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Editorial Results (free)

1. Memphis Bar Judicial Poll Released -

The Memphis Bar Association poll of attorneys on the judicial races on the Aug. 7 ballot shows 16 percent to as high as 38 percent of the attorneys participating have no opinion in many of the judicial races.

2. Judicial Campaigns Get Testy With Endorsements -

Some of the reticence about political combat that defines local nonpartisan judicial elections is beginning to wear thin with a little more than a month until the start of early voting for the Aug. 7 elections.

3. Harris Files Ford Challenge at Deadline -

Memphis City Council member Lee Harris is challenging Democratic state Sen. Ophelia Ford in the August primary for District 29, the Senate seat held by a member of the Ford family since 1975.

4. Events -

Talk of the Town Toastmasters Club will meet Thursday, Nov. 8, at 1 p.m. at The Assisi Foundation, 515 Erin Drive. Visit memphistm.com.

5. Events -

Cargo Business News and Memphis World Trade Club will host the third Southeast Freight Conference Wednesday, Nov. 7, and Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Hilton Memphis, 939 Ridge Lake Blvd. The 61st annual New Orleans Port Night will be held Thursday at 6 p.m. at The Peabody, 149 Union Ave. For registration and a schedule, visit memphisworldtradeclub.com.

6. Memphis Bar Hosts Forum at Central Library -

The Memphis Bar Association is inviting members of the public to join a group of lawyers along with Shelby County Circuit Court Judge Gina Higgins in a discussion of the American legal system.

7. Full Docket -

Here’s a look at what’s going on at the moment in the city’s legal community and some things that are on the horizon.

The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law is celebrating its golden anniversary this year. On Oct. 27, the school held its 50th anniversary celebration for the Downtown facility, which opened in 2010 and marked a new chapter for a building that once was the Front Street post office for nearly 40 years and a federal courthouse before that.

8. Hinte Expands Role At Second to Nunn -

Lowell Hinte has been promoted to account manager and designer at website- and branding-design company Second to Nunn Design. Hinte has served as a designer at S2N since 2009. In his expanded role, Hinte will ensure clients’ expectations are met on key projects regarding strategy, vision, quality and schedule.

9. Law Career Event Planned for U of M -

Students from area high schools, colleges and youth organizations will get an opportunity to learn about the legal profession from a diverse group of professionals April 24 at “Legal Careers Forum: The ABCs – Advocates, Barristers and Counselors.”

10. Events -

The Memphis Chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals will meet Monday, April 9, at 6 p.m. at the Hilton Memphis, 939 Ridge Lake Blvd. Judge Gina C. Higgins will speak about business law, its effect on business and the administrative assistant. Cost is $22. For reservations, contact Sharon Gardner at sharon.gardner@asentinel.com or 752-6213.

11. Events -

The Greater Memphis Chamber will present a U.S. Chamber Center for Women in Business seminar April 11 from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the FedEx Institute of Technology, 365 Innovation Drive. Renee Horn, director of digital and social media for FedEx Corp., and Roberta Phillips, executive director of CWB, will speak. Register at memphischamber.com by Friday, April 6.

12. Events -

The Daily News will host its Health Care Reform seminar, part of the 2012 seminar series, Thursday, April 5, at 3:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, 1934 Poplar Ave. The seminar, which will include a keynote by Greg Anderson of Horne LLP and a panel discussion, will look at the impact of health care legislation and what can be expected through 2013. Cost is $25. Visit seminars.memphisdailynews.com for more information or to register.

13. New School Board Preps For ‘Gargantuan Task’ -

Martavius Jones didn’t stumble over his introduction at all Monday, Oct. 5, as seven new members of the new countywide school board took the oath of office.

“I used to be president of the Memphis City Schools board,” he said to a crowd of 400 that included officials of the two still separate school districts as well as family and friends of the new school board members. “This is a great day for all of Shelby County.”

14. Shelby County Court Filings See Sharp Dropoff From Q2 -

Court filings in Circuit, Chancery and Probate Courts for the third quarter of 2010 were relatively unchanged from the same quarter of 2009 and down significantly from the second quarter of this year

15. Events -

Small Biz Memphis will host the Cordova/Bartlett and East Memphis/Midtown Business Builders Circle meetings Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, from 7:45 a.m. to 9 a.m. at 1661 International Drive, suite 400. The Germantown/Collierville meeting will be held Thursday at 7:45 a.m. at 2176 West St. For more information, call 205-9303.

16. Higgins Takes Long Road to the Bench -

Gina Higgins thought 2006 was the year she would run for judge in the once-every-eight-year races known by politicians as the “big ballot.”

17. Higgins Takes Div. 4 Oath of Office -

Circuit Court Judge Gina C. Higgins takes the oath of office Thursday as the new Div. 4 judge. The ceremony will be at 4 p.m. in the City Council chambers at City Hall. Higgins won the post in the Aug. 5 elections in one of five special races.

18. GOP Carries Countywide Offices -

The only thing Republican candidates in Shelby County were denied in the Aug. 5 elections was a majority on the Shelby County Commission. The local GOP slate swept every countywide partisan race on the ballot with Thursday’s election results.

Voter turnout – early and Election Day – was almost 30 percent of Shelby County’s 600,000 voters. All election returns will be audited and must be certified by the Shelby County Election Commission.

Republican Bill Oldham, the former chief deputy of the Sheriff’s Department under outgoing Sheriff Mark Luttrell, beat Democrat Randy Wade in the race for sheriff.

The unofficial returns with all precincts reporting were:

Oldham: 89,613 (52%)

Wade: 82,981 (48%)

Wade, who was the Democratic nominee for sheriff in 2002, linked his 2010 campaign to the re-election bid of Democratic U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen. Wade, a former sheriff’s deputy, is Cohen’s district director.

Oldham campaigned on continuing the policies of Luttrell. But his campaign faltered when Oldham was forced to resign his job as chief deputy – the No. 2 position in the department – following a complaint to the U.S. Justice Department that his candidacy violated the Federal Hatch Act.

The civil complaint investigated by the Justice Department’s Office of Special Counsel left Oldham with the choice of either quitting the job or quitting the race. To keep both could have jeopardized federal funding the department receives.

The complaint was unique because deputies and high-ranking officers running for sheriff has been a regular feature of the sheriff’s race for decades. It wasn’t until 2002 that those in the department were required to take a leave of absence if they ran.

In other general election races, challenger Ken Hoover lost to Shelby County School Board Chairman David Pickler in the race for the District 5 seat on the seven-member board.

Pickler has been chairman for 11 of the 12 years the school board has been an elected body. Pickler ran on his record as chairman. Hoover also ran on Pickler’s record, saying his leadership style was too autocratic and not transparent enough.

The unofficial results were:

Pickler: 5,123 (51%)

Hoover: 4,956 (49%)

In the two other contested school board races, former Bolton High School principal Snowden “Butch” Carruthers beat Millington parent Charlene White in District 1. And political newcomer David Reaves beat fellow newcomer Lara A. McIntyre, both of Bartlett, for the District 3 seat.

White and McIntyre both called for change in school board methods during their campaigns.

District 7 school board member Ernest Chism ran unopposed.

The even-numbered district school board seats are on the 2012 county ballot.

After running for Probate Court clerk three other times, Democratic nominee Sondra Becton could not claim the office on her fourth try – even with the incumbent she campaigned against the three other times out of the race. Republican contender Paul Boyd easily beat Becton in the race for the office Chris Thomas gave up to run for and win a seat on the Shelby County Commission.

Becton lost to Thomas by 604 votes four years ago and was among the four Democratic challengers who unsuccessfully challenged the results in Chancery Court. This time she lost by more than 6,500 votes.

The vote totals were:

Boyd: 82,259 (52%)

Becton: 75,702 (48%)

Republican Tom Leatherwood easily defeated Democratic challenger Coleman Thompson to remain Shelby County register. The two faced each other in 2006, with Leatherwood winning.

The results Thursday were:

Leatherwood: 96,531 (58%)

Thompson: 68,784 (42%)

As early voting began, Thompson’s Pyramid Recovery Center was evicted from its longtime South Memphis space that was also an early voting site and an election day polling place. The landlord agreed to leave the voting sites up and running. But the possibility of a change in polling places served to highlight Thompson’s financial problems.

Late publicity about financial problems took a toll on another Democratic contender.

Newcomer Corey Maclin began campaigning early for Shelby County clerk, with incumbent Republican Debbie Stamson not seeking re-election. Maclin lost to Republican nominee Wayne Mashburn, the son of late county clerk Sonny Mashburn.

The unofficial returns were:

Mashburn: 88,619 (55%)

Maclin: 72,651 (45%)

Stamson’s husband, Steve Stamson, retired as Juvenile Court clerk, setting up the race that was won by Republican nominee Joy Touliatos, the chief administrative officer of the clerk’s office. She beat Democratic nominee Shep Wilbun, who won appointment to the clerk’s office in 2000 but lost to Stamson in the 2002 election and was beaten by Stamson again in 2006.

With all precincts reporting, the numbers were:

Touliatos: 85,849 (51%)

Wilbun: 73,345 (44%)

The remaining votes went to independent candidate Julia R. Wiseman.

Also seeking a return to countywide office was Minerva Johnican. Johnican, the Democratic nominee for Criminal Court clerk, lost to Republican nominee Kevin Key, the son of outgoing Criminal Court Clerk Bill Key and an administrator with the Circuit Court Clerk’s office.

The results were:

Key: 79,755 (49%)

Johnican: 74,831 (46%)

Independent candidate Jerry Stamson: 8,581 (5%)

Johnican, also a former Memphis City Council member and Shelby County Commissioner lost the clerk’s job in 1994 when she was upset by the elder Key.

Incumbent Republican Circuit Court Clerk Jimmy Moore easily defeated Democratic challenger Ricky Dixon. Although Dixon was part of the effort by Democratic party leaders to get voters to vote the entire party slate, Moore continued to show up at Democratic functions and make his case for crossover votes.

Regina Morrison Newman, the third Shelby County tustee in four years, lost her bid for a full term in the office to Republican challenger David Lenoir. It was an impressive political debut for Lenoir, who had heavy backing from the local GOP.

The results were:

Lenoir: 77,166 (49%)

Newman: 72,618 (46%)

Independent candidate Derrick Bennett: 6,353 (4%)

Newman was appointed to the office by the Shelby County Commission following the 2009 death of Trustee Paul Mattila. Mattila was appointed to the office and won a special election for the position following the 2008 death of Bob Patterson. Patterson was re-elected to a four-year term in 2006.

In the judicial races:

Attorney Bill Anderson Jr. emerged atop a field of 20 candidates for General Sessions Criminal Court Judge Div. 7 with 15 percent of the vote. Assistant County Attorney Janet Lansky Shipman was second and the only other contender to go into double digit percentages. The 20 candidates were the largest field in any race – primary or general – on the Shelby County ballot.

Prosecutor Bobby Carter, who had the backing of District Attorney General Bill Gibbons and former District Attorney General John Pierotti, was elected judge of Criminal Court Div. 3 in a close race with attorneys Glenn Wright and Latonya Sue Burrow.

Carter got 26 percent of the vote to Wright’s 25 percent and Burrow’s 24.7 percent.

The results in the three other special judicial races saw the three appointed judges rejected by voters.

  • Lee Wilson, the appointee to General Sessions Criminal Court Judge Div. 10, lost to former General Sessions Court Clerk Chris Turner by more than 64,000 votes. Turner’s victory was the strongest proof of the strong Republican turnout for races across the general election ballot. Turner had been the General Sessions Court clerk until 2006, when he was upset by Democratic challenger Otis Jackson. He is also a former Republican state legislator.
  • Lorrie Ridder, the appointee to Circuit Court Judge Div. 4, lost to attorney Gina Higgins by about 5,000 votes.
  • Rhynette Northcross Hurd, the appointee to Circuit Court Judge Div. 8, lost to attorney Bob Weiss by more than 12,000 votes.

Ridder and Hurd had been appointed to the Circuit Court vacancies by Gov. Phil Bredesen, who picked them each from a list of three finalists from the Judicial Nominating Commission. Bredesen even taped a robo-call on behalf of Hurd, his first robo-call for any candidate in the state.

Wilson was appointed to the General Sessions vacancy by the Shelby County Commission and adopted a domestic violence case docket for the court.

...

19. Bar Association Announces Endorsements -

The first bar endorsements in the August judicial elections are out. A committee of the Ben F. Jones chapter of the National Bar Association has endorsed candidates in all five of the special judicial elections on the Aug. 5 ballot. The committee also endorsed candidates in three of the court clerk races on the ballot.

20. Ben F. Jones Chapter Endorses In Judicial Races -

A committee of the Ben F. Jones chapter of the National Bar Association has endorsed candidates in all five of the special judicial elections on the Aug. 5 ballot.

The committee also endorsed in three of the court clerk races on the ballot.

21. Candidates Set For Local Judicial Elections -

The three special judicial nonpartisan elections on the Aug. 5 ballot are topped by a race in General Sessions Criminal Court between incumbent Lee Wilson, appointed last year by the Shelby County Commission, and Chris Turner, an attorney and former state legislator as well as the former General Sessions Court clerk.

22. Races Open For Two County School Board Seats -

The Aug. 5 elections will feature two races for open seats on the Shelby County school board.

At the noon Thursday filing deadline for the four odd-numbered district seats as well as the state and federal primaries, board member Anne Edmiston did not file for another four-year term. Board member Teresa Price had announced earlier that she would not be running either.

23. UPDATE: Two Open County School Board Seats At Filing Deadline -

The Aug. 5 elections will feature two races for open seats on the Shelby County school board.

At the noon Thursday filing deadline for the four odd-numbered district seats as well as the state and federal primaries, board member Anne Edmiston did not file for another four-year term. Board member Teresa Price had announced earlier that she would not be running either.

24. Higgins Co-Chairs MBA’s Award-Winning Internship Program -

Gina Higgins, an attorney at Higgins and Johnson, is a co-chair of the Diversity Committee of the Memphis Bar Association. Higgins chairs the committee with Linda Jew Mathis, an attorney at Golden & Mathis, and Ruby Wharton, principal at The Wharton Law Firm. Wharton also sits on the 2009 MBA board of directors.

25. MBA Intern Program Honored Nationally -

The Memphis Bar Association’s High School Summer Law Intern Program has received a 2009 American Bar Association Partnership Award. The ABA award honors bar associations that increase the involvement and progression of minority lawyers by involving minority high school students in the law profession.

26. ACLU-TN to Hype Voting Campaign Tuesday -      The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee (ACLU-TN) will hold a town hall meeting to promote its "Get Your Right to Vote Back" campaign Tuesday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the University of Memphis' Cecil C. Hum

27. Wassmer Captures Account Exec Spot at Thompson & Berry -

Katie Wassmer has been promoted to account executive at Thompson & Berry Public Relations, a division of Thompson & Co. Wassmer has been with Thompson & Berry for two years. She joined the company as an intern. Wassmer graduated from the University of Memphis in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in journalism/public relations.

28. Ward Named Judge of the Year by Bar Association -

The Criminal Law Section of the Memphis Bar Association recently presented Criminal Court Judge Mark Ward its judge of the year award. Ward presides over Division 9 of Shelby County's 30th Judicial District. Ward was appointed to the bench in 2004. Prior to that, he worked as an assistant public defender and in private practice. Ward's bachelor's degree in law enforcement and his law degree are both from the University of Memphis.

29. Archived Article: Events - The Shelby County Housing Authority Board meets at 3 p

Rhodes College hosts round one of the fifth annual Blues City Challenge, an intercollegiate invitational mock trial tournament, at 4 p.m. today at the Shelby County Courthouse, 140 Adams Ave....

30. Archived Article: Graphic (divattys) - Plaintiff attorney From courting to court More than 2,400 petitions for divorce have been filed in circuit or chancery courts in Shelby County for the first 10 months of 1999. Heres a look at the attorneys who handled the most cases for plaintiffs d...

31. Archived Article: Graphic (divattys) - Most active divorce attorneys Most active divorce attorneys Plaintiffs most often represented themselves in divorce proceedings over the past 14 months, according to petitions filed in circuit or chancery court. When an attorney was involved, here's...