$800k given in IOLTA grants

The Tennessee Bar Foundation announced $800,000 in IOLTA (Interest On Lawyers' Trust Accounts) grants earlier this month to a range of groups across the state. Recipients included local CASA programs, legal aid offices and social service agencies.

Download a list of grant recipients

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.

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

You can obtain full-text versions of the opinions two ways. We recommend that you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. 1) Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This should give you the option to download the original document. If not, you may need to right-click on the URL to get the option to save the file to your computer. 2) Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion.

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOSHUA DAVID McBURNETT

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Clifford K. McGown, Jr. (on appeal), Waverly, Tennessee; Donna Hargrove, District Public Defender, and William J. Harold, Assistant Public Defender, (at trial and on appeal), Lewisburg, Tennessee, for the appellant, Joshua David McBurnett.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Meredith DeVault, Senior Counsel; Charles Frank Crawford, Jr., District Attorney General; and Weakley E. Barnard, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The Defendant, Joshua David McBurnett, pled guilty to five counts of statutory rape by an authority figure and three counts of incest, Class C felonies. See T.C.A. sections 39-13-532, 39- 15-302 (2010). The trial court sentenced the Defendant to four concurrent terms of four years' confinement for two counts of statutory rape and two counts of incest, two concurrent terms of five years' confinement for one count of statutory rape and one count of incest, and two concurrent terms of six years' confinement for the remaining two counts of statutory rape. The trial court imposed partial consecutive sentencing yielding an effective fifteen year sentence. On appeal, the Defendant contends that his fifteen-year sentence is excessive.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2012/mcburnettj_012712.pdf


ARTIS REESE V. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

David Christensen, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the appellant, Artis Reese.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Senior Counsel; Amy Weirich, District Attorney General; Anita Spinetta, Assistant District Attorney General; for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: BIVINS

Artis Reese ("the Petitioner") filed for post-conviction relief from his convictions of two counts of aggravated robbery and one count of aggravated criminal trespass, alleging that he received ineffective assistance of counsel at his jury trial and that one of his convictions offends due process. After a hearing, the post-conviction court denied relief, and this appeal followed. Upon our review of the record, we affirm the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2012/reesea_012712.pdf


ERIC THOMAS v. CHARLES TRAUBER, CHAIRMAN OF BOARD OF PROBATION AND PAROLE, AND STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Eric Thomas, Tiptonville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Senior Counsel; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Alanda Horne Dwyer, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The Petitioner, Eric Thomas, appeals the Shelby County Criminal Court's dismissal of his petition for habeas corpus relief from his four 1999 convictions for robbery. He claims that he is illegally incarcerated because his sentences expired before his resentencing. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2012/thomase_012712.pdf


IN RE WESLEY MARKLAND BAKER, BPR 004660

Court: TSC-Disciplinary_Order

Judge: KOCH

Suspension

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2012/bakerw_012712.pdf

IN RE JOHN DOUGLAS GODBEE, BPR 006234

Court: TSC-Disciplinary_Order

Judge: KOCH

Suspension

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2012/godbeej_012712.pdf

IN RE SUSAN E. WOODS, BPR 018298

Court: TSC-Disciplinary_Order

Judge: KOCH

Reinstatement

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2012/woodss_012712.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Judicial Selection, Retention
General Assembly News
Upcoming
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Taylor continues to hear cases after discipline
After being reprimanded by the Court of the Judiciary on Tuesday, Hawkins County Sessions Judge James Taylor declined to recuse himself from hearing cases Wednesday morning. The Rogersville attorney general's office and the public defender's office based in Morristown each asked him to step down. Taylor said he had spoken with the chairman of the state judicial ethics committee and was advised to deny the motion. Today, the court filed an amended complaint against Taylor.
The Times-News has more
Copyright history made early in 2012
This month, the world of copyright law saw major changes, including empowering Congress to remove works from the public domain; the defeat of two bills supported by the entertainment industry designed to fight online piracy; and the arrest of the man behind Megaupload.com, which allegedly generated more than $175 million by illegally copying and distributing music, movies and other copyrighted material without authorization. What does it all mean? Nashville lawyer and blogger Stephen Zralek boils it down to three important implications.
Learn more
Shelby juvenile court cited as model for nation
Shelby County Juvenile Court is the only juvenile court in the Southeast, and one of only a handful nationwide, to win three top designations, including recent final approval for accreditation by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.
The Commercial Appeal has the story
Former Crockett judge gets 6 months in jail for meth charge
A Crockett County attorney and former judge, Shannon Jones, appeared in U.S. District Court in Jackson on Thursday for sentencing following his guilty plea last year on a methamphetamine charge. Federal court Judge J. Daniel Breen sentenced him to six months in prison and three years of supervised release. Jones testified at the sentencing hearing, saying once he started treatment for his drug addiction, it was a "relief" to have been discovered. Ted Rice of the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program also testified, saying that Jones has been in "strict compliance" with the agreement they began after his arrest in February 2011.
Read more in the Jackson Sun
Participate in a lawyer satisfaction study
A professor and students at the University of Illinois College of Law are studying lawyer satisfaction in life and work, and they need your help. The researchers hope to learn how law school alumni feel about their careers and what factors might be related to overall satisfaction. This study is open to all ABA accredited law school graduates.
Learn more and take the short survey
Judicial Selection, Retention
Editorial: Amending Constitution extreme, but appropriate
In an editorial, the Times Free Press explains how Tennessee's current judicial selection process works, and how the recent proposal by Gov. Bill Haslam, Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey and House Speaker Beth Harwell would clarify and "cement it in stone." In supporting the proposal, the paper says the selection process works well, and the direct election of judges "would needlessly add a deep level of politics over the judiciary. Amending the constitution is an extreme step, but one that in this instance is appropriate."
Read the editorial
Professor questions judicial selection system
Calling judicial retention elections a "dog and pony show," Vanderbilt Law's Brian Fitzpatrick would prefer to take voters out of the equation altogether and follow a system similar to the process of appointing federal judges. But in light of Gov. Haslam's recent proposal for a constitutional amendment, Fitzpatrick says he has "some serious doubts that our current system is the best system." Tennessee Bar Association Executive Director Allan Ramsaur says the current system works pretty well, and that any amendment would likely only include the framework of the current selection process. Ramsey has said he will "launch a campaign to make this happen."
WPLN reports
General Assembly News
Campfield defends 'don't say gay bill' with AIDS 'history'
State Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, says he is not a "historian on AIDS," but he's sticking to his story, including the possibility that AIDS originated from a man having sexual intercourse with a monkey. Campfield was being interviewed on the radio show, Huffington Gay Voices, when he made the assertions. The subject was a Campfield-sponsored bill, nicknamed the "Don't Say Gay" bill, SB 49, that Campfield says is intended to block discussion of homosexuality in grades kindergarten through eighth of Tennessee schools.
The News Sentinel reports
Upcoming
Red Shoe Gala to benefit CASA
Guests will put on their formal wear -- and ruby slippers -- when Court Appointed Special Advocates for Kids (CASA) hosts its annual Red Shoe Gala on Feb. 11 in Kingsport. Juvenile judges will preside over three "Red Shoe" contests as part of the fund-raiser, which last year helped provide services to 602 children. There are currently 98 volunteers assisting the courts in Sullivan and Hawkins counties. But CASA's Executive Director Connie Steere said that they need about 200 to adequately handle the needs of the abused and neglected children in their region. Find out more or obtain tickets online or call (423) 247-1161.
The Times-News has more
TBA Member Services
First Tennessee is TBA's preferred provider
First Tennessee has crafted a package of discounts to meet the specific needs of Tennessee Bar Association members.
Find savings on merchant credit services, checking and savings, financial planning and more

 
 
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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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