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Editorial Results (free)

1. 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.”

2. 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.

3. Hurd To Circuit Court -

Collierville attorney Rhynette Northcross Hurd is the new division eight Circuit Court judge.

Gov. Phil Bredesen announced her appointment Friday afternoon from Nashville.

Hurd was one of three finalists recommended by the Judicial Nominating Commission for the vacancy created by the September retirement of Judge D’Army Bailey.

4. UPDATE: Hurd Appointed To Circuit Court -

Collierville attorney Rhynette Northcross Hurd is the new division eight Circuit Court judge.

Gov. Phil Bredesen announced her appointment Friday afternoon from Nashville.

Hurd was one of three finalists recommended by the Judicial Nominating Commission for the vacancy created by the September retirement of Judge D’Army Bailey.

5. Howard-Flynn Ready To Lead AWA Group -

The Association for Women Attorneys reaches a milestone today as it inducts its 30th president, Michele Howard-Flynn of the Howard-Flynn Law Group.

Howard-Flynn will take the gavel at the association’s annual banquet at 5:30 p.m. at The Racquet Club of Memphis. A new slate of 2010 officers also will be announced.

6. Steady Clip for Court Cases in ’09 -

Civil court filings for 2009 were higher than the previous two years, according to data from The Daily News Online.

The year-end data for Circuit, Chancery and Probate courts showed 10,794 cases were filed in 2009 compared to 9,766 in 2008 and 10,045 in 2007.

7. Three Finalists Chosen for Bailey’s Court Seat -

The state’s Judicial Nominating Commission spent the last shopping weekend before Christmas interviewing would-be judges in Memphis.

Members of the panel gathered at the Shelby County Courthouse Saturday and came up with a list of three finalists to replace retired Circuit Court Judge D’Army Bailey. The list followed a day of interviews with the applicants.

8. 2009 Year In Review -

2009 was a year without a script – and plenty of improvising on the political stage.

It was supposed to be an off-election year except in Arlington and Lakeland.

2008 ended with voters in the city and county approving a series of changes to the charters of Memphis and Shelby County governments. Those changes were supposed to set a new direction for both entities, kicking into high gear in 2010 and ultimately culminating two years later.

9. Attorney Sees Opportunities Ahead For New Practice -

Stephen H. Biller took the risk in a down economy of going off on his own and forming The Biller Law Firm – a risk that appears to have paid off as he has hired a new attorney and other staff members since opening June 1.

10. State Amends Client Funds Program To Boost Charitable Grants -

The Tennessee Supreme Court in July amended court Rule 43 and Rule 8 of the Rules of Professional Conduct to require attorneys holding eligible client funds to participate in the Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Program.

11. Court Filings Up Overall in Q2 -

Shelby County Circuit Court saw 1,720 cases filed in the second quarter, with more than 20 percent of them divorces with and without children. Auto accident and breach of contracts cases were the second- and third-highest categories, respectively.

12. Ridder Takes Oath in Bittersweet Circumstance -

As she took the oath of office this week as a Circuit Court judge, Lorrie Ridder told a group of friends, family and fellow judges that the experience was bittersweet.

Ridder was appointed in April to fill the vacancy in Division 4 created by Rita Stotts’ January death.

13. Apperson Crump’s Kosciolek Discusses Elder, Family Law -

Jeannie M. Kosciolek is an attorney at Apperson Crump & Maxwell PLC, where she practices in divorce and family law as well as general civil litigation and elder law.

Kosciolek was admitted to practice law in 2001 after receiving her juris doctorate from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. She received her bachelor’s degree in English literature with minors in political science and Spanish from the University of Memphis, graduating with honors.

14. Q1 Court Filings Remain Steady -

The first three months of 2009 saw some changes at the Shelby County Courthouse.

Circuit Court Judge Rita Stotts died two days into the year and her appointed successor, Lorrie Ritter, is preparing to take the oath of office and the bench in Division 4 this month.

15. Ridder Is New Circuit Court Judge -

Attorney Lorrie Ridder is the new Shelby County Circuit Court judge for Division 4.

Gov. Phil Bredesen selected Ridder and announced her appointment today to the vacancy created by the January death of Rita Stotts.

16. Newspaper Moves to Open Priest Abuse Records -

The Daily News has filed a motion to intervene in a Circuit Court lawsuit alleging child sexual abuse by a Memphis Catholic priest.

The newspaper is seeking to open records in the recently settled John Doe lawsuit filed against the Catholic Diocese of Memphis, The Dominican religious order and Father Juan Carlos Duran.

17. Three Finalists Nominated For Circuit Court Vacancy -

The Tennessee Judicial Selection Commission has sent the names of three finalists to Gov. Phil Bredesen for a vacant Shelby County Circuit Court judge’s position.

The finalists are Lorrie K. Ridder, shareholder at Luckett Pinstein Ridder PC; Venita Marie Martin, member at Glankler Brown PLLC; and Antonio L. Matthews, of counsel at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC.

18. New Info Surfaces in Priest Sex Cases -

Fifteen priests in the Catholic Diocese of Memphis have been accused of sexually abusing children since the diocese was formed in 1971.

That was among the disclosures made in a Circuit Court hearing late last week to set the ground rules for the pending civil trial of a lawsuit against the diocese and the Dominican religious order. The hearing continues Thursday.

19. 10 Attorneys Vie For Circuit Court Slot -

Ten Memphis attorneys have applied for an appointment to a vacancy in Shelby County Circuit Court.

The deadline for applications to the Tennessee Judicial Commission was Tuesday. The commission will meet later this month to recommend a list of three finalists to Gov. Phil Bredesen, who can appoint one of the three or get another list of three finalists from the commission.

20. Deadline Today For Circuit Court Applications -

Today is the deadline for candidates to apply to the Tennessee Judicial Selection Commission for Circuit Court judge.

The vacancy was created by the Jan. 2 death of Judge Rita Stotts. Through Friday, two attorneys had applied: Mischelle Alexander Best, a Shelby County public defender and former General Sessions Criminal Court judge and Sean Antone Hunt, an attorney at Spicer, Flynn & Rudstrom PLLC.

21. Contenders Focus On Stotts Vacancy -

It’s on to the Tennessee Judicial Commission for some of the contenders who failed to land this week’s appointment of a new judge for General Sessions Criminal Court.

Candidates for a vacant judgeship in Shelby County Circuit Court have until Tuesday to turn in their applications to the commission. The commission will send a list of three finalists to Gov. Phil Bredesen, who will fill the vacancy created by the death this month of Judge Rita Stotts. Stotts died Jan. 2 from complications of cancer.

22. Wilson Appointed General Sessions Criminal Court Judge -

Attorney Lee Wilson is the new judge of Division 10 General Sessions Criminal Court.

The Shelby County Board of Commissioners Monday appointed Wilson to the vacancy created by the Jan. 2 death of Judge Anthony Johnson. He died of a heart attack.

23. Wilson Is New General Sessions Criminal Court Judge -

Attorney Lee Wilson is the new judge of Division 10 General Sessions Criminal Court.

The Shelby County Board of Commissioners today appointed Wilson to the vacancy created by the Jan. 2 death of Judge Anthony Johnson. He died of a heart attack.

24. Commission to Vote On New Judge -

The candidates will outnumber commissioners today when the Shelby County Board of Commissioners votes on a new General Sessions Criminal Court judge.

There are 15 candidates for the Division 10 judgeship that became vacant with the Jan. 2 death of veteran jurist Anthony Johnson. There are 13 county commissioners.

25. Judgeship Applications Due Jan. 21 -

Members of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners began the process this week of filling one of two judicial vacancies.

The commission is accepting applications through Jan. 21 for General Sessions Criminal Court judge Division 10. Judge Anthony Johnson died of a heart attack Jan. 2.

26. Legal Community Bids Farewell to Stotts, Johnson -

Two Shelby County judges who died on the same day are being mourned this week by the Memphis legal community.

General Sessions Criminal Court Judge Anthony Johnson and Circuit Court Judge Rita Stotts died Friday evening. Johnson died of a heart attack at his Downtown home. Stotts died at Methodist University Hospital after a recent recurrence of cancer.

27. Dress Code Makes Rounds Among Attorneys -

There won’t be any specific fashion dos or don’ts for Shelby County Circuit Court in a new set of local rules attorneys are reviewing.

The revised “local rules” draft began circulating for comment this week.

28. Steady as She Goes -

Memphis City Schools in June filed a lawsuit in Shelby County Chancery Court against the city of Memphis because of the City Council’s cutting of nearly $70 million in funds for MCS.

The city school board, along with state education officials, stand behind their position that the city never should cut its funding to MCS.

29. Bar Examines Dress Code Issue -

For an hour last week, a group of 16 attorneys and judges gathered in the Tennessee Supreme Court chambers in the Shelby County Courthouse to talk about whether a specific dress code is needed in the nine divisions of Circuit Court.

30. Family Court Plan Spotlights Pilot Debate -

A family court task force set up by the Shelby County Board of Commissioners completed its work this week with a set of recommendations that call for more of a connection between the courts that deal with families in crisis and social services agencies. The report goes to the commission for further consideration.

31. Superior of Ex-Priest Claims He Lied to Pope -

A Dominican priest has claimed he lied to now-deceased Pope John Paul II when he told the pontiff in a letter that he had tried to get other church assignments for a Memphis priest who sexually abused a 14-year-old boy in 2000.

32. Boundaries To Unified Family Court Exist, Task Force Finds -

Third Street is the boundary between civil and criminal cases even if the same people are involved in both kinds of cases.

The Shelby County Courthouse where civil cases are heard is on the west side of the street. The Criminal Justice Center, at 201 Poplar Ave. on the east side of the street, is where criminal courts are.

33. Family Court Advocates Compare Baltimore, Shelby County -

Local fans of the HBO television series "The Wire" probably would say the cop show's depiction of Baltimore bears a startling resemblance to Memphis.

Some Memphis judges, lawyers and social workers exploring the idea of a family court are looking to Baltimore as a possible example of how to create a court system that offers a more unified approach to family problems.

34. Group Studies Family Court Creation -

As the question of government consolidation is debated in a bright and often hot media spotlight, a panel of judges, attorneys and social service providers has been quietly debating the idea of legal consolidation.

35. Judicial Evaluations Get Jaws Flapping and Tails Swishing in Legal Circles -

A week after their release, the latest batch of judicial evaluations from Memphis Bar Association members remains a touchy subject in the legal community.

The evaluations have been controversial since the first surveys were mailed to attorneys in 1987. The survey moved from once a year to once every two years in 2001 after lots of discussion about whether the timing of them was intended to influence judicial elections.

36. Attention Legal Eagles, Hams and Drama Queens: Auditions on Tap Today for Bar's Annual Parody -

If you find yourself searching for opportunities to make fun of lawyers - or anyone in the legal community, for that matter - your time has arrived.

The Memphis Bar Association will hold an open casting call for the 12th production of its legal parody, "Entertaining Motions," today from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the MBA office in Brinkley Plaza, 80 Monroe Ave., Ste. 220.

37. Young Lawyers Division Gears Up for 2006 -

The Memphis Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division recently elected a new set of leaders to govern the division's coming year.

Among the newly elected was Kirk Caraway, who assumed the YLD presidency Nov. 17 at the group's annual meeting and elections. Shannon Toon of Hill Boren PC was elected as 2006 vice president.

38. Stotts Honored by Association for Women Attorneys -

Circuit Court Judge Rita L. Stotts received the Marion Griffin-Frances Loring Award presented annually by the Association for Women Attorneys. The award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to women in the legal profession.

39. Archived Article: Law Briefs - Memphis City Council member

Memphis City Council member Barbara Swearengen Holt hosts a summit at 6:30 p.m. today at Central Station to discuss Downtown development opportunities for African-Americans.

African-Americans and the Development Gam...

40. Archived Article: Law Briefs - The recently released 2000 Altman Weil Survey of Law Firm Economics reports law firms in the United States experienced a modes The recently released 2000 Altman Weil Survey of Law Firm Economics reports law firms in the United States experienced a m...

41. Archived Article: Real Briefs - 02-20 Real briefs Ben Antwine, an asset manager of retail properties with Belz Enterprises, has earned professional accreditation as a Certified Shopping Center Manager (CSM) from the International Council of Shopping Centers. He is the first Belz e...