Opinion Flash

October 25, 2004
Volume 10 — Number 205

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
01 New Document(s) or Proposed Rule(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
05 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
07 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


SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE
SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS

Court:TSC - Rules

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_Rules/certlist_1025.wpd

JAMES A. BLEDSOE AND NANNIE BLEDSOE v. RANDALL BUTTRY AND GRANGE
INSURANCE COMPANY

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Phillip L. Boyd, Boyd & Boyd, Rogersville, Tennessee, for the
Appellant James A. Bledsoe and Nannie Bledsoe.

Thomas J. Kilday, Milligan & Coleman, Greenville, Tennessee, for
Appellee Randall Buttry.

Judge: PEOPLES

First Paragraph:

James A. Bledsoe and wife, Nannie, sued Randall Buttry and Grange
Insurance Company (uninsured motorist carrier) for damages sustained
in a motor vehicle crash.  The Bledsoe's claim the jury verdict was
insufficient and that the trial court erred in certain evidentiary
rulings.  We affirm.

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

DOLORES SORRELLS CRAWLEY v. THE ESTATE OF JAMES F. CRAWLEY, M.D., ET
AL.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Fred T. Hanzelik, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Dolores
Sorrells Crawley.

Marvin Berke, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellees, the Estate of
James F. Crawley, M.D., and the Trust of James F. Crawley, M.D.

Judge: SWINEY

First Paragraph:

Dolores Sorrells Crawley ("Wife") and James F. Crawley, M.D.
("Husband") entered into a Property Settlement Agreement ("the
Agreement") in their divorce in 1972.  Pursuant to the Agreement,
Husband was to pay Wife alimony monthly subject to certain conditions
as set forth in the Agreement.  Husband paid Wife alimony monthly
until two months prior to his death.  Wife sued the Estate of James F.
Crawley, M.D. and the Trust of James F. Crawley, M.D. (collectively
"Husband's Estate") claiming, among other things, that Husband's
obligation to pay alimony survived Husband's death.  Husband's Estate
filed a motion for partial summary judgment on the issue of whether
Husband's obligation to pay alimony survived Husband's death.  The
Trial Court granted the motion for partial summary judgment.  After a
final order later was entered disposing of all other issues, Wife
appealed to this Court claiming the Trial Court erred in granting
partial summary judgment.  We affirm.

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

CHARLES MCRAE, ET AL. v. C. L. HAGAMAN, ET AL.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Jon G. Roach and Hanson R. Tipton, Knoxville, Tennessee, for
appellant, W. Howard Henegar.

W. F. Shumate, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for appellees, Charles McRae
and Joanna McRae.

Judge: INMAN

First Paragraph:

After a real estate sale was completed, the purchasers discovered that
a portion of the property was not included in the description although
a proposed deed was furnished to them five (5) days before the
closing.  They had previously been forwarded a copy of a plat of the
property, but they failed to compare the deed description with the
plat.  Suit was filed against the seller and his broker for rescission
or damages for negligent misrepresentation.  The seller was dismissed
on motion for summary judgment from which no appeal was taken.  A
judgment for damages was entered against the broker who, inter alia,
pleaded that the negligence of the purchasers-plaintiffs should be
compared to any negligence on his part.  The issue of comparative
negligence was not brought to the Chancellor's attention, and thus not
compared to the broker's negligence.  We find substantial evidence of
negligence on the part of the plaintiffs which, as a legal cause of
their damages, should be compared to the negligence of the broker. 
The judgment is accordingly vacated and the case is remanded for this
purpose.

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

CHARLES SMITH, EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF ETHEL ROGERS SMITH, v. JERRY
SMITH

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Douglas R. Beier, Morristown, Tennessee, for Appellant.

Christopher P. Capps, Morristown, Tennessee, for Appellee.

Judge: FRANKS

First Paragraph:

The Trial Court held that the confidential relationship between
defendant and deceased voids the transaction because deceased did not
have independent advice.  On appeal, we reverse.

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

KELLY DARLENE STINSON v. WARREN KENT STINSON

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Douglas R. Beier, Morristown, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Warren
Kent Stinson.

Edward R. Sempkowski, Morristown, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Kelly
Darlene Stinson.

Judge: LEE

First Paragraph:

In this divorce case Husband contends that the trial court erred in
awarding Wife spousal support in the amount of $8,500.00 per month for
a period of 15 years, in its division of marital assets consisting of
dental equipment and contributions to a retirement plan, in assessing
the value of certain  personal property distributed between the
parties, and in  awarding attorney's fees to Wife.  We affirm as
modified the trial court's award of spousal support and assessment of
the value of the parties' marital property. We otherwise affirm the
judgment of the trial court as rendered and remand.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. SHERIDAN ARMSTRONG

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Garland Erguden (on appeal), Phyllis Aluko (at trial), and Karen
Massey (at trial), Assistant Public Defenders, for the appellant,
Sheridan Armstrong.

Paul G. Summers. Attorney General & Reporter; Michelle Chapman
McIntire, Assistant Attorney General; and Linda Kirklen and James Wax,
Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of
Tennessee.

Judge: WADE

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Sheridan Armstrong, was convicted of felony murder and
aggravated child abuse.  The trial court ordered concurrent sentences
of life with the possibility of parole and twenty years, respectively.
 In this appeal of right, the defendant contends that the trial court
erred by failing to suppress his statement to police and argues that
the evidence supporting each conviction was insufficient.  The
judgments of the trial court are affirmed.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RICKY JOE AWATT

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Michael D. Rasnake, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ricky Joe
Awatt.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Helena W. Yarbrough,
Assistant District Attorney General; Jerry Woodall, District Attorney
General; and Daniel J. Runde and Lawrence R. Nickell, Jr., Assistant
District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

First Paragraph:

The appellant was convicted in the Madison County Circuit Court of the
first degree premeditated murder of Junecus Bolden.  The appellant
received a sentence of life imprisonment in the Tennessee Department
of Correction.  On appeal, the appellant raises issues regarding the
admission of certain testimony and the propriety of the State's
rebuttal closing argument.  Upon review of the record and the parties'
briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. LARRY ALLEN BLAYLOCK

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Matthew M. Maddox, Huntingdon, Tennessee, for the appellant, Larry
Allen Blaylock.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley,
Assistant Attorney General;  G. Robert Radford, District Attorney
General; and Eleanor Cahill, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the appellee, State of  Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

First Paragraph:

The defendant appeals his conviction for Class A misdemeanor assault
and the refusal of the trial court to impose an alternative sentence
of judicial diversion or full probation.  After review, we reverse the
conviction for the trial court's failure to instruct on self-defense. 
In the event of further appellate review, we have considered all
issues raised on appeal.  The cause is remanded for a new trial.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TIMOTHY WADE DAVIS
WITH CONCURRING OPINION

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Bruce Poston, Knoxville, Tennessee; Mark E. Stephens, District Public
Defender; and John Halstead, Assistant Public Defender, for the
appellant, Timothy Wade Davis.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Kathy D. Aslinger,
Assistant Attorney General;  Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney
General; and Leland Price, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Timothy Wade Davis, was convicted by a jury of four
counts of rape of a child and one count of aggravated sexual
exploitation of a minor.  Sentences of twenty-two years were imposed
for each child rape conviction and ten years for aggravated sexual
exploitation of a minor.  Three of the child rape convictions and the
especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor were ordered to
run consecutively for an effective sentence of seventy-six years at
100%.  The defendant appeals his convictions and sentencing and
alleges that the trial court erred in the following respects: (1) in
failing to suppress the search warrant and the defendant's statements;
(2) by denying the defendant the right to represent himself; (3) by
refusing to instruct the jury on insanity; (4) in finding the
defendant competent to stand trial; and (5) in regard to sentencing. 
After review of the issues presented and the record as a whole, we
conclude that no reversible error was present and affirm the
convictions and sentencing.

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

CONCURRING OPINION
http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/davistimothywade_con.wpd

TONY HOPKINS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Joe H. Walker, District Public Defender, and Walter B. Johnson, II,
Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Tony Hopkins.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer,
Assistant Attorney General; J. Scott McCluen, District Attorney
General; and D. Roger Delp, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

First Paragraph:

The petitioner, Tony Hopkins, appeals the dismissal of his petition
for writ of habeas corpus, contending that, following his guilty plea,
he was wrongfully sentenced to a fifteen-year sentence as a Range I
offender on a Class B felony.  After careful review, we affirm the
dismissal of the petition.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JAMES JOHNSON
DISSENTING OPINION

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Michael E. Scholl (at trial and on appeal) and Gerald Skahan (at trial), Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, James Johnson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; and Jerry Harris and Amy Weirich, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WADE

First Paragraph:

The defendant, James Johnson, originally charged with first degree
murder, was convicted of second degree murder.  The trial court
imposed a sentence of twenty-three years.  In this appeal, the
defendant asserts that (1) the evidence is insufficient to support his
conviction; (2) the trial court erred by denying his motion for a
preliminary hearing; (3) the trial court erred by permitting evidence
of a California police chase involving the defendant; (4) the trial
court erred in its instructions to the jury; (5) the cumulative effect
of the errors at trial require reversal; and (6) the sentence is
excessive.  Because the trial court misapplied certain of the
enhancement factors, the sentence is modified to twenty-one years. 
Otherwise, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

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

DISSENTING OPINION
http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/johnsonjames_dis.wpd

ANTHONY RANDAUL v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Jim W. Horner, District Public Defender, and H. Tod Taylor, Assistant
Public Defender, for the appellant, Anthony Randaul.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner,
Assistant Attorney General; and C. Phillip Bivens, District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

First Paragraph:

The petitioner, Anthony Randaul, appeals from the Dyer County Circuit
Court's dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief from his
convictions for kidnapping, robbery, and sale of cocaine weighing less
than one-half gram and resulting sentence of nine years.  He contends
that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel at trial.  We
affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

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