'GAVELS' will educate, demystify legal system

Tennessee judges and attorneys have partnered to create a new program for educating students, community groups and business organizations about the legal system. The Tennessee Judicial Conference (TJC) and Tennessee Bar Association (TBA) developed the GAVELS program, which stands for Gaining Access to Valuable Education about the Legal System, to fill the growing knowledge gap about the legal system and the important role it plays in our government.

"We hope this program helps demystify the court system and shed some light on the important role the judiciary plays in our democratic society," Hamilton County Circuit Court Judge Jeff Hollingsworth said. Hollingsworth chairs the TJC's public confidence in the courts committee. GAVELS pairs lawyers and judges to make presentations in their communities in order to improve the public's understanding of our legal system and better equip citizens to be active participants in our democratic society. A list of available judges and attorneys and the topics they are willing to speak about are available online at www.tncourts.gov and www.tba.org. Schools, civic organizations and business groups are welcome to request a speaker by contacting a judge or attorney listed on either website.

Learn more about GAVELS

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01 - TN Supreme Court
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Court: TSC



Court: TCA


J. Todd Faulkner, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Julian Bordes.

Angela R. Hoover, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellee, Marsha Bordes.


Husband filed a petition to modify the amount of alimony in futuro set in the divorce decree, asserting that health problems and a decrease in his income arising after the divorce constituted a substantial and material change in circumstances that warranted a reduction in the amount of alimony. Husband appeals the denial of the petition and award of attorney fees to Wife. Finding that Husband was entitled to modification and that the award of attorney fees was inappropriate, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and modify the award of alimony.



Court: TCA


William Kennerly Burger, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for Petitioner/Appellant Bob Keith Watson

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, Joseph F. Whalen, Associate Solicitor General and Benjamin A. Whitehouse, Assistant Attorney General, for Respondent/Appellee Tennessee Department of Safety

Judge: KIRBY

This is appeal involves the forfeiture of personal property seized in connection with a criminal investigation. The petitioner's home was searched pursuant to a search warrant executed on his home. Items of his personal property were seized by authorities, and later forfeited and sold. The petitioner property owner filed this lawsuit, arguing that administrative protocols regarding forfeiture proceedings were not followed and contesting the forfeiture of his personal property. The administrative law judge held that the forfeiture and sale were valid, and the property owner appealed to the trial court. The trial court affirmed. The property owner now appeals to this Court. We affirm.



Court: TCCA


H. Graham Swafford, Jr., Jasper, Tennessee, for the appellant, Gary's Bonding Company.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Nicholas W. Spangler, Assistant Attorney General; James Michael Taylor, District Attorney General; and David Owen McGovern, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


A final forfeiture was entered against the Appellant, Gary's Bonding Company, in the Marion County Circuit Court ordering the complete forfeiture of the bail bond in the case of criminal defendant Judson Layne. On appeal, the Appellant contends that the trial court erred in ordering a final forfeiture and in denying its petition for exoneration. Because the notice of appeal was not timely filed in this matter, we are without jurisdiction to determine whether the trial court erred. Accordingly, the appeal is dismissed.



Court: TCCA


Jeffrey A. Devasher, Assistant District Public Defender (on appeal); and Latasha Thomas and Katie Weiss, Assistant District Public Defenders (at trial), for the appellant, Keith Lonell Richardson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson III, District Attorney General; and Roger D. Moore, Assistant District Attorney General, Tennessee, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

Dissatisfied with his conviction of aggravated assault, the defendant, Keith Lonell Richardson, appeals the trial court's denial of his motion to withdraw his guilty plea, arguing that he should have been permitted to withdraw his plea to correct a manifest injustice. Discerning no error, we affirm.



Court: TSC-Disciplinary_Order

Judge: KOCH




Court: TSC-Disciplinary_Order

Judge: KOCH




Court: TSC-Disciplinary_Order

Judge: KOCH




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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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