Archive for August, 2009

Tennessee DUI Laws on “Let’s Talk Law with Steve Oberman & Sara Compher-Rice”

Tune in to WNOX-FM 100.3 NewsTalk 100 this Sunday, August 30, 2009, when Steve and Sara will be discussing the topic of “Tennessee DUI Laws.”  You can also listen live via the web by visiting

We encourage you to call during the show with your questions about the DUI laws in Tennessee by dialing (865) 656-TALK (8255) or (800) 951-TALK (8255).  U.S. Cellular and AT&T Wireless customers can also place a free call by dialing *100.  If you prefer, feel free to post your questions and/or comments here on our blog.  We will review the blog before the show and attempt to answer your questions on the air.

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Tips for Selecting and Working with a DUI Lawyer

Unfortunately most people charged with a Tennessee DUI offense do not realize that the selection of his or her lawyer can be life-altering decision.  Many people charged with a DUI in Tennessee find themselves in the midst of the criminal justice system for the first time in their lives.  The experience is often overwhelming and terrifying.  The worst thing a person can do is hire an attorney at random to handle a driving under the influence case.  Steve Oberman and I often advise potential clients to not rely solely on the biggest yellow page ad or a billboard advertisement.  Your decision should be based upon careful research and reflection.

On the August 16th show of “Let’s Talk Law with Steve Oberman and Sara Compher-Rice,” we were fortunate to have two guests to discuss this issue and answer questions from our listeners on the topic of Selecting and Working with a Lawyer.  Attorneys Tom Scott and Mark Britton, for providing our listeners invaluable information relating to selecting and working with a lawyer.

Tom Scott is currently serving as the Chair of the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility (BPR).  Tom provided us with information on the role of the Tennessee BPR and explained how the BPR fields and processes complaints of clients against lawyers.  We also learned that the general public can visit the BPR website to search for any disciplinary action taken against attorneys.  For more information on the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility and the Board can assist you, visit or call 800-486-5714.

Mark Britton is the CEO and founder of Avvo. is a resource for consumers to use when researching potential attorneys.  Unlike other lawyer rating services, Avvo provides both positive and negative feedback on attorneys.  For instance, Avvo works with the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility to inform clients of any disciplinary action taken against a lawyer.

The decision of which attorney to hire is often one of the most crucial decisions a person will make in his or her life.  Tom and Mark have provided an excellent starting point for the potentially life-altering lawyer search.  Once you have completed your initial research, you should follow up by asking those you know and trust (friends, family, neighbors, other lawyers and professionals) for recommendations.  Finally, take time to meet with the potential lawyer to assess his or her skill level, attentiveness and professionalism.  You may also visit our website for examples of questions to ask during your interview.

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Is Big Brother Watching?

Do you think the government has expanded its law enforcement surveillance too far?  Many jurisdictions across the country are now employing the use of both red light cameras and speed enforcement cameras.


Tennessee recently weighed in on the use of such equipment on federal interstate highways.  Public Chapter 389, signed by Governor Bredesen on June 9, 2009, permits traffic surveillance enforcement in certain situations.  This new law amends Tennessee Code Annotated § 55-8-198 to provide certain exceptions permitting the use of surveillance cameras on federal interstate highways.  One exception states “when employees of the department or construction workers are present, surveillance cameras [may be] used to enforce or monitor traffic violations within work zones designated by the department of transportation; provided, that such cameras shall be operated only by a state entity.”


It is important to note that the new law, which allows the issuance of citations such as speeding tickets and red-light tickets,  does limit the use of traffic enforcement cameras to only work zones when department employees or construction workers are present.

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