Sandra N. C. Donaghy, Judge

Biography

Reports of Cases Reviewed by Appellate Courts – Beginning Jan. 1, 2022

Text is the appellate court’s summary of the opinion. 

Scroll down for important information.

 

State of Tennessee v. Pierce, No. E2023-0163-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.  Crim. App. Dec. 5, 2023).  A Bradley County jury found Defendant, Lori Anne Pierce, guilty of possession of methamphetamine with the intent to sell or deliver, a Class B felony (Count 1); possession of alprazolam with the intent to sell or deliver, a Class D felony (Count 2); possession of clonazepam with the intent to sell or deliver, a Class D felony (Count 3); and attempted unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to deliver, a Class A misdemeanor (Count 4). On appeal, Defendant challenges whether the evidence was sufficient to prove that she constructively possessed the contraband on all four counts. Defendant also challenges whether the evidence was sufficient to prove intent to sell or deliver on all counts. After review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court but remand for correction of the judgment forms to indicate Defendant’s proper offender status and release eligibility.

 

State of Tennessee v. Davis, No. E2022-01539-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn. Crim. App. Nov. 6, 2023). Defendant, Timothy Elliott1 Davis, was convicted by a jury of driving under the influence of an intoxicant (“DUI”) and driving under the influence of an intoxicant with a blood alcohol concentration (“BAC”) greater than 0.8 (“DUI per se”). Defendant pled guilty to DUI, third offense following the jury verdict on the first two counts. The trial court sentenced Defendant to eleven months, twenty-nine days, suspended to supervised probation upon service of seven months in the county jail. On appeal, Defendant argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress the results of a blood alcohol test and that the evidence is insufficient to support the guilty verdict. Following our review of the record, the briefs, and oral arguments of the parties, we affirm the judgments of thetrial court but remand for correction of the judgment forms consistent with this opinion.

 

Parks, Jr. v. State of Tennessee, No. E2022-01592-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn. Crim. App. Sept. 14, 2023). Pro se Petitioner, Bruce Parks, Jr., appeals the Bradley County Criminal Court’s summary dismissal of his motion to correct an illegal sentence, filed pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36.1. Because the Petitioner’s claim that the State failed to give notice of enhancement factors or its intent to seek consecutive sentencing is not cognizable in a Rule 36.1 motion, we affirm the trial court’s summary dismissal of the motion to correct an illegal sentence.

 

Donald Ray Pennington, Jr. v. State of Tennessee, No. E2022-01133-CCA-R3-PC (Tenn. Crim. App. Aug. 15, 2023). Petitioner, Donald Ray Pennington, Jr., appeals as of right from the Bradley County Criminal Court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, wherein he challenged his convictions for rape of a child and aggravated sexual battery for which he received an effective forty-year sentence. On appeal, Petitioner asserts that he received ineffective assistance of counsel based upon trial counsel’s failure to (1) provide Petitioner with the discovery materials until after trial; (2) investigate the victim’s school records; and(3)call two witnesses to impeach the credibility of the victim’s mother. Following our review, we affirm.

 

State of Tennessee v. Bowen, No. E2022-00691-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn. Crim. App. Apr. 14, 2023).  A Monroe County jury convicted the Defendant, Steven Shawn Bowen, of driving under the influence, third offense, driving on a revoked license, second offense, and violation of the financial responsibility for a motor vehicle statute. On appeal, the Defendant asserts that the trial court erred when it: (1) “refused to allow [the Defendant] a court reporter;” (2) denied his motion to dismiss based on the State’s failure to preserve video footage of the stop and arrest; (3) denied his motion to dismiss based on the statute of limitations; and (4) admitted the official toxicology report in the absence of witnesses to establish chain of custody for the blood sample. Finally, the Defendant claims that there is insufficient evidence to support his convictions. After review, we affirm the trial court’s judgments.

 

State of Tennessee v. Tekle, No. E2022-00686-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn. Crim. App. Mar. 31, 2023). Tabila Aida Tekle was charged in the Monroe County Criminal Court with two counts of harassment and one count of retaliation for past action for statements she made on Facebook about employees of the Department of Children’s Services (“DCS”). The Defendant filed motions to dismiss the indictment, asserting that her statements were protected by the right to free speech, and the trial court dismissed the charges. The State appeals the trial court’s dismissal of the harassment charges, arguing that the court made a pretrial factual determination about an element of the offense, which was a determination for the jury. Based upon the oral arguments, the record, and the parties’ briefs, we reverse the judgments of the trial court, reinstate the charges for harassment, and remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

 

State of Tennessee v. Gray, No. E2021-01134-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn. Crim. App. Nov. 30, 2022).  The State filed a petition seeking to transfer seventeen-year-old Defendant-Appellant, Malique Nicolas Gray, for prosecution as an adult in criminal court. Prior to the transfer hearing, the Bradley County Juvenile Court Judge signed an order appointing the juvenile magistrate judge to hear the matter. The juvenile magistrate judge presided over the Defendant’s transfer hearing and found probable cause to transfer the Defendant to the Bradley County Criminal Court to be tried as an adult. At the close of the transfer hearing, the juvenile magistrate judge advised defense counsel that she was sitting as a “substitute judge.” Following a trial, the Defendant was convicted by a Bradley County Criminal Court jury of aggravated robbery, felony theft of property, misdemeanor theft of property, and burglary of an automobile. The Defendant received a concurrent term of eleven years for the aggravated robbery and three years for the felony theft of property, which was aligned consecutively to a concurrent term of two years for burglary of an automobile and eleven months and twenty-nine days for the misdemeanor theft of property, for an effective sentence of thirteen years’ imprisonment. The Defendant’s principal complaint on appeal is that the juvenile transfer hearing was “marred by procedural defects” because (1) the order by the juvenile court judge appointing the juvenile magistrate judge was “silent regarding any necessity or good cause [for the juvenile judge] to be absent;” and (2) the transfer hearing was conducted by a judge who did not identify herself as a “substitute judge” until the end of the hearing, depriving the Defendant of an opportunity to object and appeal to the elected juvenile court judge The Defendant also argues that the trial court erred in denying alternative sentencing under Tennessee Code Annotated Section 40-35- 122, which prohibits continuous confinement for non-violent property offenses, and in imposing partial consecutive sentencing. Upon our review, we affirm.

 

State of Tennessee v. McDaniel, No. E2021-00565-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn. Crim. App. Nov. 30, 2022).  The Defendant, Adam O’Brian McDaniel, was convicted by a Monroe County Criminal Court jury of three counts of rape of a child, a Class A felony, for which he received concurrent twenty-eight-year sentences to be served at 100%. See T.C.A. § 39-13-522 (2018) (subsequently amended). On appeal, the Defendant contends that: (1) the trial court erred in determining that he was competent to stand trial, (2) the trial court erred in denying the motion to suppress his pretrial statement, (3) the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions, (4) the State made an improper election of offenses, (5) the trial court erred in admitting the victim’s great-grandmother’s testimony regarding her reaction to the victim’s revelation of sexual abuse, (6) the trial court erred in denying his motion for a mistrial, (7) the trial court erred in giving a jury instruction pursuant to State v. Ferguson, 2 S.W.3d 912 (Tenn. 1999), rather than granting his motion to dismiss based upon the State’s loss or destruction of evidence, and (8) the State engaged in improper closing argument. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.

 

State of Tennessee v. Graves, No. E2021-00647-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn. Crim. App. Oct. 4, 2022). Defendant, Lonnie Lynn Graves, pled guilty to possession of 26 grams or more of methamphetamine with intent to sell or deliver, possession of a firearm with the intent to go armed during the commission of a dangerous felony, and felon in possession of a firearm but specifically reserved a certified question of law pursuant to Rule 37(b)(2)(A) of the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure. The question pertained to the legality of the search of Defendant’s vehicle during a traffic stop for speeding which was the subject of an unsuccessful suppression motion. Because the judgments failed to comply with the strict requirements of Rule 37(b)(2)(A), Defendant did not properly reserve a certified issue for review. As a result, we are without jurisdiction to review the merits of Defendant’s claim, and accordingly dismiss his appeal.

 

State of Tennessee v. Burford, No. E2021-00655-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn. Crim. App. Sept. 20, 2022). A Bradley County jury convicted the Defendant, Horatio Derelle Burford, of aggravated assault. The trial court sentenced the Defendant as a Range III offender to serve twelve years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court failed to: (1) properly limit the State’s evidence about prior injuries to the victim; and (2) preclude the State from introducing improper photographic evidence during opening argument. After review, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.

 

State of Tennessee v. Dawson,  No. E2021-00912-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn. Crim. App. Aug. 23, 2022).  The Defendant-Appellant, Timothy M. Dawson, was convicted by a McMinn County Criminal Court jury of theft of property of more than $2,500 but less than $10,000, a Class D felony. See Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-14-103; 39-14-105(a)(3). During a consolidated sentencing hearing on the Defendant’s convictions from three separate trials, the trial court sentenced the Defendant as a career offender to 12 years’ incarceration, to be served consecutively to the sentences from his other two convictions. On appeal, the Defendant contends that 1) the evidence was insufficient to establish the value of the stolen property; and 2) the trial court erred in denying the Defendant’s motion of acquittal, or in the alternative, erred in denying his motion for new trial. After careful review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

 

State of Tennessee v. Waters, E2021-00218-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn. Crim. App. July 28, 2022). Defendant, George Steven Waters, was convicted by a jury of one count of reckless homicide. The trial court imposed a sentence of four years, suspended to ten years of supervised probation after service of 364 days in confinement. On appeal, Defendant argues that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction; that the trial court erred in denying his request for judicial diversion; and that his sentence is excessive. Following our review of the entire record and the briefs of the parties, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

 

State of Tennessee v. McCulloch, No. E2021-00404-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn. Crim. App. June 29, 2022). The Defendant, Lesa Annette White McCulloch, appeals her convictions for one count of initiating the manufacture of methamphetamine, three counts of simple possession of a controlled substance, one count of possession of marijuana with the intent to sell, and one count of possession of unlawful drug paraphernalia, and her resulting sixteen-year sentence. The Defendant argues that (1) the trial court erred by denying the Defendant’s motion to suppress the evidence seized as a result of the search of the Defendant’s home; (2) the trial court erred by denying the Defendant’s motion to dismiss for the State’s failure to preserve material evidence and by declining to issue a special jury instruction; (3) the trial court erred by failing to instruct the jury on the lesser-included offense of facilitation of possession of marijuana with the intent to sell; (4) the trial court erred by admitting evidence of the Defendant’s prior bad acts; (5) the State committed prosecutorial misconduct during closing arguments by commenting on the Defendant’s intelligence; (6) the evidence was insufficient to support her convictions; and (7) the trial court erred in determining her sentencing range and by ordering partial consecutive sentencing. Following our review, we affirm; however, we remand the case for entry of a corrected judgment in Count 1 due to a clerical error.

 

State of Tennessee v. Cobb, No. E2021-00903-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn. Crim. App. June 24, 2022).  The Defendant, Guy A. Cobb, was convicted of one count of possession with intent to sell more than one-half gram of methamphetamine, a Class B felony, and was sentenced to eight years’ probation. See T.C.A. § 39-17-434 (2018). Subsequently, the trial court found the Defendant violated conditions of his probation and ordered him to serve the balance of his sentence in confinement. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred by ordering him to serve his sentence. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

 

State of Tennessee v. Appelt,  No. E2020-01575-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn. Crim. App. June 22, 2022).  The Appellant, Otto Karl Appelt, was convicted in the Bradley County Criminal Court of vandalism of property valued more than $1,000 but less than $2,500, a Class E felony. After a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced him as a Range I, standard offender to two years to be served as four months in confinement followed by supervised probation and ordered that he pay $2,000 in restitution. On appeal, the Appellant contends that he was denied his right to counsel because the trial court failed to consider whether his waiver of counsel was knowing and intelligent; that the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction; that the trial court erred by sentencing him to the maximum punishment in the range and by not granting his request for full probation; and that the trial court erred by setting his amount of restitution at $2,000 and by not considering his ability to pay. The State concedes error in the trial court’s restitution order. Based upon the oral arguments,
the record, and the parties’ briefs, we reverse the trial court’s order that the Appellant pay $2,000 in restitution and remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed in all other respects.

 

State of Tennessee v. Dawson,  No. E2021-00313-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn. Crim. App. June 21 , 2022).  The Defendant, Timothy M. Dawson, pled guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia before he was found guilty of simple possession of methamphetamine by a jury. The Defendant was also convicted of theft in two separate, unrelated cases. Following a consolidated sentencing hearing on all three cases, the trial court sentenced the Defendant to consecutive terms of eleven months and twenty-nine days for his two Class A misdemeanor convictions in this case, finding that the Defendant was a professional criminal and that he had an extensive criminal history. The Defendant appeals, challenging the trial court’s consecutive sentencing determination based upon aspects of the consolidated nature of the sentencing hearing. Following our review, we affirm.

 

State of Tennessee v. Dawson, No. E2021-00913-CCA-R3-CD  (Tenn. Crim. App. May 18, 2022).  The defendant, Timothy Mitchell Dawson, appeals his McMinn County Criminal Court Jury conviction of theft of property valued at more than $1,000 but less than $2,500, challenging the admission of evidence about an unrelated theft purportedly committed by the defendant and the sufficiency of the convicting evidence. Because the trial court erred by admitting evidence of the defendant’s uncharged conduct and because that error cannot be classified as harmless, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for a new trial.

 

State of Tennessee v. Terry, No. E2021-00406-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn. Crim. App. Apr. 29, 2022). The Defendant, Jacady Dwight Terry, was convicted by a jury of violating the motor vehicle habitual offender (“MVHO”) law, for which he received a five-year sentence. On appeal, the Defendant argues that the trial court erred (1) by admitting the MVHO order into evidence because it was void; (2) by concluding that the MVHO violation was a strict liability offense and declining to give a mens rea instruction; and (3) by refusing to apply the “lesser penalty” provision of the criminal savings statute to the Defendant’s sentence. Following our review, we affirm. [Footnote omitted.]

 

State of Tennessee v. Michael James Elrod, No. E2021-00622-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn. Crim. App. March 28, 2022). Michael James Elrod, Defendant, was indicted by the McMinn County Grand Jury for second degree murder and aggravated assault after attacking his parents with a hunting knife. Following a jury trial, Defendant was convicted as charged. The trial court sentenced Defendant to 20 years for second degree murder. The trial court sentenced Defendant to three years, suspended to probation, for aggravated assault. The sentences were ordered to be served consecutively. Defendant maintains on appeal (1) that the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions based on his insanity and diminished capacity defenses; and (2) that the trial court abused its discretion in imposing consecutive sentencing. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

 

State of Tennessee v. John William Gay, No. E2020-01559-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn. Crim. App. Feb. 22, 2022). Defendant, John William Gay, was convicted following a jury trial of aggravated robbery and theft of property under $1,000. The trial court ordered Defendant to serve a twelve-year sentence in the Tennessee Department of Correction for the aggravated robbery and a concurrent eleven-month, twenty-nine-day sentence for the theft conviction. On appeal, Defendant argues that the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions for aggravated robbery and theft of property. Defendant further argues that the trial court abused its discretion by misapplying every enhancement factor it cited, failing to apply mitigating factors, and violating the purposes and principles of sentencing. Following our review of the entire record and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the judgments of the trial court. However, the trial court’s failure to merge the theft conviction and the aggravated robbery conviction constituted plain error. The case is remanded to the trial court for merger of those convictions and entry of corrected judgment forms to reflect said merger.

 

State of Tennessee v. Quincy D. Scott, No. E2020-01186-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn. Crim. App. Feb. 11, 2022). Petitioner, Quincy D. Scott, was convicted of aggravated robbery and was sentenced to seventeen years as a Range II, multiple offender at eighty-five percent to be served consecutively to sentences in two other counties. After this court affirmed the judgment and the supreme court denied permission to appeal, Petitioner sought post-conviction relief, alleging ineffective assistance of counsel at trial and on appeal. The post-conviction court granted Petitioner a delayed appeal to allow him to raise multiple evidentiary issues. In this delayed appeal, Petitioner challenges the admission of the same pieces of evidence and the testimony of three of the State’s witnesses. He also challenges the omission of evidence regarding the professional misconduct of a detective. The State contends Petitioner is entitled to no relief. The State also contends Petitioner was erroneously granted a delayed appeal because the record does not demonstrate prejudice. We are precluded from reviewing this issue based on the post-conviction court’s failure to make findings of fact and conclusions of law, as required by Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-30-111(b). Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the post-conviction court granting a delayed appeal and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

 

State of Tennessee v. Ahren Presley, No. E2020-01249-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn. Crim. App. Feb. 2, 2022). The Defendant-Appellant, Ahren Presley, was convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery and theft, two counts of felony murder in the commission or perpetration of a robbery, two counts of especially aggravated robbery, two counts of felony murder in the commission or perpetration of a theft, one count of theft of property $10,000-$60,000, and one count of theft of property $1,000 or less. See Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-12-103 (conspiracy to commit theft); 39-13-202(a)(2) (felony murder in the commission or perpetration of, relevantly, a robbery or theft); 39-13-403 (especially aggravated robbery); 39-14-103 (theft of property). He received a total effective sentence of two life sentences plus twenty years. On appeal, the Defendant argues that 1) the evidence was insufficient to support all of his convictions, and 2) the trial court erred in imposing consecutive sentencing. Upon review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

 

State of Tennessee v. Valrie Hart, No. E2020-01144-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn. Crim. App. Jan. 28, 2022). The Defendant, Valrie Hart, pleaded guilty in the Polk County Criminal Court to four counts of first degree felony murder, two counts of especially aggravated robbery, a Class A felony, conspiracy to commit robbery or theft, a Class D felony, theft of property valued at more than $10,000 but less than $60,000, a Class C felony, and theft of property valued at $1,000 or less, a Class A misdemeanor. See T.C.A. §§ 39-13-202 (2018) (subsequently amended) (first degree felony murder), 39-13-403 (2018) (especially aggravated robbery), 39-13-401 (2018) (robbery), 39-12-103 (2018) (conspiracy), 39-14-103 (2018) (theft). After the appropriate merger, the trial court imposed life imprisonment for two counts of felony murder, twenty-five years for each count of especially aggravated robbery, and three years for conspiracy to commit robbery or theft. The trial court ordered partial consecutive service, for an effective sentence of two consecutive life sentences, plus twenty-five years. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred by applying sentence enhancement factors related to treating the victims with exceptional cruelty and to abusing a private trust. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.

 

Understanding the Limitations and Use of the Information Found in This Book

Tennessee’s trial judges resolve hundreds of thousands of legal and factual issues in tens of thousands of cases every single year.  No appeal is filed in the vast percentage of those cases, indicating that while the “losing” party may not like a ruling on a particular issue, that party understands there was an appropriate reason for the judge’s decision or, at a minimum, the judge was acting within his or her discretion.

 

Of course, a small number of decisions of trial judges do result in an appeal. Experienced trial lawyers know that the number of cases appealed out of a particular trial judge’s court does not, in and of itself, reveal much about the trial judge. For example, some judges hear more complex cases than others, and those cases are more likely to be appealed. Convictions in child sex abuse cases are frequently appealed, as are many criminal cases resulting in long sentences. There are a large number of parental rights termination cases that find their way to the appellate courts.  Judges who routinely try those types of cases will, other things being equal, see more of their cases reviewed by appellate courts than judges who do not see such cases.

 

Second, certain litigants (and certain lawyers) are more likely to appeal a case than others.  Thus, judges who have those litigants or lawyers regularly appear in their courtrooms will find more cases reviewed by the appellate courts.

 

For these and other reasons, the reader is cautioned not to read too much into the number of cases appealed from a court.  Stated differently, there is no reason to believe that a judge who has ten cases reviewed by an appellate court in a single year is a “worse” judge than one who has one case appealed, or that a judge who has three cases appealed is a “better” judge than one who has nine cases appealed.

 

Next, the number of times a judge’s ruling is reversed by an appellate court is not necessarily indicative of the quality of his or her work. For example, experienced lawyers know that there are “holes in the law,” i.e., cases where there is no law directly on point and the judge is forced to predict what an appellate court would rule on the issue. The fact that a judge decided an open legal issue one way and an appellate court decided it another way does not mean that the trial judge was “wrong” or does not understand the law. It simply means that the trial judge had a different view of what the law should be than the appellate court that decided the issue. A trial judge is not blessed with a crystal ball that can with 100 percent accuracy forecast how an appellate court will rule on an undecided legal issue.

 

In addition, the trial court is sometimes not provided with the same in-depth legal arguments and law that is supplied to the appellate court by the parties, or which is provided by law clerks at the appellate level (many trial courts do not have law clerks). The trial judge may have reached the same conclusion as the appellate court if he or she had been supplied with additional law or argument.

 

Finally, the law changes constantly, and the trial judge may rule on a case based on today’s law, which may evolve between the time of that ruling and the issuance of an opinion of the appellate court. In such cases, the reversal of the case by the appellate court is a question of timing of the original court decision as compared to changes in the law, not one of error by the trial court.

 

So, what is the value of this book?  How can the trial lawyer use it to help his or her clients given the limitations expressed above? Permit me to digress slightly.

 

You have seen the coffee cups or t-shirts that proclaim, “A good lawyer knows the law, but a great lawyer knows the judge.”

 

Some read this phrase as suggesting that the “great lawyer” is one who has an improper relationship with the judge – that he or she can use a personal relationship to improperly influence the judge.  But most lawyers know better.  Most lawyers understand that “knowing the judge” means knowing the judge’s background, preferences concerning the presentation of evidence (including exhibits), arguments of motions, drafting of proposed orders, and given that experience, how he or she is likely to rule on a particular issue.  “Knowing the judge” also means knowing the local rules, local forms, local customs, and what things irritate the judge (and every judge is irritated by at least one thing that lawyers or litigants may do).

 

Many lawyers, particularly those in more rural areas of the state or who limit their practice to one area of law, understand the personality and preferences of the judges they see on a regular basis. Many of these lawyers may have a fair advantage appearing before that judge. (The advantage is “fair” because it results from experience and knowledge.)  That advantage – knowing how the judge thinks and his or her preferences – is not outcome-determinative, but it still may be an advantage, similar to a sports team playing on their home field.

 

Why did I say it “may” be an advantage, given what I said earlier about the benefits of “knowing the judge?”  Because simply knowing the judge’s thought processes and preferences is not enough. You still need to have the law and the facts on your client’s side.  And you need to be prepared to be able to give the judge what he or she needs to know to make a ruling.

 

So, the purpose of “The Book” is to give Tennessee lawyers case-related information to help them understand the trial judge who will rule on their client’s case or preside over a jury trial. By looking at past appellate court rulings arising from cases decided by the trial judge, anyone unfamiliar with a judge can get a “feel” for the judge. The case data contained herein does not compare with daily or weekly appearances in front of the judge on issues like a given case, but it is readily available information that give you an idea of how the judge has ruled in the past on a variety of matters.

 

The cases included are those originally decided by the trial judge that were in appellate court opinions released on or after January 1, 2022.  Note that there are a substantial number of judges who first took office in 2022 and thus it is reasonable to assume that there will be no appellate decisions for such judges until late 2023 or 2024.

 

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