Opinion FlashMay 24, 2002
Volume 8 Number 92
Following this index are summaries of each case, including its name, first paragraph, author's name, and the names of attorneys for the parties of each opinion.
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Howard H. Vogel
JULIA BETH CREWS v. BUCKMAN LABORATORIES INTERNATIONAL, INC. Court:TSC Attorneys: Donald A. Donati and William B. Ryan, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Julia Beth Crews. Frederick J. Lewis, Thomas L. Henderson, and Whitney K. Fogerty, for the appellee, Buckman Laboratories International, Inc. Judge: BARKER First Paragraph: The sole issue in this case is whether an in-house lawyer can bring a common-law claim for retaliatory discharge when she was terminated for reporting that her employer's general counsel was engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. The trial court dismissed the plaintiff's complaint for failure to state a claim, and the dismissal was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. We granted permission to appeal to the plaintiff and hold that in-house counsel may bring a common-law action for retaliatory discharge resulting from counsel's compliance with a provision of the Code of Professional Responsibility that represents a clear and definitive statement of public policy. Accordingly, the judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed, and this case is remanded to the trial court for further proceedings. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/crewsjuliabeth.wpd
PAMELA HARVEY V. AZTEX ENTERPRISES Court:TSC - Workers Comp Panel Attorneys: J. Scott Wesson and B. Chadwick Rickman, Allen, Kopet & Boyd, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Aztex Enterprises. Garry Ferraris, Farmer and Ferraris, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Pamela Harvey. Judge: PEOPLES First Paragraph: This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. S 50-6-225(e) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The employer contends the trial court erred in refusing to cap the award at two and one-half times the medical impairment and that the award is excessive under the facts. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/harveyp.wpd
IN RE: AMENDMENT TO TENNESSEE SUPREME COURT RULE 8, DISCIPLINARY RULE 4-101(C) Court:TSC - Rules http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_Rules/rule8amend.wpd
CORRECTED OPINION: hanges "concurrent" to "consecutive" in the first paragraph. STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RICKY T. HUGHES Court:TCCA Attorneys: Bruce Poag (on appeal) and Lionel Barrett and Daniel McMurtry (at trial), Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ricky T. Hughes. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Sharon L. Brox and Roger D. Moore, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: TIPTON First Paragraph: A Davidson County Criminal Court jury convicted the defendant, Ricky T. Hughes, of facilitation of first degree felony murder, a Class A felony, and especially aggravated robbery, a Class A felony. The trial court sentenced him to consecutive sentences of twenty-five years as a standard offender for the facilitation conviction and twenty-five years as a violent offender for the aggravated robbery conviction. The defendant appeals, claiming that (1) the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions, (2) the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress his confession, and (3) the trial court erred by not allowing him to testify about a prior consistent statement. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/hughesrt.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TERRY NORRIS Court:TCCA Attorneys: Robert C. Brooks, Memphis, Tennessee (on appeal); Michael Johnson and Garland Erguden, Assistant Public Defenders, Memphis, Tennessee (at trial), for the Appellant, Terry Norris. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Kim R. Helper, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Karen Cook, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WEDEMEYER First Paragraph: A Shelby County jury found the Defendant guilty of second degree murder, and the trial court sentenced him to twenty-one years incarceration. The Defendant now appeals his conviction, arguing that he received ineffective assistance of counsel at trial because (1) his counsel failed to file a motion to suppress his confession based upon a violation of the Defendant's Fourth Amendment rights; and (2) his counsel argued a theory of defense to the jury that was contrary to the Defendant's wishes and testimony. We conclude that the Defendant's trial counsel were not ineffective for failing to base the motion to suppress the Defendant's confession on a violation of the Defendant's Fourth Amendment rights. We further conclude that although the Defendant's counsel did not comply with the Defendant's wish to proceed at trial under a theory of self-defense, any error in this regard was harmless in light of the record as a whole. We therefore affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/norrist.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ROBERT TAIT Court:TCCA Attorneys: Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Kim R. Helper, Assistant Attorney General; and Steve Jones, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, the State of Tennessee. N. Craig Brightsen, III, and Terry D. Smart, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Robert Tait. Judge: WADE First Paragraph: The defendant, Robert Tait, who was charged with one count of driving under the influence, see Tenn. Code Ann. S 55-10-401(a)(1), and one count of driving with a blood alcohol concentration greater than .10%, see Tenn. Code Ann. S 55-10-401(a)(2), sought dismissal of the second count, arguing that it was barred by the statute of limitations. The trial court granted the motion, finding that sections 401(a)(1) and 401(a)(2) were separate crimes, rather than different theories of the same crime. The state was granted permission to appeal under Rule 9 of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure. Because Tennessee Code Annotated section 55-10-401(a)(1) and (a)(2) provide alternate theories of conviction for the same crime, the judgment of the trial court is reversed and the cause is remanded for trial. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/taitrobert.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JAMES ROBERT WILSON Court:TCCA Attorneys: Peter J. Strianse, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, James Robert Wilson. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Mark E. Davidson, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Kimberly Haas, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WOODALL First Paragraph: Defendant, James Robert Wilson, was convicted by a Davidson County jury of first degree felony murder and especially aggravated robbery. He was ordered to serve concurrent sentences of life imprisonment for the felony murder conviction and twenty years for the especially aggravated robbery conviction. Defendant appeals his convictions and presents the following five issues for review: (1) whether the trial court erred by admitting audio taped threat evidence; (2) whether the trial court erred by denying Defendant's motion for a mistrial based on a witness's characterization of Defendant as a "robber"; (3) whether the trial court erred by denying Defendant's motion for a mistrial based on the State's comment that Defendant failed to call a witness; (4) whether the trial court erred by denying Defendant's request for a jury instruction on accomplice testimony; and (5) whether the trial court erred in failing to charge all applicable lesser-included offenses. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/wilsonjamesr.wpd
Review of Attorney General Opinion No. 02-021 Date: May 17, 2002 Opinion Number: 02-064 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2002/OP64.pdf
Cities under the Public Records Act Date: May 17, 2002 Opinion Number: 02-065 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2002/OP65.pdf
Overcoming Mayoral Veto under Portland City Charter Date: May 20, 2002 Opinion Number: 02-066 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2002/OP66.pdf
House Education Committee authority regarding appointees to State Board of Education Date: May 21, 2002 Opinion Number: 02-067 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2002/OP67.pdf
Maintenance of Support -- K-12 Funding Date: May 22, 2002 Opinion Number: 02-068 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2002/OP68.pdf
Senate Bill 1201/House Bill 1767 - Primary Elections - Write-in Candidates Date: May 22, 2002 Opinion Number: 02-069 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2002/OP69.pdf
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