New Developments in Workers' Comp Law

Discover all of the recent developments in workers' compensation law in Tennessee — both in the courts and in the legislature — in a new course developed by Virginia Mayo, editor of Tennessee Attorneys Memo and Tennessee Workers' Comp Reporter.

http://www.tnbaru.com/coursecatalog.php

  
TODAY'S OPINIONS: Wednesday, November 16, 2005
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.

00 - TN Supreme Court
02 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
01 - TN Court of Appeals
08 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR

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

CHARLES W. FISH v. DOLLAR TREE STORES, INC., ET AL.

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

Joshua M. Booth, Moore, Knoxville, TN, for the appellant, Dollar Tree Stores, Inc.

David E. High, Nashville, TN, for the appellee, Charles W. Fish

Judge: INMAN

This workers’ compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers’ Compensation Appeals Panel in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-6-255(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The plaintiff sustained separate injuries to his right and left shoulders while employed by the defendant. The trial court awarded the plaintiff benefits for 33 percent permanent partial disability to the body as a whole resulting from his right shoulder injury and 55 percent permanent partial disability to the body as a whole resulting from his left. The defendant contends the trial court erred in not applying the two and one-half times impairment rating cap contained in Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-6-241(a)(1).

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2005/fishc111605.pdf


JUNE BETTY WILLIAMS v. SATURN CORPORATION

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

Marcia McShane Watson, Nashville, Tennessee, for appellant, Saturn Corporation.

Michael D. Dillon, Nashville, Tennessee, for appellee, June Betty Williams.

Judge: HARRIS

This workers’ compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers’ Compensation Appeals Panel in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated § 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. In this appeal, the employer asserts that the trial court erred in awarding $12,360 in temporary total disability benefits for the period between April 5, 2000, and September 19, 2000. We conclude that the evidence presented more appropriately supported a finding that the employee was entitled to temporary partial benefits in the amount awarded by the chancellor and, in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated § 50-6-225(e)(2), affirm the judgment of the trial court as so modified.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2005/williamsj111605.pdf


YVONNE N. ROBERTSON v. TENNESSEE BOARD OF SOCIAL WORKER CERTIFICATION AND LICENSURE, ET AL.
WITH DISSENTING OPINION

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; and Sara E. Sedgwick, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellant, Tennessee Board of Social Worker Certification and Licensure and Tennessee Department of Health.

Michael E. Terry, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Yvonne N. Robertson.

Judge: CLEMENT

The Tennessee Board of Social Worker Certification and Licensure appeals from the decision of the Chancery Court to set aside its disciplinary ruling revoking a licensed clinical social worker’s license for two years for engaging in a dual relationship with a client. The Chancellor set aside the Board’s ruling on the grounds the sanctions constituted an abuse of discretion and were arbitrary and capricious. We reverse the decision of the Chancery Court and reinstate the Board’s order of revocation.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2005/robertsony111605.pdf

DISSENTING OPINION
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2005/robertsony_dis111605.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. VIVIAN BRAXTON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Leslie Ballin, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Vivian Braxton.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Mike Myers, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

The Defendant, Vivian Braxton, pled guilty to one count of theft between ten and sixty thousand dollars, a Class C felony. After a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced the Defendant as a Range I, standard offender, to three years to be served as follows: six months in the County Workhouse with the remainder suspended, and three years of probation to follow the confinement. The Defendant now appeals, contending that the trial court erred in declining her request for judicial diversion; denying her request for full probation; and in ordering her to serve six months day-for-day in confinement. We modify the Defendant’s sentence insofar as removing any requirement that she serve her period of confinement day-for-day. In all other respects, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/braxtonv111605.pdf


DEDRICK D. CHISM v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Gary J. Swayne, Paris, Tennessee, for the appellant, Dedrick D. Chism.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Seth P. Kestner, Assistant Attorney General; Robert Radford, District Attorney General; and Steven L. Garrett, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

This is an appeal as of right from a denial of post-conviction relief. The Defendant, Dedrick Chism, was convicted by jury verdict of two counts of sale of more than one-half gram of cocaine, a Class B felony. This Court upheld the Defendant’s convictions on direct appeal. See State v. Dedrick Dewayne Chism, No. W2002-01887-CCA-R3-CD, 2003 WL 23100335 (Tenn. Crim. App., Jackson, Dec. 23, 2003). The Defendant subsequently filed a petition for post-conviction relief, which was denied. The Defendant now appeals to this Court arguing the single issue of ineffective assistance of trial counsel. We affirm the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/chismd111605.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. GERMAINE MCKENZIE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Garland Erguden, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Germaine McKenzie.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and James Lammey and Michelle Parks, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

The appellant, Germaine McKenzie, was convicted by a Shelby County jury of the offense of second degree murder. As a result of the conviction, the appellant was sentenced to twenty-four years, to be served at one hundred percent incarceration. The appellant appeals his conviction, challenging the sufficiency of the evidence. After a thorough review of the record and applicable authorities, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/mckenzieg111605.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. HENRY ERIC NASH
WITH CONCURRING OPINION

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

C. Michael Robbins (on appeal) and Larry M. Sargent (at trial), Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Henry Eric Nash.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Assistant Attorney General; Elizabeth T. Rice, District Attorney General; and James Walter Freeland, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant appeals his conviction for possession of cocaine with intent to deliver and the resulting eleven-year sentence. Following our review, we find all issues presented to be either waived or without merit; therefore, we affirm both the conviction and sentence.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/nashh111605.pdf

CONCURRING OPINION
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/nashh_con111605.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. LUCILLE RICHARDSON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Walter Bailey, Jr., Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lucille Richardson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; and William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Amy Weirich, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

The appellant, Lucille Richardson, with the trial court’s permission, filed an interlocutory appeal, and, pursuant to the appellant’s Rule 9 application, this Court agreed to review the appellant’s appeal challenging the trial court’s denial of pretrial diversion. After reviewing the record as a whole, we conclude that the trial court erred in denying pretrial diversion. Thus, the judgment of the trial court is reversed, and the matter is remanded to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/richardsonl111605.pdf


ROBERT ROYSDEN v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jeffery H. Wicks, Kingston, Tennessee, for the appellant, Robert Roysden.

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

Judge: GLENN

The petitioner, Robert Roysden, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief,arguing that his guilty pleas were unknowing and involuntary and that he was denied the effective assistance of trial counsel. Following our review, we affirm the post-conviction court’sdenial of the petition.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/roysdenr111605.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOHN WHITTINGTON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Leslie I. Ballin, Memphis, Tennessee, and Gray W. Bartlett, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, John Whittington.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Brooks Yelverton and Lee Coffee, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WADE

The defendant, John Whittington, entered a plea of guilty to driving under the influence, third offense. The trial court imposed a sentence of eleven months and twenty-nine days to be suspended to probation after the service of 120 days of confinement. As part of the plea agreement, the defendant reserved a certified question of law pursuant to Rule 37(b)(2)(i) of the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure. The stated question is "whether belching during the [twenty] minute observation period invalidated the results of the breath test." The judgment is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/whittingtonj111605.pdf


WALDO WIGGINS, JR. v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Glenwood P. Roane, Sr., and Brett B. Stein, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Waldo Wiggins, Jr.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Assistant Attorney General; Elizabeth T. Rice, District Attorney General; and James Walter Freeland, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The petitioner, Waldo Wiggins, Jr., was convicted in the Tipton County Circuit Court of first degree murder. Subsequently, the petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief and a petition for a writ of error coram nobis. The trial court denied both petitions, and the petitioner now appeals. Upon our review of the record and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/wigginsw111605.pdf


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