Learn all about the new Bankruptcy Act in TennBarU's 8-part TeleSeminar Series

This special series of 1.25-hour teleseminars will provide a detailed, practice-level examination of the new Bankruptcy Act and its changes to existing law. Choose the course or courses you need for your practice, with topics tackling both consumer and businesses issues.

https://www.tba.org/onsiteinfo/teleseminars/bankruptcy_05.html

  
TODAY'S OPINIONS: Monday, October 03, 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
01 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
05 - TN Court of Appeals
04 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
01 - 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

JOSEPH ALLEN LEDFORD v. AMERICAN MOTORIST INSURANCE COMPANY, ET AL.

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

Roger L. Ridenour, Clinton, Tennessee, for Appellant, Joseph Allen Ledford.

Authur G. Seymour, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for Appellees American Motorist Insurance Company and Vinylex Corporation.

Judge: THAYER

This workersā compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workersā Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. ¤ 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The trial court awarded the employee 20 percent permanent partial disability to the body as a whole. Plaintiff contends he should have received an award for total permanent disability. Judgment is affirmed.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2005/ledfordj10305.pdf


SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS

Court: TSC-Rules

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_Rules/2005/certlist100305.pdf

CHARLES E. CREWS, D/B/A DEXTER RIDGE SHOPPING CENTER. v.MICHAEL L. CAHHAL, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Keith V. Moore of Memphis, Tennessee for Appellants, Michael L. Cahhal, Bobbie S. Cahhal,Nancy Nichols, R. Bret Taylor, Kenneth Hill and Evelyn Lorraine Hendrix

Julie C. Bartholomew of Somerville, Tennessee for Appellee, Charles E. Crews d/b/a DexterRidge Shopping Center

Judge: CRAWFORD

This Court reversed a judgment of dismissal of Plaintiffās action and remanded the case for further proceedings. On remand, the court entered judgment for Plaintiff, as authorized by the appellate court, and also, on motion of Plaintiff, awarded attorney fees for the appeal. Defendant-Appellants appeal, asserting that the award of attorney fees was not authorized by the appellate court and, therefore, the trial court did not have authority to award same. Appellants also assert that the award of attorney fees was excessive, and Appellee asserts, in a separate issue, that the award of fees was inadequate. Both parties appeal. We affirm.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/2005/crewsc10305.pdf


MINNA E. H. EVANS v. STEVEN WINTROW ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Joel H. Moseley, Sr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Robert S. Jernigan.

Fletcher W. Long and Martin A. Kooperman, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Minna E.H. Evans.

Judge: KOCH

This appeal arises from a dispute between an investor and the owners of several failed businessventures. The investor filed suit in the Chancery Court for Davidson County against her erstwhile business colleagues seeking to recover damages for breach of contract and conversion.A jury awarded the investor $86,691.82 in compensatory damages and $40,000.00 in punitive damages. One of the defendants appealed. We have determined that the judgment must bereversed because of inconsistencies in the juryās verdict caused by ambiguous special interrogatories.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/2005/evansm10305.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE EX REL. DEBRA MARDIS v. DAVID MARDIS

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Stuart F. Wilson-Patton, Senior Counsel, for the appellant, State of Tennessee, ex. rel. Debra Mardis.



Judge: COTTRELL

The Juvenile Court reduced the monthly amount of child support the father was obligated to pay from $345 to $130. The State of Tennessee, acting under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, appealed the trial courtās determination. The State argues that the court should have either maintained the fatherās support obligation at the presumptive level of $345 or deviated downward from the guidelines in accordance with the method enunciated by this court in the case of Casteel v. Casteel. Although the trial court impermissibly used the motherās income as a factor in calculating support, father was entitled to a downward deviation, and the amount awarded was within guiding legal principles. Accordingly, we affirm.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/2005/mardisd10305.pdf


ROKETA MASON, A MINOR BY YOLANDA MASON, AS NEXT FRIEND AND NATURAL MOTHER, AND YOLANDA MASON,INDIVIDUALLY v. METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY, TENNESSEE

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

John L. Kennedy and Lora A. Fox, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, MetropolitanGovernment of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee.

Joseph P. Bednarz, Sr., and Joseph P. Bednarz, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees,Roketa Mason and Yolanda Mason.

Judge: CLEMENT

Plaintiff, a tenth grade high school student, was attacked while riding the school bus. She wasseriously injured by another student using a razor provided by the school as part of the cosmetology curriculum. Plaintiff filed this action against the school system alleging negligencefor failure to properly supervise students using dangerous instructional instruments and for violation of the schoolās zero tolerance policy by permitting students to take razors to and fromschool, thereby permitting the attacker to have the razor on the school bus where the attack occurred. Following a bench trial, plaintiff was awarded a judgment of $80,000 from whichdefendant appeals. Finding the school system is not liable for the injuries suffered by the plaintiff, we vacate the judgment and remand with instructions to enter an order dismissing theaction.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/2005/masonr10305.pdf


LESLEY LAPOINTE WALKER v. KENNETH WAYNE WALKER

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Robin McKinney, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellant, Kenneth Wayne Walker.

D.Scott Parsley, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellee, Lesley LaPointe Walker.

Judge: CAIN

Appellant was held in criminal contempt of court for failure to pay alimony. We affirm the action of the trial court and find the appeal to be frivolous.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/2005/walkerl10305.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TERESA C. GRAVES

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Kathy D. Aslinger, Assistant Attorney General; Scott McCluen, District Attorney General; and Roger Delp, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant/appellee, State of Tennessee.

Mary Katherine Longworth, Loudon, Tennessee, for the appellee/appellant, Teresa C. Graves.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Teresa C. Graves, was convicted of theft of property over $1,000 but less than $10,000, a Class D felony, for which she was sentenced as a Range III, persistent offender, to nine years in the Department of Correction. The defendant was granted a delayed right of appeal and raises two issues: (1) whether she should be given a new trial because of ineffective assistance of counsel; and (2) whether the evidence is sufficient to support her conviction. The State also appeals and raises two issues: (1) whether the delayed appeal is time barred by the post-conviction statute of limitations; and (2) whether the trial court erred by not sentencing the defendant as a career offender. Following our review, we conclude that (1) the defendantās delayed appeal is not barred by the post-conviction statute of limitations; (2) the defendantās ineffective assistance of counsel claim is not properly before this court; (3) the evidence is sufficient to support the defendantās conviction; and (4) the defendant should have been sentenced as a career offender. Therefore, we remand to the trial court for resentencing as a career offender.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/gravest10305.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ANTHONY GRIFFIN
WITH CONCURRING OPINION

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

C. Anne Tipton, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Anthony Griffin.

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

Judge: SMITH

The appellant, Anthony Griffin, was convicted by a jury of aggravated assault and felony evading arrest. After the trial, the trial court set aside the conviction for aggravated assault. The appellant was sentenced to twelve (12) years as a career offender for the Class D felony evading arrest conviction. After the denial of a motion for new trial, this appeal ensued. On appeal, the appellant argues that the trial court failed to properly instruct the jury on the lesser-included offenses of evading arrest and that he was improperly sentenced as a career offender. For the following reasons, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/griffina10305.pdf

CONCURRING OPINION
http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/griffina_con10305.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. GARY STEPHEN MAYES

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

J. Liddell Kirk, Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal); David D. Skidmore, Assistant Public Defender, and Stephen Burroughs, Knoxville, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, Gary Stephen Mayes.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Leland L. Price and Debbie Herron, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Gary Stephen Mayes, was indicted by the Knox County Grand Jury on two counts of especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor, a Class B felony, and one count of stalking, a Class E felony. The trial court dismissed one of the sexual exploitation counts at the end of the Stateās proof; and, at the conclusion of the trial, the jury convicted the defendant of the remaining sexual exploitation count but acquitted him of the stalking count. The trial court subsequently sentenced the defendant as a repeat, violent offender to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, pursuant to the provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-35-120. In a timely appeal to this court, the defendant raises the following issues: (1) whether the trial court erred by not severing the stalking count of the indictment; (2) whether the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress the videotape he made of the child victims; and (3) whether the evidence was sufficient to sustain his conviction. Following our review, we conclude that the trial court committed harmless error by not severing the stalking offense, that it properly denied the defendantās motion to suppress the videotape, and that the evidence is sufficient to sustain the defendantās conviction. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/mayesg10305.pdf


LESTER P. PARKER, III v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Boyd Venable, III, Knoxville, Tennessee; and Michael Meares, Maryville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Lester P. Parker, III.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Michael L. Flynn, District Attorney General; and Tammy Harrington and Robert Headrick, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The petitioner, Lester P. Parker, III, appeals the Blount County Circuit Courtās denial of postconviction relief. His post-conviction relief petition attacked his 1997 conviction of attempt to possess cocaine with intent to deliver, as a result of which he received a two-year suspended sentence. His post-conviction claims of the stateās suppression of exculpatory evidence and of ineffective assistance of trial counsel are spiced with allegations that the prosecution was the result of conspiratorial retaliation for his championing a fight against corruption in the Alcoa Police Department. The post-conviction court denied relief, and we affirm.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/parkerl10305.pdf


JUDICIAL ETHICS COMMITTEE ADVISORY OPINION NO. 05-01

Court: JEO

Attorneys:





Judge: GLENN

The Committee has been asked to render an opinion as to what law practice limitations apply as the result of an attorneyās becoming a part-time divorce referee and whether the Canons of Judicial Ethics apply to such a person.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/Ethics/2005/05-01_10305.pdf


  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 instructions 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