Opinion Flash

July 7, 2003
Volume 9 — Number 119

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
02 New Document(s) or Proposed Rule(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
07 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


SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE
SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS

Court:TSC - Rules

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_Rules/certlist_0707.wpd

IN RE: TENNESSEE RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT

Court:TSC - Rules

First Paragraph:

On January 31, 2003, the Tennessee Bar Association ("TBA") filed a
"Petition for Reconsideration or Clarification" concerning certain
provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct.  In Section 4 of Part
C of the Petition, the TBA proposed adding a new Comment [6] to RPC
4.1.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_Rules/rule8order.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TAMMY ANNETTE BURRUSS

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:  

Robert S. Peters, Winchester, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tammy
Annette Burruss.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Christine M. Lapps,
Assistant Attorney General;  William Michael McCown, District Attorney
General; and Michael David Randles, Assistant District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Tammy Annette Burruss, was convicted by a Bedford
County Circuit Court jury of theft of a vehicle worth more than
$10,000, a Class C felony, for which she received a four-year sentence
as a Range I, standard offender.  She contends that the evidence is
insufficient to support her conviction and that the trial court erred
by allowing the state to impeach her with a prior bad check conviction
pursuant to Tenn. R. Evid. 609(b).  We affirm the judgment of the
trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/burrusstammya.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. GREGORY DALE CLAYTON

Court:TCCA

Attorneys: 

Fletcher W. Long, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Gregory
Dale Clayton.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley,
Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney
General; and Kristen K. Shea, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

First Paragraph:

The appellant, Gregory Dale Clayton, was found guilty by a jury in the
Davidson County Criminal Court of driving under the influence (DUI). 
The trial court imposed a sentence of eleven months and twenty-nine
days incarceration in the Davidson County Jail.  Additionally, the
appellant pled guilty to a violation of the implied consent law and
suffered the forfeiture of his driver's license for one year.  On
appeal, the appellant raises two issues relating to the rendering of
the jury's verdict.  Upon review of the record and the parties'
briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/claytong.wpd

BILLY J. COFFELT v. STATE OF TENNESSEE - Filed July 2, 2003

Court:TCCA

Judge: BLACKBURN

First Paragraph:

The petitioner, Billy J. Coffelt, was convicted of assault with intent
to commit first degree murder and assault with intent to commit
robbery with a deadly weapon.  Subsequently, the petitioner filed a
petition for post-conviction relief, alleging the ineffective
assistance of counsel, which petition was dismissed by the
post-conviction court without a hearing.  The petitioner currently
appeals this ruling.  Upon review of the record and the parties'
briefs, we reverse the judgment of the post- conviction court and
remand for an evidentiary hearing on the petition for post-conviction
relief.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/coffeltbj.wpd

CHARLES WESTON ELSEA, JR. v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys: 

Bill Speek, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Charles Weston
Elsea, Jr.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Brent C. Cherry,
Assistant Attorney General; and Barry A. Steelman, Assistant District
Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WADE

First Paragraph:

The petitioner, Charles Weston Elsea, Jr., appeals the trial court's
denial of post-conviction relief.  The single issue presented for
review is whether he was denied the effective assistance of counsel at
trial and on appeal.  The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/elseacharlesw.wpd

ANTHONY JEROME STOKES v. STATE OF TENNESSEE
WITH DISSENTING OPINION

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

Julie Hall Baker, Columbus, Ohio, for the appellant, Anthony Jerome
Stokes.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Angele M. Gregory,
Assistant Attorney General; and Rodney C. Strong, Assistant District
Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WADE

First Paragraph:

The petitioner, Anthony Jerome Stokes, appeals the trial court's
denial of post-conviction relief.  The petitioner argues (1) that he
is entitled to a delayed application for permission to appeal to our
supreme court based upon his post-conviction counsel's failure to
either notify him of the results of his appeal or withdraw as counsel;
and (2) that the trial court erroneously declined to rule on issues
presented on remand from this court.  Our opinion and judgment entered
April 23, 1999, in Anthony Jerome Stokes v. State, No.
03C01-9710-CR-00477, are vacated and re-entered as of this date. 
Because all other issues are beyond the scope of our remand, the
judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/stokesanthonyj_opn.wpd

DISSENTING OPINION
http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/stokesanthonyj_dis.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. OLEAN W. THOMPSON

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

John H. Henderson, District Public Defender, Franklin, Tennessee, for
the appellant, Olean W. Thompson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Thomas E. Williams, III,
Assistant Attorney General; Ron Davis, District Attorney General; and
Derek K. Smith, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee,
State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

First Paragraph:

The defendant Olean W. Thompson, pled guilty to theft of property
$1,000 or more in value and aggravated robbery.  Pursuant to a bench
trial, he was found guilty of his four remaining indicted charges,
four counts of especially aggravated kidnapping.  The trial court then
sentenced the defendant to serve two years for his theft conviction,
eight years for his robbery conviction, and twenty years for each of
his kidnapping convictions.  The court then ordered the defendant to
serve these sentences concurrently, resulting in a twenty-year
aggregate sentence.  The defendant now appeals his convictions and
sentence, claiming that his due process rights were violated by his
four convictions for especially aggravated kidnapping and that the
trial court erred by imposing excessive sentences for each of his
kidnapping convictions.  After a thorough review of the record, we
find that none of the defendant's allegations merit relief and
accordingly affirm the defendant's convictions and sentence.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/thompsonolean.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TRACY WASHINGTON

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:      

J. Shannon Garrison, Dayton, Tennessee, for appellant, Tracy
Washington.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Renee W. Turner,
Assistant Attorney General; J. Michael Taylor, District Attorney
General; and Will Dunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for
appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

First Paragraph:

A Rhea County grand jury indicted the defendant on one count of sexual
battery. At the conclusion of a trial, the jury convicted him as
charged and fined him one thousand dollars.  The trial court
subsequently imposed a sentence of one year and six months, of which
the defendant was ordered to serve thirty days. After unsuccessfully
pursuing a judgment of acquittal or alternatively a new trial in the
trial court, the defendant brings this appeal.  Herein, he asserts
that the record lacks sufficient evidence to sustain his conviction,
that the trial court erred in failing to give the jury a curative
instruction to disregard a hearsay statement made by the victim in
court, and that the trial court erred in permitting the victim's
brother to testify regarding a hearsay statement made  by the victim.
After reviewing the record and relevant authorities, we find that the
defendant has waived one of these claims and that the remaining issues
merit no relief. We, therefore, affirm the defendant's conviction.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/washingtontracy.wpd

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