December 20, 1999
Volume 5 -- Number 172

What follows is the case style or name, first paragraph, author's name, and the names of attorneys for the parties of each opinion released eletronically today to TBALink from Tennessee's three appellate courts.

This Issue (IN THIS ORDER):
 
06 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court Workers' Compensation Panel
01 New Document(s) or Proposed Rule(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
00 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
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink

						
STATE OF TENNESSEE
VS.
WILLARD C. COOK, SR.

Court:TSC

Attorneys: 

For the Appellant:          For the Appellee:                   
Robert S. Peters            John Knox Walkup            
SWAFFORD, PETERS & PRIEST   Attorney General and Reporter   
Winchester, Tennessee
                            Michael E. Moore
                            Solicitor General

                            Peter M. Coughlan
                            Assistant Attorney General
                            Nashville, Tennessee                         

Judge:  ANDERSON

First Paragraph:

We granted this appeal to determine whether dentures constitute
"foreign matter" requiring invalidation of a breath-alcohol test
result and to consider whether the admission of a breath-alcohol test
result must be challenged by a pretrial motion under Tenn. R. Crim. P.
12(b)(3) or whether an objection may be made at trial.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/COOKWillard_opn.WP6



WILLIAM EDMONDS VS. WILSON COUNTY and WILSON COUNTY ROAD COMMISSION Court:TSC Attorneys: For Defendants-Appellees: For Plaintiff-Appellant: Kent E. Krause Frank Buck Sharon E. England 124 West Main Street Suite 2600, The Tower Smithville, TN 37166 611 Commerce Street Nashville, TN 37203 Judge: DROWOTA First Paragraph: In this workers' compensation action, the defendants, Wilson County and Wilson County Road Commission, have appealed from the trial court's judgment finding that the employee, William Edmonds, was entitled to a commutation of his award of workers' compensation benefits to a lump sum. The Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel, upon reference for findings of facts and conclusions of law pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. S 50-6-225(e)(3), affirmed the trial court's award of benefits, but modified the judgment to disallow payment of the award in a lump sum. Thereafter, the employee filed a motion for full Court review of the Panel's decision pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. S 50-6-225(e)(5)(B). We granted the employee's motion to determine whether the trial court abused its discretion in ordering the award paid in a lump sum. After carefully examining the record before us and considering the relevant authorities, we affirm the trial court's judgment commuting the award to a lump sum. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/Edmondsw_opn.WP6
LAMAR FLETCHER VS. STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TSC Attorneys: For the Appellant: For the Appellee: Lamar Fletcher, pro se John Knox Walkup Henning, Tennessee Attorney General & Reporter Michael E. Moore Solicitor General Elena J. Xoinis Assistant Attorney General Nashville, Tennessee Judge: BARKER First Paragraph: In this appeal we address two primary issues: (1) whether an indigent party is liable for payment of outstanding litigation taxes levied under Tennessee Code Annotated section 67-4-602 (1998), and (2) whether the Tennessee Department of Correction had authority to withdraw money from an inmate's trust account to pay a distress warrant. For the reasons stated herein, we hold that indigent parties become liable for litigation taxes when taxed by the court and that the Tennessee Department of Correction has the authority to deduct money from an inmate trust fund to satisfy a distress warrant. We affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/FLETCHL_opn.WP6
STATE OF TENNESSEE VS. JIMMY LEGG Court:TSC Attorneys: For the Appellant: For the Appellee: Paul G. Summers Raymond W. Fraley, Jr. Attorney General & Reporter Fayetteville, Tennessee Michael E. Moore Johnny D. Hill, Jr. Solicitor General Fayetteville, Tennessee Kim R. Helper Assistant Attorney General Nashville, Tennessee Judge: BARKER First Paragraph: We granted the appeal in this case to address whether the State of Tennessee has territorial jurisdiction pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-11-103(b)(1) to prosecute a charge of aggravated kidnapping that was commenced in Alabama. For the reasons stated herein, we hold that section 39-11-103(b)(1) permits the exercise of territorial jurisdiction over a continuing offense where any essential element of the offense is continued and committed in Tennessee. We also hold that the General Assembly intended that the offense of aggravated kidnapping to sanction a continuing course of conduct, and that at least one element of that crime was proven to have occurred in Tennessee. Finally, we hold that the appellee was not entitled to a jury instruction on assault or aggravated assault because the evidence was legally insufficient to support a conviction in Tennessee. Therefore, this case is remanded to the Giles County Circuit Court for reinstatement of the appellee's conviction and sentence for aggravated kidnapping. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/LEGGJ_opn.WP6
BERDELLA VAUGHN SEAVERS and EDDIE THOMAS SEAVERS VS. METHODIST MEDICAL CENTER OF OAK RIDGE CORRECTED DISSENTING OPINION Court:TSC Judge: HOLDER First Paragraph: I write separately to dissent because I believe that the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur should be applied in professional malpractice cases only when the nature of the injury is so obvious that common lay knowledge and experience could infer that the injury would not have occurred in the absence of negligence. The nature of the injury should be so simple and clear as not to require a layman to speculate or analyze how the injury might have occurred. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/SEAVERBD_dis.WP6
ALEXANDER C. WELLS VS. TENNESSEE BOARD OF REGENTS, TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY, and DR. JAMES HEFNER Court:TSC Attorneys: For Petitioner/Appellee: For Respondents-Appellants Mark C. Scruggs Paul G. Summers Nashville, Tennessee Attorney General Kevin Steiling Deputy Attorney General Nashville, Tennessee Judge: DROWOTA First Paragraph: In this direct appeal, we must review the Chancery Court's reversal of the Tennessee Board of Regents' decision to terminate a tenured faculty member at Tennessee State University on the statutory ground of "capricious disregard of accepted standards of professional conduct." The Tennessee Board of Regents challenges the decision of the Chancery Court on several grounds, insisting primarily that the Chancellor failed to consider properly admitted evidence which established the charge by clear and convincing evidence. The Board of Regents also takes issue with the Chancellor's finding that the professor was denied due process because he received insufficient notice of the allegations against him. After a thorough review of the record, we agree that the Chancellor committed error by disregarding the testimony of one witness and by finding that the professor received insufficient notice. However, despite these errors, we conclude that the evidence does not preponderate against the Chancellor's findings and therefore affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/WELLSAC_OPN.WP6
ORDER ESTABLISHING SUPREME COURT RULE 35 -- ADOPTION OF STANDARD FORMAT FOR APPELLATE COURT OPINIONS AND ORDERS Court:TSC - Rules First Paragraph: The Court hereby establishes a rule adopting a standard format for appellate court opinions, orders, and similar documents pursuant to the recommendations of the Tennessee Supreme Court Advisory Commission on Technology. It is ORDERED that the rule set forth herein be and is hereby adopted as Rule 35 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Tennessee. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_Rules/Rule35UF_wpd.WP6

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