Opinion Flash

October 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):
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
01 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court Workers' Compensation Panel
01 New Document(s) or Proposed Rule(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
02 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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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


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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