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TODAY'S OPINIONS
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IN RE CONSERVATORSHIP FOR WILLIAM J. ALLEN

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Jay R. Slobey, James A. Freeman, III and Megan E. Livingstone, Nashville, Tennessee, appellants, Pro Se.

David W. Bush, Elizabethton, Tennessee, for the appellees, Anne A. VanHuss and Marilyn A. Elliott.

Christopher D. Owens, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the appellees, William John Allen, Charles H. Allen, and Violette Allen Parker.

David L. Robbins, Elizabethton, Tennessee, court-appointed Attorney ad Litem for William J. Allen.

Judge: SUSANO

In this conservatorship action, we granted the application of Jay R. Slobey, James A. Freeman, III and Megan E. Livingstone, all attorneys, for a Tenn. R. App. P. 10 extraordinary appeal seeking relief with respect to two interlocutory orders of the trial court. The orders are: (1) one prohibiting attorneys with the law firm of James A. Freeman & Associates, P.C. from representing William J. Allen ("the Ward"); and (2) another appointing attorney David L. Robbins as "Attorney ad Litem" but requiring him to perform duties "pursuant to T.C.A. section 34-1-107," a statute dealing with guardians ad litem. After this appeal was granted, the trial court entered an order purporting to "amend its order . . . which appoints David L. Robbins to serve as Attorney ad Litem pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. section 34-1-107 . . . to reflect that David L. Robbins is to serve . . . pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. section 34-1-125," a statute pertaining to attorneys ad litem. The court"s amending order is also being challenged. We (a) affirm the order prohibiting the representation of the Ward by attorneys from the law firm of James A. Freeman & Associates P.C., and (b) vacate the order appointing Mr. Robbins and the later order purporting to amend the order of appointment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/allenw_122910.pdf


IN RE BEVIN H.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Lance A. Evans, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Rhonda H. and Keith H.

Wayne Decatur Wykoff, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Randy H.

Judge: SUSANO

This is a case regarding the custody of a minor female child, Bevin H. (DOB: Dec. 19, 2001) ("the Child"). The Child was born to Randy H. ("Father") and his wife. Tragically, the Child's mother died two days after the Child was born. Shortly thereafter, the Child's paternal aunt, Rhonda H. ("Aunt") and her husband, became the Child's primary caregivers. Aunt sought custody, alleging that the Child was dependent and neglected in Father's care. During the pendency of the custody case, the Child was taken into state custody based on evidence that she had been sexually molested. The Child was released to Father and Aunt under an agreed shared parenting plan before the parties filed competing custody petitions. Following a hearing, the juvenile court granted Aunt custody of the Child upon finding that the Child faced a risk of substantial harm if left in Father's custody. Father was granted supervised visitation with the Child. Father appealed to the trial court. In a two-sentence decision, with no findings of fact, the trial court reversed and placed full custody of the Child with Father. Aunt appeals. We reverse.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/bevinh_122910.pdf


JEREMY D. CALDWELL v. LINDA NEAL, AS CLERK OF CIRCUIT COURT WILSON COUNTY, TENNESSEE

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Jeremy Dwayne Caldwell, Whiteville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Jeffrey M. Beemer and Kerry M. Ewald, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Linda Neal, as the Clerk of Circuit Court Wilson County, Tennessee.

Judge: DINKINS

Plaintiff in breach of contract action appeals the grant of summary judgment to the defendant. Finding that a genuine issue of material fact exists which precludes summary judgment, we reverse the judgment and remand for further proceedings.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/caldwellj_122910.pdf


IN RE ELIJAH B., ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Sandy Phillips, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the appellant, Eric B.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Joshua Davis Baker, Assistant Attorney General; Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Children's Services.

Judge: SUSANO

Eric B. ("Father") appeals the termination of his parental rights with respect to his two minor children. The Department of Children's Services ("DCS") petitioned to terminate Father's rights based upon allegations of abandonment, substantial noncompliance with a permanency plan, and persistence of conditions. Following a hearing, which Father failed to attend, the trial court granted the petition upon finding, by clear and convincing evidence, that all of the alleged grounds were established and that termination was in the best interest of the children. On appeal, Father asserts that his due process rights were violated. He also challenges the weight of the evidence supporting the court's decision to terminate his parental rights. We reject both challenges. Accordingly, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/elijahb_122910.pdf


GREENBANK, F/K/A GREENE COUNTY BANK v. BARBARA J. THOMPSON, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

C. Mark Troutman, LaFollette, Tennessee, for the appellants, Barbara J. Thompson and James L. Thompson.

Mary D. Miller, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Greenbank F/K/A Greene County Bank.

Judge: MCCLARTY

Bank provided a loan to Borrowers for the purchase of real property and construction of a log cabin home. After Borrowers defaulted on the loan, Bank sold the property at a foreclosure sale. Bank then initiated a lawsuit alleging conversion, negligent business representation, and promissory fraud. Bank also sought a deficiency judgment for the difference in the amount owed on the loan and the foreclosure sale price. After a bench trial, the trial court awarded a judgment for $61,782.12 and a deficiency judgment for $300,644.92 in favor of Bank. Borrowers appeal. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/greenbank_122910.pdf


IN RE LINDSAY R.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

William L. Gribble, II, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellant, James G.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Warren A. Jasper, Senior Counsel, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, State of Tennessee, ex rel. Rochelle L.

Judge: SUSANO

This is an action to establish paternity and set child support filed by the State of Tennessee on behalf of Rochelle L. ("Mother"), the mother of a child born August 6, 1988. The putative father is James G. ("Father"). The trial court held Father liable for back child support of $123,334 by a default judgment entered September 3, 2008. Father filed a post-judgment motion challenging the judgment for lack of service of process. The trial court denied the motion upon finding that Father had "notice" of the action. As a consequence of this finding, the court held that the judgment was valid pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. section 36-2-305(b)(5)(2010). Father appeals. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/lindsayr_122910.pdf


SHERRY WATSON v. BEAZER WATSON

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Johnny V. Dunaway, LaFollette, Tennessee, for the appellant, Sherry Watson.

David H. Stanifer and Lindsey C. Cadle, Tazewell, Tennessee, for the appellee, Beazer Watson.

Judge: SUSANO

This is a divorce action filed by Sherry Watson ("Wife") against Beazer Watson ("Husband"). Following a bench trial, the court granted the parties a divorce based on stipulated grounds. It also classified and distributed substantial property, some as separate and the rest as marital. Wife secured new counsel and filed motions, with supporting exhibits, challenging the classification and division of property. The motions purport to be pursuant to, respectively, Tenn. R. Civ. P. 59 and 60.02. The trial court denied the motions. Wife appeals the denial of her motions. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/watsons_122910.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Tenn. Government
General Assembly News
Your Practice
Upcoming
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Apperson Crump acquires estate-planning firm
Apperson Crump PLC has acquired the Memphis estate planning firm of Smith-Kimbrough & Associates PC. Cecil Smith, founder of Smith-Kimbrough, will become a partner at Apperson Crump while Apperson Crump will inherit Smith-Kimbrough's offices in Nashville and Oxford, Miss. The move gives Apperson a Middle Tennessee presence and the chance to expand its services into northern Mississippi. The deal is effective Jan. 1.
The Memphis Daily News reports
LSC to operate at current funding levels
The Legal Services Corporation will operate at last year's funding levels through the beginning of next year under a continuing resolution approved by Congress and signed into law by President Obama on Dec. 22. The resolution funds most federal programs through March 4 -- two months into the first session of the 112th Congress. Spending panels in both houses of Congress approved increases for LSC during the regular FY 2011 appropriations process but those increases were not acted on by the full chambers. LSC President Victor M. Fortuno responded to the news saying, "This has been a challenging year for our legal aid programs in the field," but "LSC will continue to stress the need for increased funding next year."
Learn more about the agency
New MBA president focuses on community involvement
During this month's annual meeting of the Memphis Bar Association, the gavel was passed to a new president who urged his colleagues to take summer interns at their firms. It's part of a community-minded spirit that private attorney Ricky Wilkins made a theme of his just-ended tenure as the MBA president. And Shuttleworth Williams PLLC partner John Cannon, the MBA's new president, is picking up right where Wilkins left off. Read about Cannon's plans in the Memphis Daily News.

In related news, new MBA YLD President Shon Johnson talks about his plans for the year in an interview with the paper
Read it here

Former lawmaker Dixon moved to halfway house
Former Tennessee state senator Roscoe Dixon has been sent to a halfway house in Memphis to finish the final six months of his term for bribery and extortion in the FBI's Tennessee Waltz public corruption sting. With the 61-year-old out of prison, former state senator John Ford is the only person convicted in the Waltz probe who is still imprisoned.
Read more from the Associated Press on wrcbtv.com
Rutherford court gets new mediation coordinator
Consensus Conflict Management and Mediation Services has hired former Rutherford County Court Clerk Eloise Gaither to serve as mediation coordinator in the Rutherford courts. In accepting the position, Gaither said, "The dockets are so crowded. It's not unusual for judges to work five and six months out -- which means parties are put on hold for extended periods of time. Mediation will help clear these crowded dockets, especially in Juvenile Court." The county hopes the move will save time and money by resolving cases before they otherwise would come up before a judge.
The Nashville Post business blog reported the story
Nashville lawyer named 'Young Leader' of the year
Nashville lawyer James A. Crumlin Jr. with Bone McAllester Norton PLLC was named the 2010 Young Leader of the Year by the Young Leaders Council, a Nashville-based nonprofit that helps business leaders effectively participate on nonprofit agency boards. A 2003 graduate of the Young Leaders Council, Crumlin has served a pair of three-year terms on the Young Leaders Council Board and is the incoming board chair. He also is the president of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee Board and board chair of Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center Inc.
The Tennessean reports
Tenn. Government
Purkey named Homeland Security assistant
Governor-elect Bill Haslam today tapped former Hamblen County Mayor David Purkey to be assistant commissioner for Tennessee Homeland Security. Purkey was mayor from 1995 to 2010 and previously served as a state trooper, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation special agent and U.S. Army Reservist and Tennessee Army National Guardsman.
News Channel 9 has more
General Assembly News
Lawmakers gearing up for legislative variety
State lawmakers gathering for the 107th General Assembly will face a variety of legislative initiatives, reports the Cleveland Banner. Possible areas of focus include the state's open meetings and records laws, English-only driver's licenses, confidentiality of 911 calls, consolidation of state departments, road projects and congressional redistricting. The paper projected the legislative agenda after an interview with Senator-elect Mike Bell, and Republican Representatives Eric Watson and Kevin Brooks of Cleveland. Bell also indicated he would push to make the office of state attorney general an elected position.
Read more from the interview
Your Practice
Podcasts focus on salaries, forecast for the profession
Legal Current -- the legal business blog of Thomson Reuters -- offers readers insights into law firm management and produces several podcasts each month on topics of interest. The most recent podcast focuses on trends in salaries for in-house legal counsel, while a recent offering looks at law firm trends in 2011.
Check out these and other resources
Upcoming
Memphis law symposium set for Feb. 11
The University of Memphis Law Review is planning the 2011 symposium "Memphis in the Law" for Feb. 11. Individuals interested in speaking or submitting an essay should contact Stephanie Bada, Law Review Symposium editor, at sbada@memphis.edu or (901) 678-4979.
Visit the symposium website for more details
TBA Member Services
Secure, compliant data backup now available
The TBA's official data protection, backup and recovery vendor of choice, i365, offers secure online backup solutions. i365 minimizes downtime by backing up files quickly and easily, and helps lawyers remain compliant by maintaining file integrity. Get i365 and be confident your data is securely stored and protected. TBA members enjoy a 10 percent savings on all services. For more information on this member benefit Denise Lucas at (407) 523-9774.
Learn why lawyers trust i365 for online data backup solutions

 
 
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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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