Opinion Flash

May 7, 2002
Volume 8 — Number 079

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):
 
01 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
06 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
00 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)
00 New Formal Ethics Opinion(s) from the Board of Professional Responsibility
 

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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JAMES HENDERSON DELLINGER AND GARY WAYNE SUTTON
WITH CONCURRING AND DISSENTING OPINION
WITH APPENDIX

Court:TSC

Attorneys:

F.D. Gibson, Maryville, Tennessee, and John M. Goergen, McMinnville,
Tennessee, for the appellant, Gary Wayne Sutton.

Charles Deas and Eugene Dixon, Maryville, Tennessee, for the
appellant, James Henderson Dellinger.

Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Jennifer L. Smith and Kenneth
W. Rucker, Assistant Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of
Tennessee.

Paula R. Voss, Knoxville, Tennessee for the amicus curiae, Tennessee
Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Marjorie A. Bristol, Assistant Post-Conviction Defender, for the
amicus curiae, Office of the Post- Conviction Defender.                         

Judge: HOLDER

First Paragraph:

James Henderson Dellinger and Gary Wayne Sutton were convicted of
first degree premeditated murder in the death of Tommy Mayford
Griffin.  Dellinger and Sutton were both sentenced to death, and the
Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed their convictions and sentences. 
We entered an order designating the following issues for oral
argument:  1) whether the indictments violate the United States
Constitution as construed in Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466
(2000); 2) whether the trial court erred in refusing to grant the
defendants a severance or to grant separate juries for each defendant;
3) whether the trial court erred in dismissing the jury selection
expert previously granted the defendants; 4) whether the trial court
erred in refusing to suppress evidence seized from Dellinger's
residence under a search warrant; 5) whether the evidence supports the
jury's finding of aggravating circumstance (i)(2); 6) whether the
trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury at sentencing that
the identity of the defendants in prior convictions must be proven
beyond a reasonable doubt; 7) whether the trial court erred in
refusing to charge the jury as a mitigating factor that the defendants
are human beings; 8) whether the trial court erred in refusing to
answer the jury's question about the manner of serving life sentences;
and 9) whether the sentences of death are excessive or
disproportionate under Tenn. Code Ann. S 39-13-206(c)(1)(D).  Having
carefully reviewed these issues and the remainder of the issues raised
by Dellinger and Sutton, we find no merit to their arguments. 
Accordingly, we affirm the Court of Criminal Appeals in all respects.

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

CONCURRING AND DISSENTING OPINION
http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/dellingerjh_condiss.wpd

APPENDIX
http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/dellingerjh_apdx.wpd

BOBBY RAY SEARS v. METROPOLITAN NASHVILLE AIRPORT AUTHORITY

Court:TCA

Attorneys:

D. Kirk Shaffer, Bryan E. Pieper, Nashville, For Appellant,
Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority

Mike W. Binkley, Nashville, For Appellee, Bobby Ray Sears                          

Judge: CRAWFORD

First Paragraph:

This is a negligence case under the Governmental Tort Liability Act
where plaintiff was awarded money damages against defendant. 
Subsequent to trial, the defendant filed a motion seeking credit
pursuant to T.C.A. S 29-11-105 (a)(1) for the amount paid to plaintiff
by a settling co- defendant.  The trial court denied the motion, and
defendant appeals.  We affirm.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/searsbobby.wpd

JAMES RANDALL SLAUGHTER, et al. v. DUCK RIVER ELECTRIC MEMBERSHIP
CORPORATION, et al.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:   

Walter W. Bussart, Lewisburg, Tennessee, for the appellants, James
Randall Slaughter and Beverly Slaughter.

Thomas M. Donnell, Jr., and Jeffrey M. Beemer, Nashville, Tennessee,
for the appellee, Duck River Electric Membership Corporation.

George Andrew Rowlett, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Osborne
Electrical Contractors, Inc.                       

Judge: NEAL

First Paragraph:

This is an appeal from an order of the trial court granting a motion
for summary judgment in favor of the defendant, Duck River Electric
Membership Corporation and the third-party defendant, Osborne
Electrical Contractors, Inc., on the ground that Duck River Electric
Membership Corporation was a statutory employer for the purposes of
the Tennessee Workers' Compensation Act at the time the plaintiff,
James Randall Slaughter, received a severe electrical shock resulting
in massive injuries.  For the reasons herein stated, we affirm the
judgment of the trial court and remand.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/slaughterjr.wpd

WILLIAM T. TARPLEY v. RON SEARCY, et al.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:      

Paula Ogle Blair, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ron Searcy,
Individually and d/b/a Restoration Contractors.

William W. Burton, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellee, William
T. Tarpley.                    

Judge: CANTRELL

First Paragraph:

The Circuit Court of Davidson County affirmed an arbitrator's award
despite the opponent's claim of the arbitrator's bias and of erroneous
calculations.  We affirm.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/tarpleywt.wpd

FAYE R. TAYLOR v. ANDREW R. DYER, et al.

Court:TCA

Attorneys: 

Bridgett A. Wohlpart, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the appellants Andrew
R. Dyer and Jennifer L. Dyer.

Franklin D. Brabson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Faye R.
Taylor.                         

Judge: CANTRELL

First Paragraph:

In a non-jury trial, the Circuit Court of Davidson County awarded
$10,920 to a plaintiff injured in a rear-end collision.  The
defendants assert on appeal that the court erred in allowing the
plaintiff to supplement her trial proof with her doctor's statement
that his charges were reasonable and necessary.  In addition, the
defendants assert that most of the medical expenses included in the
plaintiff's award were not caused by the accident.  We affirm the
judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/taylorfr.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. STEPHEN BART WOOD

Court:TCA

Attorneys: 

C. Dawn Deaner and Jonathan F. Wing, Nashville, Tennessee (on appeal);
Jonathan F. Wing and Holly Ruskin, Nashville, Tennessee (at hearing),
for the appellant, Stephen Bart Wood.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney,
Assistant Attorney General (on appeal) and Angelita Dalton, Assistant
District Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee (at hearing), for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.                         

Judge: CANTRELL

First Paragraph:

The General Sessions Court of Davidson County found the defendant
guilty of thirty-six violations of an order of protection and ordered
him to serve ten days for each violation.  Each sentence was to be
served consecutively and day-for-day.  The defendant appealed to the
Criminal Court and that court affirmed.  We find that the Criminal
Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to hear the appeal, that the
sentence should be vacated, and the cause remanded to the General
Sessions Court for a review of the sentence for excessiveness in
accordance with the guidelines we adopt in this opinion.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/woodsb.wpd


PHILIP WORKMAN v. DONAL CAMPBELL, et al.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:  

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General, Michael E. Moore, Solicitor
General, Mark A. Hudson, Senior Counsel, For Defendants- Appellants,
Donal Campbell, et al

Louis W. Oliver, III, Hendersonville, For Plaintiff-Appellee, Philip
Workman                        

Judge: CRAWFORD

First Paragraph:

This case involves the extent to which the State of Tennessee may
regulate a condemned prisoner's right to be attended by his personal
minister in the hours leading up to his execution.  Prisoner sued the
Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Corrections and the prison
warden based upon the warden's denial of prisoner's request that his
personal religious advisor be physically present at all times leading
up to his execution.  The chancery court ordered the issuance of a
writ of mandamus requiring the prison warden to allow the prisoner's
minister to attend the prisoner at all times until the prisoner enters
the death chamber.  We reverse and remand.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/workmanphilip.wpd

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