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TODAY'S OPINIONS: Wednesday, September 14, 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
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
02 - TN Court of Appeals
01 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR

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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

TROY A. CLARK v. JENNIFER DAWN CLARK

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Andrew M. Cate, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Troy Allen Clark.

Alfred H. Knight, Mary Arline Evans, and Alan D. Johnson, Nashville, Tennessee, for theappellee, Jennifer Dawn Clark.

Judge: CLEMENT

This is an appeal from a divorce action in which the husband argues that the trial courtfailed to make an equitable division of the marital estate. Specifically, the husband challenges the trial courtās treatment of certain real property as the wifeās separate property, and hechallenges the valuation placed on their vehicles. Finding the appeal meritorious, we reverse and remand for a new division of the marital estate.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/2005/clarkt91405.pdf


SHIRLEY RUSSELL, Ph.D., ET AL. v. MEHARRY MEDICAL COLLEGE
WITH CONCURRING OPINION

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

John L. Norris and Christina Norris, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Shirley Russell,Ph.D., James Russell, Ph.D., Joel Trupin, Ph.D. and Steven Fredman, Ph.D.

Robert D. Tuke, Paul C. Ney, Jr., and W. Justin Adams, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee,Meharry Medical College.

Judge: CLEMENT

Plaintiff, a college professor, appeals the dismissal of her breach of employment contract actionupon summary judgment. She was employed by Meharry Medical College for thirty-three (33) years but was not tenured because the tenure program, adopted in 1984, was never implemented.She is seeking entitlement to formal tenure, or de facto tenure. She also seeks damages, claiming she was entitled to but did not receive twelve (12) months notice her contract of employmentwould not be renewed. The trial court found plaintiff had not attained de facto tenure and had waived her claim for tenure. It also held plaintiffās employment contract entitled her to six (6)months notice her employment would not be renewed and she the requisite notice. We affirm.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/2005/russells91405.pdf

CONCURRING OPINION
http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/2005/russells_con91405.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ROBERT HOOD

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Robert Wilson Jones, District Public Defender; Diane Thackery, Assistant Public Defender; Latonya Burrows, Assistant Public Defender (at trial); Tony N. Brayton, Assistant Public Defender; Garland

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Angele M. Gregory, Assistant AttorneyGeneral; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Amy Weirich and Gerald Harris, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

Capital Defendant, Robert Hood, appeals as of right his conviction of first degree murder andsentence of death resulting from the 2001 murder of Toni Banks. A Shelby County grand jury charged the defendant by indictment with one count of felony murder, one count of premeditatedmurder, two counts of misdemeanor theft of property, and two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping. On May 6, 2004, a Shelby County jury found the defendant guilty of both counts ofhomicide and guilty as to both counts of misdemeanor theft. The jury acquitted the defendant on both counts of aggravated kidnapping. After a separate sentencing hearing, the jury unanimouslyfound the presence of one statutory aggravating circumstance, that the defendant had previously been convicted of a violent felony offense. The jury further determined that this aggravatingcircumstance outweighed any mitigating circumstances beyond a reasonable doubt and imposed a sentence of death. The trial court approved the sentencing verdict. The defendant appealspresenting for our review the following issues: (1) whether the trial court erred by denying the defendantās request to proceed pro se, (2) whether the trial court erred by refusing to permitdefense counsel to withdraw, (3) whether the presence of uniformed detention response team members sitting on either side of the defendant throughout trial was prejudicial error, (4) whetherthe evidence is sufficient to support a verdict of premeditated murder, (5) whether the trial court erred in admitting evidence involving prior bad acts of the defendant, (6) whether the trial courtāsinstruction that the defendantās prior offenses were offenses whose statutory elements involved the use of violence violated the United States Constitution, (7) whether the death penaltyimposed in this case violated due process because the indictment failed to allege the aggravators relied upon by the state, and (8) whether Tennesseeās death penalty scheme is unconstitutional.Finding no error requiring reversal, we affirm the defendantās conviction and sentence of death.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/hoodr91405.pdf


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