Opinion Flash

June 6, 2003
Volume 9 — Number 103

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
00 New Document(s) or Proposed Rule(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
04 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
03 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

TBA members can get the full-text versions of these opinions three ways detailed below. All methods require a TBA username and password. If you have forgotten your password, you can look it up on-line at http://www.tba.org/getpassword.mgi . If you are a TBA member, but do not have a username and password, you can receive one online at http://www.tba.org/signup.mgi. Here's how you can obtain full-text version.
Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This option will allow you to download the original document.

Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion.

Browse the Opinion List area of TBALink. This option will allow you to download the original version of the opinion.

Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink


BRIAN C. MAYES  v.  RONALD R. LEMONTE, JR. 

Court:TCA

Attorneys: 

Ronald R. LeMonte, Jr., Clarksville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Brian C. Mayes, Clarksville, Tennessee, Pro Se.                         

Judge: HELDMAN

First Paragraph:

In this dog bite case, the trial court awarded a meter reader $5000 in
compensatory damages against the dog owner.  The dog owner claims on
appeal that he was not negligent in handling his dog and that the
sitting trial judge was biased and prejudiced against him.  We affirm.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/mayesappeal.wpd
								
ROYAL INSURANCE COMPANY v. R & R DRYWALL, INC. AND TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND INSURANCE Court:TCA Attorneys: Lawrence B. Hammett, II and H. Brent Patrick, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant R & R Drywall, Inc. Blakeley D. Matthews and Kristen Murphy Anderson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Royal Insurance Company. Judge: CANTRELL First Paragraph: A workers' compensation insurance carrier assessed a retrospective premium increase of over $60,000 against a contractor after auditing the company's books and finding evidence that its subcontractors employed more workers than the contractor had declared. The contractor filed an administrative appeal of the assessment, arguing that the additional workers were not actually employees of its subcontractors, but members of de facto partnerships, and thus not covered under the contractor's policy. The administrative law judge agreed, and found that the contractor was not liable for the additional premium. The Chancery Court of Davidson County reversed the administrative law judge, finding that the insurance company was entitled to the additional premium, because it had borne the risk of liability to those workers for on-the-job injuries. We affirm the Chancery Court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/royalinsuranceco.wpd
LOLA ANN NEUGEBAUER TAYLOR v. JAMES RUSSELL TAYLOR Court:TCA Attorneys: Jim Wiseman, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, James Russell Taylor. Charles Patrick Flynn, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the appellee, Lola Ann Neugebauer Taylor. Judge: KOCH First Paragraph: This appeal arises from the dissolution of a four-year marriage. The wife sought a divorce in the Circuit Court for Rutherford County because of the husband's chronic drunkenness, non-support, and threats of violence. Following a bench trial, the court granted the wife a divorce on the ground of inappropriate marital conduct. The trial court also divided the martial estate, gave the wife custody of the parties' four-year-old daughter, and directed the husband to pay child support. On this appeal, the husband asserts that the trial court erred in its classification and division of the marital property, that the trial court awarded an excessive amount of child support, and that the trial court erred by denying his request to place a portion of his child support in an educational trust fund. For her part, the wife requests an additional award to defray her legal expenses for this appeal. We conclude that the trial court (1) correctly classified and divided the marital estate, (2) properly sequestered a portion of the husband's assets to assure the timely and regular payment of his child support, and (3) properly declined to establish an educational trust fund for the child. We also conclude that the trial court erred by failing to direct the trial court clerk to return the remainder of the sequestered funds to the husband when his child support obligation ceased. In addition, we decline to award the wife her legal expenses for this appeal or to find that this appeal was frivolous. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/taylorlan.wpd
THOMAS & ASSOCIATES, INC. v. THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY, et al. Court:TCA Attorneys: Vic L. McConnell, Nashville, Tennessee, for appellant, Thomas & Associates, Inc. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael Moore, Solicitor General; Rachel L. Steele, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Transportation, State of Tennessee. Judge: CANTRELL First Paragraph: This appeal involves a dispute between a road contractor and the Tennessee Department of Transportation involving two construction projects in the Nashville area. Following extensive construction delays attributed to the relocation of utilities, the contractor filed claims based on negligence and breach of contract with the Tennessee Division of Claims Administration which were transferred to the Circuit Court for Davidson County. The trial court granted the Department's motion for summary judgment and dismissed all the contractor's claims. We have determined that the trial court correctly dismissed the contractor's negligence claims but that the trial court erred by denying the contractor's breach of contract claims. Accordingly, we vacate the portion of the judgment dismissing the contractor's contract claims and remand the case for further proceedings. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/thomasassociates.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CORTLAND KESHIRA CATES Court:TCCA Attorneys: Mark E. Stephens, District Public Defender; and Robert C. Edwards, Assistant District Public Defender, for the appellant, Cortland Keshira Cates. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Braden H. Boucek, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Philip H. Morton, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: RILEY First Paragraph: The defendant, Cortland Keshira Cates, pled guilty to two counts of rape. The trial court sentenced him to eight years' incarceration for each count, to be served concurrently. On appeal, the defendant contends the trial court erred in denying probation. We affirm the judgments of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/catescortland.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. BRIGITTE PAULI Court:TCCA Attorneys: John H. Henderson, District Public Defender; and Douglas P. Nanney, Assistant District Public Defender, for the appellant, Brigitte Pauli. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth T. Ryan, Assistant Attorney General; Ronald L. Davis, District Attorney General; and Lee E. Dryer, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: RILEY First Paragraph: A Williamson County jury convicted the defendant, Brigitte Pauli, of three counts of theft of property over $60,000, one count of theft of property over $1,000, and one count of forgery. The trial court imposed an effective sentence of ten years and ordered the defendant to pay $4,458,203 as restitution. In this appeal, the defendant contends (1) the evidence was insufficient to support her convictions; (2) the trial court erred in prohibiting the defendant from questioning a witness regarding an alleged prior bad act by another witness; (3) the trial court erred in admitting evidence of the values and costs of producing various products; (4) the state made an untimely and improper election of offenses; (5) the trial court erred in allowing the state to present the testimony of a rebuttal witness; (6) the trial court erred in instructing the jury on flight; and (7) the trial court erred in sentencing the defendant. Upon our review, we merge the three counts of theft over $60,000 into one conviction and remand for a redetermination of restitution. Otherwise, we affirm the judgments of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/paulibrigitte.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WALTER CLYDE RAINEY, JR. Court:TCCA Attorneys: Robert D. Massey, Pulaski, Tennessee, for the appellant, Walter Clyde Rainey, Jr. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; Mike Bottoms, District Attorney General; and Joel Douglas Dicus and Robert C. Sanders, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: MCGEE OGLE First Paragraph: The appellant, Walter Clyde Rainey, Jr., was convicted by a jury in the Wayne County Circuit Court of seven counts of sexual battery by an authority figure and seven counts of statutory rape. The trial court sentenced the appellant to a total effective sentence of four years incarceration in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the appellant raises the following issues for our review: (1) whether the evidence was sufficient to sustain his convictions; (2) whether the trial court erred by consolidating the offenses for trial; (3) whether the trial court erred in its ruling regarding the admissibility of the testimony of prosecution witness Tabitha Smith; (4) whether the prosecution's closing argument was improper; and (5) whether the trial court erred in sentencing the appellant. Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgments of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/raineyw.wpd

PLEASE FORWARD THIS E-MAIL!
Feel free to forward this Opinion Flash on to anyone you know of with an e-mail address.

GET A FULL-TEXT COPY OF AN OPINION!
See the intrsuctions at the beginning of this edition of Opinion Flash.

JOIN THE TENNESSEE BAR ASSOCIATION!
While Opinion Flash is a free service of the Tennessee Bar Association, you must be a member of the Tennessee Bar Association in order to access the full text of the opinions or enjoy the many other features of TBALink.

To join the TBA go to: http://www.tba.org/join_bar.mgi

SUBSCRIBE TO OPINION FLASH!
Would you like to receive the TBALink Opinion Flash free each day by e-mail? Anyone, whether a TBA member or not, is welcome to subscribe ... it's free! Sign up for text or HTML version.

Visit the TBALink web site at: http://www.tba.org/op-flash.mgi

UNSUBSCRIBE TO OPINION FLASH? ... SURELY NOT!

But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at: http://www.tba.org/op-flash.mgi


HomeContact UsPageFinderWhat's NewHelp
© Copyright 2003 Tennessee Bar Association