Battered Woman’s Syndrome Gains Judicial Support


Recent court decisions emphasize a growing trend in the acceptance of the notion that battered partners can use force to defend themselves and even kill their abusers. This domestic violence concept, referred to as “battered woman syndrome,” is based on the abusive and occasionally life threatening situations in which partners can find themselves. Such violent situations cause them to firmly believe that killing their partner is the only way to ensure their survival. This concept has been controversial however, as neither the DSM nor the ICD medical classification guides include battered woman’s syndrome as a condition severe enough to excuse alleged offenders. The latest judicial decision evidencing such a broad understanding of domestic violence was the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole’s decision to release Gaile Owens, 58. Owens received the death penalty for being an accessory to the first-degree murder of her husband, Ron Owens, in 1984. Owens contracted […]

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Lifetime Alimony Award Ruled Against By Tennessee Supreme Court


In a unanimous decision, the Tennessee Supreme Court declared lifetime alimony to be inapplicable when the receiving spouse is in good health, receives a good salary, and has received substantial assets in the division of martial property. The highly anticipated decision was the product of a 2009 divorce proceeding between Johanna and Craig Gonsewski. Craig Gonsewski took home an annual salary of $137,000 with an additional $38,000 bonus as a comptroller of a restaurant equipment manufacturer. His wife Johanna, who is employed in the information technology sector of the state, received an annual salary of $72,000. In the Court of Appeals, Craig Gonsewski was ordered to pay $1,250 to his ex-wife each month. In reversing the decision by the Court of Appeals, Chief Justice Cornelia A. Clark noted the impossibility for a separated couple to enjoy the same standard of living they enjoyed while married with mutual assets and income. […]

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Divorce More Accessible and Cheaper Under New Tennessee Rule


In an effort to improve access to justice the Tennessee Supreme Court has adopted a new rule that will allow Tennesseans without minor children or dependents, pension plans, and property or businesses to file for divorce without lawyers. The new rule allows those eligible to use “plain-language” forms for “agreed divorces,” those that are uncontested and bear no significant legal issues. To be eligible, couples must not have children who are minors, disabled, or still in high school; the wife must not be pregnant; the couple must not own any property or a business; they must not have pension plans and the decision to end the marriage must be mutual. If the couple fails to meet these requirements then a lawyer must be retained. However, it is suggested that the couple consult a lawyer when preparing the divorce agreement as a judge may disapprove of the agreement if it is […]

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Tips For Handling An Insurance Claim


Being rear ended during the early morning rush hour or straining your back while on the work site, accidents happen. Knowledge is one of the most important tools you can have when misfortune strikes. Most people would agree that the most difficult and confusing aspect of being injured or involved in an accident is managing the insurance claim. The adverse nature of an accident alone can be more than some can handle, therefore even a basic understanding of how the insurance system functions can prove to be significant in settling your claim. The Friendly Insurance Claims Adjuster As the representative of the insurance company, the claims adjuster is the person who makes the decisions that ultimately decide how much the insurance company gains or loses. Therefore, it should be no surprise that they are well trained to ensure the insurance companies receive the maximum benefits while providing you with the […]

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What a Vanderbilt Student needs to know if charged with a Student Conduct Violation or Violation of the Honor Code?


1. Take it very seriously. Many students are consumed with their class schedule, exams, and writing assignments and fail to give these things the proper attention that they deserve. A student should consider that a violation could lead to suspension or even expulsion. Certainly they deserve as much attention as a mid-term exam. 2. Tell your parents. I have found that many students are embarrassed by their conduct and too ashamed to tell their parents. In your early adult years, it may be hard to recognize this, but your parents have your best interest in mind. While they may at first be upset, they will want to help you avoid having a permanent mark on your personal or academic background and will try to help you as best they can. They will be informed of the result of your hearing so better to tell them while they can still help […]

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