December 11, 2000
Volume 6 -- Number 200

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.

This Issue (IN THIS ORDER):
 
03 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court Workers' Compensation Panel
00 New Document(s) or Proposed Rule(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
01 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
03 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Attorney General (PDF format)
01 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

BERNARD BRUCE BRYANT  v.  GENCO STAMPING & MFG. CO., INC., et al. 

Court:TSC

Attorneys:

Randolph A. Veazey and Connie Jones, Nashville, Tennessee, for the
appellant, Genco Stamping & Mfg. Co., Inc.

Ronald Thurman, Cookeville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Bernard Bruce
Bryant.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Dianne Stamey Dycus,
Deputy Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Dina
Tobin, Director, Workers' Compensation Second Injury Fund.                            

Judge: BARKER

First Paragraph:

The sole issue in this case is whether Tennessee Code Annotated
section 50-6-208(a) applies to a pre-existing permanent mental
disability. The employee suffered a work-related shoulder injury,
treatment for which resulted in aggravation of a pre-existing mental
disorder.  The trial court concluded that the previous mental
disability is included within the purview of Tennessee Code Annotated
section 50-6-208(a).  The court thereby found both the employer and
the Second Injury Fund liable for disability benefits.  On appeal, the
Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel reversed the trial court's
apportionment of liability to the Second Injury Fund, holding that
section -208(a) does not contemplate pre-existing mental disorders. 
We affirm the judgment of the Special Appeals Panel and find the
employer liable for the full amount of benefits due the employee.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/bryantbb.wpd


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TONY V. CARRUTHERS & JAMES MONTGOMERY WITH DISSENTING OPINION AND APPENDIX Court:TSC Attorneys: Stephen R. Leffler and Lee A. Filderman, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tony V. Carruthers. Robert C. Brooks and Edward W. Chandler, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, James Montgomery. Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Amy Tarkington, Senior Counsel; Phillip Gerald Harris; Assistant District Attorney General; and J. Robert Carter, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: DROWOTA First Paragraph: Tony Carruthers and James Montgomery were each convicted of three counts of first degree premeditated murder and were sentenced to death on each conviction. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the convictions and sentences of both Carruthers and Montgomery. Thereafter, the cases were docketed in this Court. After carefully reviewing the record and the relevant legal authorities, we conclude that none of the errors raised by Tony Carruthers require reversal, that the evidence is sufficient to support the jury's findings of the aggravating circumstances, and that the sentences of death are not excessive or disproportionate considering the circumstances of the crimes and the defendant. With respect to James Montgomery, we conclude that the trial court erred in denying him a severance and that the error resulted in Montgomery being deprived of a fair trial. Accordingly, we reverse Montgomery's convictions and sentences and remand for a new trial. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/carrutherst_opn.wpd DISSENTING OPINION http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/carrutherst_dis.wpd APPENDIX http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/carrutherst_apx.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RANDALL SCOTT Court:TSC Attorneys: Jeffrey A. DeVasher, Assistant Public Defender, Nashville, Tennessee--appellate counsel; J. Michael Engle, Assistant Public Defender, Nashville, Tennessee--trial counsel, for the appellant, Randall Scott. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Kim R. Helper, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: BARKER First Paragraph: The appellant in this case was arrested and charged with the rape and aggravated sexual battery of a nine-year-old child in Davidson County. Prior to trial, the State conducted various types of DNA analysis on several pieces of evidence, and the appellant, who is indigent, requested state-funded expert assistance in the field of DNA analysis to prepare his defense. The trial court denied the appellant's motion for expert assistance and declined to hold a hearing to establish the reliability of mitochondrial DNA analysis. The trial court also held that the State properly established the chain of custody for certain hairs removed from the victim during her physical examination. The appellant was found guilty by a jury on both charges, and the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the convictions and sentences. On appeal to this Court, we address the following issues: (1) whether the appellant was entitled to expert assistance in the field of DNA analysis under State v. Barnett, 909 S.W.2d 423 (Tenn. 1995) and Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 13; (2) whether the trial court erred in failing to hold a pre-trial hearing on the reliability of mitochondrial DNA analysis; and (3) whether the State's failure to establish a chain of custody as to certain hairs retrieved from the victim was error. For the reasons given herein, we hold that although the appellant was not entitled to a pre- trial hearing on the reliability of mitochondrial DNA analysis, he was entitled to receive expert assistance in the field of DNA analysis. We also hold that the State failed to properly establish the chain of custody of the hair samples. We reverse the appellant's convictions and sentences, and we remand this case to the Davidson County Criminal Court for a new trial on both counts of the indictment. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/scottrl.wpd
JUDICIAL ETHICS COMMITTEE OPINION NO. 00-04 Court:TSC - Rules First Paragraph: Inquiry has been presented regarding whether the closing of all divisions of the Shelby County Courts of General Sessions during established court holidays constitutes an ethical violation of any provisions of the Code of Judicial Conduct. For calendar year 2001, the established court holidays will include regular holidays, an MBA Bench/Bar conference, the Tennessee General Sessions Judges' Conference and December 17, 2001 through December 31, 2001. The request specifically questions whether such closings, in light of Rule 11, S VII(b) of the Rules of the Tennessee Supreme Court, constitute a violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_Rules/00-04.wpd
LOCAL UNION 760 OF THE INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF ELECTRICAL WORKERS, et al. v. THE CITY OF HARRIMAN AND THE HARRIMAN UTILITY BOARD Court:TCA Attorneys: Gerald Largen, Kingston, Tennessee and R. Jan Jennings, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Local Union 760 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, et al. Edward G. Phillips, Jon G. Roach and Dean B. Farmer, Knoxville, Tennessee for the appellees, the City of Harriman and the Harriman Utility Board. Judge: GODDARD First Paragraph: This appeal from the Roane County Chancery Court concerns whether the Chancery Court erred in determining that a collective bargaining agreement entered into between Appellant, Local Union 760 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and Appellees, the City of Harriman and the Harriman Utility Board, is null and void. We affirm the decision of the Chancery Court and remand for further proceedings, if any, consistent with this opinion. We adjudge costs of the appeal against the Appellants. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/localunion760.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. BRUCE ADAMS Court:TCCA Attorneys: Shawn G. Graham, Maryville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Bruce Adams. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Clinton J. Morgan, Nashville, Tennessee, Michael; L. Flynn, District Attorney General; and William Reed, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WITT First Paragraph: The defendant, Bruce Adams, appeals his convictions of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct and the manner of service of his effective six-month sentence. The trial court ordered ten days of confinement and probated the balance of the sentence. The resisting arrest conviction is supported by sufficient evidence, and we affirm that conviction and the sentence, including the confinement term. However, because we find insufficient evidence to support the disorderly conduct conviction, we reverse it and dismiss that charge. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/adamsb.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WILLIAM TERRELL HAMPTON Court:TCCA Attorneys: Ashley L. Ownby, Cleveland, Tennessee, attorney for the appellant, William Terrell Hampton. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Mark A. Fulks, Assistant Attorney General; Jerry N. Estes, District Attorney General; and Sandra N. Donaghy, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: TIPTON First Paragraph: The defendant appeals his conviction for aggravated sexual battery, contending that the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction, the trial court erred in admitting evidence of a fresh complaint, and the trial court erred in imposing a nine-year sentence. We affirm the defendant's conviction and sentence. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/hamptonwt.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CHRIS A. JEFFERSON Court:TCCA Attorneys: Thomas McKinney, Jr. and Clyde L. Tootle, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellant, Chris A. Jefferson. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter, Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General, H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General, J. Lewis Combs, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WITT First Paragraph: Chris A. Jefferson appeals a certified question of law regarding a police officer's stop of him which resulted in his arrest for driving under the influence. Because we agree with the trial court that reasonable suspicion supported by specific and articulable facts existed for the stop, we affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/jeffersonca.wpd

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