Opinion FlashSeptember 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):
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Howard H. Vogel
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
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