TBA to weigh in on indigent representation contract work

A Tennessee Supreme Court proposal to contract out legal work for poor people -- a revision to Rule 13, Section 7 -- is getting a lot of attention before its Sept. 1 comment deadline. Laura Click, spokesperson for the Administrative Office of the Courts, tells WPLN the proposal is a cost-saving measure, although the savings would depend on the prices attorneys set in their bids.

The TBA, with leadership from its Criminal Justice Section and Access to Justice Committee, is preparing a recommendation in response to the proposal. TBA president Danny Van Horn said that the emphasis of the comment will be on "the necessity to assure high quality professional representation for those unable to afford counsel." The TBA will suggest a pilot, guided by an advisory group of lawyers with experience in indigent representation, to examine the workability of contract representation in mental health committal and child support contempt matters only.

The News Sentinel has more

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Court: TSC



Court: TCA


Timothy H. Nichols, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lee Brown.

T. Holland McKinnie and Keith J. Woodruff, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellees, David Styles and Goldie Styles.


Appeal from a judgment confirming an arbitration award. The principle defense is that the appellant, the party against whom the arbitration award was issued, was never a party to the arbitration agreement at issue and did not participate in the arbitration proceedings. The trial court confirmed the arbitration award and enrolled a judgment against the appellant in the amount of $78,956.80 plus costs. We reverse the confirmation of the award against the appellant upon the finding that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to confirm the award. This is because the statute which confers jurisdiction upon the court to confirm arbitration awards, Tenn. Code Ann.section 29-5-302, requires a written arbitration agreement between the parties, and there is no written agreement between the appellant and appellee to arbitrate. Thus, the trial court was without jurisdiction to confirm an arbitration award against the appellant.



Court: TCA


Randall Loftin Kinnard and Daniel Louis Clayton, Nashville, Tennessee and Steven Rand Walker, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Eddie C. Pratcher, Jr.

Lee James Chase, III, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Methodist Healthcare - Memphis Hospitals.


Appellant appealed the trial court's order granting Appellee's "Motion of Methodist Healthcare-Memphis Hospitals to Strike, or in the Alternative, Motion in Limine, or In the Alternative, for Partial Judgment and Memorandum." We dismiss this appeal for lack of jurisdiction.



Court: TCCA


Leslie L. Coleman, Mountain City, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Matthew Bryant Haskell, Assistant Attorney General; and James Michael Taylor, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The petitioner, Leslie L. Coleman, pled guilty to one count of felony murder and one count of especially aggravated robbery. He was sentenced to concurrent terms of life in prison and fifteen years. He now appeals the summary dismissal of his petition for habeas corpus relief, arguing that the court below erred in concluding that the trial court had the authority to sentence him to life in prison. Because the petitioner has failed to establish that his judgment is void or that he is otherwise entitled to relief, we affirm the dismissal of his habeas corpus petition.



Court: TCCA


John G. McDougal, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Timothy Evans, and Jesse W. Dalton, III, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael Daniels.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Blesdsoe, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, District Attorney General; and Neal Pinkston, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

A Hamilton County Criminal Court jury convicted the appellants, Timothy Evans and Michael Daniels, of first degree premeditated murder and conspiracy to commit first degree premeditated murder. In addition, the jury convicted Evans of carrying a dangerous weapon. After a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced Evans to concurrent sentences of life for the murder conviction, sixteen years for the conspiracy conviction, and thirty days for the carrying a dangerous weapon conviction. The trial court sentenced Daniels to consecutive sentences of life for the murder conviction and twenty-three years for the conspiracy conviction. On appeal, the appellants argue that (1) the evidence is insufficient to support the convictions, (2) the trial court erred by refusing to grant their motions to sever, (3) the trial court erred by using extreme and unnecessary security measures that prejudiced the jury against them, and (4) the trial court erred by failing to grant their motions for a new trial because the State's gang expert committed perjury. In addition, Daniels argues that (5) the trial court erred by failing to redact the indictments properly and (6) the trial court failed to control a witness adequately while the witness was testifying. Finally, the appellants contend that the cumulative effect of the errors warrants a new trial. Based upon the oral arguments, the record, and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.



Court: TCCA


Robert W. Jones, District Public Defender; Michael Johnson, Assistant Public Defender, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Defendant-Appellant, Willie Hampton.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; , Assistant Attorney General; Rachel Willis; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Anita Spinetta, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.


A Shelby County jury convicted the Defendant-Appellant, Willie Hampton, of theft of property in excess of $10,000, a Class C felony. The Defendant-Appellant was sentenced as a Range III, persistent offender, to a term of fifteen years imprisonment in the Tennessee Department of Correction. In this appeal, the sole issue presented for our review is whether the evidence presented at trial was sufficient to support the Defendant-Appellant's conviction of theft over $10,000. Upon our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.



Court: TCCA


Juni S. Ganguli, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Kenneth Hayes.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; Doug Carriker and Kate Edmands, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.


A Shelby County jury convicted the Defendant, Kenneth Hayes, of reckless aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated assault, criminal attempt to commit the intentional killing of an animal worth over $1000, theft of property over $1000, and evading arrest. The trial court ordered the Defendant to serve an effective sentence of forty years, eleven months, and twenty-nine days in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant argues that the trial court imposed an excessive sentence and that it erred when it denied him alternative sentencing. After a thorough review of the record and the applicable law, we affirm the trial court's judgments.



Court: TCCA


William A. Lane, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Herschel Van Lillard, Jr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Nicholas W. Spangler, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Paul DeWitt and Dan Hamm, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Herschel Van Lillard, was convicted by a Davidson County jury of first degree felony murder and was sentenced by the trial court to life imprisonment in the Department of Correction. The sole issue he raises on appeal is whether the evidence was sufficient to sustain his conviction. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.



Court: TCCA


Roger Clay Parker, Shelbyville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Emmett Russell McGee, Jr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clark B. Thornton, Assistant Attorney General; Charles Frank Crawford, Jr., District Attorney General; and Michael D. Randles, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The petitioner, Emmett Russell McGee, Jr., appeals from the Bedford County Criminal Court's denial of post-conviction relief from his convictions based upon guilty pleas on two counts of possession with intent to sell three hundred grams or more of cocaine and the resulting sentences of ten and eleven years to be served consecutively. On appeal, the petitioner contends that his guilty plea was not voluntarily entered due to the ineffective assistance provided by trial counsel. Specifically, he contends that trial counsel gave him improper advice concerning the possible sentences he could receive if he proceeded to trial. In addition, for the first time on appeal, the petitioner raises a challenge to the consecutive nature of the sentences, asserting that it is illegal and excessive in light of the fact that the elements of both convictions arose out of the same transaction. Following review, we conclude that the post-conviction court properly determined that trial counsel was not ineffective. Further, we conclude that the petitioner has waived review of his second issue. As such, the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief is affirmed.



Court: TCCA


Michael D. Noel, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the appellant, Deshawn Wentz.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; John Wesley Carney, Jr., District Attorney General; and Robert J. Nash and Helen O. Young, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Deshawn Wentz, was convicted by a Montgomery County jury of possession of .5 grams or more of cocaine with intent to sell, a Class B felony, and tampering with evidence, a Class C felony, and was sentenced by the trial court to concurrent terms of eleven and seven years, respectively, to be served in the Department of Correction. On appeal, he contends that (1) the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress and (2) the evidence is insufficient to sustain his convictions. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.



Court: TCCA


Gary Antrican, District Public Defender; and Parker O. Dixon, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Guy Alvin Williamson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Senior Counsel; D. Michael Dunavant, District Attorney General; and James Walter Freeland, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Guy Alvin Williamson, was convicted by a Tipton County Circuit Court jury of being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun and possession of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. He was sentenced to an effective term of three years, suspended to probation. On appeal, he argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress the evidence and dismiss the indictment and that the evidence was not sufficient to support his conviction for convicted felon in possession of a handgun. After review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.



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Knox lawyers account for much of indigent defense bills
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The News Sentinel has this story
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Read her column in the News Sentinel
First 'West Memphis 3' judge calls them 'murderers'
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Tenn. Government
Governor's lawyer, lobbyist profiled
Gov. Bill Haslam's friend and lawyer, Herb Slatery, and director of legislation Leslie Hafner, are profiled. Before joining Haslam, Slatery worked 30 yeas with the Knoxville law firm of Egerton McAfee. Hafner has worked in government relations in several states for Corrections Corporation of America, then later as a lobbyist with the Nashville-based law firm of Bass Berry & Sims.

King memorial dedication Aug. 28
Next Sunday, on the 48th anniversary of the March on Washington and the Rev. Martin Luther King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech, a ceremony will dedicate a sculpture in King's honor. The memorial sits on the National Mall between memorials honoring Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. It includes a 30-foot-tall sculpture of King and a 450-foot-long granite wall inscribed with 14 quotations from his speeches. President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak.
The Leaf Chronicle has more
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CompuPay offers deals for TBA members
CompuPay is proud to serve as the official payroll services provider for the Tennessee Bar Association. To serve Tennessee attorneys the company is offering two months of free payroll processing for all TBA members and waiving set up fees for members with up to 99 employees.
Learn more about CompuPay's benefits

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