Tennessee holding over 100 free legal clinics this month
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee is holding more than 100 free legal advice clinics across the state this month.
The Help4TN Days blitz is meant to call attention to the free legal help...
UNION CITY, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has expanded exceptions for when evidence obtained without a warrant is admissible.
According to the court, a Union City police officer...
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court on Wednesday expanded protections for reporters by ruling they can only be held liable for defamation if their reporting is not fair and...
Tennessee court upholds death sentence in couple’s slaying
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has upheld two death sentences for Henry Lee Jones in the 2003 slayings of a Bartlett couple in their home.
The court considered several issues, including whether Jones was denied a right to counsel when he insisted on representing himself. The court found that "a defendant who knowingly and intelligently waives the right to counsel cannot later allege the denial of effective assistance of counsel because of his own poor performance."
Tennessee offers bar exam to applicants affected by shutdown
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Applicants for the uniform bar exam who might not be able to take it in Washington, D.C., because of the shutdown can apply to take it in Nashville instead.
According to a news release, the Tennessee Supreme Court issued an order on Thursday allowing the state Board of Law Examiners to reopen the application process for the February exam.
Tennessee court rules secret recording not child pornography
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that a man who hid a video camera in the bedroom of a 13-year-old relative while she was in the shower is not guilty of attempting to produce child pornography.
In a split decision filed earlier this week, the court's three female judges found David Scott Hall's actions did not meet Tennessee's definition for production of child pornography, which requires sexual content beyond mere nudity.
Tennessee planning 7 executions after years with none
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee is planning to execute seven people over the next two years, after executing only eight since 1960.
On Friday, the Tennessee Supreme Court set execution dates for six death row inmates in 2019 and 2020. A seventh inmate, David Earl Miller, was already scheduled to die on Dec. 6.
Tennessee has executed two inmates this year. The latest was Edmund Zagorski, who died in the electric chair earlier this month.
New execution date set for Tennessee death row inmate
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has set a new execution date of Nov. 1 for a death row inmate who has asked for the electric chair rather than lethal injection.
The state's highest court announced the date in a written notice Monday.
Tennessee inmate asks for electrocution after court ruling
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee inmate set to be executed this week is asking the state to die by electric chair over lethal injection, calling the move the "lesser of two evils."
Attorney Kelley Henry confirmed Monday that Edmund Zagorski made the request roughly two hours before the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled the state's three-drug lethal injection protocol is constitutional. The decision paved the way for the execution of Zagorski on Thursday.
Tennessee Supreme Court to start posting video of arguments
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has begun a program to make videos of oral arguments in Nashville available to the public.
The program started last week, and the court says video will be available on the tncourts.gov website 21 days after arguments.
Tennessee Supreme Court hears reporter defamation case
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee's Supreme Court took up the question Thursday of whether a reporter can be sued for defamation when reporting fairly and accurately on a public proceeding.
Davidson County District Attorney Glenn Funk is suing a Nashville investigative reporter over 2016 stories on a lawsuit Funk claims accused him of soliciting a bribe, extortion and blackmail.
Tennessee Supreme Court hears lethal injection arguments
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — With an execution scheduled for next week, 32 death row inmates in Tennessee are asking the state's high court to declare Tennessee's lethal injection method unconstitutional.
In arguments before the court on Wednesday, inmates' attorney Kelley Henry said that "unassailable science" shows Tennessee's latest three-drug cocktail will cause excruciating pain.
Media asks Tennessee high court to boost press protection
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A group of Tennessee publishers and broadcasters is asking the state Supreme Court to overturn precedent and strengthen protections for the press.
The request comes in a defamation case against Nashville television reporter Phil Williams. At issue is whether accurately reporting on a court case protects Williams from prosecution.
Tennessee Supreme Court reverses breath test fee ruling
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court on Thursday reversed a ruling that said it was unconstitutional for the state to require people found guilty of DUI to pay a fee if a blood or breath test was used to convict.
Tennessee high court fast-tracks lethal injection challenge
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court is fast-tracking the appeal in a challenge of the state's lethal injection drugs.
After the move Monday, Justice Sharon Lee warned in her dissent that the court's review shouldn't be "so hurried that it is meaningless" in an apparent effort to clear the way for executions scheduled in October and December.
Lawyers ask US Supreme Court to stay Tennessee execution
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Attorneys are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to stay the looming execution of a convicted child killer after the Tennessee Supreme Court and governor decided against a delay.
In a filing Tuesday, federal public defender Kelley Henry and attorney Carl Gene Shiles Jr. wrote that Billy Ray Irick should get a stay of Thursday's scheduled lethal injection while a challenge of the state's protocol continues on appeal.
Tennessee high court refuses to block looming execution
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has refused to stay Thursday's scheduled execution of a convicted child killer while the state's new lethal injection protocol continues to be challenged on appeal.
The order brings Tennessee within days of killing Billy Ray Irick with a three-drug mixture, barring some last-minute change. Irick, 59, would be the first inmate Tennessee has executed since 2009. He was convicted of the 1985 rape and killing of a 7-year-old Knoxville girl.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal appeals court has asked the Tennessee Supreme Court to clarify whether a woman serving a life sentence for killing a man when she was 16 can ever gain parole.
Prosecutor censured for book about Facebook slayings
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has censured a prosecutor who wrote a book about trying a double murder arising from a Facebook spat.
CINCINNATI (AP) — Federal appeals judges said Thursday they're considering asking the Tennessee Supreme Court to clarify whether a woman serving a life sentence for killing a man when she was 16 can ever gain parole.
The three-judge 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel heard arguments Thursday in the case of Cyntoia Brown, who has attracted celebrity support.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — In a blow to the owner of Opry Mills Mall, the Tennessee Supreme Court has let stand a lower court's ruling that stripped $150 million of insurance coverage for the 2010 flood.
Mayoral election in Tennessee set following legal battle
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Officials on Wednesday set May 24 as the day voters will pick a candidate to complete the term of mayor in Tennessee's capital city — a move that follows legal clashes over the date that came after the downfall of a rising politician.
The decision by the Davidson County Election Commission comes after a court battle that went all the way to the Tennessee Supreme Court. Voters will choose a candidate to complete the term of former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a special election must be held in May to decide who will fill the remaining term of disgraced former Mayor Megan Barry. The expedited decision puts an end to at least some of the confusion about when voters should go to the polls.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Lawyers spent Monday afternoon sparring before the Tennessee Supreme Court during oral arguments in a legal case that has cast doubt over when voters will decide who gets to fill the remaining term of former Mayor Megan Barry.
At issue in the expedited appeal is whether the law says a special election should be held in late May or if voters should select a candidate on Aug. 2.
Mall damaged in 2010 flood seeks more insurance money
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The owners of Opry Mills are asking the Tennessee Supreme Court to reverse a ruling that reduced their 2010 flood insurance coverage from $200 to $50 million.
The Tennessean reports the Simon Property Group filed an appeal Friday with the state Supreme Court. It seeks to overturn an appeals court decision in favor of Arch Insurance Company.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has denied the state attorney general's request to move up eight execution dates before June 1.
Attorney General Herbert Slatery filed the requests Feb. 5 and cited "ongoing difficulty" getting lethal injection drugs.
The court on Thursday did set execution dates for two of the inmates, Oct. 11 for Edmund Zagorski, who was convicted of two murders, and Dec. 6 for David Earl Miller, who was convicted of murdering a mentally disabled woman.
Tennessee Supreme Court rules in favor of ex-Vols
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has denied the state's bid to appeal a ruling that permits attorneys for former Tennessee football players A.J. Johnson and Michael Williams to seek social media communications from witnesses for their upcoming rape trials.
This ruling enables lawyers to pursue those communications by issuing subpoenas to witnesses, including the woman who says Johnson and Williams raped her on November 2014.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence a man received for killing the mother of his three children and dismembering her body in Memphis in 2008.
Court documents say James Hawkins stabbed the woman in front of their 12-year-old daughter in their apartment and threatened to kill the girl if she didn't help him clean the scene and dispose the body.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has sided with police who found a methamphetamine lab on the property of man who posted a "no trespassing" sign near his driveway.
A Supreme Court news release says the majority ruled against James Robert Christensen, Jr. on Friday.
Knoxville judge wins lawsuit brought by secretary
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled against a woman who sued a Knox County judge, saying the judge was within his rights to fire her because of a state law that gives employers wide latitude to dismiss people.
The ruling stemmed from a case brought by Judith Moore-Pennoyer, who spent 18 years as an assistant to former Knox County Circuit Court Judge Harold Winberly. Wimberly lost in an election to William T. Ailor.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court is kicking off a weeks-long event that will help people across the state get free legal advice.
It's all part of the Supreme Court's Access to Justice Initiative, in which Tennesseans are invited to get free legal help either online or at a walk-in clinic. The free legal clinics are for civil matters only because people are entitled to have a lawyer in criminal cases, whether they can afford one or not.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — It could become easier for a divorced parent to move out of state with the kids even if the other parent objects to the children relocating, under a new opinion from The Tennessee Supreme Court.
This unanimous decision applies in cases where one parent has more time with the kids than the other.
Free legal clinics to be held around Tennessee
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has announced that free legal clinics will be held around the state to help citizens who find themselves in need of a lawyer's advice on matters outside criminal law. It's all part of the court's initiative known as Access to Justice, a program aimed at helping a growing number of people find assistance when they can't afford an attorney.
Court to review conviction of mother in newborn twins’ death
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court is going to review Hendersonville woman's appeal after she was convicted of smothering her newborn twins to death in 2011 to conceal her pregnancy from her fiance, who was not the father.
Tennessee Supreme Court to hear arguments in Knoxville
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee's Supreme Court is heading to Knoxville to hear arguments in four cases.
A news release said court will be in session Tuesday in Knoxville.
One case will decide whether someone who won a judicial election but hasn't taken office yet acts as a state officer or employee in making administrative staffing provisions. The case also deals with whether a judicial administrative assistant is an at-will employee.
State high court upholds death sentence for Tennessee man
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has upheld a death sentence for a man convicted of murdering a young couple.
A Supreme Court news release Monday says convictions and sentencing were unanimously upheld against Lemaricus Devall Davidson for the murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom in Knoxville.
Tennessee Supreme Court OKs new divorce forms
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has adopted plain-language forms and instructions that couples with children can use for uncontested divorces.
The Administrative Office of the Courts says the forms are intended to simplify divorce proceedings for people with children. The forms are for use by people who agree on child support and other issues of the divorce, don't own any real estate and don't have retirement accounts.
Tennessee Supreme Court OKs warrantless blood draw in wreck
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that a blood sample obtained from a driver in a fatal wreck can be included as evidence even though police did not have a warrant.
Tennessee high court to hear cases in Jackson on Wednesday
JACKSON, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court is heading to Jackson this week to hear arguments in four cases.
A news release says the hearings will take place Wednesday at the Jackson Supreme Court building.
Tennessee Supreme Court to hear lethal injection arguments
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The state Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on Thursday morning over whether Tennessee's lethal injection protocol constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.
Thirty-three death row inmates sued after the state moved from a three-drug lethal injection method to a one-drug method using pentobarbital. Their attorneys argue that the compounded form of the drug is likely to cause a condemned inmate to suffer extreme pain and can cause a lingering death.
Former sheriff to get new trial in 2012 shooting case
JACKSON, Tenn. (AP) — A former sheriff will get a new trial for a 2012 shooting charge after the Tennessee Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from prosecutors.
The Jackson Sun reports (http://bit.ly/2dtzxK7 ) former Henderson County Sheriff Ricky Lunsford was convicted on charges he shot at and attempted to kill his wife Mary Lunsford. The Tennessee Court of Appeals overturned Lunsford's conviction and ordered a new trial.
Tennessee Supreme Court to decide on residency requirements
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A case before the state Supreme Court could help determine when and how residency challenges for judicial candidates can be lodged.
The Knoxville News Sentinel (http://bit.ly/2cNrQQ8) reports that the case heard by the high court relates to a challenge filed by Roane County attorney Tom McFarland, who lost a circuit judge election two years ago and wants to renew a challenge of winner Michael Pemberton's qualifications to run for the seat.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A statue honoring Adolpho A. Birch Jr., the first African-American chief justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court, is being dedicated in Nashville.
The statue will be dedicated Aug. 27 to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the Justice A.A. Birch Building.
Birch spent 37 years in the judiciary, also serving at the general sessions, trial and intermediate appellate levels.
The statue will be an 8-foot bronze sculpture placed in the...
SIGNAL MOUNTAIN, Tenn. (AP) — Former Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert E. Cooper Sr. has died at his Signal Mountain home after a brief illness.
According to the Chattanooga Funeral Home, Cooper died on Sunday. He was 95.
A statement from current Chief Justice Sharon Lee praises Cooper, saying he was "highly respected by members of the judiciary and legal community."
Cooper served as a justice on the Tennessee Supreme Court from 1974 to 1990,...