State to Share in $3 Billion From Drug Company

Tennessee will receive at least $13.5 million as part of one of the largest health care fraud agreements in U.S. history, Attorney General Bob Cooper announced today. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has agreed to pay $3 billion to the federal government and participating states nationally to resolve allegations that GSK engaged in various illegal schemes related to the marketing and pricing of drugs it manufactures. GlaxoSmithKline agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and to pay $1 billion in criminal fines and forfeitures for the illegal marketing and promotion of the drugs Paxil and Wellbutrin. DOJ officials said the company will pay an additional $2 billion to resolve civil allegations under the False Claims Act. The Blog of Legal Times has details

Today's Opinions

Click on the category of your choice to view summaries of today’s opinions from that court, or other body. A link at the end of each case summary will let you download the full opinion in PDF format.

01 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Workers Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
02 - TN Court of Appeals
03 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
08 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR
00 - TN Supreme Court - Disciplinary Orders









You can obtain full-text versions of the opinions two ways. We recommend that you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. 1) 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.


TN Supreme Court

SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS Grants & Denials List

Court: TN Supreme Court


TN Court of Appeals

IN RE ESTATE OF MARY GLADYS GIBSON

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Bobbie Bryant, Chattanooga, Tennessee, appellant, pro se.

Philip B. Whitaker, Jr., Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, Cynthia Jane Gibson.

Judge: MCCLARTY

This is an estate case in which Bobbie Bryant appeals the trial court’s affirmation of the fifth and final accounting of the deceased’s estate. Having concluded that the issues raised on appeal do not pertain to the fifth and final accounting of the estate, we affirm the decision of the trial court.


SIGNATURE DESIGNS GROUP, LLC v. WAYNE RAMKO AND DONNA RAMKO

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

G. Sumner R. Bouldin, Jr., Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the Defendant/Appellants Wayne Ramko and Donna Ramko

Mary Beth Hagan, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the Plaintiff/Appellee Signature Designs Group, LLC

Judge: KIRBY

This case involves an alleged breach of a construction contract. The plaintiff contractor entered into a fixed priced contract to build a custom home for the defendant homeowners. During the construction, the contractor told the homeowners that the project was under budget, and that they could apply the cushion in the budget toward upgrades. Many upgrades and additions outside the scope of the original contract were made. The project ended up over budget, and the homeowners refused to pay more than the fixed price of the contract. The contractor filed this lawsuit, alleging breach of contract. The homeowners counterclaimed for breach of contract, violation of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act, and fraudulent and/or negligent misrepresentation. After a bench trial, the trial court awarded the contractor some of the upgrade costs and dismissed the homeowners’ counterclaims. The homeowners now appeal. We reverse the award for the cost of the upgrades and remand for specific findings as to each upgrade or addition. In all other respects, the trial court’s order is affirmed.


TN Court of Criminal Appeals

CURTIS BEECHEM v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Michael Working, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Curtis Beechem.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Abby Wallace, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Petitioner, Curtis Beechem, pled guilty to first degree murder and attempted aggravated robbery. He received sentences of life for first degree murder and four years for attempted aggravated robbery to be served concurrently. In this appeal from the denial of the postconviction relief, Petitioner asserts that his guilty plea was not knowing and voluntary because the trial court and trial counsel misinformed him as to the length of his sentence. He also contends that he received ineffective assistance of counsel because counsel misinformed him as to the length of his sentence, and trial counsel failed to object to a statement made by the post-conviction court concerning the sentence. After a thorough review of the record, we conclude that Petitioner has failed to show that his guilty plea was not knowing and voluntary or that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. Therefore, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.


VINCENT D. HADLEY v. HENRY STEWARD, WARDEN

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Vincent D. Hadley, Henning, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; and D. Michael Dunavant, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Petitioner, Vincent D. Hadley, appeals from the trial court’s summary dismissal of the habeas corpus petition filed by Petitioner. Petitioner asserts on appeal that the indictment, which resulted in his guilty plea to felony murder in 1994, is defective and that the judgment is void. After reviewing the briefs of the parties and the entire record on appeal, we affirm the judgment of the habeas corpus court pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee.


LARRY C. PITTMAN v. HENRY STEWARD, WARDEN

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Larry C. Pittman, Henning, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Mark A. Fulks, Assistant Attorney General; and D. Michael Dunavant, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Petitioner, Larry C. Pitman, filed a petition for habeas corpus relief which the trial court summarily dismissed without an evidentiary hearing. The petition seeks to set aside Petitioner’s 2006 convictions for especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery. As pertinent to this appeal, Petitioner alleged that the indictment for each offense which led to his jury convictions is defective because each count of the indictment failed to allege at least one essential element of the criminal charge. After a thorough review of the briefs and the record on appeal, we affirm the judgment of the habeas corpus court.


TN Attorney General Opinions

Healthcare Liability Actions under the Tennessee Civil Justice Act of 2011

Court: TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2012-05-31

Opinion Number: 58


Tennessee Residency Requirements for Alcoholic Beverages Wholesalers and Retailers

Court: TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2012-06-06

Opinion Number: 59


Application of Open Meetings Act

Court: TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2012-06-06

Opinion Number: 60


Application of the Tennessee State Employees Uniform Nepotism Policy Act

Court: TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2012-06-07

Opinion Number: 61


Resolving Tie Votes for Elections in Single County or Civil Districts

Court: TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2012-06-07

Opinion Number: 62


Tennessee’s Compulsory School Attendance Requirement

Court: TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2012-06-13

Opinion Number: 63


Apportionment of Local Education Funding

Court: TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2012-06-25

Opinion Number: 64


Conflicts of Interest under Tenn. Code Ann. § 5-14-114

Court: TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2012-06-27

Opinion Number: 65


Editorial Praises New Judicial Conduct Rules

The Mountain Press gives a thumbs up to the Tennessee Supreme Court in an editorial, calling the new Code of Judicial Conduct significant, important and overdue.


Paul Phillips Retires, Niece Appointed to Fill Spot

Eighth Judicial District Attorney General Paul Phillips will retire this year after more than three decades of service. The job is going to stay in the family, though, as his replacement is his niece. Gov. Bill Haslam has appointed Lori Phillips-Jones, who is the daughter of U.S. District Court Judge Thomas W. Phillips, to fill the slot. She takes office Sept. 1 and will serve in that capacity until the 2014 election. The News Sentinel has more


Twitter Must Give Up Tweets in 'Occupy' Case

Twitter must give a court about three months' worth of an Occupy Wall Street protester's tweets, a judge said in a ruling released today after the company fought prosecutors' demand for the messages. Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Matthew A. Sciarrino Jr. rebuffed one of Twitter Inc.'s central arguments, the Associated Press reports, which concerned who has rights to contest law enforcement demands for content posted on its site.


Welfare Drug Testing Among New Laws Taking Effect

A measure to require drug testing as a condition for receiving welfare and the reduction of the sales tax on groceries are among new laws taking effect in Tennessee. The welfare legislation requires new welfare applicants to undergo a special screening process. If suspicion is raised after the screening, then the applicant will be tested for drugs. The proposal differs from an original version that would have required blanket testing. The Tennessean has more [subscription required]


Health Care Opinion Took Court Out of Political Fray

With last week's health care ruling, the National Law Journal points out that both wings took steps toward each other, which "kept the court from becoming a major political issue from now until the November election." "It was a moment in which the court was potentially in jeopardy, and that was completely sidestepped," said Barry Friedman of New York University School of Law. Another professor called the health care decision a "defining point avoided" because of the ramifications for the court if the health care decision had gone against President Obama, while another said the opinion was up there with Marbury v. Madison. But whether it's a ground-shifting is doubtful. "Roberts and several of the liberals have forged a working coalition here," Duke Law professor Neil Siegel said. "It's not likely you can say that's going to happen when they get to affirmative action or the Defense of Marriage Act. Roberts is a real conservative."


Qualities Needed in a Judge Examined to Help Voters Decide

To help readers decide who would be the best candidate in an area judicial race, the Jackson Sun talks to a judge and two law professors about what qualities makes a good judge. They discuss intelligence, courtroom experience, a patient temperament and independent thinking. There are six candidates for Circuit Court judge in Division III of Tennessee’s 26th District. The paper asked guidance from Judge Roy Morgan, Division I Circuit Court; Brian Fitzpatrick, an associate law professor at Vanderbilt University; and Daniel Schaffzin, assistant professor of law and director of clinical programs and externships at the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis.


'Journal' Heats Up With Alimony and More

The July Tennessee Bar Journal is hot with steamy details about alimony in Tennessee and how its laws have evolved along with family dynamics. Check out the article by Amy J. Amundsen and Mary L. Wagner. Jackie Dixon outlines her initiatives as the TBA’s new president — you may be surprised to learn that Grainger County tomatoes play a role. Columnists Wade V. Davies, Don Paine and Bill Haltom cover inadvertent admissions, venue in civil actions and how William Shakespeare fared in a recent plagiarism trial. Look in your mailbox or read it online. Remember, members who are logged in may comment at the end of the electronic articles, so let us hear from you.


Hickman County Lawyer Reinstated

Hickman County lawyer Douglas P. Nanney was reinstated to the practice of law by order of the Tennessee Supreme Court June 29. He had been suspended Feb. 3, 2005. He must still subject himself to monitoring by the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program and complete additional ethics and professionalism requirements with the Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization. Download the BPR release


 
 

Questions, comments: Email us at TBAToday@tnbar.org

About this publication: Today's News is a compilation of digests of news reports of interest to Tennessee lawyers compiled by TBA staff, links to digested press releases, and occasional stories about the TBA and other activities written by the TBA staff or members. Statements or opinions herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Tennessee Bar Association, its officers, board or staff.


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