Opinion Flash

September 17, 2002
Volume 8 — Number 162

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.

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

TBA members can get the full-text versions of these opinions three ways detailed below. All methods require a TBA username and password. If you have forgotten your password, you can look it up on-line at http://www.tba.org/getpassword.mgi . If you are a TBA member, but do not have a username and password, you can receive one online at http://www.tba.org/signup.mgi. Here's how you can obtain full-text version.

Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This option will allow you to download the original document.

Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion.

Browse the Opinion List area of TBALink. This option will allow you to download the original version of the opinion.

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


SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS 
Corrected Version

Court:TSC - Rules

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_Rules/certlist_0916.wpd

Amended Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct

Court:TSC - Rules

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_Rules/amendedrule8.wpd

Orders amending Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct

Court:TSC - Rules

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_Rules/amendingorders.wpd

IN THE MATTER OF: C.N.S. and C.J.S.

Court:TCA

Attorneys: 

Beverly Rayburn, Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellant, C.E.S.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth C. Driver,
Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.     
                   
Judge: CANTRELL

First Paragraph:

The trial court terminated the parental rights of the mother of two
young children on multiple grounds, including the mother's inability
to meet their special needs. The mother argued on appeal that the
grounds for termination were not proven by clear and convincing
evidence. We affirm the trial court.

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

GABRIEL DRYDEN, et al. v. THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND
DAVIDSON COUNTY

Court:TCA

Attorneys:

William Kennerly Burger, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and Larry B. Hoover,
Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellants, Gabriel Dryden, Sylvia
Dryden, Gary Dryden, Michael J. Saunders, Julia B. Saunders and Hunter
Saunders.

Karl F. Dean, Daniel W. Champney, John L. Kennedy, and Dennis W.
Stafford, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, The Metropolitan
Government of Nashville and Davidson County.

Judge: FARMER

First Paragraph:

This case involves a traffic accident and the application of the
Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act.  Plaintiff's vehicle was
struck after Defendant failed to yield at an intersection.  Defendant
contended that the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson
County (Metro) was partially at fault for its failure to properly warn
motorists of the upcoming intersection.  After Plaintiff and Defendant
settled their suit, Defendant pursued a claim against Metro.  The
trial court granted Metro's motion for summary judgment, ruling that
Metro was entitled to governmental immunity.  We vacate the trial
court's award of summary judgment and remand the case for further
proceedings.

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

LASSIE FRAZIER, et al. v. BROCK'S OPEN AIR MARKET

Court:TCA

Attorneys: 

P. Richard Talley and Steven Douglas Drinnon, Dandridge, Tennessee,
for the Appellants Lassie Frazier, surviving spouse of Clifford
Frazier, deceased, for her benefit and the benefit of sons Arthur
Frazier, Elmer Frazier, David Frazier, daughters Edna Valentine, Faye
Crum, Ada Woody, Gladys Boles and Diana Miller, and Basil Stanton
Kittrell, individually and as personal representative of the estate of
Azeline Kittrell.

Jeffrey M. Ward, Greeneville, Tennessee, for the Appellee Brock's Open
Air Market.                         

Judge: SWINEY

First Paragraph:

Clifford Frazier and Azeline Kittrell were sitting on a bench located
in front of Brock's Open Air Market.  Catherine Ottinger ("Ottinger"),
who already had consumed six beers, was at the store to purchase a
salad and more beer.  As Ottinger was leaving, her car, for whatever
reason, accelerated rapidly while in reverse and made a U-turn at a
high rate of speed.  While in reverse, Ottinger drove onto a public
road and then came back onto the store's premises, jumped a concrete
curb and hit Clifford Frazier and Azeline Kittrell, who later died
from their injuries.  Plaintiffs sued Brock's Open Air Market
asserting, as relevant to this appeal, premises liability.  The Trial
Court granted summary judgment to Brock's Open Air Market on the basis
that the accident in question was not reasonably foreseeable.  We
affirm.

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

MITCH GRISSIM & ASSOCIATES v. BLUE CROSS & BLUE SHIELD OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCA

Attorneys: 

Richard J. Braun and Patricia E. Crotwell of Nashville For Appellant,
Mitch Grissim & Associates

Patricia Head Moskal, Nashville, For Appellee, Blue Cross & Blue
Shield of Tennessee

Judge: CRAWFORD

First Paragraph:

This appeal involves a suit by an attorney against a former client for
attorney fees allegedly due when the client terminated contingency fee
contracts.  The trial court denied plaintiff-attorney's motion for
partial summary judgment and granted defendant-client's motion for
summary judgment, holding that the attorney was not entitled to
recover fees for services provided to the client prior to discharge. 
Plaintiff has appealed.  We reverse and remand.

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

ROBERT MAY v. WOODLAWN MEMORIAL PARK, INC.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:

Paul W. Duty, John H. Lowe, Goodlettsville, For Appellant, Robert May

Scott D. Carey, Sandi L. Pack, Nashville, For Appellee, Woodlawn
Memorial Park, Inc.                       

Judge: CRAWFORD

First Paragraph:

This appeal involves a dismissal in circuit court of a general
sessions appeal for failure of plaintiff-appellant to obtain a trial
date within 45 days of the appeal pursuant to local rule of court. 
After the trial court's dismissal, plaintiff filed a motion to alter
or amend pursuant to Tenn.R.Civ.P., Rules 59 and 60, which motion was
denied.  Plaintiff has appealed.  We reverse and remand.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE, ex rel. HEATHER R. MIDDLETON v. STANLEY COCHRAN

Court:TCA

Attorneys: 

Leslie B. McWilliams, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellant,
Stanley D. Cochran.

Paul G. Summers and Stuart F. Wilson-Patton, Nashville, Tennessee, for
the Appellee, State of Tennessee, ex rel. Heather R. Middleton.                         

Judge: SWINEY

First Paragraph:

In 1995, Heather R. Middleton ("Mother") gave birth to a child
("Child") whose father is Stanley Cochran ("Father").  Father was
married to Michelle P. Cochran, and they had two children during their
marriage.  Father and his wife were divorced in June 2001, and Father
agreed to pay child support and private school tuition expenses for
their two children.  In August 2001, Father's paternity of the Child
was established and a child support order was entered in this suit
regarding the Child.  Father appeals the Trial Court's award of
current and retroactive child support.  Plaintiff also appeals
claiming the Trial Court erred both in its calculation of the
retroactive support owed by Father and in setting the amount of the
weekly payments on the award of retroactive child support.  We affirm.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE, ex rel. HEATHER R. MIDDLETON v. STANLEY COCHRAN

Court:TCA

SUSANO CONCURRING IN PART, DISSENTING IN PART

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

TRACY RENEE MORRIS v. ROBERT ANDREW MORRIS

Court:TCA

Attorneys: 

David A. Collins, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tracy Renee
Morris.

Rosemary E. Phillips, Goodlettsville, Tennessee, for the appellee,
Robert Andrew Morris.                         

Judge: LILLARD

First Paragraph:

This case involves a petition to change custody.  The parents were
divorced in July 1998.  By agreement, custody of the parties' two
minor children was awarded to the mother.  In February 2001, while the
children were staying with the father at the mother's request, he
filed a petition to modify custody to make him the permanent custodial
parent.  In his petition, the father alleged a material change in
circumstances, in that the mother had difficulty keeping a job,
maintaining a home, and taking care of the children.  The trial court
granted the father's petition.  The mother now appeals.  We affirm,
finding that the trial court did not err in finding a material change
in circumstances and did not abuse its discretion in changing custody
to the father.

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

RUTHERFORD B. QUINN v. TINA ILENE QUINN

Court:TCA

Attorneys:    

Carrie Kersh, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tina Ilene
Quinn.

Sharon Massey, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Rutherford B.
Quinn.                      

Judge: CANTRELL

First Paragraph:

Mother and Father divorced pursuant to a Marital Dissolution Agreement
("MDA") in 1996.  Under the MDA, Mother had physical custody of the
child during the school year.  In the Fall of 1999, Mother moved to
Alabama with the child.  Father filed a petition for contempt and
change of custody.  The trial court held that Mother's move was a
material change in circumstances and that Father would receive primary
custody of the child.  Mother appealed.  Taking into account the
provisions of the Relocation Statute, Tenn. Code Ann. S 36-6-108, we
vacate the trial court's decision and remand for further proceedings.

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

FELIX M. WOODS, et al. v. JAMES N. FARIS 

Court:TCA

Attorneys:      

Renard A. Hirsch, Sr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Felix
M. Woods and Agnes J. Woods.

A Russell Willis and William B. Hawkins, Nashville, Tennessee, for the
appellee, James N. Faris.

Judge: FARMER

First Paragraph:

This appeal arises from an action brought by the plaintiff/seller to
enforce an agreement made as an addendum to a contract for sale of a
home purporting to give a mortgage to the seller.  We find that both
parties acted with unclean hands.  Judgment of the trial court is
affirmed in part, reversed in part, and this case is remanded for
further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. KEVIN ISLAND

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:  

Donna Armstard and Glenda Adams, Memphis, Tennessee, for the
Appellant, Kevin Island.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; John H. Bledsoe,
Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney
General; and Camille McMullen, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.                        

Judge: WITT

First Paragraph:

Kevin Island appeals from his Shelby County conviction of robbery.  He
claims that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to
sustain the conviction.  We disagree and affirm.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/island.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RONNIE WATSON

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

Thomas H. Strawn, Dyersburg, Tennessee, Attorney for Appellant, Ronnie
Watson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Braden H. Boucek,
Assistant Attorney General; Garry G. Brown, District Attorney General;
and William D. Bowen, Assistant District Attorney General, for the
Appellee, State of Tennessee.                      

Judge: WITT

First Paragraph:

Convicted of aggravated robbery, Ronnie Watson appeals the Gibson
County Circuit Court's denial of his motion to suppress the statements
he gave to a law enforcement officer shortly after the commission of
the crime.  We hold that the issue has been waived by Watson's failure
to include it in his motion for new trial.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/watsonr.wpd

Tennessee Equitable Restrooms Act

Date: September 11, 2002

Opinion Number: 02-098                         

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2002/OP98.pdf

PLEASE FORWARD THIS E-MAIL!
Feel free to forward this Opinion Flash on to anyone you know of with an e-mail address.

GET A FULL-TEXT COPY OF AN OPINION!
See the intrsuctions at the beginning of this edition of Opinion Flash.

JOIN THE TENNESSEE BAR ASSOCIATION!
While Opinion Flash is a free service of the Tennessee Bar Association, you must be a member of the Tennessee Bar Association in order to access the full text of the opinions or enjoy the many other features of TBALink.

To join the TBA go to: http://www.tba.org/join_bar.mgi

SUBSCRIBE TO OPINION FLASH!
Would you like to receive the TBALink Opinion Flash free each day by e-mail? Anyone, whether a TBA member or not, is welcome to subscribe ... it's free! Sign up for text or HTML version.

Visit the TBALink web site at: http://www.tba.org/op-flash.mgi

UNSUBSCRIBE TO OPINION FLASH? ... SURELY NOT!

But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at: http://www.tba.org/op-flash.mgi


HomeContact UsPageFinderWhat's NewHelp
© Copyright 2002 Tennessee Bar Association