Clark sworn in as new chief justice

With more than 300 family, friends, judges, lawyers and public officials looking on, Justice Cornelia A. "Connie" Clark today became chief justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court. The ceremony was held in the Historic Williamson County Courthouse, which was being renovated, but reopened early especially for the occasion. It was the site of Clark's first appearance as a lawyer and where she presided as a trial judge for 10 years. The ceremony featured remarks from judges representing every judicial and clerk's organization in the judicial branch. In her remarks, Clark said that she was borrowing the theme from the recent juvenile and family court judges conference: Different Courts, Different People, One Purpose.

See photos from the event on TBAConnect

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
02 - TN Court of Appeals
05 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR

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.

KAREN D. CONOVER v. BRIAN SCOTT CONOVER

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Allen Curtis Johnson, Charlotte, Tennessee, for the appellant, Karen D. Conover.

Alfred Russell Willis, Mary Arline Evans, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Brian Scott Conover.

Judge: COTTRELL

With the approval of the trial court, a divorced father of four children moved with the children from Tennessee to Arkansas. Four years later, the mother, who remained in Tennessee, fell behind in her child support payments and filed a petition for modification of child support. Father responded by filing a motion for contempt against the mother in the Arkansas court, and he entered a limited appearance in Tennessee for the purpose of transferring the entire cause to Arkansas. After a hearing, the Tennessee court declared Arkansas to be the children's home state, and it transferred all custody and visitation issues to that state, while retaining jurisdiction of child support matters. The court also denied Mother's petition for modification of child support. Mother argues on appeal that the trial court erred in relinquishing its jurisdiction over custody because the children still have a "significant connection" to Tennessee. We affirm the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/conoverk_090110.pdf


JOHN H. MEEKS, TRUSTEE OF MARITAL TRUST AND CREDIT SHELTER TRUST U/W/O MICHAEL HOLLIDAY v. SUCCESSOR TRUSTEES OF MARITAL TRUST AND CREDIT SHELTER TRUST U/W/O MICHAEL HOLLIDAY

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Lawrence M. Magdovitz, Cordova, Tennessee, for the appellant, John H. Meeks, Trustee of Marital Trust and Credit Shelter Trust u/w/o Michael Holliday.

R. Mark Glover, Kristine L. Roberts, Jacob A. Dickerson, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, Successor Trustees of Marital Trust and Credit Shelter Trust u/w/o Michael Holliday.

Judge: HIGHERS

The plaintiff served as the trustee of two trusts for several years. After he was informed that his services were no longer needed, the plaintiff claimed that he was entitled to compensation in the form of trustee's fees for his service. The trial court ruled, on a motion for summary judgment, that the plaintiff had waived his right to trustee's fees and that he was equitably estopped from claiming such fees. The plaintiff appeals. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/meeksj_090110.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MARTY RAY HARRIS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Misty D. Parks, Spring Hill, Tennessee, for the appellant, Marty Ray Harris.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Hugh T. Ammerman, III, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The Defendant, Marty Ray Harris, pled guilty in the Davidson County Criminal Court to theft of property valued at $10,000 or more but less than $60,000, a Class C felony. He received a four-year sentence, to be served in split confinement of two months and the balance on probation. At issue in this appeal is the amount of restitution for damages caused by his crime. We reverse the portion of the judgment awarding restitution to Christopher Edwards, and we remand the case to the trial court for a hearing on the proper amount of restitution for the named victim, John Witherspoon.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/harrism_090110.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MARIO A. REED

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Roger Nell, District Public Defender; Sarah R. King (on appeal) and Collier W. Goodlett (at trial), Assistant District Public Defenders, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Mario A. Reed.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; John W. Carney, Jr., District Attorney General; John Finklea and Art Bieber, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

A Montgomery County jury convicted the Defendant, Mario A. Reed, of aggravated burglary, two counts of aggravated rape, and theft under $500, and the trial court sentenced him to an effective sentence of forty years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant contends: (1) the juvenile court erred when it transferred his case to the circuit court for him to be tried as an adult; (2) the trial court erred when it instructed the jury on aggravated rape; and (3) the trial court erred when it sentenced him. After a thorough review of the record and applicable authorities, we affirm the trial court's judgments.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/reedm_090110.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. GEROME J. SMITH

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Lance B. Mayes, Nashville, Tennessee; for the Appellant, Gerome J. Smith.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Clark B. Thornton, Assistant Attorney General; Lawrence Ray Whitley, District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

The Petitioner, Gerome J. Smith, was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. In May 2008, the Petitioner filed a petition for a writ of error coram nobis, in which he alleged the existence of newly discovered evidence. The trial court dismissed the petition based upon the one-year statute of limitations. On appeal, the Petitioner contends the dismissal was an unconstitutional denial of his right to due process. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the trial court's judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/smithg_090110.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. LISA CHRISTINA SIMPSON TUTTLE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Paul Julius Walwyn, Madison, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lisa Christina Simpson Tuttle.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Mark A. Fulks, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Brian Ewald, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Lisa Christina Simpson Tuttle, appeals the Davidson County Criminal Court's revocation of her suspended sentence. Because the defendant failed to file a proper notice of appeal and because the interests of justice do not require that this court excuse the failure to file the notice of appeal, we dismiss the appeal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/tuttlel_090110.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. GEORGE VINCENT WARE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Ardena J. Garth, District Public Defender, and Richard K. Mabee (on appeal) and Kandi Rankin (at hearing), Assistant Public Defenders, attorneys for appellant, George Vincent Ware.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Matthew Bryant Haskell, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, III, District Attorney General; and William H. Hall, Assistant District Attorney General, attorneys for appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: THOMAS

The Defendant, George Vincent Ware, pled guilty in the Hamilton County Criminal Court in two separate cases on September 27, 2007. In Case Number 262379, the Defendant pled guilty to introduction of contraband in a penal institution, a Class C felony, and was sentenced as a multiple offender to seven years, suspended to "intensive probation." In Case Number 262471, the Defendant pled guilty to theft of property, a Class D felony; criminal impersonation, a Class B misdemeanor; and driving on a revoked or suspended license, a Class A misdemeanor. The Defendant was sentenced as a standard offender to three years, six months, and eleven months and twenty-nine days, respectively, for the convictions in Case Number 262471. The trial court ordered the sentences in Case Number 262471 to be served concurrently with one another but consecutively to the sentence imposed in Case Number 262379. Thus, the Defendant received a total effective sentence of ten years. Following the filing of a probation violation warrant and a finding that the Defendant violated the terms of his probationary sentence, the trial court revoked his probation and ordered the Defendant to serve the balance of his sentence in custody. In this appeal as of right, the Defendant contends that the trial court abused its discretion by ordering the Defendant to serve his sentence. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/wareg_090110.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Court of the Judiciary
Election 2010
Upcoming
Your Practice
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Day & Blair law firm splits
After about three and a half years in business together, Nashville plaintiff attorneys John Day and Rebecca Blair have gone their separate ways. Blair has established the Blair Law Firm at 5214 Maryland Way, Suite 207, Brentwood, TN 37027. Day has changed the name of his firm to the Law Offices of John Day PC but will keep fellow attorney Brandon Bass in the firm as a shareholder and remain at his existing address. The Nashville Post reported the news today.

Court amends rules to reflect new assignment
As one of her first acts as chief justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court, Justice Connie Clark today signed an order designating Justice Sharon Lee as the circuit justice for Circuit No. 2, which covers the 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th and 31st judicial districts. Responsibility for that circuit previously had been assigned to Justice William M. Barker.
Download the amendment to Supreme Court Rule 11
Recent filings in Zagorsici case take opposite views
Lawyers for death row inmate Edmund Zagorsici argue their client has suffered unjust cruelties, including being tortured, cooked in a metal box, and then convicted and sentenced to death in an extraordinary case that deserves the state Supreme Court's review. Lawyers for the state believe Zagorsici has failed to demonstrate any extraordinary circumstance that would warrant disturbing the "long-since-final judgment" of his guilt and punishment. Both sides filed multiple petitions with the court last week.
Read all filings in the case
Britton appointed NALP nominating chair
Karen Britton, director of admissions, financial aid and career services at the University of Tennessee College of Law, has been appointed chair of the National Association for Law Placement's (NALP) 2010-2011 Nominating Committee. In that role she will oversee nominations for officers, interview candidates and manage the election of regional officers and nominating committee members. Britton is a former president of the group, which represents the interests of legal career professionals in the United States and Canada.
UT Law reported the news in its weekly e-newsletter
CASA elects Grosvenor, Balkwill to board
The Tennessee Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association recently elected Meagan Frazier Grosvenor as president and Kevin Balkwill as a new member of its 2010-2011 board of directors. Grosvenor is a 2007 Nashville School of Law graduate, and a lobbyist at Smith Harris & Carr in Nashville. Balkwill is a 1999 graduate of the Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and works with the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court.
Learn more about CASA
Kingsport Bar elects new officers
The Kingsport Bar Association has elected new officers for the 2010-2011 bar year. They are: President Steven Curtis (Curt) Rose with West & Rose, Vice President Matthew Wimberley with Hunter Smith & Davis, Secretary Andrew Wampler with Wilson Worley Moore & Gamble and Treasurer Casey S. Anders, a solo practioner. All are from Kingsport.

Littlefield files suit, city attorney to intervene
Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield has filed suit in Hamilton County Circuit Court to block a recall effort that has gained enough signatures to remove him. He argues the recall effort is faulty and will not stand up to court review. Now the city council has authorized the city attorney Mike McMahan to intervene in the suit. McMahan says it is unclear whether state law or the city charter prevails on a recall, and that the issue needs to be set straight by a judge. A hearing could come as early as Friday, reports Chattanoogan.com.

Court of the Judiciary
Court denies request that Bell pay for replacement
The Court of the Judiciary today denied a request from the prosecutor in the case of Judge John Bell that Bell pay the salary of special judges filling in for him while he serves a 90-day suspension. The court ruled that state law does not provide for such an action and that the court does not have the authority to do so. In other actions, the court ordered Bell to pay $3,107.45 in court costs and denied Bell's request that he be allowed to fulfill CLE requirements through attendance at the General Sessions Judges Conference.
Read all filings in the case
Election 2010
Judge takes oath of office, renews vows
When criminal defense lawyer Bill Anderson Jr. officially became Judge Bill Anderson Jr. on Tuesday, he also took the opportunity to renew his marriage vows. "This is strictly a coincidence," Anderson told the crowd in General Sessions Criminal Court Division 7, referring to the fact that his swearing in ceremony fell on the same day as his 19th wedding anniversary. Anderson defeated 19 other candidates last month to succeed Judge Ann Pugh, who retired this summer after 28 years on the bench.
The Commercial Appeal has more
Memphis lawyer rejoins county commission
The new Shelby County Commission was sworn into office today and among the commissioners was longtime lawyer Walter Bailey, who returns to the body after being forced to leave in 2006 due to term limits. New rules limit commissioners to two consecutive terms. Bailey previously held a seat in the body for 35 years.
My Eye Witness News reports
Clinton to stump for McWherter
Former President Bill Clinton is coming to Tennessee to campaign for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike McWherter. He will be in Nashville on Sept. 9. According to the Memphis Daily News, Clinton has been friends with the McWherter family since Mike's father, Ned, was governor of Tennessee.
Read more about the visit here
Upcoming
Shelby Co. Juvenile Court to celebrate centennial
The Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County will observe its 100th anniversary Sept. 30 through Oct. 2. The court -- considered to be the third oldest juvenile court in the nation behind Chicago (1899) and Denver (cir. 1905) -- will celebrate with a reception, seminars, tours, a 5K race and picnic. Chief Justice Connie Clark and Justice Janice Holder are scheduled to participate in the formal observance Sept. 30.
See the schedule
Your Practice
Survey finds associates secure, but not so happy
Midlevel associates may feel good about surviving rounds of layoffs, but that doesn't mean they're happy. The American Lawyer's Associates Survey 2010 found that attorneys in their third, fourth and fifth years of practice are not so pleased with their firms, their pay or their prospect.
Read more from Law.com
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

 
 
Discontinue your TBA Today subscription? ... Surely not!
But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at:
http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/unsub_tbatoday.php

Questions, comments: Email us at TBAToday@tnbar.org

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.

© Copyright 2010 Tennessee Bar Association