Opinion FlashSeptember 28, 2004
Volume 10 Number 187
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
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. GREGORY ROBINSON WITH DISSENTING OPINION AND APPENDIX Court:TSC Attorneys: Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Joseph F. Whalen, Associate Solicitor General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Patience R. Branham and Paula Wulff, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellant/appellee, State of Tennessee. Joseph S. Ozment and Steffen G. Schreiner, Memphis, Tennessee (at trial); and Edmund L. Carey, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, and Robert C. Brooks, Memphis, Tennessee (on appeal), for the appellee/appellant, Gregory Robinson. Judge: DROWOTA First Paragraph: We granted the State's application for permission to appeal to determine whether the Court of Criminal Appeals erred by reversing the defendant's conviction for premeditated first degree murder and his sentence of death. Upon review, we hold that the Court of Criminal Appeals erred in reversing the defendant's conviction and sentence. In particular, we conclude that the trial court did not err by failing to instruct the jury on facilitation and solicitation or by permitting the medical examiner to display the victim's cleaned and reconstructed skull as a demonstrative aid during his testimony; that the prosecution did not present inconsistent theories and evidence in the separate trials of the defendant and co-defendant Prentiss Phillips; and that the sentence of death is not disproportionate considering the circumstances of the crime and the defendant. Having reinstated the defendant's conviction and sentence, we have also reviewed and considered all other errors alleged by the defendant and conclude that none warrants relief. With respect to issues not herein specifically addressed, we affirm the decision of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Relevant portions of that opinion are published hereafter as an appendix. Accordingly, the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals is reversed in part, affirmed in part, and the judgment of the trial court is reinstated. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/robinsongregory_opn.wpd DISSENTING OPINION http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/robinsongregory_dis.wpd APPENDIX http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/robinsongregory_apx.wpd
Board Of Professional Responsability Of The Supreme Court Of Tennessee Formal Ethics Opinion 2004-F-149 Court:TSC - Rules First Paragraph: Guidance is provided regarding what general types of claims or representations as included within attorney advertising are false or misleading in violation of Tennessee Rule of Professional Conduct 7.1. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_Rules/2004-F-149.pdf
Board Of Professional Responsability Of The Supreme Court Of Tennessee Formal Ethics Opinion 2004-F-150 Court:TSC - Rules First Paragraph: Guidance is provided concerning the ethical obligations of attorneys who receive confidential documents of adverse parties which were inadvertently sent or disclosed. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_Rules/2004-F-150.pdf
PATRICK BEAUDREAU, ET AL. v. LARRY HILL PONTIAC/OLDSMOBILE/GMC, INC. Court:TCA Attorneys: Gordon Ball, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Patrick Beaudreau, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated. William A. Young, John W. Butler, and Jeffrey R. Thompson, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Larry Hill Pontiac/Oldsmobile/GMC, Inc. Judge: SUSANO First Paragraph: This is a class action lawsuit filed by a consumer, Patrick Beaudreau, against a car dealer, Larry Hill Pontiac/Oldsmobile/GMC, Inc. ("Hill Pontiac"). Beaudreau purchased an automobile from Hill Pontiac and the purchase was financed through General Motors Acceptance Corporation ("GMAC"). Beaudreau alleges, inter alia, that Hill Pontiac violated the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act ("the TCPA") and the Tennessee Trade Practices Act ("the TTPA") in that it failed to reveal to Beaudreau that it had an arrangement with GMAC by the terms of which Hill Pontiac received a portion of the interest rate charged to Beaudreau. The trial court dismissed Beaudreau's claims. Beaudreau appeals. We affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/beaudreaupat.wpd
MARK DION DAVIS v. TONYA SMITH DAVIS Court:TCA Attorneys: Randy Hillhouse, Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tonya Smith Davis. Christopher V. Sockwell, Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, for the appellee, Mark Dion Davis. Judge: KOCH First Paragraph: This appeal concerns a dispute over the custody of a child who is less than three years old. Within four months after the parents' divorce in the Chancery Court for Lawrence County, the father filed a petition to modify the permanent parenting plan because the mother was obstructing and discouraging his visitation with the child. Following a bench trial, the trial court determined that the wife's post-divorce conduct amounted to a material change in circumstances and that the parents should have equal parenting time with the child. The trial court also relieved the father of his child support obligation in light of the change in the permanent parenting plan. The mother has appealed both the change in the permanent parenting plan and the termination of her child support. We affirm the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/davismarkd.wpd
BOBBY MacBRYAN GREEN v. JOHNSON CITY REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION Court:TCA Attorneys: Bobby MacBryan Green, pro se Appellant. James H. Epps, IV, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the Appellee Johnson City Regional Planning Commission. Judge: SWINEY First Paragraph: Bobby MacBryan Green ("Plaintiff") and Michael May ("May") own adjoining land within the city limits of Johnson City. May's tract of land was subdivided into two lots as a minor subdivision without formal approval from the Johnson City Regional Planning Commission (the "Commission"). Plaintiff challenged the approval of the minor subdivision before the Commission. Relying on legal advice from the city attorney, the Commission voted unanimously not to take any action on Plaintiff's request that the approval of the minor subdivision be rescinded. Plaintiff appealed to the Trial Court which upheld the decision of the Commission after concluding the Commission's refusal to take any action on Plaintiff's request was not illegal, arbitrary or capricious. We affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/greenbobbymac.wpd
JAMES H. SIBLEY, ET AL. v. W. KEITH McCORD, ET AL. Court:TCA Attorneys: Gene A. Stanley, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellants James H. Sibley, S & M Body Shop, Inc., and Truck Sales & Service, Inc. Darryl G. Lowe, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellees, W. Keith McCord, Weaver & Troutman, P.C., and McCord & Troutman, P.C. Judge: CLEMENT First Paragraph: Plaintiffs, former clients of Keith McCord, Weaver & Troutman, P.C., seek an accounting, recovery of misappropriated funds, if any, and compensatory damages. Plaintiffs hired McCord and his firm to represent them in defense of federal and state tax claims and deposited upwards of $500,000 with the firm to facilitate payment of the disputed claims. The chancellor dismissed the action on summary judgment holding that the plaintiffs' conversion claim was barred by the three year statute of limitations and that the claim for an accounting was barred by the doctrine of judicial estoppel. We affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/sibleyjamesh.wpd
DONAVAN EDWARD DANIEL v. STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TCCA Attorneys: Kent F. Gearin, Martin, Tennessee (on appeal) and Joseph P. Atnip, District Public Defender; and Colin Johnson, Assistant Public Defender (at trial) for the appellant, Donavan Edward Daniel. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michelle Chapman McIntire, Assistant Attorney General; Thomas A. Thomas, District Attorney General; and Allen Strawbridge, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee. Judge: WOODALL First Paragraph: Petitioner, Donavan Edward Daniel, filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief alleging, as amended, that his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance of counsel by failing (1) to raise the legality of Petitioner's detention as an issue in his motion to suppress; (2) to demonstrate a particularized need for expert services and timely present the affidavit of the proposed expert to the trial court; and (3) to request a mistrial or curative instruction when two prospective jurors stated during voir dire that they were familiar with Petitioner's juvenile record and family background. Following an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court denied Petitioner's request for post- conviction relief. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the post- conviction court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/danieldonavane.wpd
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