Opinion Flash

March 17, 2003
Volume 9 — Number 046

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
01 New Document(s) or Proposed Rule(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
03 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)
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


Court:TSC - Rules

PERRY MARCH v. LAWRENCE LEVINE, et al. Court:TCA Attorneys: John E. Herbison, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Perry March. C.J. Gideon, Jr. and Margaret J. Moore, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Lawrence Levine and Carolyn Levine, as Next Friends of Janet Levine March, as Next Friends of Samson March and Tzipora March; Children Janet Levine March, and in their Individual Capacities. Judge: CAIN First Paragraph: This matter is a dispute between Absentee Janet March's parents, Lawrence and Carolyn Levine, and her husband, Perry March. The case began as an in rem battle over the Absentee's property after Perry March opened an absentee estate following Janet's disappearance. However, the Levines, thirty-one months after the absentee estate was opened, asked to amend the proceedings and add a claim for wrongful death against Perry March. The court allowed the amendment. Perry March incurred citations for civil contempt of court, and the Levines were eventually granted a default judgment as a result of his contempt. A judgment for $113,500,000.00 in damages was entered against him. Perry March appealed. We find that the trial court abused its discretion in allowing the wrongful death action, and we reverse the trial court. The default judgment for wrongful death and the award for damages against Perry March are reversed. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/marchp_opn.wpd
PERRY MARCH v. LAWRENCE LEVINE, et al. Court:TCA STEWART DISSENTING http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/marchp_dis.wpd
PRAVIN PATEL, et ux. v. DOUGLAS A. BAYLIFF, et al. Court:TCA Attorneys: Tim Edwards and R. Douglas Hanson, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellants, Pravin and Mita Patel. Arnold Goldin, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, Douglas A. Bayliff and Tommie W. Bayliff. Evan Nahmias, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Germantown Pest Control Company. Judge: FARMER First Paragraph: This is an appeal from a grant of summary judgment. The underlying case concerned the sale of a home to the Appellants that, subsequent to the closing, evidenced termite damage. Appellant buyers claim that the Appellee sellers are responsible for this damage under various theories of recovery, all of which were dismissed by the trial court. Appellants further assert that the Appellee termite company is responsible for the damages because they failed to disclose on the termite inspection report that the home had been repeatedly treated for termites by that same company. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/patelp.wpd
FELICIA DENISE WEBB v. ERNEST BERNETT GILLESPIE Court:TCA Attorneys: William T. Winchester, Webb A. Brewer, Memphis, TN, for Appellant Rev. Ernest Gillespie, III, pro se Judge: HIGHERS First Paragraph: This is a child support case. Father is the pastor of a church. Mother contends that Father uses a church bank account for his personal use. Mother argues that the funds in this account minus legitimate church expenses should be imputed to Father as income for purposes of calculating child support. The trial court found that it could not determine Father's income and, following the Child Support Guidelines, imputed $25,761.00 to him as income. We affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/webb_opn.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JASON R. GARNER Court:TCCA Attorneys: Michael E. Scholl, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Jason R. Garner. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael Moore, Solicitor General; P. Robin Dixon, Jr., Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Paul Goodman, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: HAYES First Paragraph: The Appellant, Jason R. Garner, appeals his conviction by a Shelby County jury of second degree murder and especially aggravated robbery. The convictions arose from Garner's involvement in the robbery and shooting of Charles Bledsoe. Garner received consecutive sentences of twenty years for second degree murder and twenty years for especially aggravated robbery. On appeal, Garner argues that: (1) the evidence was insufficient to sustain his convictions; (2) the convictions are "irreconcilable;" (3) the trial court erred by allowing the State to file untimely notice of sentence enhancements; (4) the trial court erred by failing to submit an instruction with regard to accomplice testimony to the jury; and (5) his sentences were excessive and the imposition of consecutive sentences was error. After review, we find these issues without merit. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/garnerj.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ERIC GENE ISLAND Court:TCCA Attorneys: James T. Powell, Union City, Tennessee (on appeal); Joseph P. Atnip, District Public Defender; and William K. Randolph, Assistant District Public Defender (at trial), for the appellant, Eric Gene Island. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; P. Robin Dixon, Jr., Assistant Attorney General; Thomas A. Thomas, District Attorney General; and Kevin David McAlpin, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: RILEY First Paragraph: An Obion County jury convicted the defendant, Eric Gene Island, of attempt to commit robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. The trial court sentenced him to concurrent sentences of four years for each conviction. On direct appeal, the defendant contends: (1) trial counsel was ineffective in failing to investigate the case and secure witnesses; and (2) he was denied his right to testify at trial. Upon reviewing the record, we conclude the failure to conduct a Momon hearing to determine whether the defendant personally waived his right to testify was plain error. Therefore, we remand the case to the trial court for a full hearing on the issue. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/islanderic.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DWAYNE NELVIS SLOCUM Court:TCCA Attorneys: Clifford K. McGown, Jr., Waverly, Tennessee (on appeal); and Gary F. Antrican, District Public Defender, and Shana McCoy-Johnson, Assistant Public Defender (at trial and on appeal), for the appellant, Dwayne Nelvis Slocum. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Assistant Attorney General; and Elizabeth T. Rice, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WILLIAMS First Paragraph: The defendant appeals his effective ten-year community corrections sentence with a requirement of 160 days of jail time after pleading guilty to violating a habitual motor vehicle offender order, driving under the influence - 4th offense, and resisting arrest. The defendant filed no transcripts of the guilty plea submission hearing or sentencing hearing. These hearings are essential for appellate review. Therefore, we must presume that the trial court is correct. We affirm the judgments of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/slocumdn.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RAYMOND NICHOLUS WALLACE Court:TCCA ORDER http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/wallacer_ord.wpd

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