Opinion Flash

August 1, 2003
Volume 9 — Number 138

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
02 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
04 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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Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This option will allow you to download the original document.

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


REBECCA JANE LEW v. IRA EUGENE LEW

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

J. Terry Holland, Knoxville, for the Appellant, Ira Eugene Lew

Dail R. Cantrell, Clinton, and Michael L. Weathers, Florence, Alabama,
for the Appellee, Rebecca Jane Lew

Judge: GODDARD

First Paragraph:

In this divorce case, Ira Eugene Lew ("Husband") appeals the Trial
Court's judgment declaring the parties divorced on the ground of
irreconcilable differences, and approving and incorporating the
parties' marital dissolution agreement ("MDA") in its order.  Husband
argues that the Court was without power to enter its judgment because
he had withdrawn his consent and agreement to the MDA prior to the
Court's entry of final judgment.  The Trial Court found that Husband
could not withdraw his consent to the MDA because, as a consequence of
the unusual procedural posture of the this case, the parties had
already executed, agreed to, and signed the MDA and presented it to
the Trial Court, which approved it and incorporated it into a previous
order.  We affirm the judgment of the Trial Court.

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

IN RE: PETITION OF JAMES F. WATSON, GENERAL SESSIONS COURT JUDGE

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Michael E. Evans, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, McMinn
County, Tennessee.

James F. Watson, Pro Se.

Judge: SUSANO

First Paragraph:

This is a declaratory judgment action.  Judge James F. Watson was, at
all relevant times, the general sessions court judge for McMinn
County.  Prior to 2000, McMinn County was classified as a county of
the second class and Judge Watson was paid in accordance with the
statutory compensation scheme for such counties.  As a result of the
2000 census, McMinn County became a county of the first class.  Judge
Watson filed a petition seeking a determination as to the proper
calculation of his salary as a class one general sessions court judge.
 The trial court determined that Judge Watson was entitled to continue
receiving the jurisdictional supplements to his salary that he had
been receiving as a class two judge.  We reverse.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JAMES WALTER GROOMS

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Ethel L. Rhodes, Assistant District Public Defender, Morristown,
Tennessee, for the appellant, James Walter Grooms

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe,
Assistant Attorney General; C. Berkeley Bell, District Attorney
General; and Paige Collins, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

First Paragraph:

On March 4, 2002, the Hamblen County Grand Jury returned an indictment
against the appellant, James Walter Grooms, charging him with driving
with a blood alcohol concentration greater that .10% and child
endangerment.   After a bench trial the appellant was found guilty as
charged, and a sentence was imposed of 11 months and 29 days for each
count to be served concurrently.  In addition, the trial court ordered
the appellant driver's license to be suspended for one year, and he
was ordered to attend DUI school.  The appellant now challenges the
lawfulness of his warrantless arrest and the sufficiency of the
evidence supporting his driving under the influence conviction.  After
a review of the record we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. LESLIE THURMAN MITCHELL

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Robert L. Jolley, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Leslie
Thurman Mitchell.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Thomas E. Williams, III,
Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney
General; and Marsha Mitchell, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the Appellant, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

First Paragraph:

The State of Tennessee appeals the Knox County Criminal Court's
suppression and exclusion of evidence in the second-degree murder
prosecution of Leslie Thurman Mitchell.  The evidence consists, first,
of the defendant's statements to law enforcement officers pertaining
to the homicide following his arrest for an unrelated matter, and
second, of the defendant's wife's testimony regarding marital
communication pertaining to the alleged crime.  We granted the state's
application for interlocutory appeal, see Tenn. R. App. P. 9, and upon
review, we reverse the lower court's rulings.

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

Abolition of Office of Constable in DeKalb County

Date: July 28, 2003

Opinion Number: 03-092                          

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2003/op92.pdf

Tort Liability of Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics

Date: July 28, 2003

Opinion Number: 03-093                         

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2003/op93.pdf

Tax-exempt fuel provided by metropolitan airport authority to
independent contractor operating local transit service.

Date: July 30, 2003

Opinion Number: 03-094                        

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2003/op94.pdf

Consideration of prior foreign convictions (set aside) for
qualification of police officers.

Date: July 30, 2003

Opinion Number: 03-095                         

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2003/op95.pdf

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