What follows is the case style or name, first paragraph, author's name, and the names of the attorneys for the parties of each opinion released today from Tennessee's three appellate courts.
- 04-New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
- 00-New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court Workers Comp Panel
- 00-New Document(s) or Proposed Rule(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
- 06-New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
- 01-New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
- 00-New Judicial Ethics Opinion(s)
- 00-New Formal Ethics Opinion(s) from the Board of Professional Responsibility
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Lucian T. Pera
STATE OF TENNESSEE VS. STEVEN BOLDEN Court:TSC Attorneys: For Appellant: For Appellee: Vanedda Prince John Knox Walkup FOWLER, PRINCE & WEBB Attorney General & Reporter Union City, Tennessee Michael E. Moore Solicitor General Kathy Morante Deputy Attorney General Kenneth W. Rucker Assistant Attorney General Nashville, Tennessee At Trial: C. Phillip Bivens District Attorney General Dyersburg, Tennessee Judge:ANDERSON First Paragraph: We granted this appeal to determine two issues: first, whether a co-defendant's testimony pursuant to a plea agreement with the prosecution violated the defendant's rights to due process of law and a fair trial under the United States and Tennessee Constitutions; and second, whether the trial court erred in charging the jury to consider the lesser included offense of second degree murder over the defendant's objection. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/boldens_opn.WP6 JOHN L. RICE VS. VERONICA J. SABIR WITH DISSENTING OPINION Court:TSC Attorneys: For Appellant: For Appellee: Samuel R. Anderson John D. McMahan Shane Usary G. Brent Burks David L. Moss McMAHAN & ASSOCIATES LUTHER-ANDERSON, PLLP Chattanooga, Tennessee Chattanooga, Tennessee Judge:ANDERSON First Paragraph: In this premises liability case, the issue is whether the owner of a house owed a duty of care to warn a contractor of the existence of mildew on the house roof upon which he had been hired to work and from which he fell and was injured. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/ricejohn_opn.WP6 DISSENTING OPINION: URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/ricejohn_dis.WP6 THE TENNESSEAN, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc., and FRANK SUTHERLAND VS. ELECTRIC POWER BOARD OF NASHVILLE Court:TSC Attorneys: For Appellants: For Appellee: Alfred H. Knight Larry Stewart WILLIS & KNIGHT Charles W. Cook Nashville, Tennessee Nancy A. Vincent STOKES & BARTHOLOMEW, P.A. Nashville, Tennessee Eugene Ward N.E.S. General Counsel Nashville, Tennessee Judge:ANDERSON First Paragraph: We granted this appeal to address two questions of first impression under the Tennessee Public Records Act: first, whether a government agency should be required to disclose its customer names, addresses, and telephone numbers as a public record, even though it did not maintain the information in its computer in the exact format in which it had been requested; and second, whether the same government agency may require payment of costs incurred in disclosing the information and the cost of notifying its customers that the information had been requested. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/tenness_opn.WP6 MICHELLE CREIGHTON TERRY VS. GARY D. NIBLACK, M.D. and LABORATORY INVESTMENTS, INC., D/B/A GENE PROOF TECHNOLOGIES Court:TSC Attorneys: For Appellants: For Appellee: Michael M. Castellarin Carol L. Soloman MOODY, WHITFIELD & L. R. DeMarco CASTELLARIN Nashville, Tennessee Nashville, Tennessee Judge:ANDERSON First Paragraph: We granted this appeal to determine when the one-year statute of limitations commenced for the plaintiff to file her suit alleging that the defendants negligently performed an inaccurate paternity blood test, which excluded from paternity the natural father of her child. The trial court dismissed the suit because it was not filed within one year of when the plaintiff learned the results of the blood test. The Court of Appeals reversed, concluding that the statute did not commence until the date the plaintiff learned the results of a second blood test that differed from the first blood test. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/terrymc_opn.WP6 TIMOTHY A. BALTZ VS. PAM BALTZ KNIGHT Court:TCA Attorneys: For Plaintiff/Appellant: For Defendant/Appellee: William S. Fleming Claudia S. Jack Columbia, Tennessee Columbia, Tennessee Judge:KOCH First Paragraph: This appeal involves the authority of the Maury County Juvenile Court to modify an Arkansas court's decree involving the custody of two children. Five years after the children and their mother moved to Tennessee, the father filed a petition in the Maury County Juvenile Court seeking sole custody and child support. The juvenile court entered an agreed order on September 8, 1995, granting each of the parents custody of one of their daughters. However, approximately eight months later, the juvenile court determined that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction to modify the Arkansas custody decree and vacated its September 8, 1995 order. The father has appealed. We agree that the Maury County Juvenile Court did not have subject matter jurisdiction over this matter and, therefore, affirm the juvenile court's decision invalidating its own order. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/baltzta_opn.WP6 LARRY ROGER BARNETT VS. SUSAN MARIE BARNETT Court:TCA Attorneys: For Plaintiff/Appellee: For Defendant/Appellant: Rondal Thomas Wilson Michael E. Giffin Patricia Diane Cook Robertson Worsham Gregory & Giffin Shelbyville, Tennessee Tullahoma, Tennessee Judge:KOCH First Paragraph: This appeal involves two parents' interstate competition for the custody of their children. The husband filed a divorce complaint in the Chancery Court for Bedford County two days after the wife commenced proceedings for separate maintenance and child support in Florida. Following a bench trial, the Tennessee court granted the husband a divorce and awarded him sole custody of the parties' three children. On this appeal, the wife asserts that the Tennessee court did not have jurisdiction over the husband's divorce complaint and that the trial court should not have exercised jurisdiction over the child custody and visitation issues. While we find that the trial court had jurisdiction over the custody issues in this case, we have determined that the trial court should not have exercised its jurisdiction and should have deferred to the Florida court where the wife's petition for separate maintenance was pending. Accordingly, we vacate the custody determination. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/barnettl_opn.WP6 JAMES MARK BLICK VS. STEPHEN W. KENT, M.D., et al Court:TCA Attorneys: MARK R. OLSON OLSON & OLSON, PLC Clarksville, Tennessee Attorney for Appellant DAN L. NOLAN MARIE ANTOINETTE JOINER BATSON, NOLAN, BRICE, HARVEY & WILLIAMSON, PLLC Clarksville, Tennessee Attorneys for Appellees Judge:HIGHERS First Paragraph: In this medical malpractice action, Plaintiff James Mark Blick appeals the trial court's final order entering summary judgment in favor of Defendants/Appellees Stephen W. Kent, M.D., William D. Shippen, M.D., Robert Douglas Doty, M.D., and Robert Hector, P.A. For reasons hereinafter stated, we reverse the trial court's judgment and remand for further proceedings. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/blickjm_opn.WP6 PEGGY JEAN BRADFORD VS. JAMES WILLIAM ANDERSON and MYRA ALEA IN RE: Rachel Lee Anderson Court:TCA Attorneys: J. BROOKS FOX MOORE & HEDGES 105 N. Atlantic Street P. O. Box 1810 Tullahoma, Tennessee 37388 Attorney for Petitioner/Appellant H. THOMAS PARSONS PARSONS, NICHOLS & JOHNSON 101 West Main Street Manchester, Tennessee 37355 Attorney for Respondents/Appellees Judge:CANTRELL First Paragraph: This is a custody dispute between the child's father and the child's maternal grandmother, who was nominated as the custodian in the will of the child's mother. The Circuit Court of Coffee County awarded custody to the father and his mother. We affirm. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/bradfopj_opn.WP6 STATE OF TENNESSEE, DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN'S SERVICES VS. BONNIE FINEOUT, CLAYTON FINEOUT IN THE MATTER OF: CLAYTON VANCE FINEOUT, JR., D.O.B. 3-22-87; REBECCA LOUISE FINEOUT, D.O.B. 3-26-88; JEREMY VANCE FINEOUT, D.O.B. 11-17-83 Court:TCA Attorneys: JOHN KNOX WALKUP Attorney General & Reporter DOUGLAS EARL DIMOND Assistant Attorney General 425 Fifth Avenue, North Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0499 Attorney for Petitioner/Appellee JOHN B. HOLT HOLT & KROEGER 121 5th Avenue West Springfield, Tennessee 37172 Attorney for Defendant/Appellant Judge:CANTRELL First Paragraph: The trial court terminated the mother's parental rights, following a hearing for which she failed to appear. She argues on appeal that the court erred in refusing to grant her a continuance, and that the Department of Children's Services failed to establish sufficient grounds for termination of parental rights under Tenn. Code Ann. S 36-1-113. We affirm the trial court. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/fineoutb_opn.WP6 HEIDI MARLIES SOMMERVILLE (CALUGER) and GERICKE SOMMERVILLE VS. JERRY WILLIAM SOMMERVILLE Court:TCA Attorneys: RANDLE W. HILL, JR. 329 Union Street P. O. Box 19632 Nashville, Tennessee 37219-0632 ATTORNEY FOR PLAINTIFFS/APPELLANTS BRUCE N. OLDHAM SUE HYNDS DUNNING Oldham & Dunning 109 Public Square Gallatin, Tennessee 37066 ATTORNEYS FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE Judge:CAIN First Paragraph: This appeal presents another chapter in continuing domestic litigation not likely to end with this appeal. Jerry Sommerville ("Mr. Sommerville" or "Appellee") and Heidi Sommerville (now Caluger) ("Ms. Caluger" or "Appellant") are the parents of two daughters, Gericke Sommerville and Kara Sommerville. The parties entered into a Marital Dissolution Agreement on February 12, 1994 which was incorporated into a Final Decree of Divorce entered March 14, 1994. The decree provided that the Mother would have custody of the parties' youngest daughter Kara with visitation set for the Father. The older child, Gericke, was already emancipated at the time of the divorce and attending college. Jerry Sommerville was to pay $886.00 per month child support for the minor child Kara. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/sommervi_opn.WP6 STATE OF TENNESSEE VS. J. B. McCORD Court:TCCA Attorneys: For the Appellant: For the Appellee: Dale Clement Potter Charles W. Burson District Public Defender Attorney General of Tennessee 31st Judicial District and P.O. Box 510 Christina S. Shevalier McMinnville, TN 37110 Assistant Attorney General and Criminal Justice Division Isaiah S. Gant 450 James Robertson Parkway c/o Dale Clement Potter Nashville, TN 37243-0493 P.O. Box 510 McMinnville, TN 37110 William Locke District Attorney General and Robert Boyd Assistant District Attorney General 31st Judicial District P.O. Box 410 McMinnville, TN 37110 Judge:TIPTON First Paragraph: The defendant, J. B. McCord, appeals as of right from his judgment of conviction for second degree murder, a Class A felony. The Cumberland County Circuit Court imposed a sentence of thirty-eight years to be served in the Department of Correction as a Range II, multiple offender. In this appeal, the defendant presents the following issues: 1. whether the evidence presented at trial is sufficient to sustain beyond a reasonable doubt defendant's conviction for second degree murder; 2. whether the defendant was legally competent to stand trial; 3. whether the trial court should have suppressed defendant's statement because the police officers failed to honor the defendant's right to remain silent; and 4. whether the trial testimony of an attorney violated the defendant's attorney-client privilege; After a thorough review of the record on appeal and upon careful consideration of the applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/mccordjb_opn.WP6
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