Opinion Flash

June 17, 2004
Volume 10 — Number 116

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):
02 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
01 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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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink


ARTHUR M. BOHANAN v. CITY OF KNOXVILLE

Court:TSC

Attorneys:                          

John T. Batson, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, City of
Knoxville.

J. Anthony Farmer, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Arthur M.
Bohanan.

Judge: BARKER

First Paragraph:

The employee, a retired police officer, filed suit seeking workers'
compensation benefits.  He alleged that his job duties caused him to
develop hypertension resulting in permanent partial disability.  The
employee relies on the statutory presumption of causation for law
enforcement officers found in Tennessee Code Annotated section
7-51-201(a)(1), and concedes that if the employer has rebutted the
presumption, there is insufficient evidence establishing a causal
relationship between his hypertension and his employment.  Following a
thorough review of the record and applicable legal principles, we
conclude that the City of Knoxville has rebutted the statutory
presumption of causation, and we therefore reverse the judgment of the
trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/bohananam.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE  v.  TRACY LORENZO GOODWIN, alias LAWANDA CARTER  

Court:TSC

Attorneys:                          

A. Christian Lanier, III, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant,
Tracy Lorenzo Goodwin.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Michael E. Moore,
Solicitor General; John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General, for
the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: BARKER

First Paragraph:

This is an appeal from the Criminal Court for Hamilton County which
convicted the defendant, Tracy Goodwin, of two counts of reckless
aggravated assault, one count of felony reckless endangerment, and one
count of criminally negligent homicide.  The issues before us are
whether the evidence is sufficient to uphold the convictions, whether
the trial court erred in failing to sever the aggravated assault
charges from the reckless endangerment and criminally negligent
homicide charges, whether the separate convictions for felony reckless
endangerment and criminally negligent homicide violate the
constitutional protection against double jeopardy, and whether the
sentences were excessive.  We find that the evidence was insufficient
to support the convictions for reckless aggravated assault because as
defined by the statute, reckless aggravated assault requires proof of
bodily injury, and no such proof was offered at trial.  We find
sufficient evidence to support the remaining convictions of felony
reckless endangerment and criminally negligent homicide.  We further
find, with respect to the remaining convictions, that the trial court
did not err in failing to sever the trials, the separate convictions
do not violate double jeopardy protections, and the sentencing was not
excessive.  Therefore, the decision of the Court of Criminal Appeals
is reversed in part and affirmed in part.  We remand the case for a
new trial on charges of assault as lesser- included offenses of
aggravated assault.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/goodwintl.wpd

IN RE: PETITION FOR CHANGE OF NAME CHARLES GRANNIS, PETITIONER

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Charles Grannis, Nashville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Judge: COTTRELL

First Paragraph:

The trial court denied a Petition for Name Change.  Among the
allegations the Petitioner raises on appeal are that the master or
special judge who denied his Petition was biased against him and that
she was not authorized to act as a judge.  We do not find sufficient
evidence of bias in the record to justify reversal on that ground.  We
do find that the record is devoid of proper documentation of the basis
of the master's authority to sit as a substitute judge.  However, we
need not determine whether reversal is required because of that
deficiency, because we find that the trial court failed to articulate
and the record fails to demonstrate any legally sufficient reason for
denying the Petition.  Therefore, the denial and dismissal of the
Petition must be vacated.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RICHARD DEWAYNE JORDAN

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Larry G. Roddy, Sale Creek, Tennessee, for the appellant, Richard
Dewayne Jordan.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Kathy D. Aslinger,
Assistant Attorney General; James Michael Taylor, District Attorney
General; and Will Dunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: RILEY

First Paragraph:

A Rhea County jury convicted the defendant, Richard Dewayne Jordan, of
two counts of aggravated sexual battery and one count of incest, for
which he received an effective twelve-year sentence.  On appeal, the
defendant argues: (1) the trial court improperly allowed the state to
amend the indictment to charge a different date of commission of the
offenses; and (2) the indictment failed to inform him of the charges
with sufficient particularity.  We remand for correction of a clerical
error in the judgment but otherwise affirm the judgments of the trial
court.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOY KENNEDY 

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

H. Thomas Parsons and Eric J. Burch, Manchester, Tennessee, for the
appellee, Joy Kennedy.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth T. Ryan,
Assistant Attorney General; J. Michael Taylor, District Attorney
General; and Steven M. Blount, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

First Paragraph:

The Defendant, Joy Kennedy, was found guilty by a jury of vehicular
homicide, two counts of reckless aggravated assault, and reckless
driving.  However, the trial court granted the Defendant's motion for
judgment of acquittal, concluding that she had established the defense
of insanity by clear and convincing evidence.  The State appealed on
the ground that the trial court erred by granting the Defendant's
motion for judgment of acquittal.  The sole issue on appeal is whether
a reasonable juror could have concluded that the defense of insanity
had not been established by clear and convincing evidence.  We hold
that no reasonable juror could have failed to find that the Defendant
was legally insane at the time of the crimes.  Therefore, we affirm
the judgment of the trial court.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ROGER M. STAPLES

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Thomas C. Faris, Winchester, Tennessee, for the appellant, Roger M.
Staples.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Richard H. Dunavant,
Assistant Attorney General; J. Michael Taylor, District Attorney
General; and Steven M. Blount, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

First Paragraph:

The appellant, Roger Murel Staples, was convicted by a jury of
possession of more than .5 grams of cocaine with the intent to sell or
deliver.  After a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced the
appellant to nine years as a Range I, Standard Offender.  The trial
court denied a motion for new trial.  In this direct appeal, the
appellant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence, his sentence,
statements made by the prosecutor during closing argument, and the
trial court's decision to admit evidence of activity at the
appellant's residence.  For the following reasons, we affirm the
judgment of the trial court.

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

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