Disciplinary process changes examined

New disciplinary process rules adopted yesterday by the Tennessee Supreme Court (effective July 1) make several changes in the way lawyer discipline is administered in Tennessee. The changes include:
  • Maintaining trial court review of Board of Professional Responsibility hearing panel decisions, while providing more specific guidance on standards of review and procedure;

  • Shifting responsibility for appointing the Chief Disciplinary Counsel from the Board of Professional Responsibility to the Court itself;

  • Establishing new provisions permitting probation and restitution;

  • Making disciplinary proceedings subject to the Tennessee Rules of Evidence; and

  • Formalizing the manner in which referrals from the Board of Professional Responsibility to the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program are handled.
Most of the changes were backed by the TBA, the ABA, the BPR Advisory Commission (also known as the Crenshaw Commission) and by the Chief Disciplinary Counsel. For more information, download the new rules at

http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/news/2006/rule9.sc.bpr.pdf

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, 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 If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on TBALink at http://www.tba.org/getpassword.mgi.

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

TBA members can get the full-text versions of these opinions three ways detailed below. All methods require a TBA username and password. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on-line at http://www.tba.org/getpassword.mgi

Here's how you can obtain full-text version. We recommend you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. 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. 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. Browse the Opinion List area of TBALink. This option will allow you to download the original version of the opinion.

Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JAMES GARY TURNER

Court: TSC

Attorneys:

Gregory D. Smith, Clarksville, Tennessee; and Michael J. Collins, Assistant Public Defender, Shelbyville, Tennessee, for the appellant, James Gary Turner.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Michelle Chapman McIntire, Assistant Attorney General; William Michael McCowen, District Attorney General; and Michael D. Randles, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: BIRCH

We granted permission to appeal in this case pursuant to Rule 11 of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure in order to determine whether the evidence adduced in the trial court sufficiently supports the defendant's felony evading arrest conviction and whether a sentence of one year for fourth offense driving on a revoked license, a Class A misdemeanor, is valid. Because we view the evidence as sufficient to support the conviction for felony evading arrest (with risk of death or injury), and because a one-year term of confinement for the revoked license conviction is specifically authorized by statute, we affirm the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals upholding both the convictions and sentences.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2006/turnerj042606.pdf


IN RE: S.L.D.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Kelly O. Herston, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant Kelly Drew.

Byron Bryant, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellees William Louis Haworth and Barbara Regina Haworth.

Judge: LEE

In this case, the trial court terminated a mother's parental rights to her biological child upon grounds that she committed severe child abuse and that termination was in the child's best interest. The mother asserts that clear and convincing evidence was not presented that she committed severe abuse or that termination was in the best interest of the child. Mother argues that the judgment of the trial court should be vacated and the case remanded for new trial because of the unavailability of either a transcript of the proceedings below or a statement of the evidence. We vacate the order of the trial court as to termination of the parental rights of the mother and remand for new trial because the record provided this Court is insufficient to allow proper appellate review.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/sld042606.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. COY PIERCE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Charles M. Agee, Jr., Dyersburg, Tennessee, for the appellant, Coy Pierce.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; and C. Phillip Bivens, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The defendant, Coy Pierce, was convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), fourth offense, a Class E felony, and driving on a revoked license, a Class A misdemeanor. The trial court imposed sentences of two years for the DUI and eleven months and twenty-nine days for the driving on a revoked license. The trial court ordered that the sentences be served concurrently and that the defendant serve seven months in confinement with the remainder to be served on community corrections. On appeal, the defendant contends that he was denied a fair trial (1) as a result of prosecutorial misconduct and (2) as a result of the trial court's ruling that the defendant could not enter a photograph into evidence. We affirm the judgments of the trial court in part but remand the driving on a revoked license case for entry of a corrected judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/piercec042606.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legislative News
Legal News
Passages

Legislative News
Ford sues to regain seat
Ousted lawmaker Ophelia Ford is suing the state Senate to reclaim her District 29 seat. The Memphis Democrat was removed last week after the Senate, citing irregularities, voted 26-6 to void the special election that put her there with a 13-vote margin. The suit filed Tuesday in federal court seeks a declaratory judgment stating the full Senate's action is void and unenforceable. It also seeks to prevent the Shelby County Commission from appointing an interim senator. Read more in the
Commercial Appeal
Nearly a quarter of state legislators are lawyers
In Tennessee, 21 percent of state legislators are lawyers -- 28 out of 132, including the lieutenant governor. You can find out the numbers for the rest of the states in a survey recently compiled by the ABA State Legislative Clearinghouse. The number and percentage of lawyer-legislators in each state is included, ranging from a high of 30 percent in Texas to a low of 4 percent in New Hampshire and North Dakota. View the
2006 50-State Lawyer-Legislators Survey
Legal News
Referendum could decide fate of court
The filing deadline for Smyrna's General Sessions Court judgeship has passed, but may be extended if a referendum for a court clerk position passes next month. Attorney Tom Roark beat the April 6 deadline, while current Judge Chris Coats did not. Hooper Penuel, the county's election administrator, said that if Smyrna voters approve the election of a court clerk on the May 2 county primary ballot, the filing deadline would be extended to June 9. Read the full story in
the Tennessean
Senior U.S. District Judge Hull to retire
Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas Gray Hull, who has served as a federal judge in Greeneville since 1983, has announced that he will retire on April 28. Read more about Judge Hull's career in
The Greeneville Sun
Supreme Court rejects lawsuit immunity for local governments
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously Tuesday that cities, counties and other levels of government below that of states themselves are not protected by the general immunity from lawsuits that states enjoy in federal court. Read the New York Times News Service story in the
Chattanooga Times Free Press
Passages
Services Thursday for Knoxville attorney
Knoxville attorney Doug Anderson passed away Monday. He was 44. The family will receive friends 5-7 p.m. on Thursday at St. Mark United Methodist Church, with the funeral service to follow at 7 p.m. Family and friends will meet at the main entrance to Greenwood Cemetery by 10:45 a.m. Friday for an 11 a.m. graveside service.


 
 
UNSUBSCRIBE TO TBAToday? ... SURELY NOT!
But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at: http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/unsub_tbatoday.php

TBALink HomeContact UsPageFinderWhat's NewHelp
 
 
© Copyright 2006 Tennessee Bar Association