Opinion Flash

April 9, 2004
Volume 10 — Number 069

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
03 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

TBA members can get the full-text versions of these opinions three ways detailed below. All methods require a TBA username and password. If you have forgotten your password, you can look it up on-line at http://www.tba.org/getpassword.mgi . If you are a TBA member, but do not have a username and password, you can receive one online at http://www.tba.org/signup.mgi. Here's how you can obtain full-text version.
Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This option will allow you to download the original document.

Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion.

Browse the Opinion List area of TBALink. This option will allow you to download the original version of the opinion.

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


AT&T CORP. v. RUTH JOHNSON, ET AL.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

William Robert Pope, Jr., Jack W. Robinson, Jr., Mary Taylor
Gallagher, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, AT&T Corporation.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore,
Solicitor General, M. Ty Pryor, Assistant Attorney General, for the
appellee, Ruth E. Johnson, Commissioner of Revenue, State of
Tennessee.

Judge: CAIN

First Paragraph:

This appeal concerns a challenge to the Commissioner's franchise and
excise tax assessment.  On cross-motions for summary judgment the
chancellor found for the Commissioner.  We affirm.

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

STEVEN D. ELLIOTT v. GINGER W. ELLIOTT (ECTON)

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Markley Runyon Gill, Erin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Steven D.
Elliott.

Jeffrey L. Levy, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Ginger W.
Ecton.

Judge: KOCH

First Paragraph:

This appeal involves a post-divorce dispute regarding stock options
that were part of the marital estate.  The Circuit Court for Davidson
County approved a marital dissolution agreement in which the husband
agreed to transfer one-half of his employee stock options to the wife
as part of the division of the martial estate.  After the husband's
employer and the employer's brokerage firm declined to transfer the
stock options to the wife, she orally requested the husband to
exercise the options on her behalf.  The value of the employer's stock
fell after the husband did not exercise the options.  The wife sought
to hold the husband in contempt or to modify the divorce decree.  The
trial court declined to hold the husband in contempt but found that he
had impermissibly impeded the division of the martial estate. 
Accordingly, the court awarded the wife $59,759.25, the stock options'
before-tax value had they been exercised on the day the divorce decree
was entered.  In addition, the court ordered the husband to
immediately sell the options originally awarded to the wife and to pay
her the proceeds as a credit against the judgment.  The court also
ordered the husband to pay the wife's attorney's fees, as well as
prejudgment interest.  The husband has appealed.  We have determined
that the trial court properly concluded that the husband unreasonably
impeded the wife's acquisition of the value of the stock options. 
However, we have determined that the trial court erred by valuing the
stock options as of the time of the divorce rather than the time the
wife and the husband orally agreed to exercise the options and that
the court erred by requiring the husband to exercise his options to
pay the judgment.  We have also determined that the court erred by
awarding the wife prejudgment interest but properly awarded the wife
her attorney's fees.

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

IN RE M.J.B. & M.W.S., JR.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Nick Perenich, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, K.D.M.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter, and Elizabeth C.
Driver, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, Tennessee
Department of Children's Services.

Thomas H. Miller, Franklin, Tennessee, Guardian ad Litem for M.J.B.
and M.W.S., Jr.

Judge: KOCH

First Paragraph:

This appeal involves the termination of a mother's parental rights
with regard to her two children.  Approximately two years after
removing the children from their mother's custody, the Tennessee
Department of Children's Services filed a petition in the Davidson
County Juvenile Court to terminate both the mother's and the two
fathers' parental rights.  The mother contested the petition, but
ultimately, the children's fathers did not.  Following a bench trial,
the court entered an order terminating both the fathers' and the
mother's parental rights.  The mother has appealed.  We have
determined that the record contains clear and convincing evidence
warranting termination of the mother's parental rights under Tenn.
Code Ann. S 36-1-113(g)(2) & (3) (Supp. 2003).

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CHERIE MAE PHILLIPS

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

J. Liddell Kirk, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Cherie Mae
Phillips.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Helena Walton
Yarbrough, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District
Attorney General; and Marsha Mitchell, Assistant District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

First Paragraph:

The appellant, Cherie Mae Phillips, pled guilty in the Knox County
Criminal Court to aggravated assault.  Pursuant to the plea agreement,
she received a sentence of three years incarceration in the Tennessee
Department of Correction.  On appeal, the appellant argues that the
trial court erred in denying alternative sentencing.  Upon our review
of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the
trial court.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. GEORGE ARVIL VANCE & VINCENT 

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

David C. Crockett and Lisa D. Rice, Elizabethton, Tennessee, for the
appellants, George A. Vance and Vincent Vance.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael Moore,
Solicitor General; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; H.
Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; and Robert Montgomery,
Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of
Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

First Paragraph:

A Sullivan County jury convicted the Defendants, George A. Vance and
Vincent Vance, of aggravated gambling promotion for operating
twenty-nine Free Spin machines in Bristol.  The trial court sentenced
Defendant George A. Vance to two years of supervised probation
followed by four years of unsupervised probation and ordered him to
make restitution in the amount of $130,521.00. The court sentenced
Defendant Vincent Vance to one year of supervised probation followed
by one year of unsupervised probation.  On appeal, the Defendants
contend that: (1) the evidence is insufficient to support their
convictions because there was no evidence that they knowingly engaged
in a gambling enterprise and the Free Spin machines were not
principally designed as gambling devices; (2) the trial court abused
its discretion by prohibiting the Defendants from introducing the
testimony of a patent attorney concerning the issuance of a patent on
the Free Spin machine; and (3) the trial court abused its discretion
by prohibiting the Defendants from introducing evidence concerning
comparable products, games and promotions similar to the play on the
Free Spin machines.  Finding no reversible error, we affirm the trial
court's judgments.

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

PLEASE FORWARD THIS E-MAIL!
Feel free to forward this Opinion Flash on to anyone you know of with an e-mail address.

GET A FULL-TEXT COPY OF AN OPINION!
See the intrsuctions at the beginning of this edition of Opinion Flash.

JOIN THE TENNESSEE BAR ASSOCIATION!
While Opinion Flash is a free service of the Tennessee Bar Association, you must be a member of the Tennessee Bar Association in order to access the full text of the opinions or enjoy the many other features of TBALink.

To join the TBA go to: http://www.tba.org/join_bar.mgi

SUBSCRIBE TO OPINION FLASH!
Would you like to receive the TBALink Opinion Flash free each day by e-mail? Anyone, whether a TBA member or not, is welcome to subscribe ... it's free! Sign up for text or HTML version.

Visit the TBALink web site at: http://www.tba.org/op-flash.mgi

UNSUBSCRIBE TO OPINION FLASH? ... SURELY NOT!

But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at: http://www.tba.org/op-flash.mgi


HomeContact UsPageFinderWhat's NewHelp
© Copyright 2004 Tennessee Bar Association