Opinion Flash

July 25, 2003
Volume 9 — Number 133

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
06 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

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


CEDRIC ARNETT, ET AL. v. DOMINO'S PIZZA I, L.L.C., d/b/a DOMINO'S
PIZZA, and DOMINO'S PIZZA, INC., d/b/a DOMINO'S PIZZA

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

James W. Hodges, Jr., Regina Morrison Newman, Gregory D. Cotton and
Kathleen L. Caldwell, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellants, Cedric
Arnett.

Jonathan C. Hancock and Katherine P. Griffin, Memphis, Tennessee, for
the appellee, Domino's Pizza, L.L.C.

Judge: FARMER

First Paragraph:

Ninety-two plaintiffs filed a claim against Domino's Pizza alleging
violations of Tenn. Code Ann. S 4-21-101, et seq. (The Tennessee Human
Rights Act), 42 U.S.C. 2000a (Title II), 42 U.S.C. S1981, and
intentional infliction of emotional distress.  Domino's Pizza removed
the cause to Federal District Court, which retained the 42 U.S.C.
S1981 claim and remanded the remaining claims to the circuit court. 
The trial court awarded summary judgment to Domino's Pizza and
dismissed the action.  We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand
for further proceedings.

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

SHIRLEY S. DANIEL v. JAMES E. DANIEL

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

James H. Bradberry, Dresden, Tennessee, for appellant, James E.
Daniel.

Steve Conley, Union City, Tennessee, for appellee, Shirley S. Daniel.

Judge: KIRBY

First Paragraph:

This is an alimony case.  At the time of the divorce, the parties had
been married for almost thirty- one years.  The husband was fifty-one
years old, and the wife was forty-five years old.  The husband owned
his own backhoe/trackhoe company.  The wife was a homemaker and raised
the parties' three children.  She has a sixth-grade education and
earned her GED in 1997.  Since the parties' separation, the wife had
held five jobs but had not been able to maintain her employment.  The
parties agreed on the division of personal and real property, but
disagreed over the value of the  husband's business property.  The
trial court found that the husband made it difficult to ascertain the
parties' financial situation.  The trial court also found that the
wife was economically disadvantaged and could not be rehabilitated. 
The wife was awarded alimony in futuro and attorney's fees.  On
appeal, the husband argues that the trial court erred in awarding the
wife alimony in futuro and attorney's fees.  We affirm, finding that
the trial court did not err in concluding that the wife cannot be
rehabilitated and in awarding alimony in futuro and attorney's fees.

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

FIRST STATE BANK OF HOLLY SPRINGS, MISSISSIPPI, ET AL. v. BILL
WYSSBROD, ET AL.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

James R. Garts, Jr.; Michael F. Rafferty, Memphis, For Appellant,
Martin Aussenberg

Robert P. Chamberlin; Tamara B. Rowsey, Hernando, Mississippi, For
Appellee, First State Bank of Holly Springs, Mississippi

Ivan D. Harris, Jr., Collierville, For Appellee, Jackson H. Wittjen

Judge: CRAWFORD

First Paragraph:

This case involves the enrollment of Mississippi judgments pursuant to
the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act, T.C.A. S 26-6-101 et
seq.  Appellant, a Tennessee attorney, was admitted, pro hac vice by a
Mississippi trial court, to represent a plaintiff client in a civil
suit.  Appellees-defendants in the Mississippi proceeding were, inter
alia, awarded judgments against appellant and his client for attorney
fees and expenses pursuant to the Mississippi Litigation
Accountability Act of 1988, Miss. Code Ann. S 11-55-1, et seq. 
Appellees' petition to enroll the foreign judgments against appellant
were granted by the trial court, and appellant appeals.  We affirm.

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

JOHN C. IOVINELLI, ET AL. v. STEADMAN H. ESTES, ET AL.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

John L. Ryder, Brett A. Hughes, Memphis, TN, for Appellants

Carol M. Hayden, Memphis, TN, for Appellee Steadman H. Estes

E. Patrick Lancaster, Olive Branch, MS, for Appellee Ashworth-Vaughan,
Inc.

Judge: HIGHERS

First Paragraph:

This is an appeal of the grant of summary judgment.  The Appellants
contend that the trial judge granted the Appellees summary judgment,
sua sponte, and that they did not have notice or an opportunity to
respond to the issues decided by the judge.  We disagree and, for the
following reasons, we affirm.

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

IN THE MATTER OF L.J.C., A.L.C. AND J.R.C. STATE OF TENNESSEE
DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN'S SERVICES V. TABITHA STEWART

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Didi Christie, Brownsville, TN, for Appellant

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter, Elizabeth C. Driver,
Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, TN, for Appellee

Judge: HIGHERS

First Paragraph:

This is an appeal of a termination of parental rights.  For the
following reasons, we vacate the portion of the juvenile court's
ruling finding Mother willfully failed to support her children and
affirm all other findings of the court below, thus terminating
Mother's parental rights.

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

IN RE: ADOPTION OF KRISTINA MARIE McCRONE AND JAMES EDWARD McCRONE

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Anthony Helm, Bartlett, Tennessee, for the appellant, Joan Rutledge
McCrone.

Barbara B. Johnson, Bartlett, Tennessee, for the appellee, Jason Lee
Richardson.

Judge: KIRBY

First Paragraph:

This case involves the termination of parental rights and awarding
custody to a non-parent.  The parents of the minor children at issue
were divorced on February 7, 2001.  The father did not appear  in the
divorce proceedings.  The court found that the father had abandoned
the children and awarded the mother full custody.  The next day, on
February 8, 2001, the mother died.  After her death, the petitioner
(the children's maternal grandmother) took physical custody of the
children.  On February 14, 2001, the grandmother filed a petition to
adopt the children.  On the same day, the father filed a petition for
custody of the children.  After a bench trial, the trial court denied
the grandmother's petition for adoption and granted the father's
petition for custody, determining that the father had not abandoned
the children and that substantial harm would not result from his
having custody.  The grandmother now appeals that order.  We reverse,
finding that undisputed evidence establishes that the father willfully
abandoned his children, and we remand to the trial court for further
proceedings.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TYRONE CUNNINGHAM, AKA TYRONE CUMMINGHAM

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Didi Christie, Brownsville, Tennessee (on appeal); Gary F. Antrican,
District Public Defender; and David S. Stockton, Assistant District
Public Defender (at trial), for the appellant, Tyrone Cunningham, aka
Tyrone Cummingham.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Peter M. Coughlin,
Assistant Attorney General; Elizabeth T. Rice, District Attorney
General; and Tracey Anne Brewer, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Tyrone Cunningham, appeals from his conviction by a
Lauderdale County Circuit Court jury of second degree murder.  The
trial court sentenced him as a career, violent offender to the maximum
sentence of sixty years.  The defendant contends that (1) the evidence
is insufficient to support his second degree murder conviction, (2)
the trial court erroneously denied his pretrial motion for a
continuance, and (3) the trial court erred in sentencing him as a
career offender.  We affirm the trial court's judgment of conviction.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TOMMY LEE MIDGETT

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Didi Christie, Brownsville, Tennessee (on appeal); George M. Googe,
District Public Defender; and Vanessa D. King, Assistant District
Public Defender (at trial), for the appellant, Tommy Lee Midgett.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley,
Assistant Attorney General; James G. Woodall, District Attorney
General; and Shaun A. Brown and Stacy M. McEndree, Assistant District
Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

First Paragraph:

The defendant was tried on two counts of first degree premeditated
murder and convicted of two counts of facilitation of first degree
murder for which he received consecutive twenty-four-year sentences. 
In his appeal, he presents the following claims:  (1) the evidence was
insufficient to support his convictions; (2) the trial court erred in
excluding evidence of others having motives to kill the victims; (3)
the State made an improper statement during its closing argument that
constituted plain error; and (4) the trial court erred in sentencing. 
Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

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

EDWARD LEE TUCKER v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Edward L. Tucker, Henning, Tennessee, Pro se.  

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer,
Assistant Attorney General; Elizabeth T. Rice, District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

First Paragraph:

The petitioner, Edward Lee Tucker, filed a motion to withdraw his
guilty plea to the charge of criminal attempt to commit first degree
murder due to the invalidity of the plea.  The trial court found that
the motion should be considered as a petition for post-conviction
relief and dismissed the petition as barred by the statute of
limitations.  Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we
affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

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

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