Opinion Flash

May 2, 2003
Volume 9 — Number 080

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):
04 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
02 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court Workers' Compensation Panel
00 New Document(s) or Proposed Rule(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
02 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
01 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
03 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


LINDA J. CORUM v. HOLSTON HEALTH & REHABILITATION CENTER, et al.

Court:TSC

Attorneys:    

John B. Dupree, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Holston
Health & Rehabilitation Center.

John P. Dreiser and J. Anthony Farmer, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the
appellee, Linda J. Corum.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore,
Solicitor General; and E. Blaine Sprouse, Assistant Attorney General,
Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, James W. Farmer, Director,
Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce, Workers' Compensation
Division, Second Injury Fund, State of Tennessee.

Judge: BIRCH

First Paragraph:

We granted the employer's motion for full court review in this case in
order to decide whether the failure to file the statistical data
("SD1") form contemporaneously with the order of final judgment, as
required by Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-244(b) (1999),
affects the finality of that judgment.  After a thorough review of the
record and careful consideration of relevant authorities, we have
determined that the failure to file the SD1 form contemporaneously
with the order of final judgment does not affect the finality of the
judgment.  Accordingly, we agree with the Special Workers'
Compensation Appeals Panel in its dismissal of the appeal as untimely
because as it was not filed within the time prescribed by Rule 4 of
the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/corumlindaj.wpd
								
DEE ANN CURTIS GALLAHER v. CURTIS J. ELAM Court:TSC Attorneys: Wayne Decatur Wykoff and Judith A. DePrisco, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Petitioner-Appellant, Dee Ann Curtis Gallaher. L. Caesar Stair III and Margo J. Maxwell, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Respondent-Appellee, Curtis J. Elam. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Stuart F. Wilson-Patton, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Intervenor, State of Tennessee. Judge: HOLDER First Paragraph: In this appeal, the appellant challenges the constitutionality of the Tennessee Department of Human Services Child Support Guidelines ("the Guidelines"). The Court of Appeals upheld the trial court's determination that chapter 1240-2-4-.03(4) of the Guidelines violates the equal protection provisions of the federal and state constitutions. We granted permission to appeal. After careful consideration, we conclude that: (1) chapter 1240-2-4-.03(4) of the Guidelines, which prohibits consideration of non-court-ordered child support in calculating child support, and chapter 1240-2-4-.03(2) of the Guidelines, which requires consideration only of the obligor's income in calculating child support, do not violate the equal protection and due process provisions of either the United States or Tennessee Constitutions; and (2) the promulgation of the Guidelines does not constitute an impermissible delegation of rulemaking authority by the General Assembly to the Department of Human Services. We reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals and remand the cause for proceedings consistent with this opinion. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/gallaherdacopn.wpd
RODNEY R. HARDIN v. ROYAL & SUNALLIANCE INSURANCE Court:TSC Attorneys: Christopher J. Oldham, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Rodney R. Hardin. J. Timothy Bobo and Judith A. DePrisco, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Royal & Sunalliance Insurance. Judge: BIRCH First Paragraph: We granted the plaintiff's motion for review as provided by Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6- 225(e) (1999 & Supp. 2002) to determine whether a trial court may reconsider an award pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-241(a)(2) (1999) when an employee resigns and, if so, under what circumstances may the prior award be increased. After receiving a workers' compensation award and returning to his pre-injury employment, Rodney R. Hardin voluntarily resigned. Thereafter, he filed a motion requesting that the trial court reconsider his award. The trial court granted this motion and increased the plaintiff's award by 15%. The Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel held that, while a trial court may reconsider a previous workers' compensation award when the employee resigns, it may increase the award only if the resignation was reasonably related to the injury. The Panel found that Hardin's resignation was not reasonably related to his injury and, therefore, reversed the trial court's increase of the award. We agree with the Panel's reasoning and its conclusion. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/hardinr.wpd
LINDSAY TAYLOR, Et Al. v. AL BEARD, Et Al. Court:TSC REHEARING ORDER http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/taylorvbeard.wpd
TERESA L. CRISP v. LIBERTY MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY Court:TSC - Workers Comp Panel Attorneys: Michael A. Walker, Jamestown, Tennessee, for the appellant, Teresa L. Crisp Joe M. Looney, Crossville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company Judge: LOSER First Paragraph: This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. S 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. In this appeal, the employee insists the trial court erred in summarily dismissing her claim for insufficient evidence of a connection between the employment and the State of Tennessee. As discussed below, the panel has concluded there is no genuine issue of material fact and that the employee's insurer is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/crispteresa.wpd
ALICE KAYE BEASON v. C.A. BEASON Court:TCA Attorneys: J. Mikel Dixon, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant Alice Kaye Beason. Brent R. Watson and Suzanne N. Price, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellee C.A. Beason. Judge: SWINEY First Paragraph: These appeals involve an equitable distribution of the Tier II railroad retirement benefits of C.A. Beason ("Husband"). When Alice Beason ("Wife") and Husband were divorced the first time in 1989, Wife admittedly made no claim for any of Husband's Tier II benefits and was awarded none. The parties then remarried in 1992 and were divorced for the second time in 1996. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order ("QDRO") eventually was entered in the second divorce which awarded Wife 100% of Husband's Tier II benefits. After Husband became disabled, Wife began receiving all of his Tier II benefits which had accumulated during Husband's 31 years of employment with the railroad. Husband claims he then realized for the first time the true effect of the QDRO and filed a Tenn. R. Civ. P. 60.02(5) motion seeking relief from the judgment. Husband's Rule 60.02(5) motion was granted and the Trial Court entered a new QDRO awarding Wife only 100% of the Tier II benefits which had accrued during the second marriage. Wife then sought relief by Rule 60.02(5) from the judgment entered in the first divorce in 1989, asking that Trial Court to award her an equitable distribution of the Tier II benefits which had accrued during the first marriage. Wife's motion was denied. Wife appeals both decisions. On appeal, we affirm the Trial Court's decision to grant Husband relief from the judgment in the second divorce, and we also affirm the Trial Court's refusal to grant Wife relief from the judgment in the first divorce. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/beasona.wpd
RONNIE BROWN, et al. v. STATE OF TENNESSEE, et al. Court:TCA Attorneys: Andy L. Allman, Hendersonville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Joanne Johnson, Ronnie Brown and Tonya Bailey. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General, and Sarah T. Chambers, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: CAIN First Paragraph: Claimants appeal the action of the Tennessee Claims Commission in dismissing their claims based upon the expiration of the statute of limitations. We affirm the action of the Claims Commission. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/brownronnie.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CHARLES NATHAN WADDLE Court:TCCA Attorneys: Douglas L. Payne, Greeneville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Charles Nathan Waddle. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Thomas E. Williams, III, Assistant Attorney General; C. Berkeley Bell, Jr., District Attorney General; and Cecil C. Mills, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WEDEMEYER First Paragraph: A Greene County jury convicted the Defendant of aggravated burglary and theft of property. The trial court imposed an effective sentence of six years to be served in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant challenges the sufficiency of the convicting evidence and the appropriateness of the sentences imposed. He also argues that the trial court should have declared a mistrial when evidence of other crimes by the Defendant was introduced at trial. Because we conclude that the evidence is sufficient, the sentences are appropriate, and a mistrial was not required, we affirm the convictions. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/waddlecn.wpd
Prohibiting an Attorney from Appearing in Court Date: April 30, 2003 Opinion Number: 03-053 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2003/OP53.pdf
Constitutionality of proposed legislation granting judges the authority to order a cash deposit bond in certain cases. Date: April 30, 2003 Opinion Number: 03-054 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2003/OP54.pdf
Limitations on Contributions by Major Lottery Contractors Date: April 30, 2003 Opinion Number: 03-055 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2003/OP55.pdf

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