Opinion Flash

May 27, 2004
Volume 10 — Number 103

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
06 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


ROBERT L. "LARRY" CARRIER v. SPEEDWAY MOTORSPORTS, INC., ET AL.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Cecil W. Laws, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellant, Robert L.
"Larry" Carrier.

Dwight E. Tarwater and Travis Graham, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the
appellees, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. and Bristol Motor Speedway, Inc.

Judge: SUSANO

First Paragraph:

This case involves a dispute as to exactly what property was leased to
the plaintiff, Robert L. "Larry" Carrier.  In January, 1996, the
plaintiff and his family sold their 100% stock ownership interest in
National Raceways, Inc., to the defendant, Speedway Motorsports, Inc.
("SMI").  National Raceways, Inc., operated the well-known Bristol
Motor Speedway ("the Speedway").  In conjunction with the sale, the
parties executed a lease agreement, wherein SMI leased back a portion
of the Speedway's property to the plaintiff.  The plaintiff filed suit
against SMI and Bristol Motor Speedway, Inc., the new corporate name
of National Raceways, Inc., claiming that the defendants had breached
the lease by interfering with the plaintiff's leasehold interest. 
Specifically, the plaintiff claims that the lease covers a 15.54 acre
parcel of land lying adjacent to the grandstand at the racetrack.  The
defendants answered, denying that they had breached the lease and
asserting that the subject matter of the lease is limited to three
buildings on the 15.54 acre tract rather than to the entire tract. 
The defendants also filed a counterclaim for an unpaid debt. 
Following a bench trial, the court found in favor of the plaintiff,
concluding that the lease involves the entire parcel of land rather
than just the three buildings.  It ultimately awarded the plaintiff
damages of $2,401,728.  The trial court dismissed the defendants'
counterclaim.  From this judgment, both sides appeal.   We affirm the
dismissal of the counterclaim, but reverse the trial court's judgment
in favor of the plaintiff on the original complaint.  That complaint
is dismissed at the plaintiff's costs.

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

ESTATE OF LISA DUNCAN, BY AND THROUGH  EDWARD HUMAN, PERSONAL
REPRESENTATIVE. v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Daryl A. Colson and Anthony C. Maxwell of Livingston for Appellant,
The Estate of Lisa J. Duncan, by and through Edward Human, Personal
Representative

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore,
Solicitor General; Sarah T. Chambers, Assistant Attorney General for
Appellee, State of Tennessee

Judge: CRAWFORD

First Paragraph:

This case involves the death of a passenger who was involved in a high
speed police chase.  The Tennessee Claims Commission granted summary
judgment to the State and passenger's personal representative
appealed, primarily on the ground that the Claims Commission erred in
granting summary judgment prior to an opportunity to take the
discovery deposition of the involved highway patrolman.  We affirm.

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

DR. KENNETH F. FREELS, KENNETH F. FREELS, D.D.S., P.C., and KENNETH F.
FREELS, D.D.S., P.C., DEFINED BENEFIT PENSION TRUST, v. JOSEPH C.
TAYLOR & ASSOCIATES, INC., and HOWARD G. HOGAN, SUCCESSOR RECEIVER FOR
JOSEPH C. TAYLOR & ASSOCIATES, INC.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Robert S. Stone, Knoxville, Tennessee, for Appellants.

James R. Moore, Knoxville, Tennessee, for Appellees.

Judge: FRANKS

First Paragraph:

Plaintiffs sought recovery of cashier's check on theory of bailment or
resulting or constructive trust.   From an adverse Judgment by the
Chancellor, plaintiffs appealed.  We affirm.

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

RANDALL C. HAGY v. COMMISSIONER, TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT and TENNESSEE DISTRIBUTION, INC.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Randall C. Hagy, Bristol, Tennessee, pro se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter, and Warren A. Jasper,
Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellee,
Michael E. Magill, Commissioner, Department of Labor and Workforce
Development.

Jennifer P. Keller, Johnson City, Tennessee, for Appellee, Tennessee
Distribution, Inc.

Judge: FRANKS

First Paragraph:

Employee was discharged from employment for refusing to follow orders.
The Commissioner denied employee unemployment benefits, and employee
appealed to the Court which affirmed the ruling of the Commissioner. 
On appeal to this Court, we affirm.

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

CLIFFORD MICHAEL JOHNSON v. NISSAN NORTH AMERICA, INC.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Larry G. Trail and Van A. French, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the
appellant, Nissan North America, Inc.

Joy L. Davis, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellee, Clifford Michael
Johnson.

Judge: CLEMENT

First Paragraph:

Former employee of Nissan North America, Inc. filed this action
against Nissan alleging retaliatory discharge following his filing of
a workers' compensation claim.  A discovery dispute ensued wherein
Nissan objected claiming the requests were not relevant and that it
would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act if it provided the
discovery.  The trial court modified the discovery and ordered Nissan
to: 1) list every employee terminated between August 2000 and January
2002 and the reason for the termination; 2) identify which of these
employees filed workers' compensation claims or received workers'
compensation benefits within one year preceding their respective
termination; and 3) identify each employee that Nissan or its agents
either conducted surveillance on or requested that surveillance be
conducted on between August 2000 and January 2002. We reverse, finding
that the plaintiff failed to make a compelling showing of relevance
and failed to establish that the value of the discovery sought, which
pertained to information contained in the personnel and medical
records of current and former employees of Nissan, outweighed the
privacy interests of those individuals who were not parties to this
action.

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

JERRY LOU ROGERS v. DAVID STANLEY DAVIS and VANETTA DAVIS

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

William P. Biddle, III, Athens, Tennessee, for Appellants.

Michael E. Jenne, Cleveland, Tennessee, for Appellee.

Judge: FRANKS

First Paragraph:

The Trial Court awarded plaintiff Judgment for rents on property
occupied by defendants, but refused Judgment for defendants for
improvements made by them to plaintiff's property.  On appeal, we
reverse and award defendants Judgment for improvements made to the
property and modify plaintiff's Judgment for the rental value of land.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ANTHONY LEBRON CARTER 

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Ardena J. Garth, District Public Defender (at hearing and on appeal);
and Donna Robinson Miller, Assistant District Public Defender (on
appeal), for the appellant, Anthony Lebron Carter.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley,
Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, III, District Attorney
General; and Mary Sullivan Moore, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: RILEY

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Anthony Lebron Carter, appeals the revocation of his
probation.  We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

MATTHEW L. MOATES v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Peter J. Alliman, Madisonville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Matthew
L. Moates.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner,
Assistant Attorney General; Jerry N. Estes, District Attorney General;
and William W. Reedy, Assistant District Attorney General, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

First Paragraph:

The petitioner, Matthew L. Moates, appeals the Monroe County Criminal
Court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his
conviction for aggravated robbery and resulting sixteen- year
sentence.  He claims (1) that he received the ineffective assistance
of counsel because his attorney failed to call witnesses to testify at
trial about the length of his hair at the time of the robbery, (2)
that the state improperly struck an African-American juror from the
jury, (3) that he is entitled to a new trial because he was not
present during a conference in which the state and his trial attorney
discussed the African-American juror's dismissal, and (4) that a state
witness improperly communicated with a juror during his trial.  We
affirm the trial court's denial of the petition.

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

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