Opinion Flash

July 28, 2003
Volume 9 — Number 134

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
01 New Document(s) or Proposed Rule(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
04 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
02 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_0728.wpd

IN RE: ESTATE OF DONALD LEE (D.J.) KEITH, JR.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Howard L. Upchurch, Pikeville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Freddie
A. Johnson and wife, Marie Johnson.

Landon Colvard, Jr., Crossville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Alexis
Keith.

Lynne Swafford, Pikeville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Kassce
Mae-Kyle Keith.

Judge: SUSANO

First Paragraph:

This is a will contest.  Freddie A. Johnson and wife, Marie Johnson
("the grandparents"), filed a petition to probate the holographic will
of their grandson, Donald Lee (D.J.) Keith, Jr. ("the decedent").  The
decedent's widow, Alexis Keith ("the wife"), and his minor daughter,
Kassce Mae- Kyle Keith ("the minor child"), contested the alleged
will, arguing that it did not constitute a valid holographic will. 
The trial court granted the motion for summary judgment filed by the
wife and the minor child, holding that the document under contest was
not a last will and testament.  The grandparents appeal, contending
that summary judgment is not appropriate.  We vacate the trial court's
judgment and remand for further proceedings.

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

EDWARD RISHER v. CHEROKEE BUICK-PONTIAC-OLDSMOBILE- GMC TRUCK, LLC, ET
AL.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Jill R. Rayburn, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the Appellants, Cherokee
Buick-Pontiac-Oldsmobile- GMC Truck, LLC and Cherokee New Car
Alternative, LLC.

Rick J. Bearfield and Jason W. Blackburn, Johnson City, Tennessee, for
the Appellee, Edward Risher.

Judge: SWINEY

First Paragraph:

Edward Risher ("Plaintiff") accepted employment with Cherokee
Buick-Pontiac-Oldsmobile-GMC Truck, LLC, and Cherokee New Car
Alternative, LLC ("Defendants").  There was no written contract
between Plaintiff and Defendants.  Plaintiff claims he was offered a
salary of $75,000 annually plus commissions, and that he accepted this
offer.  Defendants never paid Plaintiff this amount.  Plaintiff was
fired after several months of work.  Plaintiff sued for breach of
contract, detrimental reliance, and violation of Tenn. Code Ann. S
50-1-102.  The jury returned a verdict in Plaintiff's favor, and
judgment was entered on this verdict.  Defendants appeal.  We affirm.

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

ALPHA M. SHERIFF v. PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE TENNESSEE, INC.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Elizabeth H. Foss and James Campbell Bradshaw, Nashville, Tennessee
for the Appellant, Perferred Alternative Tennessee, Inc.

Lucien Dale, Nashville, Tennessee for Appellee, Alpha M. Sheriff

Judge: LEE

First Paragraph:

This matter originated in the General Sessions Court of Davidson
County.  A judgment against the Appellant in the amount of fifteen
hundred dollars ($1500.00) was awarded to the Appellee.  An appeal was
made to the Circuit Court of Davidson County and the matter tried de
novo.  The Circuit Court of Davidson County apparently applied
theories founded in the law of  negligence and also entered judgment
against the Appellant in the amount of fifteen hundred ($1500.00)
dollars . We find the learned trial judge erred in applying negligence
theory to the facts of this case but nevertheless affirm the judgment
of the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/sherrif2.wpd

CAROLYN MARIE LEASURE WHITE, ET AL. v. TIMOTHY WADE MOODY

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Wende J. Rutherford, Nashville Tennessee, and Charlotte A. Fleming,
Springfield Tennessee for Appellant, Timothy Wade Moody

Clark Lee Shaw and Frank Mondelli, Nashville, Tennessee for Appellees,
 Carolyn Marie Leasure White and Robert Wayne White

Judge: LEE

First Paragraph:

After the first appeal and remand in this case, the trial judge
rendered another judgment based on her review of the record without
hearing additional proof.  While we do not find error, we find our
mandate was not clear as to what proceedings we envisioned on remand. 
Accordingly, we clarify our mandate and remand the matter to the trial
court to conduct a full hearing on the best interests of the child
which would include the taking of additional proof relevant to this
issue.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MELVIN COFER

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Harriet S. Thompson, Bolivar, Tennessee, for the appellant, Melvin
Cofer.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Renee W. Turner,
Assistant Attorney General; and James Walter Freeland and Ryan Brown,
Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, the State of
Tennessee.

Judge: WADE

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Melvin Cofer, was convicted of aggravated vehicular
homicide, see Tenn. Code Ann. SS 39-13-213, -218, and vehicular
assault, see Tenn. Code Ann. S 39-13-106.  The trial court imposed 
Range I, concurrent sentences of twenty-one years and three years,
respectively.  In this appeal, the defendant asserts (1) that the
trial court erred by refusing to suppress the results of the blood
alcohol test; (2) that the trial court erred by limiting defense
counsel's questioning of potential jurors; (3) that the evidence is
insufficient to support the aggravated vehicular homicide conviction;
(4) that the trial court erred by refusing to qualify a defense
witness as an expert; (5) that the state failed to establish a proper
chain of custody prior to the admission of the results of the blood
alcohol test; and (6) that the trial court erred by denying his
request for special jury instructions.  The judgments of the trial
court are affirmed.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ANTONIO HUNTSMAN

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Leslie I. Ballin, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Antonio
Huntsman.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Braden H. Boucek,
Assistant Attorney General; and Lee Coffee and Jerry Harris, Assistant
District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WADE

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Antonio Huntsman, was convicted of reckless homicide
and the trial court ordered a sentence of three years and six months. 
In this appeal of right, the defendant asserts (1) that the trial
court erroneously limited cross-examination of an eyewitness; (2) that
the trial court allowed the admission of irrelevant evidence; (3) that
the sentence was excessive; and (4) that he was erroneously denied
some form of alternative sentencing.  The judgment is affirmed.

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

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