TLAP gets new lease on life

A clause in the 1999 order establishing the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program (TLAP) called for its demise at the end of this year, but an amendment to Rule 33.13 issued today extends TLAP's life "until otherwise ordered by the Tennessee Supreme Court." In the amendment the court noted that "TLAP has been of great assistance to members of the legal community." Read the amendment:

http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/news/2006/TLAPruleamend_120706.pdf

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink

MAURICE HUGHLEY V. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TSC

Attorneys:

Robert B. Littleton, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Maurice Hughley

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Arthur Crownover II, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, State of Tennessee

Judge: CLARK

We granted this appeal to determine the statute of limitations applicable to suits for declaratory judgments filed pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 4-5-225, a provision of the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, after an agency declines to issue a declaratory order. We hold that, where an agency is petitioned to issue a declaratory order pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 4-5-223 and the agency declines to convene a contested case hearing and issue the declaratory order, the petitioner is not subject to the sixty-day statute of limitations established by Tennessee Code Annotated section 4-5-322(b)(1). Instead, because the legislature has not expressly provided for a statute of limitations, the petitionerís complaint for declaratory judgment under Tennessee Code Annotated section 4-5-225 is governed by Tennesseeís general ten-year statute of limitations, codified at Tennessee Code Annotated section 28-3-110(3). The petitioner in this case therefore filed his suit for a declaratory judgment in a timely fashion, and the trial court erred in dismissing his complaint. The Court of Appeals also erred in affirming the trial courtís judgment. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals and remand this matter to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2006/hughleym_120706.pdf


DAVID P. GUENTHER v. TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter, Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General, Jay C. Ballard, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee, Commissioner of Revenue

Chance H. Deason, Hendersonville, Tennessee, for the appellee, David P. Guenther

Judge: COTTRELL

The trial courtís finding that an independent accountant was not personally liable for sales taxes under Tenn. Code Ann. ß 67-1-1443 is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/guentherd_120706.pdf


ANTONIO BONDS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Antonio Bonds, Pro Se, Tiptonville, Tennessee

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Blind Akrawi, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Paul Goodman, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee

Judge: HAYES

The Appellant, Antonio Bonds, who is currently serving a sentence of life imprisonment for first degree murder, appeals the Shelby County Criminal Courtís dismissal of his petition for writ of error coram nobis. The trial court summarily dismissed Bondsí petition upon grounds that it was barred by the statute of limitations. On appeal, Bonds asserts that the trial court erred in dismissing the petition as barred by the statute of limitations without first making a determination of whether due process should toll the statute. Following review of the record, we affirm the dismissal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/bondsa_120706.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TROY BROOKS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

G. Frank Lannom and Melanie R. Bean, Lebanon, Tennessee, for the appellant, Troy Brooks

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Mark A. Fulks, Assistant Attorney General; Tom P. Thompson, District Attorney General; and Robert Hibbett, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee

Judge: WELLES

The Defendant, Troy Brooks, who was formerly a licensed attorney in the State of Tennessee, was indicted by a grand jury in Wilson County for five counts of theft over $10,000, four counts of theft over $1000, six counts of fraudulent use of a credit card in the amount of $1000 to $10,000, and one count of fraudulent use of a credit card in the amount of over $500. The offenses arose from the Defendantís misuse of nine clientsí trust monies and credit card accounts during the course of several months. The Defendant requested pretrial diversion, and the district attorney general denied the Defendantís request. The Defendant filed a petition for writ of certiorari to the Wilson County Criminal Court, alleging that the district attorney general abused his discretion by denying pretrial diversion. The trial court denied the Defendantís petition. The Defendant filed a motion for interlocutory appeal of the trial courtís decision, and this Court granted the Defendantís motion. This Court now affirms the judgment of the trial court and concludes that the district attorney general did not abuse his discretion by denying pretrial diversion.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/brookst_120706.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DAVID BOYD CONNER, JR.

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

James Robin McKinney, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, David Boyd Conner, Jr.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Preston Shipp, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Brian Holmgren, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant appeals his convictions of seven counts of aggravated sexual battery, alleging error in the following respects: 1) the evidence was insufficient to support the convictions; 2) the trial court erred in the defendantís motion for severance; and 3) the trial court erred in admitting into evidence the videotaped statement of the defendantís interview. Our review revealed no reversible error, and the convictions are hereby affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/connerdb_120706.pdf

JOSEPH M. TIPTON, P.J., concurring.
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/connerdbCON_120706.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RONALD CROOK

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Robert Jones, Shelby County Public Defender; Phyllis Aluko (on appeal) and Michael Johnson (at trial), Assistant Public Defenders, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Ronald Crook

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Blind Akrawi, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Scot Bearup, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee

Judge: HAYES

The Appellant, Ronald Crook, was convicted by a Shelby County jury of driving under the influence (DUI), first offense, and reckless driving. As a result of these convictions, Crook received concurrent sentences of eleven months, twenty-nine days with service of four days for each conviction. On appeal, Crook argues that the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions and that his sentences are excessive. After review, the judgments of conviction and resulting sentences are affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/crookr_120706.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. HAROLD HACK

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Gregory Gookin, Assistant Public Defender, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Harold Hack

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; Jerry Woodall, District Attorney General; and Anna Banks, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee

Judge: WELLES

A Madison County jury convicted the Defendant, Harold Hack, of three counts of vehicular homicide, one count of aggravated assault, one count of felony reckless endangerment, and one count of violating the open container law. For these convictions, the Defendant received an effective sentence of twenty-four years as a Range I, standard offender to be served in the Department of Correction. In this direct appeal, the Defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence and contends that his sentence is excessive. After a review of the record, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/hackh_120706.pdf


JAMES ANTHONY MCCURRY v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

J. Colin Morris (at post-conviction hearing), Jackson, Tennessee; and Mike Mosier (on appeal), Jackson, Tennessee, for the Appellant, James Anthony McCurry

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; James G. (Jerry) Woodall, District Attorney General; and Al Earls, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee

Judge: HAYES

The Appellant, James Anthony McCurry, appeals the Madison County Circuit Courtís dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief in which he asserts that his conviction for misdemeanor evading arrest is voidable because of an abridgement of his Sixth Amendment right to the effective assistance of counsel. After review of the record, we affirm the post-conviction courtís judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/mccurryj_120706.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ADAM SANDERS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Philip Condra, District Public Defender (at trial), and M. Keith Davis, Dunlap, Tennessee (at trial and on appeal), for the appellant, Adam Sanders

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; C. Daniel Lins, Assistant Attorney General; James Michael Taylor, District Attorney General; and Sherry D. Gouger and Julia O. Sanders, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Adam Sanders, was convicted by a Marion County Circuit Court jury of two counts of rape of a child, a Class A felony, one count of aggravated sexual battery, a Class B felony, and two counts of incest, a Class C felony. The trial court sentenced him to twenty years for each of the rape convictions, three years for each of the incest convictions, and eight years for the aggravated sexual battery conviction and ordered that the rape sentences be served consecutively to each other, for an effective sentence of forty years at 100% in the Department of Correction. Following the denial of his motion for a new trial, the defendant filed a timely appeal to this court in which he raises essentially four issues: (1) whether the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress his statement to police; (2) whether the evidence was sufficient to sustain his convictions for rape of a child and incest; (3) whether the trial court erred in denying his motion for a new trial based on new evidence in support of his motion to suppress; and (4) whether the trial court erred in sentencing him to twenty years for each rape conviction and in ordering that the rape sentences be served consecutively. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/sandersa_120706.pdf


MARK TOMLIN v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jason R. Creasy, Dyersburg, Tennessee, for the appellant, Mark Tomlin

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; C. Phillip Bivens, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee

Judge: WEDEMEYER

The Petitioner, Mark Tomlin, pled guilty to one count of possession of under 0.5 grams of cocaine with intent to sell. The Petitioner petitioned for post-conviction relief claiming that he had received the ineffective assistance of counsel. The post-conviction court dismissed the post-conviction petition, and we affirm that judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/tomlinm_120706.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
BPR Actions
TennBarU CLE Programs
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Friedman's killer incompetent to stand trial
Harold Don Noel was convicted two years ago in state court of voluntary manslaughter for the shooting death of Memphis attorney Robert M. Friedman, who was gunned down in 2002, in a parking garage. But a mental evaluation of Noel filed this week in federal court has concluded that he is not competent to stand trial on charges of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Read about it in the Commercial Appeal
Bankruptcy filings dropping fast
Bankruptcy filings have dropped dramatically in the year since a law went into effect aimed at curbing abuse of the system, the Associated Press reports. But it's too soon to gauge the act's effectiveness, the legislation's most ardent supporters said Wednesday at a hearing held to study the law's impact.
The Commercial Appeal carried the story
Grant could lead to mental health court
Mental health advocates in Rutherford County want to apply for a $50,000 grant that would pay for planning a mental health court. The idea already passed the County Commission's Public Safety Committee and will be considered by the Budget Committee tonight.
Read more in the Daily News Journal
No change for House, even after U.S. Supreme Court declares likely innocence
Although the Supreme Court last summer permitted Paul House to pursue exoneration using post-conviction DNA evidence -- which points the finger at the victim's husband instead of House -- his future remains uncertain as the lower courts take their time deciding how to proceed. Read this interview with House's mother and follow the events since the court's decision.
The Nashville Scene
Settlement: Victim's mother to train police on use of force
A woman whose son suffocated during an arrest when at least four Chattanooga police officers held him face down on the ground will teach city police recruits about his death in a settlement of an excessive force lawsuit, the Associated Press reports.
The Tennessean carried the story
Moncier accused of ethical violation
Knoxville defense attorney Herbert S. Moncier is again accused of wrongdoing -- this time court records allege he may have violated a professional rule of conduct in sending to the witness stand a confessed cocaine supplier without notifying her attorney. "We do not believe Herb has done anything wrong. He was purely defending his client," said Ralph Harwell, who is representing Moncier in his other two legal entanglements.
The News Sentinel has the story
New Memphis Bar president to promote 'professionalism, civility and courtesy'
David Cook was sworn in as the new Memphis Bar Association president today. In an interview with the Memphis Daily News he shares his thoughts on the law, the importance of pro bono work and his plans for the upcoming year.
Read more
BPR Actions
Nashville attorney's probation modified
The Supreme Court modified the terms of probation for Nashville attorney George H. Thompson III on Nov. 21 to extend the probationary period and required monthly restitution payments for an additional two years. The court also ordered Thompson to report annually to the Board of Professional Responsibility on all payments made to victims. The court's previous probationary order had covered a five-year period. Under the modified order, Thompson's probation will expire on Oct. 9, 2010.
Read the BPR release
TennBarU CLE Programs
Deadline near for CLE Ski program
Planning to attend TennBarU's 22nd Annual CLE Ski program at Snowmass Village, Colo.? Act soon. While the program isn't until Feb. 3-10, the cutoff for getting the best rate on lodging is Dec. 11.
Learn more or register now
TBA Member Services
Have you activated your FedEx shipping discounts?
TBA members are entitled to discounts on FedEx shipping. Did you know that TBA members are saving an average of $83 per quarter by utilizing their FedEx Association Advantage program discounts? Here's what some members have to say about their FedEx savings:

"Our firm took advantage of the Tennessee Bar Association FedEx discounts and saved over $200 on FedEx Express shipments last quarter alone. It's the best $200 we've ever saved," says member Bill Cameron of Cameron & Young in Cookeville. Start saving on your shipments today! For more information on how to enroll, call 1-800-923-7089 or
visit the TBA Web site

 
 
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