TennBarU Teleseminar: Changes in Federal Estate Tax and Tennessee
Inheritance Tax Laws & Family Limited Partnerships: Current
Developments in Wealth Preservation
April 26 Teleseminar

Speakers Paul Hayes and Thomas Buckner will examine the current
federal estate tax and Tennessee inheritance tax exemptions and
provide a practical solution to drafting estate plans for married
couples, which allow use of the maximum federal estate tax exemption
without creating a current Tennessee inheritance tax liability. This
course will also briefly discuss the following recent changes to
federal and state estate tax laws: (i) the repeal of the state death
tax credit, (ii) the new state death tax deduction, and (iii) the
effect of other states decoupling their estate tax from the federal
estate tax. Finally, this seminar will discuss the mechanics of this
wealth preservation tool and provide necessary guidance to estate
planners in the wake of the United States Tax Court decision in
Strangi II.

Today's Opinions: February 7, 2005
Volume 11 — Number 024
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 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
08 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
05 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

TBA members can get the full-text versions of these opinions three ways detailed below. All methods require a TBA username and password. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on-line at http://www.tba.org/getpassword.mgi.

Here's how you can obtain full-text version. We recommend you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. • Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This should give you the option to download the original document. If not, you may need to right-click on the URL to get the option to save the file to your computer. • Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion. • Browse the Opinion List area of TBALink. This option will allow you to download the original version of the opinion.

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


NEERAJ CHOPRA v. U.S. PROFESSIONALS, LLC, ET AL.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Harold D. Mangrum, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellants, U.S.
Professionals, LLC, Satya B. Shaw and Rajashree S. Shaw.

John S. Richbourg, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Neeraj
Chopra.

Judge: FARMER

First Paragraph:

Defendants U. S. Professionals, LLC and Satya B. Shaw and Rajashree S.
Shaw, individually, appeal the judgment of the trial court awarding
Plaintiff Neeraj Chopra compensatory and punitive damages for breach
of contract and intentional misrepresentation.  We affirm.

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

JOHN D. COOKE III v. TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION, ET AL.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

John D. Cooke III, pro se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore,
Solicitor General; Arthur Crownover II, Senior Counsel, for the
appellee, Tennessee Department of Correction, West Tennessee State
Penitentiary, and West Tennessee State Penitentiary - Site II -
Disciplinary Board.

Judge: INMAN

First Paragraph:

The plaintiff sought a common law writ of certiorari to review the
action of a prison disciplinary board.  The Circuit Court held that
the correction of the Board's decision was not subject to judicial
review.  We affirm.

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

ISAAC HALL v. SHIRLEY A. HALL

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Brenda S. Bramlett, Shelbyville, Tennessee, for the plaintiff, Isaac
Hall.

John W. Rodgers, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the defendant, Shirley A
Hall

Judge: INMAN

First Paragraph:

The plaintiff left the defendant's residence through her kitchen which
opened into a carport, three steps lower.  The defendant had left a
pair of shoes on the steps which the plaintiff did not see owing to
darkness because he failed to turn on the light.  The undisputed
evidence reveals evidence of negligence on the part of each party, but
under McIntyre, the negligence of each should be compared.  Summary
judgment for the defendant is reversed.

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

IN RE L.C.B. 

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Jennifer Davis Roberts, Dickson, Tennessee, for the appellants, R.D.
and P.D..

David D. Wolfe, Dickson, Tennessee, for the appellee, M.B.

Judge: CAIN

First Paragraph:

M.B. and P.B. were husband and wife with four children born during the
marriage.  L.C.B., the fourth of these children, was born in 1997,
nine years after M.B. had undergone a vasectomy.  P.B. had engaged in
an extramarital affair with R.D. and subsequent to the divorce of M.B.
and P.B., the relationship between R.D. and P.B. ripened into marriage
with P.B. becoming P.D.  In the case at bar, R.D. and P.D. sued to
establish R.D. as the biological father of L.C.B. and to terminate the
parental rights of M.B.  An answer and counterclaim was filed by M.B.
denying the allegations of the complaint and seeking to terminate the
parental rights of R.D.  Holding that the claim of R.D. was barred by
laches, the trial court dismissed the complaint.  We hold that the
complaint of R.D. is not barred by laches but affirm the action of the
trial court.

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

MICHAEL C. MALLEN v. AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL GROUP, INC., ET AL.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Jonathan E. Kaplan, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant American
International Group, Inc.

T. Maxfield Bahner, W. Jeffrey Hollingsworth, and Anthony A. Jackson,
Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellants, American International
Specialty Lines Insurance Co., and American International Surplus
Lines Agency, Inc.

No appearance on behalf of the defendants Willis North America, Inc.,
John F. Killebrew, and Annis Trevarthen.

Kyle E. Hedrick and Glenna M. Ramer, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the
appellee, Michael C. Mallen.

Judge: SUSANO

First Paragraph:

We granted the Tenn. R. App. P. 9 application of the AIG defendants 
to review their claim that an order of the trial court entered
December 31, 2003, nunc pro tunc December 22, 2003,  pertaining to
pre-trial discovery is "overly broad, unduly burdensome, and
extraordinarily costly both in terms of human effort and financial
expense, and that disclosure of the documents ordered by the trial
court would violate the [federal] Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act."  We have
determined that the AIG defendants' application was improvidently
granted.  Accordingly, this appeal is dismissed.  This case is
remanded to the trial court for further proceedings as outlined in
this opinion.

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

DANNY RAY MEEKS v. CHARLES TRAUGHBER, ET AL.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Danny R. Meeks,  pro se.

Paul G. Summer, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E.. Moore,
Solicitor General; Mark A. Hudson, Senior Counsel, for appellees,
Charles Traughber, et. al.

Judge: INMAN

First Paragraph:

The appellant claims, inter alia, that the Board of Parole, as
constituted in 2002 not only denied him parole, but unconstitutionally
ordered no further review for fifteen (15) years.  The policy of Board
was later changed.  We affirm, as modified.

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

EDDIE PUGH v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Eddie Pugh, Tiptonville, TN, pro se

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter, Michael E. Moore,
Solicitor General, John H. Sinclair, Jr., Senior Counsel, Nashville,
TN, for Appellee

Judge: HIGHERS

First Paragraph:

In 2003, a prisoner in the custody of the Tennessee Department of
Correction filed a claim in the Tennessee Claims Commission against
the State of Tennessee for medical malpractice.  In 2001, the prisoner
underwent surgery to install a colostomy due to the alleged negligence
of the prison medical staff in improperly diagnosing his condition. 
The Commissioner granted the State's motion for summary judgment,
finding the statute of limitations barred the prisoner's claim.  Since
the prisoner was aware that the State's negligence caused his injury
at the time of his surgery, the discovery rule does not toll the
running of the applicable statute of limitations.  We affirm.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN SERVICES v. DIANE YVONNE
SANGSTER, ET AL.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Barbara A. Deere of Dyersburg for Appellant, Lafayette Douglas
Sangster J. Barney Witherington IV for Appellant, Diane Sangster

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter, Douglas Earl Dimond,
Senior Counsel for Appellee, Tennessee Department of Children's
Services

Judge: CRAWFORD

First Paragraph:

This is a termination of parental rights case.  The parents appeal
from the order of the Juvenile Court of Lauderdale County, terminating
their parental rights.  Specifically, Appellants assert that the
grounds of abandonment for failure to support and severe child abuse
cited for termination are not supported by clear and convincing
evidence in the record and that termination of their parental rights
is not in the best interests of the child.  Because we find clear and
convincing evidence in the record to support the trial court's
findings, we affirm.

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

ROBERT L. LEVERETTE v. JAMES A. BOWLEN, WARDEN

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

B. Jeffery Harmon, Assistant Public Defender, Jasper, Tennessee, for
the appellant, Robert L. Leverette.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry,
Assistant Attorney General; James Michael Taylor, District Attorney
General; and James W. Pope, III., Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

First Paragraph:

In 1996, the petitioner, Robert L. Leverette, pled guilty in the
Circuit Court of Bedford County to four counts of rape, Class B
felonies, and to one count of incest, a Class C felony.  He was
sentenced to ten years for each rape and to five years for the incest
to be served in the Department of Correction.  The trial court
classified him as a Range I, standard offender with a release
eligibility at thirty percent of his sentence and ordered two of the
rape convictions to run concurrently.  The Department of Correction,
however, classified him as a multiple rapist pursuant to Tennessee
Code Annotated section 39-13-523, which requires that multiple rapists
serve one hundred percent of a sentence.  As a result, the petitioner
filed a petition for the writ of habeas corpus.  The trial court
granted partial relief and vacated three of his four rape sentences. 
On appeal, the petitioner claims that his entire sentence should be
vacated and the case remanded.  Finding no error, we affirm the
decision of the trial court.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. GREGORY MULLINS

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Joseph F. Harrison, Assistant Public Defender, Blountville, Tennessee,
for the Appellant, Gregory Mullins.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael Moore,
Solicitor General; Seth P. Kestner, Assistant Attorney General; H.
Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; and Joseph E. Perrin,
Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of
Tennessee.

Judge: HAYES

First Paragraph:

The Appellant, Gregory Mullins, appeals the decision of the Sullivan
County Criminal Court revoking his probation and ordering him to serve
the remainder of his sentence in confinement.  In March 2003, Mullins
pled guilty to three counts of burglary, three counts of theft under
$500, two counts of theft over $1000, evading arrest, and speeding. 
Mullins' effective eight-year sentence was suspended, and he was
placed on supervised probation.  On October 1, 2003, and October 10,
2003, probation violation warrants were filed against Mullins.  After
a revocation hearing was held on the October 10th warrant, he was
found to be in violation of his probation, and his original sentences
to the Department of Correction were reinstated.  On appeal, Mullins
does not contest the trial court's findings that he violated the terms
of his probation.  Rather, he argues that the trial court abused its
discretion by ordering confinement rather than reinstating his
probation with more restrictive conditions.  After review, we find no
error and affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TIFFANY LEA PACKARD

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

James R. Hickman, Jr., Sevierville, Tennessee, for the appellant,
Tiffany Lea Packard.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Seth P. Kestner,
Assistant Attorney General; Al Schmutzer, Jr., District Attorney
General; and Nichole Davis Bass, Assistant District Attorney, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

First Paragraph:

The appellant, Tiffany Lea Packard, pled guilty in the Sevier County
Circuit Court to manufacturing methamphetamine, a Class C felony, and
simple possession of marijuana, a Class A misdemeanor.  She received a
total effective sentence of four years incarceration in the Tennessee
Department of Correction.  The trial court denied the appellant
alternative sentencing, and the appellant now appeals that denial. 
Upon our review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the
judgments of the trial court.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CHRISTY MECHELLE THOMPSON

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Keith E. Haas, Newport, Tennessee, for the appellant, Christy Mechelle
Thompson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Michelle Chapman
McIntire, Assistant Attorney General; Al Schmutzer, Jr., District
Attorney General, and James B. Dunn, Assistant District Attorney, for
the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Christy Mechelle Thompson,  broke into a private
residence and stole personal property worth more than $500.00.  The
Cocke County Grand Jury indicted her for one count of aggravated
burglary and one count of theft over $500.00.  The defendant pled
guilty.  As part of her plea agreement, the trial court sentenced the
defendant to three (3) years as Range I offender for the aggravated
burglary and one (1) year for the theft over $500.00.  She also agreed
to pay restitution in the amount of $1,016.85.  Under the plea
agreement, the trial court was to determine the method and manner of
sentence.  The trial court sentenced the defendant to incarceration
with the Tennessee Department of Corrections.  The defendant appeals
her sentence, arguing that: (1) the trial court improperly weighed the
enhancing and mitigating factors; and (2) the trial court erred in
denying the defendant probation.  We affirm the judgments of the trial
court.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. PHILLIP AARON YORK

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Edward C. Miller, District Public Defender, Dandridge, Tennessee, for
the appellant, Phillip Aaron York.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer Bledsoe,
Assistant Attorney General;  Al Schmutzer, Jr., District Attorney
General; and James B. Dunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Phillip Aaron York, was convicted of eight counts of
child rape.  Sentences of twenty-five years were imposed for each
conviction.  Two convictions were ordered to run consecutively, with
the remaining convictions to run concurrently, for a total effective
sentence of fifty years to be served in the Department of Correction. 
On appeal, the defendant challenges (1) the sufficiency of the
evidence, and (2) the length of the sentence imposed by the trial
court.  Upon review of the record and applicable law, we conclude that
the evidence is sufficient to sustain the convictions for rape of a
child, but that pursuant to Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. ----, 124
S. Ct. 2531 (2004), enhancement factors (2) and (16) cannot be
applied.  Accordingly, we affirm the convictions, but modify the
sentence imposed from a fifty-year effective sentence to a forty-year
effective sentence.

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

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