Tennessee Supreme Court Clarifies Standard Of Appellate Review

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Tennessee Supreme Court, in a unanimous opinion, clarified the standard of appellate review for a trial court’s decision regarding judicial diversion.

When a case is appealed, the court must determine what standard of review applies. In this case, the defendant argued that the Court of Criminal Appeals used the wrong standard when reviewing the trial court’s decision to deny judicial diversion.

In October of 2011, Kiara Tashawn King pled guilty to aggravated burglary and theft of property for her involvement as the getaway driver for three other individuals who had burglarized a Marshall County residence. King asked the trial court to place her on judicial diversion, which ultimately could have resulted in dismissal of the charges if she had successfully completed her probationary terms. The trial court denied her request, and the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the denial of diversion.

The Tennessee Supreme Court upheld the ruling of the Court of Criminal Appeals, adopting as the appropriate standard of review for judicial diversion rulings “abuse of discretion with a presumption of reasonableness.” 

While this standard provides trial judges with considerable discretion on the issue, the record must demonstrate that all relevant factors were addressed during the proceeding.  In this case, although the trial court failed to place its reasons on the record, the Supreme Court chose to conduct its own review, concluding that the trial court had reached the proper result.


TVA Honors 2016 Engineer Of The Year At February Board Meeting

Robert M. Frye, a principal engineer for the power transmission system, was honored as the TVA’s Ike Zeringue Engineer of the Year during the TVA board of directors meeting Thursday in Chattanooga.  Mr. Frye, a 29-year TVA veteran, leads an electrical engineering team dedicated to ensuring TVA’s critical transmission system remains highly reliable, routing power across the ... (click for more)

Pinnacle Adds Andrea Leen As Treasury Management Advisor

Andrea Leen has joined CapitalMark Bank & Trust, a division of Pinnacle Bank, as a treasury management advisor. In her role, she will assist business clients with treasury management functions including debt, cash flow and forecasting.  Ms. Leen started her career at Regions Bank in 2003 and has 12 years of experience in treasury management. She most recently served ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Principals Say Part 1 Of TN Ready Testing Should Be Cut Due To Online System Failure

Hamilton County principals are asking that Part 1 of the TN Ready Assessment be dropped this year due to the recent crash of the online system for the program. The principals also asked that any Part 1 TN Ready test results  not be applied to students’ grades or to evaluations and rankings for school personnel and school districts. The local principals also ... (click for more)

Greenholtz Collects $71,641 For Criminal Court Judge Campaign; Little Has $22,850; Patterson $20,134

Judge Tom Greenholtz reported $71,641 received for his campaign to remain as judge of Criminal Court, Division II. He was named by Governor Bill Haslam as the interim replacement for Judge Rebecca Stern, who retired before her term was up. Mike Little had $22,850, and Boyd Patterson received $20,134. Here is the report for Tom Greenholtz: ... (click for more)

Innocent Until Proven Guilty, Even Athletes

From reading Randy Smith's column on the lawsuit against UT it is pretty evident that he never took a legal course in his life. I was under the impression that in this country one was innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. It appears this no longer applies to athletes(particularly black athletes) in the U.S. in 2016. I have always said that if I am picked for jury duty ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Warmth For Cold Days

I come across all sorts of warm things every day and as we burrow out of sub-freezing temperatures for a day or two, shaking off ice and snow, allow me to share a few things for a change that may take the bite out of the winter wind. This is what helps me. * * * Judy Bellenfant, who has been a soul mate ever since we shared jokes in high school classrooms, sends along this ... (click for more)