Opinion Flash

May 8, 2003
Volume 9 — Number 084

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):
01 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
00 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
00 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


JOHN DOE, et al.    v. BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY OF THE
SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE, et al.

Court:TSC

Attorneys:        

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael Moore,
Solicitor General; Michael W. Catalano, Associate Solicitor General,
for the petitioner, Board of Professional Responsibility of the State
of Tennessee.

Ronald D. Krelstein, Germantown, Tennessee, for the respondent,
Richard Roe, et al.

Judge: BARKER

First Paragraph:

Pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 23, we accepted certification
of  questions of law from the United States District Court for the
Western District of Tennessee.  We are asked by the federal district
court to construe Rule 9, section 25 of the Rules of the Supreme Court
of Tennessee.  Specifically, we are asked to determine whether Richard
Roe, a layperson (i.e., a non-attorney), may be charged with contempt
for disclosing that he filed a complaint with the Tennessee Board of
Professional Responsibility against an attorney in violation of the
confidentiality provision embodied in Rule 9, section 25, and if so,
by whom and before what tribunal?  For the reasons given herein, we
answer that the confidentiality requirement of Rule 9, section 25
applies to non lawyers and lawyers alike.  The appropriate sanction
for a violation of Rule 9, section 25 is an action of contempt. 
Contempt proceedings may be initiated by the attorney against whom the
complaint has been filed, the complainant, the Board of Professional
Responsibility, or this Court.  Finally, we hold that such a petition
for contempt should be filed in this Court, whereupon assignment shall
issue to a special master to conduct an evidentiary hearing.  The
record and findings of fact of the special master shall then be sent
to this Court whereupon a determination of guilt and punishment, if
any, will follow.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/doe.wpd

SAMMY MILLER v. TENNESSEE BOARD OF PROBATION AND PAROLES

Court:TCA

Attorneys:

Patrick T. McNally, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Sammy
Miller.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael Moore,
Solicitor General; Pamela S. Lorch, Assistant Attorney General, for
the appellee, Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole.                        

Judge: CANTRELL

First Paragraph:

The Board of Paroles declined to parole a prisoner in the custody of
the Department of Correction. He claimed that the Parole Board
violated the constitutional prohibition against ex post facto laws by
following a different procedure to reach its decision than was in
effect at the time of his crime. The trial court dismissed the
prisoner's complaint for failure to state a claim for which relief can
be granted.  We affirm the trial court.

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

CLIFFORD W. RUSSELL, et al. v. SUSAN I. RUSSELL
(CORRECTED OPINION)

Court:TCA

Attorneys:  

Carrol D. Kilgore, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Susan I.
Russell.

Luther Wright, Jr. and Keli Jean Stewart, Nashville, Tennessee, for
the appellees, Clifford W. Russell and John Hall Russell.                        

Judge: CAIN

First Paragraph:

This appeal involves a will contest coupled with a suit to construe
the same will.  The trial court granted summary judgment to the
proponent on the will contest and summary judgment to the contestants
on the will construction issues.  We hold that the issues cannot be
resolved on summary judgment and reverse the trial court.

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

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