Opinion FlashOctober 27, 2003
Volume 9 Number 196
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):
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Howard H. Vogel
GENE PATTON V. SEVIER COUNTY, TENNESSEE Court:TSC - Workers Comp Panel Attorneys: Jerry H. McCarter, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Sevier County, Tennessee. Jerry K. Galyon, Sevierville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Gene Patton. Judge: PEOPLES First Paragraph: This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. S 50-6-225(e) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The employer appeals an award of disability benefits for aggravation of a pre-existing condition where there is no detectible anatomical change. The employee challenges the sufficiency of the award and the failure to award the statutory bad faith penalty. We affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/pattong.wpd
SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS Court:TSC - Rules http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_Rules/certlist_1027.wpd
STEVE CONKLIN v. STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TCA Attorneys: Charles P. Dupree, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellant Steve Conklin. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter, Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General, and Heather C. Ross, Senior Counsel, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellee State of Tennessee. Judge: SWINEY First Paragraph: Approximately seventeen years ago, Steve Conklin (Plaintiff") was convicted by a jury in the McMinn County Criminal Court of raping a child under the age of thirteen years. Plaintiff's conviction was affirmed by the Court of Criminal Appeals in 1987. Plaintiff was represented by appointed counsel, Fredric J. Chester, Jr. ("Chester"). Chester represented Plaintiff both at trial and on the direct appeal. Many years later, Plaintiff was granted post-conviction relief based on ineffective assistance of counsel and a new trial was ordered. The State of Tennessee ("State") declined to retry Plaintiff, who then was set free. Plaintiff filed this lawsuit in the Claims Commission ("Commission") against the State seeking monetary compensation for the alleged legal malpractice of Chester which Plaintiff claims resulted in his being imprisoned improperly for fourteen and one-half years. According to Plaintiff, Chester should be deemed a state employee because he was appointed by the court. The State disagreed and filed a motion to dismiss the complaint. The State argued that the Commission lacked subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff's legal malpractice claim because Chester was not a "state employee". The Commission dismissed the lawsuit solely because Plaintiff failed to respond timely to the State's motion to dismiss. We hold Chester was not an employee of the state and, therefore, the Commission lacked subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff's legal malpractice claim. The result reached by the Commission is affirmed. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/conklins.wpd
EFFIE LOUISE HAYES v. ROGER STRUTTON, ET AL. Court:TCA Attorneys: Effie Louise Hayes, pro se Appellant. Gary E. Lester, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellees Roger Strutton, Betty Strutton, and Gary E. Lester. Judge: SWINEY First Paragraph: After two adverse decisions in the Hamilton County General Sessions Court and an adverse decision in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, Effie Louise Hayes ("Ms. Hayes" or "Plaintiff") filed a pro se lawsuit in the Hamilton County Circuit Court making essentially the same allegations as in her previous lawsuits. The Circuit Court dismissed that lawsuit after concluding the claims were barred by the doctrine of res judicata. Ms. Hayes appealed that decision to this Court and the judgment of the Circuit Court was affirmed. Ms. Hayes sought further review, but the Tennessee Supreme Court denied her Rule 11 application for permission to appeal. Ms. Hayes then filed the present lawsuit, pro se, making the same claims that were made in her previous lawsuits. Once again, the Circuit Court concluded the doctrine of res judicata barred the claims. Ms. Hayes appeals. We affirm the judgment of the Circuit Court and further conclude this appeal is frivolous. We remand this case to the Circuit Court for a determination of damages in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. S 27-1-122. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/hayesel.wpd
DOLWIN DEON CORMIA v. STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TCCA Attorneys: John G. McDougal, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Dolwin Deon Cormia. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael Moore, Solicitor General; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, III, District Attorney General; and Rodney C. Strong, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WEDEMEYER First Paragraph: A Hamilton County jury convicted the Petitioner, Dolwin Deon Cormia, of first degree murder and abuse of a corpse, and the trial court imposed a life sentence with the possibility of parole plus a concurrent two year sentence. On direct appeal, this Court affirmed the conviction, and the Tennessee Supreme Court denied the Petitioner's application for permission to appeal. The Petitioner then sought post-conviction relief, alleging that he was denied effective assistance of counsel. Following a hearing on the post-conviction petition, the trial court dismissed the petition, and this appeal ensued. We affirm the trial court's dismissal of the petition. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/cormiadd.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. HENRY MITCHELL DIXON Court:TCCA Attorneys: Richard A. Tate, Assistant Public Defender, Blountville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Henry Mitchell Dixon. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Greeley Wells, District Attorney General; and Teresa Murray Smith, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: SMITH First Paragraph: A Sullivan County Jury convicted the appellant, Henry Mitchell Dixon, Jr., also known as "Mackie" Dixon, of one count of attempted first degree murder (Count One), one count of attempted second degree murder (Count Two), one count of attempted aggravated assault (Count Four), two counts of aggravated assault (Counts Three and Five), one count of unauthorized use of a vehicle (Count Six), and one count of aggravated burglary (Count Seven). The trial court sentenced the appellant to an effective twenty-two (22) year sentence as a Range I offender for Counts One through Six and four (4) years probation on Count Seven, to run consecutively to the twenty-two (22) year sentence. The appellant filed a motion for a new trial, which was denied. On appeal, the appellant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence at trial, his sentence, and the trial court's refusal to set aside the appellant's conviction for attempted first degree murder based on the jury foreman's statement after the trial that there was a mistake as to how the verdict was returned. After a thorough review of the record, we conclude that none of these claims merit relief. However, we must reverse and remand the conviction for attempted second degree murder due to an erroneous jury charge on the definition of "knowingly." In all other respects the judgment of the trial court is affirmed. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/dixonhenry.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. GLENN C. SUMMERS Court:TCCA Attorneys: Stephen M. Wallace, District Public Defender (at trial), and Steve McEwen, Mountain City, Tennessee (on appeal), for the appellant, Glenn C. Summers. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; and J. Lewis Combs, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WADE First Paragraph: The defendant, Glenn C. Summers, was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. In this appeal, the defendant presents two issues for review: (1) that he established the affirmative defense of insanity and (2) that the trial court erred by providing an irrelevant definition of "intentional" in its jury instructions. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/summersglennc.wpd
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