Opinion Flash

July 24, 2003
Volume 9 — Number 132

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
02 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
08 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


	IN RE:   THE ESTATE OF SPENCER BROWN

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Connie Reguli, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant Don M. Brown

Ernest W. Williams and Anna E. Freeman, Franklin, Tennessee, for the
Appellee Allene Dunnagan

Judge: BROWN

First Paragraph:

This is a lawsuit filed by Don M. Brown ("Mr. Brown" or "the
Appellant") against Allene Dunnagan ("Ms. Dunnagan" or "the Appellee")
to set aside Spencer Brown's Last Will and Testament dated February
11, 2000.  Mr. Spencer Brown died on February 21, 2000.  Mr. Brown
alleged that Ms. Dunnagan had used undue influence to get Spencer
Brown to change his 1994 will.  The Dickson County Circuit Court
granted the Appellee's Motion for Directed Verdict and dismissed the
Appellant's complaint.  The Appellant appealed this decision.  We
reverse the decision of the trial court and remand for further
proceedings.

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

WILLIAM WATERS, JR. v. TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION, ET AL.
WITH CONCURRING OPINION

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

William R. Waters, Jr., Only, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Stephanie R. Reevers,
Associate Deputy Attorney General, for the appellant, State of
Tennessee.

Judge: CANTRELL

First Paragraph:

A prison disciplinary board found a prisoner guilty of assault, and
sentenced him to punitive segregation.  The prisoner filed a Petition
for Writ of Certiorari, contending that there was no evidence that he
had initiated an assault, and that the disciplinary board had ignored
evidence that he was actually defending himself from a potentially
deadly assault from another prisoner.  The trial court found the
disciplinary board's action to be arbitrary, and reversed the
conviction.  The State argues on appeal that the trial court's action
was improper, because it should simply have ordered that the record be
sent up for further consideration.  We affirm the trial court.

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

CONCURRING OPINION
http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/watersw_con.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DOYLE BORDERS

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Zoe Laakso Doyle, Gallatin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Doyle
Borders.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Kim R. Helper,
Assistant Attorney General; Lawrence Ray Whitley, District Attorney
General; and Dee Gay, Assistant District Attorney General, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

First Paragraph:

The Defendant, Doyle Borders, pled guilty to possession of Dilaudid, a
Schedule II controlled substance, with the intent to sell or deliver. 
As part of his plea agreement, he expressly reserved with the consent
of the trial court and the State the right to appeal a certified
question of law pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure
37(b)(2)(i).  The certified question of law concerns the validity of a
search warrant.  Finding no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial
court.

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

JAMES RUSSELL GANN v. DAVID MILLS, WARDEN

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Walter B. Johnson, Harriman, Tennessee, for the appellant, James
Russell Gann.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry,
Assistant Attorney General; J. Scott McCluen, District Attorney
General; and Frank Harvey, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

First Paragraph:

The Defendant, James Russell Gann, petitioned for habeas corpus relief
on the grounds that his judgment of conviction is not signed by the
trial judge.  The trial court denied relief and this direct appeal
followed.  We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JANICE HALL

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Joe L. Finley, Jr., Cookeville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Janice
Hall.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Kim R. Helper,
Assistant Attorney General; Bill Gibson, District Attorney General;
and William M. Locke, Assistant District Attorney General, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

First Paragraph:

After a bench trial, the Defendant, Janice Hall, was convicted of two
counts of vandalism under five hundred dollars, a Class A misdemeanor.
 The trial judge sentenced her to concurrent terms of eleven months
and twenty-nine days, with thirty-five days to serve in confinement. 
In this direct appeal, the Defendant argues that the evidence was
insufficient to support her convictions and that the trial judge erred
by ordering her to serve thirty-five days in confinement.  We affirm
the judgments of the trial court.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE  v.  MICHAEL ANDRAE HOLMAN

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Donna Leigh Hargrove, District Public Defender; A. Jackson Dearing,
III, Assistant Public Defender; and Curtis H. Gann, Assistant Public
Defender, for the appellant, Michael Andrae Holman.

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

Judge: WOODALL

First Paragraph:

Defendant, Michael Andrae Holman, was charged with possession with
intent to sell cocaine in excess of 0.5 grams and possession with
intent to deliver cocaine in excess of 0.5 grams, in violation of
Tenn. Code Ann. S 39-17-417.  Defendant was convicted as charged
following a jury trial.  The trial court merged count two with count
one and sentenced Defendant to serve twenty years imprisonment.  In
this direct appeal, Defendant argues that the evidence at trial was
insufficient to support his convictions; that the trial court erred in
denying his motion to suppress; and that the sentence imposed is
excessive.  We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

DANNY R. KING v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Danny R. King, Nashville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant
Attorney General; Ronald L. Davis, District Attorney General; and
Derek K. Smith, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee,
State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

First Paragraph:

The Petitioner and his co-defendant were convicted of aggravated rape
and aggravated kidnapping.  The Petitioner appealed, and our Court
affirmed the convictions.  The Petitioner filed a petition for
post-conviction relief, which the trial court denied.  Our Court
affirmed the denial, concluding that the Petitioner had received
effective assistance of counsel.  The Petitioner then filed a post-
conviction petition requesting DNA (deoxyribonucleic) testing pursuant
to the Post-Conviction DNA Analysis Act of 2001.  After the State
responded that no biological evidence was in existence to be tested,
the Petitioner requested that the court appoint him new counsel.  The
trial court denied both the Petitioner's post-conviction petition for
DNA testing and his request for new counsel.  The Petitioner now
appeals, arguing that the trial court erred by denying his
post-conviction petition for DNA testing and by denying his request
for new counsel.  Finding no error, we affirm the judgment of the
trial court.

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

SCOTT DWAYNE MARTIN v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Douglas L. Payne, Greeneville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Scott
Dwayne Martin.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Braden H. Boucek,
Assistant Attorney General; and Paige Collins, Assistant District
Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WADE

First Paragraph:

The petitioner, Scott Dwayne Martin, appeals from the trial court's
denial of post-conviction relief.  In this appeal of right, the
petitioner contends that because he was denied the effective
assistance of counsel, his guilty pleas were neither knowingly nor
voluntarily made.  The judgment is affirmed.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TERRY TARRANT

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

David O. McGovern, Assistant Public Defender, Jasper, Tennessee, for
the appellant, Terry Tarrant.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Braden H. Boucek,
Assistant Attorney General; J. Michael Taylor, District Attorney
General; and Steven M. Blount, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

First Paragraph:

The Franklin County Grand Jury indicted the Defendant and Susan Davis,
the co-defendant, for one count of aggravated robbery and for one
count of theft of property valued between five hundred and one
thousand dollars.  A jury convicted the Defendant and co-defendant on
both counts.  The Defendant now appeals, contesting the sufficiency of
the State's evidence.  Specifically, the Defendant contends that the
State did not introduce sufficient evidence for a rational jury to
find beyond a reasonable doubt that the Defendant entered the home of
the alleged victims.  Finding no error, we affirm the judgments of the
trial court.

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

JOHN C. WELLS, III v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Monte D. Watkins and Bruce Poag, Nashville, Tennessee, for the
appellant, John C. Wells, III.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney,
Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney
General; and Roger D. Moore, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: RILEY

First Paragraph:

The petitioner was originally convicted by a Davidson County jury on
nine counts of aggravated sexual battery and received an effective
ninety-year sentence.  He now appeals the denial of post- conviction
relief, contending: (1) the post-conviction judge, who was a Deputy
District Attorney General at the time of the original prosecution,
should have recused herself; (2) he received ineffective assistance of
trial and appellate counsel; (3) numerous errors of constitutional
dimension occurred at his original trial and on direct appeal; and (4)
cumulative errors require that he be granted relief.  In spite of our
concerns regarding the recusal issue, we are unable to discern any
material distinctions with prior cases which have affirmed the failure
to recuse.  Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction
court.

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

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