April 18, 2001
Volume 7 — Number 071

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):
 
02 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
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
04 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Attorney General (PDF format)
00 New Judicial Ethics Opinion(s)
02 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 v. CHARLES EDDIE HARTMAN
Court:TSC

Attorneys:

Richard McGee and John G. Oliva, Nashville, Tennessee, for the
appellant, Charles Eddie Hartman.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter, Michael E. Moore,
Solicitor General, Amy L. Tarkington, Deputy Attorney General, Joseph
Baugh, District Attorney General, Art Bieber, Assistant District
Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.                         

Judge: DROWOTA

First Paragraph:

The appellant, Charles Eddie Hartman, was convicted in 1983 of the
first degree murder in the perpetration of a kidnaping of
sixteen-year-old Kathy Nishiyama.  The jury imposed a sentence of
death for the murder conviction. On the initial direct appeal, this
Court affirmed both the conviction and sentence.  See State v.
Hartman, 703 S.W.2d 106 (Tenn. 1985).  Thereafter, Hartman filed a
petition for post-conviction relief, and finding error in the
sentencing hearing, this Court vacated the sentence of death and
remanded for re-sentencing.  See Hartman v. State, 896 S.W.2d 94
(Tenn. 1995).  The re-sentencing hearing occurred in 1997 with the
prosecution again seeking the death penalty and relying upon the
following three aggravating circumstances:  (1)  the murder was
especially heinous, atrocious or cruel in that it involved torture or
depravity of mind; (2) the murder was committed for the purpose of
avoiding, interfering with, or preventing a lawful arrest or
prosecution of the defendant or another; and (3) the murder was
committed while the defendant was in lawful custody, or in a place of
lawful confinement, or during his escape from lawful custody, or from
a place of lawful confinement.  See Tenn. Code Ann. S 39-2404(i)(5),
(6) and (8) (Supp. 1980).  Following a hearing at which both the
prosecution and the defense offered proof, the jury imposed the death
penalty upon finding that the prosecution had proven the three
aggravating circumstances beyond a reasonable doubt and that the
mitigating circumstances were not sufficiently substantial to outweigh
the aggravating circumstances so proven.  See Tenn. Code Ann.
S39-2404(g) (Supp. 1980).  The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the
sentence of death, and thereafter, the case was docketed in this
Court.  After a careful review of the record and the relevant legal
authorities, we conclude that the trial court erred in refusing to
allow the defendant to present evidence relevant to establish residual
doubt as a mitigating circumstance and that the trial court erred in
submitting aggravating circumstance (i)(6) to the jury, as the proof
is not sufficient to support the aggravating circumstance.  After
carefully considering the record, we are unable to conclude that these
errors are harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.  Accordingly, the
defendant's sentence of death is vacated, and the case is remanded for
re-sentencing.

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


McARTHUR DAVIS v. KOMATSU AMERICA INDUSTRIES CORPORATION, et al. Court:TSC Attorneys: Dean White, Memphis, Tennessee, for the petitioner, McArthur Davis. Lee L. Piovarcy and Shea S. Wellford, Memphis, Tennessee, for the respondents, Komatsu America Industries Corporation and Komatsu Mexicana, S.A. de C.V., a subsidiary of Komatsu, Limited. Judge: DROWOTA First Paragraph: Pursuant to Rule 23 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Tennessee, this Court accepted certification of the following question from the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit: Does Tennessee products liability law include a "component parts doctrine" as described by the district court, and if so, what are the precise contours of the doctrine? We conclude that Tennessee products liability law does include a component parts doctrine and that Section 5 of the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Products Liability (1997) is an accurate statement of the doctrine in Tennessee. We further conclude that the parameters of the doctrine are illustrated by comment e to Section 5. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/komatsur23.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MARVIN D. BROWN, a/k/a MELVIN TAYLOR Court:TCCA Attorneys: Michael A. Colavecchio, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Marvin D. Brown. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Russell S. Baldwin, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; Erik Herbert, Assistant District Attorney General; and Jason Lawless, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WOODALL First Paragraph: The defendant, Marvin D. Brown, a/k/a/ Melvin Leroy Taylor, was convicted by a jury in the Davidson County Criminal Court of theft of property, a Class D felony. The trial court sentenced Defendant as a career offender to twelve years and ordered that it be served consecutive to a previously imposed sentence, for which parole had been revoked. In this appeal, Defendant contends that the evidence was insufficient to convict him for theft but, rather, the proof supported a conviction of joyriding, a Class A misdemeanor. Based upon applicable law and a review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/brownmd.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JASON R. NORTON Court:TCCA Attorneys: Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Marvin E. Clements, Jr., Assistant Attorney General; John Carney, District Attorney General; Dent Morriss, Assistant District Attorney; for appellant, State of Tennessee. Michael R. Jones, Assistant Public Defender, Springfield, Tennessee, for appellee, Jason R. Norton Judge: SMITH First Paragraph: In April of 1999, the Robertson County grand jury indicted the defendant for hindering a secured creditor and for failure to appear in court on charges related to a third offense. Thereafter, the trial court appointed the defendant counsel, and this attorney filed a motion to dismiss the charges of hindering a secured creditor. Through this motion the defendant essentially averred that the facts would not support a conviction for the offense. Following an evidentiary hearing, the trial court ruled in the defendant's favor, and the State subsequently brought this appeal asserting that the trial court improperly invaded the province of the jury by ruling on the sufficiency of the evidence. After analyzing relevant caselaw and the record, we find that the State's position has merit and, therefore, reverse the trial court's ruling. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/nortonjason.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. STEVEN T. WALL Court:TCCA Attorneys: Gregory D. Smith, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Steven T. Wall. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth T. Ryan, Assistant Attorney General; John Wesley Carney, Jr., District Attorney General; and James B. Crenshaw, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: GLENN First Paragraph: The defendant was convicted by a Montgomery County jury of driving under the influence of an intoxicant (DUI) and vehicular assault. In this appeal as of right, the defendant raises two issues for our review: (1) whether the evidence was sufficient to support his convictions; and (2) whether both convictions can stand without violating his right to be protected against double jeopardy. Having reviewed the entire record, we conclude that the evidence is sufficient to support convictions for DUI and vehicular assault, but that both convictions cannot stand without violating principles of double jeopardy. The conviction for DUI is, therefore, vacated. The remaining conviction for vehicular assault and the sentence imposed by the trial court are affirmed. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/wallst.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. BRIAN RUSSELL WEBB Court:TCCA Attorneys: Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; John W. Carney, Jr., District Attorney General; and C. Daniel Brollier, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee. Brian R. Webb, Newport, Tennessee, pro se appellee. Judge: WOODALL First Paragraph: The Defendant, Brian Russell Webb, was charged with driving under the influence (DUI), reckless driving, violation of the implied consent law, speeding, evading arrest, theft of property valued at more than $10,000 and vandalism. He pled guilty to the DUI, and upon motion of the State, the trial court dismissed the charges for reckless driving and violation of the implied consent law. The Defendant filed an application for pretrial diversion for the remaining charges, which the prosecutor subsequently denied. The Defendant then filed a petition for a writ of certiorari, seeking review of the prosecutor's denial of his application for diversion. After a hearing, the trial court found that the State had abused its discretion and ordered the Defendant placed on pretrial diversion. In this appeal, pursuant to Tenn. R. App. P. 9, the State contends the trial court erred in finding that the prosecutor abused his discretion in denying pretrial diversion. We reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand this matter for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/webbbr.wpd
BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY OF THE SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE FORMAL ETHICS OPINION 2001-F-144(b) http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_Rules/FEO-2001-F-144(b).wpd
BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY OF THE SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE FORMAL ETHICS OPINION 2001-F-137(b) http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_Rules/2001-FEO137(b).wpd

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