March 28, 2003
Volume 9 Number 056
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):
||New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
||New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court Workers' Compensation Panel
||New Document(s) or Proposed Rule(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
||New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
||New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
||New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Attorney General (PDF format)
||New Judicial Ethics Opinion(s)
||New Formal Ethics Opinion(s) from the Board of Professional Responsibility
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Howard H. Vogel
JEFFREY L. CAMPORA, et al. v. RICHARD DALE FORD
Gregory M. O'Neal, Winchester, For Appellant, Richard Dale Ford
Gerald L. Ewell,Jr., Tullahoma, For Appellees, Jeffrey L. Campora and
This case involves a dispute arising from a Promissory Note executed
by and between the Appellant/Maker and Appellee/Payee. Specifically,
Appellant asserts that he signed the Note in a representative capacity
and, therefore, he is not personally liable on the Note. The Circuit
Court of Franklin County granted Appellee's Motion for Summary
Judgment, entering a Judgment against Appellant for principal,
interest, and costs. Appellant appeals from this Judgment. We
EDWARD KEITH GRAY v. JOHNSON MOBILE HOMES OF TENNESSEE, INC. a/k/a
JOHNSON HOMES and FLEETWOOD HOMES OF TENNESSEE, INC. and GREEN TREE
FINANCIAL SERVICING CORPORATION
Scottie O. Wilkes, Memphis, Tennessee, for appellant, Edward Keith
Evan Nahmias, Memphis, Tennessee, for appellee, Fleetwood Homes of
This is a contract case. The buyer contracted to purchase a mobile
home. After the home was delivered, the buyer inspected it and found
it to be in unsatisfactory condition. The buyer complained to the
seller and then to the manufacturer, each of whom attempted to remedy
the problems. The buyer found the repairs to be unacceptable and
revoked his acceptance of the mobile home. The buyer sued the seller,
the manufacturer, and the finance company. The buyer settled with the
finance company. The seller became insolvent and did not appear at
the trial. Consequently, the buyer went to trial against the seller
and the manufacturer, with only the manufacturer present. The trial
court found for the buyer and apportioned the damages between the
seller and the manufacturer. On appeal, the buyer argues that the
trial erred in apportioning the damages between the seller and the
manufacturer, and in awarding him insufficient damages. The
manufacturer argues that the trial court erred in denying its motion
for involuntary dismissal, and in awarding damages against the
manufacturer. We affirm.
STATE OF TENNESSEE DEPT. OF CHILDREN'S SERVICES v. D.D.B. a/k/a D.B.M.
Worth Lovett, Clarksville, Tennessee, for Appellant, D.D.B., a/k/a
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter, Douglas Earl Dimond,
Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellee, State
of Tennessee Dept. of Children's Services.
This appeal arises from the termination of parental rights by the
juvenile court. We affirm the juvenile court.
RICHARD LEE v. CITY OF LAVERGNE, et al.
Gregory H. Oakley, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, City of
LaVergne and Howard Morris.
Richard Lee, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Pro Se.
The cause was heard by the Chancery Court for Rutherford County, on a
petition for Writ of Certiorari. The Chancellor remanded the case and
ordered the City of LaVergne to provide plaintiff a hearing before the
City Administrator. The City appealed. We find the appellee was an
at will employee, and as such, has no property interest in his job.
Therefore, a due process claim is inapplicable. Appellee relies upon
the City of LaVergne Employee Manual. The Manual does not contain
clear and binding language to create a contract of employment, and
does not create any property rights in appellee. Therefore, the
judgment of the Chancellor is reversed.
PACIFIC DESIGN VENTURES, INC., et al. v. BIG RIVER BREWERIES, INC., et
Kenneth R. Jones, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants,
Pacific Design Ventures, Inc., Randall A. Waters, Jack F. Smart, and
Kevin L. McGhee.
Robert E. Boston and W. Travis Parham, Nashville, Tennessee, for the
appellees, Big River Breweries, Inc., 111 Broadway Partners, L.P.,
Leonard Kinsey & Associates, Ltd., Randy Hammock, and Tim P. Hennen.
The Chancery Court of Davidson County granted summary judgment and
dismissed appellants' suit. On appeal, the appellants argue the
Chancellor erred in striking their response to appellees' statement of
undisputed facts, amended complaint and affidavit supporting the
amended complaint as being late-filed. We find the Chancellor did not
abuse his discretion, and we also find summary judgment was
appropriate. Therefore, we affirm.
KURT SERAPHINE v. AQUA BATH COMPANY, INC., et al.
Steven A. Riley, Taylor A. Cates, Nashville, Tennessee, for the
appellant, Kurt Seraphine.
Brian A. Lapps, Jr., Jason D. Fisher, Nashville, Tennessee, for the
appellees, Aqua Bath Company, Inc., George McAllister and Charles
This is an appeal from the grant of Appellees' motion for summary
judgment. Appellant, a former employee of Appellee company, brought
various claims against the company, and the company's top executives.
Against the company, Appellant sought damages and specific performance
based on an alleged breach of a stock option agreement and damages for
breach of the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing. Against
the individual defendants, Appellant sued on claims of statutory and
common law inducement to breach. Appellees counterclaimed for a
declaratory judgment that Appellant had no option to purchase shares
in the company because the option expired when his employment
terminated. Summary judgment was granted on Appellees' declaratory
judgment claim and Appellant's claims were dismissed. We reverse the
trial court's holding that the stock option expired with termination
of employment, but find Appellant has not demonstrated a breach of the
stock option agreement or his right to any remedy thereunder. We
affirm the trial court's grant of summary judgment on the breach of
duty of good faith and intentional interference claims.
ROBERT JACKSON STEPHENSON v. MARY FRANCES STEPHENSON
L. L. Harrell, Jr., Trenton, TN, for Appellant
John Van den Bosch, Jr., Jackson, TN, for Appellee
This appeal involves a will contest. The trial court found the
testator to be competent at the time the will was executed and held
that the will was the "complete, whole, true and valid Last Will and
Testament" of the testator. For the following reasons, we affirm.
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. BOYD L. JONES, III
Jeffery Jones, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Boyd L. Jones,
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney,
Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney
General; and Tom Hoover, Assistant District Attorney General, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.
The Defendant, Boyd L. Jones, III, pled guilty to possession of
marijuana. As part of his plea agreement, he expressly reserved with
the consent of the trial court and the State the right to appeal three
related certified questions of law pursuant to Tennessee Rule of
Criminal Procedure 37(b)(2)(i). The certified questions of law stem
from the trial court's denial of the Defendant's motion to suppress.
The central issue in this appeal is whether law enforcement officers
violated the Defendant's Fourth Amendment right to be free from
unreasonable searches and seizures when they entered his residence
without a search warrant and detained him until they obtained written
consent to search from the lessee of the residence. We affirm the
judgment of the trial court.
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MICHAEL LEWIS
Gary F. Antrican, District Public Defender (at trial and on appeal);
and Michael Lewis, Pro Se (at trial), for the appellant, Michael
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; P. Robin Dixon, Jr.,
Assistant Attorney General; Elizabeth T. Rice, District Attorney
General; and Tracey Anne Brewer, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
A Lauderdale County jury convicted the defendant, Michael Lewis, of
reckless aggravated assault. On appeal, the defendant contends (1)
the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction; (2) the trial
court erred in conducting an ex parte hearing outside the presence of
the defendant and his attorney; (3) the trial court erred in
permitting a witness to testify to statements made by the co-
defendant; (4) the trial court erred in refusing to admit into
evidence a letter allegedly written by the victim; and (5) the trial
court erred in permitting the defendant to represent himself. Upon
reviewing the record and the applicable law, we affirm the judgment of
the trial court.
ISAAC MILHOLEN v. STATE OF TENNESSEE
Lloyd R. Tatum, Henderson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Isaac
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Christine M. Lapps,
Assistant Attorney General; James G. Woodall, District Attorney
General; and Shaun A. Brown, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the appellee, State of Tennessee.
The petitioner, Isaac Milholen, was convicted in 1997 of rape of a
child and incest and sentenced to twenty-three years and eight years,
respectively. His convictions were affirmed on direct appeal.
Subsequently, he filed a petition for post-conviction relief alleging
ineffective assistance of counsel. The post-conviction court
dismissed his petition because he had brought an ineffective
assistance of counsel claim in his direct appeal, and he now appeals
that dismissal. We affirm the order of the post-conviction court
dismissing the petition.
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ROBERT MILLER
George Morton Googe, District Public Defender (on appeal), and David
H. Crichton, Assistant District Public Defender (on appeal and at
sentencing), for the appellant, Roger Miller.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Thomas E. Williams, III,
Assistant Attorney General; and James W. Thompson, Assistant District
Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
The defendant, Robert Miller, who represented himself at trial, was
convicted of vandalism over $500 and criminal trespass. After the
trial, the defendant was appointed counsel. The trial court ordered
concurrent sentences of two years and thirty days, respectively, with
all but ten days suspended, to be served in community corrections. In
this appeal of right, the defendant asserts (1) that he did not
knowingly and voluntarily waive his right to counsel; (2) that the
trial court erred by the omission of a jury instruction; and (3) that
the evidence was insufficient. Because the defendant was denied the
assistance of counsel at trial, the judgments of conviction are
reversed and the causes are remanded for a new trial.
College and University Security Information Act -- Criminal Sanctions
Date: March 25, 2003
Opinion Number: 03-031
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