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Criminal Procedure Archives

Why Tennessee's Criminal Discovery Rules Are Obsolete ?

It is high time that Tennessee's criminal discovery rules change. Here is just one example. The Tennessee Bar Journal reported on a recent disciplinary sanction for a Tennessee lawyer. The lawyer wrote a book on a couple of murder trials that he had prosecuted. In the book, he discusses some facts that were not disclosed to the accused. It was an apparent Brady violation to not disclose favorable or exculpatory evidence to the defense. Once the convicted murderer discovered the disclosure, he filed a bar complaint, a motion for a new trial and a petition error coram nobis. It was alright for the lawyer to disclose the facts to sell his book, but the violation came from him withholding those facts from the defendant during the trial. Both federal and state prosecutors in Tennessee have banded together to fight the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility's new ethical rules mandating the disclosure of favorable or exculpatory evidence in criminal matters.

Criminal Procedure in Sumner County, Tennessee

Every county has different local rules of court that govern the criminal court process and the procedure of how a criminal case should progress. The rules of criminal procedure are set by the state bur every county has their local rules. Sumner County Criminal Court Judge Dee Gay recently reminded attorneys that practice in his court of the local rules. I thought that I would post some of the key rules for lawyers that don't practice there often or those facing crimnal charges in Sumner County.

What is the Ten Day Rule?

One of the basic rules of Tennessee Criminal Procedure is the ten day rule.The ten day rule requires a preliminary hearing in criminal cases in Tennessee if the accused cannot make a bond. Under Rule 5(c)(1)(B) of the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure requires the magistrate to set a preliminary hearing to be held within ten days if the defendant remains in custody unless:

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