VU law dean to be honored with Peacemakers Award

The Tennessee Association of Professional Mediators (TAPM) and Lipscomb University Institute for Conflict Management (ICM) will honor Vanderbilt University School of Law Dean Chris Guthrie with the ICM Peacemakers Award at the quarterly TAPM meeting at Lipscomb University on Sept. 24. Guthrie will address the topic, "Blinking on the Bench: Misjudging and Mediation." He is one of the few law school deans in the nation with notable expertise in the alternative dispute resolution field.

Find out more from Lipscomb University

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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IN RE: J.S.M.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Peter Trenchi, Sewanee, Tennessee, for the appellant, the mother of the child.

Darrell L. Scarlett, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellees, the petitioners.

Berry Foster, Smyrna, Tennessee, Guardian ad Litem.

Judge: CLEMENT

The mother of a thirteen-year-old child appeals the termination of her parental rights. The termination action was filed by the aunt and uncle of the minor child against both parents; the Department of Children's Services was not involved. Counsel was appointed to represent each parent and a guardian ad litem was appointed for the child. The trial court found two grounds for termination of both parents' rights and found that termination was in the best interest of the child. For these reasons, the court terminated the parental rights of both parents. Mother appealed the termination of her parental rights; Father did not appeal. On appeal, Mother contends inter alia that she did not willfully fail to visit, thus she did not abandon the child, and the trial court erred by making generalized findings regarding her alleged failure to change her conditions. Finding no error, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/jsm_092209.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MAURICE CURRIE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Charles S. Kelly, Sr., Dyersburg, Tennessee, for the appellant, Maurice Currie.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Matthew Bryant Haskell, Assistant Attorney General; C. Phillip Bivens, District Attorney General; and Karen Waddell Burns, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Following a jury trial, Defendant, Maurice Currie, was found guilty of possession of more than 0.5 grams of cocaine with the intent to sell or deliver, a Class B felony. The trial court sentenced Defendant, as a Range I, standard offender to eight years. On appeal, Defendant argues that (1) the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction; (2) the trial court erred in denying his motion for a continuance; (3) the sentence imposed is excessive; and (4) the trial court erred in denying Defendant's motion that he be declared indigent for appellate purposes. Upon our close review of the evidence, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/curriem_092209.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. LINDA GREENE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Ben H. Houston, II, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Linda Greene.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Deshea Dulaney, Assistant Attorney General; C. Berkeley Bell, Jr., District Attorney General; and Kevin D. Keeton, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The Defendant, Linda Greene, pled guilty to initiation of a process to result in the manufacture of methamphetamine, a Class B felony; possession with intent to sell or deliver a Schedule II controlled substance, a Class B felony; promoting manufacture of methamphetamine, a Class D felony; possession of a Schedule VI controlled substance, a Class E felony; possession of a Schedule III controlled substance, a Class A misdemeanor; and possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor. The Defendant's plea agreement reserved a certified question of law regarding the legality of the warrantless search of her home and its curtilage. Upon consideration of the certified question, we hold that the trial court erred in denying the motion to suppress. The judgments are reversed and the case is remanded for dismissal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/greenel_092209.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TIMOTHY GARVIN ODOM

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Mike Mosier, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Timothy Garvin Odom.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Mary W. Francois, Assistant Attorney General; D. Michael Dunavant, District Attorney General; Joe Van Dyke, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Following a jury trial, Defendant, Timothy Garvin Odom, was found guilty of rape of a child, a Class A felony. The trial court sentenced Defendant as a Range One, standard offender, to eighteen years. On appeal, Defendant argues that (1) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction; (2) the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress his statement; and (3) the trial court erred in its sentencing determinations. After a thorough review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/odomt_092209.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JESSIE RUSSELL PIETY

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Donald A. Bosch and Ann C. Short-Bowers (on appeal) and Steve Sams (at trial), Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jessie Russell Piety.

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

Judge: OGLE

A Knox County Criminal Court jury convicted the appellant, Jessie Russell Piety, of aggravated rape and aggravated assault, and the appellant received an effective fifteen-year sentence. On appeal, the appellant contends that (1) the trial court improperly denied his motion for a new trial because the State suppressed photographs of the victim that were favorable to the defense; (2) the trial court erred by failing to declare a mistrial when the victim testified that the appellant had been jailed previously for aggressive behavior; (3) the victim improperly testified about the appellant's drug use; (4) the trial court should have given the jury more information as to why one count of aggravated assault was dismissed after the State's case-in-chief; (5) the victim improperly gave hearsay testimony; and (6) he is entitled to a new trial because his brother was required to testify wearing jail attire and handcuffs. Upon review, we conclude that the State's suppression of favorable photographs is reversible error. Therefore, the appellant's conviction for aggravated rape is reversed, and the case is remanded to the trial court for a new trial as to that offense. The appellant's conviction for aggravated assault is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/pietyj_092209.pdf


VICTOR L. POWELL v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Joseph Tilton Howell, Jackson, Tennessee, for the petitioner-appellant, Victor L. Powell.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr. Attorney General and Reporter Renee Turner, Assistant Attorney General; James "Jerry" Woodall District Attorney General; and Anna Banks, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCMULLEN

After a trial by jury, Victor L. Powell, the petitioner, was convicted of vehicular homicide by intoxication and three counts of vehicular assault. He now appeals the denial of post-conviction relief. Upon our review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/powellv_092209.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WILEY RATHBONE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Edward C. Miller, District Public Defender; and Keith E. Haas, Assistant District Public Defender, attorneys for appellant, Wiley Rathbone.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Deshea Dulany, Assistant Attorney General; James B. Dunn, District Attorney General; and Amanda Inman Lowe, Assistant District Attorney General, attorneys for appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: THOMAS

The Defendant, Wiley Rathbone, was convicted by a jury in Cocke County Circuit Court of three counts of aggravated assault, Class C felonies, and one count of domestic assault, a Class A misdemeanor. The trial court imposed sentences of five years for each aggravated assault offense and eleven months and twenty-nine days for the domestic assault offense, ordering all sentences to be served concurrently except for one aggravated assault sentence which is to be served consecutively and on probation, for a total effective sentence of five years incarceration followed by five years probation. In this appeal as of right, he contends (1) that the State's comments before the jury denied him a fair trial, (2) that the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions, and (3) that the trial court imposed an excessive sentence both in length and manner of service. Following our review, we affirm the convictions but remand the case for reconsideration of the lengths of the sentences and imposition of consecutive sentences.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/rathbonew_092209.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JONATHAN FREDRICK WALKER

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General; Thomas A. Thomas, District Attorney General; and James Cannon, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant State of Tennessee.

Joseph P. Atnip, District Attorney General; and William K. Randolph, Assistant District Attorney General, Dresden, Tennessee, for the appellee, Jonathan Fredrick Walker.

Judge: WOODALL

The State appeals the trial court's grant of a motion to suppress the evidence seized as a result of a search of the vehicle of Defendant, Jonathan Frederick Walker. The seized items led to Defendant's indictment for possession of more than 0.5 grams of cocaine with the intent to sell or deliver. Because the State was unable to prosecute the case without the suppressed evidence, the trial court entered an order dismissing the charges against the Defendant. After a review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/walkerj_092209.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

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Legal News
Politics
Legislative News
TBA Member Services

Upcoming
Equal Justice Conference starts tomorrow
The Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS) has tapped Attorney General Robert E. Cooper Jr. and Margaret L. Behm, chair of the Tennessee Supreme Court's Access to Justice Commission, to speak at this year's Equal Justice Conference. A full year's worth of continuing legal education is offered during the three-day conference, Sept. 23-25. Join TALS and co-sponsor TBA at Paris Landing State Park for this year's conference.
Check out the TALS site for more information
Legal News
TACDL officers announced
The Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (TACDL) has announced its officers for the year: President, University of Tennessee College of Law Professor Jerry Black; President-elect Laura C. Dykes, Davidson Co. Public Defenders Office, Nashville; Treasurer Stephen Ross Johnson, Ritchie, Dillard & Davies, Knoxville; Secretary J. Robin McKinney Jr., Jackson, Kweller, McKinney, Warden & Hayes, Nashville; and Past President Lorna S. McClusky, Massey & McClusky, Memphis.

Email subpoena is a scam
If you get grand jury subpoena from a U.S. District Court via email, be suspicious. The e-mails are not a valid communication from a federal court and may contain harmful links. You should not open the links or download any information relating to this e-mail notice, according to
this U.S. Courts alert
Judge's goal to keep liars off the jury
Knox County Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner is on the lookout for liars during jury selection in the trial of torture slaying alleged ringleader Lemaricus Davidson. It's all in "the body language," he explained. With Davidson demanding a jury pool from Knox County, where public opinion against him runs high, Baumgartner acknowledged the odds are just as high people may try to talk their way onto this jury as they would to try to get out of the duty.
The News Sentinel has the story
Politics
Brousal enters race for Davidson Juvenile Court clerk
Jeff Brousal, a cancer research scientist who has been in the Davidson County court system as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer, has joined the race for Juvenile Court clerk. He faces a crowd of better-known, better-funded candidates, including the current clerk, Vic Lineweaver; school board member Karen Johnson; Councilwoman Vivian Wilhoite; and court officer David Smith.
The Tennessean reports
Blackburn chief of staff leaves for Dollar General
Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn's chief of staff, Steve Brophy, has joined Dollar General Corp. as the retailer's new vice president of government affairs. Claude Chafin, spokesperson for Blackburn, said Blackburn has yet to name a new chief of staff and that Brophy's responsibilities are temporarily being handled by other senior staff members.
NashvillePost.com reports
Legislative News
Another gun bill debated
Today at the capitol lawmakers discussed and heard testimony on a bill allowing people with handgun-carry permits to keep their guns in their vehicles on the parking lots of their workplaces -- regardless of their employer's policy on the issue. It's a fight that pits private property rights against the right to bear arms, putting lawmakers into a real dilemma over which of two institutions sacred to the General Assembly to support.
The Commercial Appeal has the story
TBA Member Services
Think FedEx first
If you've been shipping with other carriers, it's time to switch to FedEx. Not only will you get peace of mind from reliable FedEx shipping, but you can also take advantage of great savings on FedEx shipping as well as FedEx Office services by enrolling in the FedEx member benefits program.
Take advantage of your member discounts on select FedEx shipping services and FedEx Office business services

 
 
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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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