San Francisco preps for ABA's 130th annual meeting

The American Bar Association will gather later this week in San Francisco with more than 9,000 attorneys, judges and other legal types coming together for its 130th annual meeting. Of the many items to be taken up, the aging attorney population is the focus of a proposed resolution that the House of Delegates is expected to vote on during its session on Aug. 13 to 14. Proposal 10A calls for law firms to discontinue their mandatory retirement policies and, instead, to evaluate senior partners individually in a manner "consistent with the firm's performance criteria." Read more about it on Law.com:

http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1186412328883

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.

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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.

JERRY ALLEN McFARLAND v. PAT NICHOLS (JOYNER) McFARLAND

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Phillip E. Smith, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Pat Nichols (Joyner) McFarland.

Shawn J. McBrien, Lebanon, Tennessee, for the appellee, Jerry Allen McFarland.

Judge: KOCH

This appeal involves the division of a marital estate following the dissolution of a fifteen-year marriage. Both parties sought a divorce in the Chancery Court for Wilson County. Following a bench trial, the trial court granted the wife a divorce and then classified and divided the parties' marital estate. On this appeal, the wife takes issue with the trial court's conclusion that she did not contribute substantially to the preservation or appreciation of the husband's separate property. The husband takes issue with the trial court's calculation of the parties' interests in the wife's anticipated National Guard pension. We conclude that the trial court correctly determined that the wife did not substantially contribute to the preservation or appreciation of the husband's separate property. Additionally, we find that the trial court did not err by deciding to divide the wife's anticipated National Guard retirement benefits using the deferred distribution method. However, we find that the trial court erred in its application of the deferred distribution method by failing to allow the husband to share in any future increases in the retirement benefit and by failing to take into account that the wife's continued service in the National Guard after the divorce will reduce the husband's share of the retirement benefit when she begins drawing it.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/mcfarlandj_080707.pdf


RANDAL LOUIS MURDAUGH v. SVETLANA NICOLAEVNA SHKETIK (MURDAUGH)

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Svetlana Shketik, Cincinnati, OH, pro se

David A. Riddick, Jackson, TN, for Appellee

Judge: HIGHERS

In this divorce case, the husband filed for divorce approximately five months after entering into marriage with the wife, an immigrant who had come to the United States from Latvia on a religious work visa. The husband resided in Madison County, Tennessee, and the wife and her son spent a majority of the duration of the marriage living in Cincinnati, Ohio, where the wife worked for a church and her son attended school. The chancellor awarded the wife temporary support and held a bench trial. The chancellor granted the parties a divorce based upon stipulated grounds and awarded the wife 25% of the value of the parties' marital property, as well as attorney's fees. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/murdaughr_080707.pdf


MELVIN PERRY v. BRUCE WESTBROOKS ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Melvin Perry, Pro Se

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Arthur Crownover II, Senior Counsel, for Appellees, Bruce Westbrooks and Vickie Kirby

Judge: CRAWFORD

Appellant challenges trial court's order dismissing Appellant's Petition for Writ of Certiorari. The record reveals that the court reached its decision in a lawful manner. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/perrym_080707.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MICHAEL DAVIS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Coleman W. Garrett, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Michael Davis.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Patience Branham, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: HAYES

The Appellant, Michael Davis, was convicted by a Shelby County jury of especially aggravated robbery and sentenced to twenty-five years in the Department of Correction. On appeal, Davis raises two issues for our review: (1) whether the trial court erred in instructing the jury with regard to criminal responsibility for the conduct of another; and (2) whether the evidence is sufficient to support the conviction. Following review of the record, we find no error and affirm the judgment of conviction.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/davism_080707.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CLIFTON E. LEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Robert Wilson Jones, District Public Defender, and Garland Ingram Erguden (on appeal) and Robert Hayes Gowen (at trial), Assistant Public Defenders, for the appellant, Clifton E. Lee.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Amy P. Weirich, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The defendant, Clifton E. Lee, appeals the trial court's order sentencing him to ten years as a Range II, multiple offender after revoking his community corrections sentence for his conviction for the sale of less than one-half gram of cocaine, a Class C felony. The defendant was originally sentenced to five years as a Range I, standard offender. The defendant contends that the trial court erred in sentencing him within a higher range than he was originally sentenced. We agree, and we reverse the judgment of the trial court. We remand this case for sentencing the defendant as a Range I offender.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/leec_080707.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. GLENN BERNARD MANN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Marty B. McAfee, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Glenn Bernard Mann.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth T. Ryan, Assistant Attorney General; C. Phillip Bivens, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The petitioner, Glenn Bernard Mann, appeals the trial court's denial of his petition for writ of error coram nobis. Following our review of the record, parties' briefs and applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/manng_080707.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RAYMOND MAYS, JR.

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Gregory D. Gookin, Assistant Public Defender, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Raymond Mays, Jr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Preston Shipp, Assistant Attorney General; Jerry Woodall, District Attorney General; and Shaun A. Brown, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The defendant, Raymond Mays, Jr., appeals from the judgment of the Madison County Circuit Court, revoking his probation and imposing service of the remainder of his sentence in confinement. In this appeal, the defendant argues that the court erred in revoking his probation. Following our review of the record, parties' briefs, and the applicable law, we determine no error exists in the court's revocation of probation, and thus affirm the court's judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/maysr_080707.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MITCHELL RIDLEY

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

George Morton Googe, District Public Defender; and Paul E. Meyers, Assistant Public Defender, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Mitchell Ridley.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; James G. Woodall, District Attorney General; and James W. Thompson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Defendant, Mitchell Ridley, appeals the trial court's revocation of his community corrections sentence and the imposing of a sentence of confinement. Following our review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/ridleym_080707.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ROBERT CHARLES SKINNER

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

James E. Lanier, District Public Defender, and Patrick McGill, Assistant Public Defender, Dyersburg, Tennessee, for the appellant, Robert Charles Skinner.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; C. Phillip Bivens, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The defendant, Robert Charles Skinner, appeals from the judgment of the Dyer County Circuit Court, revoking his probation and imposing service of the remainder of his misdemeanor sentence in confinement. In this appeal, the defendant argues that the court erred in revoking his probation. Following our review of the record, parties' briefs, and the applicable law, we determine no error exists in the court's revocation of probation, and thus affirm the court's judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/skinnerr_080707.pdf


JONATHAN WEBSTER v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Joshua B. Spickler, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jonathan Webster.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Tracye Jones, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The petitioner, Jonathan Webster,1 filed a petition for post-conviction relief, arguing that his trial counsel was ineffective. The post-conviction court denied the petition, and the petitioner now appeals. Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the postconviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/websterj_080707.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Upcoming
Politics
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Chancellor to rule if open meetings suit will go forward
Lawyers for the Knoxville News Sentinel and Knox County presented two very different versions of the controversial Jan. 31 meeting of the county commissioners when the two sides addressed Chancellor Daryl R. Fansler on Monday. The newspaper contends the county violated the Open Meetings Act, and the county is trying to have the lawsuit against the panel tossed out before it reaches a full hearing. Fansler is expected to rule by week's end.
Read the story in the Knoxville News Sentinel
Juvenile judge admits system failed boy
Juvenile Court Judge Betty Adams Green made no excuses for the court system in the case of Ronkeivius Williams, today saying they made the "wrong decisions," which allowed him to slip through the cracks nearly his whole life. The 15-year-old boy is now accused of murder, adding to his already long history with the court system.
The Nashville City Paper has the story
Little Rock deseg settlement talks cancelled
A federal mediator has canceled talks scheduled for this week over a proposed settlement in the Little Rock school desegregation case, the AP reports. John H. Martin, settlement director for the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, however, wrote to the parties, saying they "are free to explore other options for settlement or mediation as they see fit."
WMCT-TV carried this AP story
TLAW seeks new executive director
The Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women is looking for an executive director. Tessa Lemos Del Pino has resigned from the position. For more information or to apply, contact Barbara Zoccola at (901) 544-0561.

Threat to clerk's office traced to angry inmate
A smoking ban in prison prompted an inmate to send a threatening letter, including an unknown white powder, to the Davidson County Chancery Court Clerk and Master's office. The office was closed for more than an hour Monday morning after white powder spilled on a clerk when she opened the letter. Officials said the threat turned out to be hoax.
The News Sentinel has the story
Upcoming
Celebrate National Night Out
The National Night Out program -- designed to heighten crime, drug and violence prevention awareness -- celebrates its 24th year with events in communities around the country today.
Learn more on the group's web site
U of M to dedicate Wilder sculpture
A bronze bust of John Wilder, a state senator from Fayette County and Tennessee's former lieutenant governor, will be installed in the entrance of the John S. Wilder Tower at the University of Memphis. A public unveiling ceremony will be held Friday, Aug. 10 at 10:30 a.m. in the tower foyer, reports the Memphis Daily News.

Domestic violence conference this Friday
With the help of United Way's Sevier County chapter, SafeSpace is coordinating the 4th Judicial District Task Force Domestic Violence Conference at the Smoky Mountain Children's Home on Aug. 10. "We saw a need to get uniformity between the courts and law enforcement agencies," SafeSpace Executive Director Van Wolfe said. "Domestic violence laws are the same, but [in] the implementation of those laws we were seeing huge differences..."
Read more about the conference in The Mountain Press
Politics
Cohen adds name to bill to impeach Cheney
Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., has signed on as a co-sponsor of bills to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney and to censure both Cheney and President Bush. Cohen told the Commercial Appeal yesterday that he and his staff are also working with former Reagan Justice Department lawyer Bruce Fein to draw up articles of impeachment against Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. The conservative Fein has advocated impeaching Cheney for, he said, initiating kidnappings and secret detentions and advocating the ongoing domestic warrantless wiretapping program.
Read more
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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