACKSON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Matthew Jackson, Tiptonville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, and J. Ross Dyer, Senior Counsel, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The petitioner, Matthew Jackson, appeals the Lake County Circuit Court's summary dismissal of his pro se petition for the writ of habeas corpus. The petitioner pled guilty to two counts of aggravated rape, a Class A felony; aggravated kidnapping, a Class B felony; aggravated robbery, a Class B felony; and theft of property over $500, a Class E felony. He was subsequently sentenced to an effective sentence of twenty-five years in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the petitioner asserts that the habeas corpus court erred in summarily denying his petition, specifically contending that his sentence is void and illegal pursuant to Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296 (2004). The State has filed a motion requesting that this court affirm the lower court's dismissal pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Because the petitioner has failed to establish a cognizable claim for habeas corpus relief, we grant the State's motion and affirm the judgment of the Lake County Circuit Court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/jacksonm_121710.pdf


LATISHA JONES v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Claiborne H. Ferguson, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Latisha Jones.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Alanda Dwyer, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The petitioner, Latisha Jones, appeals the denial of her petition for post-conviction relief. She was convicted of felony murder and especially aggravated robbery, both Class A felonies. She was sentenced to life for the murder conviction and to twenty-three years for the especially aggravated robbery conviction, with the sentences set to run consecutively. On appeal, she argues that both trial and appellate counsel were ineffective. After careful review, we affirm the denial of relief by the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/jonesl_121710.pdf


DANIEL LIVINGSTON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Daniel Livingston, Nashville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; and D. Michael Dunavant, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The pro se petitioner, Daniel Livingston, appeals the summary dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus relief. The petitioner entered a guilty plea to one count of facilitation of sale of a Schedule II controlled substance, a Class D felony, in exchange for a six-year sentence, to be served as a Range I, standard offender at thirty percent. The court ordered the sentence to be served consecutive to a sentence imposed following a parole violation. On appeal, he argues that his sentence is illegal. After careful review, we affirm the summary dismissal of the petition for writ of habeas corpus relief.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/livingstond_121710.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOHN N. MOFFITT

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

John N. Moffitt, Lexington, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Senior Counsel; James G. (Jerry) Woodall, District Attorney General; and Angela Scott, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The pro se defendant, John N. Moffitt, was convicted of one count of driving under the influence (DUI), a Class A misdemeanor. He was sentenced to eleven months and twenty-nine days, suspended to probation after seven days of incarceration. On appeal, he argues that the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions and that the trial court erred when it allowed an officer to commit perjury and in refusing the defendant's request to play the surveillance disc from the hospital. He also argues that it was error for the State laboratory to destroy his blood sample before he filed a motion for independent testing. After review, we conclude that no error exists and affirm the judgment from the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/moffittj_121710.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DEREDIOUS OTIS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Gerald S. Green (on appeal) and Andre Wharton (at trial), Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Deredious Otis.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Greg Gilbert, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The defendant, Deredious Otis, stands convicted of aggravated assault, a Class C felony. The trial court sentenced him as a Range I, standard offender to four and a half years in the workhouse. On appeal, the defendant presents seven issues for our review: (1) whether the trial court erred in denying the defendant's motion for judgment of acquittal; (2) whether the trial court erred by not allowing the defendant to enter his own statement to police as evidence; (3) whether the trial court erred by refusing to instruct the jury on the affirmative defenses of self-defense and defense of a third party; (4) whether the trial court erred by restricting defense counsel's cross-examination; (5) whether the trial court erred by threatening defense counsel with contempt; (6) whether the trial court committed a Batson error in the composition of the final jury; and (7) whether the trial court improperly applied sentencing factors. Finding no reversible error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/otisd_121710.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RANDY PARHAM

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Robert Wilson Jones, District Public Defender; Tony N. Brayton (on appeal) and James Hale (at trial), Assistant Public Defenders, for the appellant, Randy Parham.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and David Zak and Marlinee Iverson, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Randy Parham, was convicted by a Shelby County Criminal Court jury of attempted first degree premeditated murder, a Class A felony; aggravated robbery, a Class B felony; theft of property valued at $1000 or more, a Class D felony; and domestic assault causing bodily injury, a Class A misdemeanor. He was sentenced by the trial court as a Range II offender to thirty-five years at 100% for the attempted first degree murder conviction, fifteen years at 100% for the aggravated robbery conviction, six years at 35% for the theft conviction, and eleven months, twenty-nine days for the misdemeanor assault conviction. Finding the defendant to be a dangerous offender, the trial court ordered that the sentences for his felony convictions be served consecutively to each other, for a total effective sentence of fifty-six years in the Department of Correction. The defendant raises essentially three issues on appeal: (1) whether the evidence was sufficient to sustain his felony convictions; (2) whether the trial court erred by not merging the aggravated robbery conviction with the theft conviction and the attempted murder conviction with the assault conviction; and (3) whether the trial court erred in sentencing. Based on our review, we conclude that the evidence was sufficient to sustain the convictions but that the defendant's domestic assault conviction should have been merged into the conviction for attempted first degree murder. We further conclude that the trial court did not make adequate findings in support of the sentences imposed. We, therefore, merge the domestic assault conviction into the conviction for attempted first degree murder and remand for re-sentencing and for the entry of corrected judgments to reflect the merger and the fact that the defendant was convicted in count four of theft of $1000 or more, rather than theft of $10,000 or more as erroneously marked on the judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/parhamr_121710.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WARREN PARKER

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Mark Renken (on appeal) and Lorna McClusky and Claiborne H. Ferguson (at trial), Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Warren Parker.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Senior Counsel; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Paul Goodman, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant, Warren Parker, appeals the trial court's denial of any form of alternative sentencing. The defendant entered a guilty plea to three counts of aggravated assault, a Class C felony, and one count of evading arrest, a Class A misdemeanor. He was sentenced to concurrent six year sentences for the Class C felonies and to a concurrent eleven-month, twenty-nine-day sentence for the Class A misdemeanor. After careful review, we affirm the trial court's judgments that deny alternative sentencing.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/parkerw_121710.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. PAUL WILLIAM PERRY, SR.

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Gary F. Antrican, District Public Defender; Shana Johnson, District Public Defender (at trial) Waverly, Tennessee; Clifford K. McGown (on appeal) Somerville, Tennessee, for the Defendant-Appellant, Paul William Perry, Sr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Brian C. Johnson, Assistant Attorney General; D. Michael Dunavant, District Attorney General; and Joe VanDyke, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCMULLEN

The Defendant-Appellant, Paul William Perry, Sr., appeals the revocation of his community corrections sentence. He originally pled guilty in the Circuit Court of Hardeman County to aggravated assault, a Class C felony, and vandalism between $1,000 and $10,000, a Class D felony. Perry was granted an alternative sentence of four and a half years with the Corrections Management Corporation. Perry admits that he violated the terms of his sentence; however, he argues that the trial court erred by revoking the sentence and ordering confinement. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/perryp_121710.pdf


DAVID A. ROMANO v. TONY PARKER, WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

David Romano, Tiptonville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, and Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The petitioner, David A. Romano, appeals the Fayette County Circuit Court's summary dismissal of his petition for the writ of habeas corpus. The petitioner pled guilty to one count of Class D felony forgery, two counts of Class E felony forgery, and one count of Class A misdemeanor theft of property. He was subsequently sentenced to concurrent sentences of twelve years, two six-year sentences, and eleven months and twenty-nine days for the respective convictions. He was further ordered to serve the sentences in confinement. After a period, the trial court granted the petitioner's motion to serve the balance of the sentences on probation; however, his probation was later revoked and the petitioner remains incarcerated to date. On appeal, the petitioner argues that the trial court was without authority or jurisdiction to allow him to serve his sentence on probation because his sentence was greater than ten years, which precluded his eligibility to receive a probationary sentence. The State has filed a motion requesting that this court affirm the lower court's dismissal pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Because the petitioner has failed to establish that he is currently restrained pursuant to an illegal sentence, we grant the State's motion and affirm the judgment of the Fayette County Circuit Court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/romanod_121710.pdf


MIKE SETTLE v. DAVID MILLS, WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Mike Settle, Wartburg, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Senior Counsel; and Russell Johnson, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The pro se petitioner, Mike Settle, appeals the summary dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus relief. On appeal, he argues that he received ineffective assistance of counsel and that his sentences were imposed in violation of the Interstate Compact on Detainers. After careful review, we affirm the summary dismissal of the petition for writ of habeas corpus relief.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/settlem_121710.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. LISA RENEA SMITH

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Philip Lomonaco and Bradley L. Henry, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lisa Renea Smith.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Randall Eugene Nichols, District Attorney General; and Zane Scarlett, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

Appellant, Lisa Renea Smith, was engaged in a custody dispute over her daughter but allowed to visit her pursuant to a Knox County Juvenile Court order. After one such visit, she refused to return her child and instead took her to Atlanta. The juvenile court held a hearing and found Appellant in contempt for violating the visitation order. Appellant was later indicted in the instant case for violating the custodial interference statute, Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-13-306. After an unsuccessful motion to dismiss based on double jeopardy protections, she pled guilty to a Class A misdemeanor but preserved the double jeopardy issue for appeal. Upon review, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/smithl_121710.pdf


LAWRENCE EARL WADE v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Magan N. White, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lawrence Earl Wade.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lindsy Paduch Stempel, Assistant Attorney General; James G. Woodall, District Attorney General; and Benjamin Caldwell Mayo and Alfred Lynn Earls, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The petitioner, Lawrence Earl Wade, pled guilty pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement to first degree murder and especially aggravated robbery. Pursuant to the plea agreement, the petitioner agreed to a sentence of fifteen years for the robbery charge and to a life sentence for the murder charge. On appeal from the post-conviction court's denial of relief, the petitioner argues that he received ineffective assistance of counsel because his trial counsel failed to investigate his mental history and that he did not knowingly and voluntarily enter his guilty pleas. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/wadel_121710.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Disciplinary Actions
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Hudson ruling: Deal-breaker or minor setback?
A Knoxville News Sentinel columnist writes that Attorney General Bob Cooper should fight the federal health care law or resign his post, in light of U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson's ruling in Commonwealth of Virginia v. Sebelius. The Memphis Commercial Appeal, in contrast, calls the ruling a "minor setback," on its editorial page, adding that efforts by high-ranking politicians to pressure U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to bypass the appeals process and go directly to the Supreme Court is not well thought out. The CA writes, "given the political sensitivity of the health-care law and the gravity of the issues, the appeals process should be meticulously followed." The Associated Press analyzes Obama's "fallback option that also could do the job."

Law firm adds 2 law school scholarships
As part of the the firm's diversity scholarship program, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings will award two scholarships next year: $10,000 to a student in his or her second year of law school and $5,000 for a student in his or her first year of law school. Recipients will receive a minimum six-week summer clerkship position in one of the firm's seven offices.
For more information and to apply for the scholarship click here
Community service program credited with saving thousands for city and county
Cleveland City Mayor Tom Rowland writes an opinion piece today praising the Southeast Tennessee Courts Community Service Program as it celebrated 25 years of service to the 10th Judicial District. He says that the group, working with local judges, district attorney's office, public defenders, law enforcement and local governments, have "saved the city and county thousands of dollars each year by utilizing the manpower of individuals who are convicted felons and required to do community service." He says that in November, the program provided labor to Cleveland and Bradley County that was equivalent to more than 935 hours of service. "At an estimate of $7.25 per hour, this equates to a savings of $6,779."
Read it in The Cleveland Dailey Banner
KBA officers installed
At the Knoxville Bar Association's annual meeting on Dec. 10, Michael J. King assumed the presidency. In addition, the following members were elected: J. William Coley, president-elect; Heidi A. Barcus, treasurer; and Wade V. Davies, secretary. Those elected to the Board of Governors are Amanda M. Busby, Loretta S. Harber, Wayne R. Kramer and Debbie Poplin.

Christian legal defense group challenges ACLU letter
The Atlanta-based Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) has offered Tennessee schools free legal defense support in response to a recent notice sent to schools by the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee. That letter told schools that holiday celebrations focusing primarily on one religious holiday amount to a school's unconstitutional endorsement of religion. In its letter to 137 schools, the ADF counters that it is wrong to conclude that celebrating Christmas and not other winter holidays is a violation of the Constitution.

Oklahoma execution included use of animal sedative
Oklahoma officials executed a convicted murderer Thursday using a drug combination that includes a sedative commonly used to euthanize animals. John David Duty is believed to be the first person in the United States whose execution included the use of pentobarbital. Oklahoma was forced to use pentobarbital because of a nationwide shortage of sodium thiopental.
The Commerial Appeal has the story
Bus bookings speed things up, but missing crucial step
The Davidson County Sheriff's Office has a new mobile booking unit -- in a bus bought and outfitted with a $300,000 grant from the state to help police officers get back on the street more quickly after an arrest. The unit is equipped with everything required to book suspects, from cameras for taking mug shots to fingerprint equipment and multiple computers. "The average arrest in Nashville takes an officer out of his or her zone an average of four hours," Sheriff Daron Hall said. Right now, an officer has to drive downtown, then wait to appear before a commissioner. On the bus, the suspect would appear before a commissioner via teleconference. But there's a missing step that's causing some concern: the officer never appears before the commissioner.
Learn more about it from WSMV.
Disciplinary Actions
2 Shelby County lawyers suspended
Recently the Tennessee Supreme Court temporarily suspended the law licenses of Shelby County lawyers Michael B. Barber and Christopher Lee Brown, pursuant to Section 4.3 of Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9. The Board of Professional Responsibility petitioned the court to temporarily suspend their law licenses because of their failure to respond to the board concerning a complaint of misconduct.

Download the BPR release for Michael B. Barber
Download the BPR release for Christopher Lee Brown
TBA Member Services
Let JobLink help you with your next career move
A career service for Tennessee attorneys and law students, TBA JobLink is a job seeking and recruitment tool available at no charge. Whether you have a position to fill or are seeking employment, this site will guide you through a simple process to post your information.
Visit the site

 
 
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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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