Quarterly Litigation Upate: Recent Developments in Litigation for
Tennessee Attorneys
The TBA Litigation section presents this fast-paced, quarterly update
on recent developments in litigation for Tennessee attorneys. This
update will cover breaking developments in Commercial Law and Consumer
Protection, Contracts and Insurance. Listen in from the comfort of
your own office.

Today's Opinions: Month day, 2005
Volume 11 — Number xxx
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
01 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
09 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


STEPHANIE R. ROEDEL v. KEVIN M. ROEDEL

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Lee Ann Pafford Dobson, Germantown, Tennessee, for the appellant,
Stephanie R. Roedel.

Randall N. Songstad, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Kevin M.
Roedel.

Judge: FARMER

First Paragraph:

The trial court denied the parties a divorce upon finding the Wife
failed to prove inappropriate marital conduct.  We reverse and remand
for further proceedings.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JASON ALVIN AULT
CORRECTED OPINION

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Mark Stephens, Public Defender, and Anna Friedberg, Assistant Public
Defender, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jason Alvin Ault.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner,
Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney
General; and William Wallace, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

First Paragraph:

The Defendant, Jason Alvin Ault, pled guilty to reckless aggravated
assault, a Class D felony.  See Tenn. Code Ann. S 39-13-102(d)(1). 
The Defendant agreed to a sentence of four years with the manner of
service left to the trial court's determination.  After a sentencing
hearing, the trial court ordered the Defendant to serve his sentence
in the Department of Correction.  The Defendant now appeals,
contending that he should have been granted an alternative sentence. 
We reverse the trial court's order mandating that the sentence be
served in confinement and remand this matter for further findings.

CORRECTED OPINION
http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/aultjasona.wpd

CARLOS C. BEASLEY v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Paul Guibao, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Carlos C. Beasley.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis,
Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney
General; and Amy Weirich, Assistant District Attorney General, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

First Paragraph:

The Defendant was convicted by a jury of voluntary manslaughter and
especially aggravated robbery.  The Defendant received an effective
thirty-year sentence for these crimes.  This court affirmed the
judgments on direct appeal.  See State v. Carlos C. Beasley, No.
W1999-00426-CCA-R3-CD, 2000 WL 527715 (Tenn. Crim. App., Jackson, May
2, 2000).  The Defendant subsequently filed for post-conviction relief
on the ground that his trial lawyer provided ineffective assistance of
counsel.  After an evidentiary hearing, the trial court denied relief.
 This appeal followed.  We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

JAMES H. CRAWFORD V. STATE OF TENNESSEE
CORRECTED OPINION

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Mark H. Toohey, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellant, James H.
Crawford.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe,
Assistant Attorney General; Greeley Wells, District Attorney General;
and James Goodwin, Assistant District Attorney General, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

First Paragraph:

On March 23, 1998, The petitioner pled guilty to six (6) counts of
attempt to commit incest and six (6) counts of attempt to commit rape.
 He was sentenced to six (6) years for each count, all to be served
concurrently to each other.  On March 20, 2002, he filed a Petition
for Post-Conviction Relief.   He based his petition on two grounds of
relief, attorney misrepresentation and DNA analysis under Tennessee
Code Annotated section 40-30-403.  The trial court dismissed the
petition as time-barred on the attorney misrepresentation issue and as
not meeting the statutory requirements on the DNA issue.  The
petitioner appeals the trial court's decision.  We affirm the trial
court.

CORRECTED OPINION
http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/crawfordjames.wpd

THOMAS L. JACKSON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Michael Dunavant, Ripley, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Thomas L.
Jackson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Preston Shipp,
Assistant Attorney General; Elizabeth T. Rice, District Attorney
General; and Tracey Brewer, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

First Paragraph:

The Petitioner, Thomas L. Jackson, was convicted of possessing drugs
in a penal facility, and the trial court sentenced him to fifteen
years in prison.  This conviction was affirmed on direct appeal, and
the Tennessee Supreme Court denied the Petitioner's application for
permission to appeal.  The Petitioner subsequently filed a petition
for post-conviction relief, alleging that he was denied the effective
assistance of counsel, which the post-conviction court dismissed after
a hearing.  The Petitioner now appeals, contending that the
post-conviction court erred when it dismissed his petition.  Finding
no reversible error, we affirm the post-conviction court's judgment.

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

DARRELL JONES, JR. v. STATE OF TENNESSEE 

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Hallie H. McFadden, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Darrell
Jones, Jr.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael Moore,
Solicitor General; Seth P. Kestner, Assistant Attorney General;
William H. Cox III, District Attorney General; Jason Thomas and Neal
Pinkston, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the Appellee,
State of Tennessee.

Judge: HAYES

First Paragraph:

The Appellant, Darrell Jones, Jr., appeals the Hamilton County
Criminal Court's dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief.
 Jones was indicted for first degree murder; however, the plea
agreement permitted Jones to enter a guilty plea to the reduced charge
of second degree murder.  As part of the agreement, he accepted a
forty-five year sentence as a Range III offender despite only meeting
the statutory criteria for a Range I offender.  On appeal, Jones
raises the issue of whether trial counsel was ineffective for failing
to inform Jones of the ramifications of pleading outside his range. 
Following review of the record, we affirm the dismissal of the
petition.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. LARRIE MACLIN

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Lance R. Chism, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Larrie Maclin.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer,
Assistant Attorney General; Williams L. Gibbons, District Attorney
General; and Michelle Parks, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

First Paragraph:

A Shelby County jury found the Defendant, Larrie Maclin, guilty of
reckless aggravated assault and of being a felon in the possession of
a handgun.  The trial court sentenced the Defendant to four years for
the reckless aggravated assault conviction and two years for the felon
in possession of a handgun conviction, to be served concurrently.  On
appeal, the Defendant contends that: (1) the trial court erred by
denying the Defendant's motion to suppress the weapon found in the
Defendant's vehicle; (2) the trial court erred by failing to sever the
trials for the aggravated assault offense from the felon in possession
of a handgun offense; (3) the State did not fully comply with the
Defendant's request for discovery; (4) the admission of an unavailable
witness' statements violated the Defendant's right to confront all
witnesses; (5) the trial court erred by finding that a witness'
statements were excited utterances; (6) the trial court erred by
admitting evidence showing that the victim had subsequently died; (7)
the State violated an order of the trial court by questioning the
Defendant about the victim's death; (8) the trial court erred by
allowing the State to ask the Defendant if he was married at the time
he was sexually involved with the victim; (9) the trial court erred by
not allowing the Defendant to impeach a witness' credibility with a
prior conviction involving dishonesty; and (10) the trial court gave
improper jury instructions on reckless aggravated assault.  After
thoroughly reviewing the record and the applicable authorities, we
affirm the Defendant's conviction and sentence for the felon in
possession of a handgun conviction.  We conclude that the trial court
improperly instructed the jury on reckless aggravated assault. 
Further, having concluded that this instructional error was not
harmless beyond a reasonable doubt, we reverse the Defendant's
conviction for reckless aggravated assault and remand the case for a
new trial.

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

ERIC PHILLIPS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

John H. Parker, II, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Eric
Phillips.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer,
Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney
General; and Michael McCusker, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellee, the State of Tennessee

Judge: WOODALL

First Paragraph:

Petitioner, Eric Phillips, filed a petition for post-conviction
relief, which was subsequently amended.  Following an evidentiary
hearing, the petition for post-conviction relief was dismissed.  On
appeal, Petitioner argues that he received ineffective assistance of
counsel both at trial and on appeal.  After a thorough review of the
record, we find no error and affirm the judgment of the
post-conviction court.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DARREN PRICE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Robert Wilson Jones, District Public Defender, and W. Mark Ward and
Trent Hall, Assistant Public Defenders, for the appellant, Darren
Price.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Supporter; Renee W. Turner,
Assistant Attorney General;  William L. Gibbons, District Attorney
General; and Betsy Carnesdale, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellee, State of Tennessee

Judge: WILLIAMS

First Paragraph:

The defendant was found guilty of attempted first degree murder,
attempted especially aggravated kidnapping, and two counts of
aggravated robbery.  He contends on appeal that the evidence is
insufficient to support the convictions, that the trial court erred in
imposing consecutive sentencing, and that the defendant was sentenced
in violation of Blakely.  We affirm the judgments of the trial court
but remand for entry of corrected judgment forms to reflect that the
two convictions for aggravated robbery merge.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. LEONARD J. YOUNG

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Robert Wilson Jones, Shelby County Public Defender; W. Mark Ward, Tony
N. Brayton, and Garland Erguden, Assistant Public Defenders (on
appeal); and William Johnson and Diane Thackery, Assistant Public
Defenders (at trial), Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Leonard
J. Young.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore,
Solicitor General; Angele M. Gregory, Assistant Attorney General;
William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Amy Weirich and
Jennifer Nichols, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

First Paragraph:

The appellant, Leonard J. Young, appeals as of right his conviction
and sentence resulting from the 1999 murder of Hillary Johnson.  On
August 23, 2002, a Shelby County jury convicted the appellant of one
count of premeditated first degree murder, one count of especially
aggravated kidnapping, and one count of theft of property over
$1,000.00.  Following a separate sentencing hearing on August 24,
2002,  the jury unanimously found the presence of three statutory
aggravating circumstances: the appellant had previously been convicted
of a violent felony offense, the murder was committed to avoid
prosecution, and the murder was committed during the perpetration of a
theft.  See Tenn. Code Ann. S 39-13-204(i)(2), (6), (7) (Supp. 2002). 
The jury further determined that these aggravating circumstances
outweighed any mitigating circumstances and imposed a sentence of
death.  The trial court approved the sentencing verdict.  On November
8, 2002, the trial court entered judgments of conviction sentencing
the appellant to death for the murder, sixty years as a violent
offender for the especially aggravated kidnapping, and twelve years as
a career offender for the theft.  The sentences were ordered to be
served consecutively.  The appellant now appeals as of right,
presenting for our review the following issues: (1) whether the trial
court erred by denying the appellant's motion to suppress; (2) whether
the trial court erred by failing to declare a mistrial when as a
result of a death in his immediate family he was unable to continue to
preside over the trial; (3) whether the evidence was sufficient to
establish venue of the murder in Shelby County; (4) whether the
evidence was sufficient to support the appellant's conviction of
premeditated first degree murder; (5) whether the trial court erred by
permitting the State to introduce various photographs of the victim;
(6) whether the trial court erred by admitting certain victim impact
evidence; (7) whether the trial court's instruction to the jury that
the appellant's prior offenses were offenses in which the statutory
elements involved the use of violence violated the United States
Constitution; (8) whether the evidence was sufficient to support the
finding of the (i)(6) aggravating circumstance; and (9) whether
Tennessee's death penalty statutory scheme is unconstitutional. 
Finding no reversible error, we affirm the appellant's convictions and
sentence of death.

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

PLEASE FORWARD THIS E-MAIL!
Feel free to forward this Opinion Flash on to anyone you know of with an e-mail address.

GET A FULL-TEXT COPY OF AN OPINION!
See the intrsuctions at the beginning of this edition of Opinion Flash.

JOIN THE TENNESSEE BAR ASSOCIATION!
While Opinion Flash is a free service of the Tennessee Bar Association, you must be a member of the Tennessee Bar Association in order to access the full text of the opinions or enjoy the many other features of TBALink.

To join the TBA go to: http://www.tba.org/join_bar.mgi

SUBSCRIBE TO OPINION FLASH!
Would you like to receive the TBALink Opinion Flash free each day by e-mail? Anyone, whether a TBA member or not, is welcome to subscribe ... it's free! Sign up for text or HTML version.

Visit the TBALink web site at: http://www.tba.org/op-flash.mgi

UNSUBSCRIBE TO OPINION FLASH? ... SURELY NOT!
But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at: http://www.tba.org/op-flash.mgi

TBALink HomeContact UsPageFinderWhat's NewHelp

© Copyright 2005 Tennessee Bar Association