2004: Tennessee Supreme Court in Review

What were the key decisions coming out of the Tennessee Supreme Court during 2004? And what do you need to learn from them for your practice? A new TennBarU online course has the answers. Tennessee Attorneys Memo Editor and TennBarU faculty member Virginia Mayo takes you through the court year, analyzing cases dealing with torts, workers' compensation, contracts, taxation, property, family law, criminal law, criminal procedure, and post-conviction relief.

http://www.tennbaru.com/

  
TODAY'S OPINIONS: Thursday, September 22, 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
01 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
04 - TN Court of Appeals
00 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR

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

LARRY HOPPER V. OSHKOSH B‚GOSH AND STATE OF TENNESSEEDEPARTMENT OF LABOR, DIVISION OF WORKERS‚ COMPENSATION, SECOND INJURY FUND

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

Dianne Stamey Dycus, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, TN, for the appellant, SecondInjury Fund.

William J. Butler, Farrar, Holliman, & Butler, Lafayette, TN, for the appellee, Larry Hopper.

Judge: Daniel

This case is before the Court upon the entire record, including the order of referral to theSpecial Workers‚ Compensation Appeals Panel, in compliance with Tennessee Code Annotated § 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. Mr.Hopper injured his back February 19, 1996 while working in the warehouse of his employer. On November 17, 1997 Mr. Hopper settled this claim for 20% vocational disability. All told, Mr.Hopper initiated four workers‚ compensation claims during his employment with OshKosh resulting in 100% vocational disability. Several years later, after he lost his job with OshKosh,Mr. Hopper filed a motion to reconsider his earlier settlement of the February 19, 1996 claim against the Second Injury Fund only. The trial court granted this relief, increased Mr. Hopper‚svocational disability by 30%, and assigned liability to the Second Injury Fund. The Second Injury Fund appeals on the grounds that the employee‚s motion was untimely, that the trial courtdid not have subject matter jurisdiction because the employee had suffered subsequent injuries, and that the evidence preponderated against increasing the employee‚s vocational disability.After carefully reviewing the record, we reverse the trial court‚s judgment.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2005/hopperl92205.pdf


C. R. BATTS CONSTRUCTION, LLC v. 101 CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Henry Haile, Nashville, TN, for Appellant

John W. Rodgers, Murfreesboro, TN, for Appellee

Judge: HIGHERS

This appeal arises out of a breach of contract action filed by the plaintiff against the defendants. After a hearing, the trial court entered a judgment in favor of the plaintiff, awarding the plaintiff $24,260.11. Additionally, the trial court awarded the plaintiff pre-judgment interest in the amount of $5,579.82. The defendants have appealed to this Court. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/2005/crbatts92205.pdf


FORD MOTOR CREDIT COMPANY v. RUTH E. JOHNSON, COMMISSIONER OF REVENUE, STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Michael D. Sontag and Christopher L. Haley, Nashville, Tennessee, attorneys for appellant, FordMotor Credit Company.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; MaryEllen Knack, Assistant Attorney, General for appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: INMAN

Ford vehicles leased by its dealers are simultaneously purchased by Ford Credit, a wholly ownedsubsidiary of the Ford Motor Company. Ford Credit is subject to a franchise tax which is determined by the book value of its tangible personal property owned or used in Tennessee. Ifthe leased vehicles are finished goods inventory, their value is excluded from the calculation of franchise taxes. The trial court ruled that the leased vehicles were not held by Ford Credit forsale, and thus did not qualify as finished goods inventory. Ford Credit appeals. The judgment is affirmed.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/2005/fordmotor92205.pdf


MUREL LAUGHLIN v. CHERYL M. FILLERS

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

J. Russell Pryor, Greeneville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Murel Laughlin.

Thomas L. Kilday, Greeneville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Cheryl M. Fillers.

Judge: SWINEY

In 1997, a car driven by Cheryl M. Fillers („Defendantš) crossed into the on-coming lane of traffic and collided with a wrecker driven by Murel Laughlin („Plaintiffš). Plaintiff sued and the case was tried before a jury. At the close of proof, the Trial Court directed a verdict on the issue of liability in favor of Plaintiff. The jury returned its verdict, and a judgment was entered in accordance with the verdict in September 2004, awarding Plaintiff damages for, among other things, damage to his wrecker. Plaintiff filed a motion for new trial or to alter or amend the judgment. The Trial Court denied the motion for new trial or to alter or amend, and specifically approved the verdict of the jury. Plaintiff appeals claiming that the award for damages to his wrecker was inadequate and insufficient as a matter of law, and that the Trial Court erred in refusing to grant a new trial based upon alleged improper and inflammatory statements made by defense counsel in the presence of the jury. We affirm.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/2005/laughlinm92205.pdf


TERESA ANN (WOODBY) WILSON v. JOHN GREGORY WILSON
OPINION ON MOTION TO AWARD ATTORNEY FEES

Court: TCA

Attorneys:





Judge: CLEMENT

Appellant, Teresa Ann (Woodby) Wilson, filed a motion on September 19, 2005 asking the court to address her request for attorney fees incurred on appeal. Appellant properly raised the issue in her brief and the court failed to address the issue in the opinion filed on September 12, 2005.

OPINION ON MOTION TO AWARD ATTORNEY FEES
http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/2005/wilsont92205.pdf


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