CLE: Get Up to Date on Elder Law

Learn the most up-to-date information concerning laws, regulations and guidelines affecting seniors who reside in Tennessee at the TBA's Annual Elder Law Forum this Friday in Nashville. This day-long program presented by the TBA's Elder Law Section will have sessions on: Estate Recovery after Tanner -- the State’s perspective; Medicaid Planning Basics and Beyond; Judges Panel on the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act “UAGPPJA;” and Revisiting the Choices Program -- What’s new? Find out more or register now.

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
00 - TN Court of Appeals
08 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - 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 Criminal Appeals

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. GARY ALLEN CARLTON

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Rob McKinney, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Gary Allen Carlton.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson III, District Attorney General; and Brian Ewald, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: BIVINS

Gary Allen Carlton (“the Defendant”) was convicted after a bench trial of one count of impersonating a licenced professional and one count of violating the Home Improvement Contractors Licensing Act. After a hearing, the trial court sentenced the Defendant to an effective term of two years, with 120 days to be served and the remainder on probation. The Defendant has appealed, challenging the sufficiency of the evidence and his sentence. Upon our thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


ALAN RAY HALL v. HOWARD CARLTON, WARDEN

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Alan Ray Hall, Mountain City, Tennessee, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; and Rachel Harmon, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The petitioner, Alan Ray Hall, filed a petition for habeas corpus relief from his conviction of first degree murder, contending that the trial court erroneously advised him during the plea proceedings that he was potentially eligible for release after service of twenty-five years of his life sentence. The habeas corpus court dismissed the petition, finding that the issue was previously determined, that the judgment was not void, and that the sentence had not expired. The petitioner appeals this ruling. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the habeas corpus court.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. NICHOLAS LARSEN

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Blake D. Ballin, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Defendant-Appellant, Nicholas Larsen.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Susan L. Taylor, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCMULLEN

The Defendant-Appellant, Nicholas Larsen, entered a guilty plea to driving under the influence of an intoxicant (DUI), a Class A misdemeanor, after the trial court denied his motion to dismiss the indictment. The transcript from the guilty plea hearing indicates that Larsen attempted to reserve a certified question of law on appeal pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 37. Although the judgment form references an attachment setting out Larsen’s certified question of law, no such attachment appears in the appellate record. Moreover, the record contains no corrective order filed prior to the filing of the notice of appeal in this case. Because Larsen failed to properly reserve a certified question, the appeal is dismissed.


RHONDA MEDLEY v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Hershell D. Koger, Pulaski, Tennessee, for the appellant, Rhonda Medley.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Meredith Devault, Senior Counsel; Charles Crawford, District Attorney General; Michael Randles, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: BIVINS

Rhonda Medley (“the petitioner” or “the defendant”) was convicted by a jury of five counts of rape of a child. Her convictions were affirmed on appeal. She filed the instant petition for post-conviction relief alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. The post-conviction court denied relief following an evidentiary hearing. On appeal, she asserts that her trial counsel performed ineffectively by failing to advise her properly regarding her right to testify at trial and by failing to call certain witnesses. After a careful review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RAY JEROME ODOM

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Mark A. Kovach, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ray Jerome Odom.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Renee Erb, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Defendant, Ray Jerome Odom, was indicted by the Davidson County Grand Jury for first degree premeditated murder, felony murder, and aggravated assault. The trial court granted Defendant’s motion for judgment of acquittal as to felony murder and aggravated assault. Defendant was convicted by a jury of the lesser included offense of second degree murder and sentenced by the trial court to 18 years confinement, to be served at 100 percent. In this appeal as of right, Defendant challenges the sufficiency of the convicting evidence. After a careful review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JEFFREY O. SHORT a.k.a. JEFFERY O’NEAL SHORT a.k.a. JEFFREY ONEAL SHORT

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

John G. McDougal, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Defendant-Appellant, Jeffrey O. Short.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, III, District Attorney General; and Bret Alexander, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCMULLEN

The Defendant-Appellant, Jeffrey O. Short a.k.a. Jeffery O’Neal Short a.k.a. Jeffrey Oneal Short, pleaded guilty in the Hamilton County Criminal Court to two counts of burglary of a business, a Class D felony. The sole issue presented for our review is whether the trial court erred in ordering Short to serve the sentences consecutively. Upon review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOSEPH ALFONSO SIGALA

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Venus Niner, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Joseph Alfonso Sigala.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Rachel Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; Kim Helper, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: BIVINS

Joseph Alfonso Sigala (“the Defendant”) pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated burglary and two counts of theft between $1,000 and $10,000, but the plea left open the issue of sentencing. Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court ordered the Defendant to serve an effective five-and-a-half-year sentence in confinement. The Defendant appeals, arguing that the trial court erred by: (1) admitting the Defendant’s social networking web page as an exhibit; (2) denying judicial diversion; (3) improperly applying the statutory enhancing and mitigating factors; (4) finding that the Defendant lacked credibility; and (5) denying the Defendant probation. Upon a thorough review of the record and the applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ANTHONY LAREN TWEEDY, II

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Gregory D. Gookin, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Anthony Laren Tweedy, II.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Senior Counsel; James G. Woodall, District Attorney General; and Brian Gilliam, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: BIVINS

Anthony Laren Tweedy, II (“the Defendant”) was convicted of initiation of a process to manufacture methamphetamine, manufacture of methamphetamine, felony possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of marijuana. On appeal, the Defendant requests that this Court, under a plain error review, dismiss his conviction for manufacture of methamphetamine. He also asserts that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support his convictions for initiation of a process to manufacture methamphetamine, manufacture of methamphetamine, and felony possession of drug paraphernalia. The Defendant does not appeal his conviction for possession of marijuana. After a thorough review of the record and the applicable law, we affirm the Defendant’s conviction for initiation of a process to manufacture methamphetamine. We also reduce his conviction from felony to misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and affirm as modified. However, we reverse and dismiss the Defendant’s conviction for manufacture of methamphetamine.


Today's News

Carter Named District Attorney for 17th District

Robert Carter on Friday was named by Gov. Bill Haslam to succeed 17th Judicial District Attorney General Chuck Crawford, who is resigning effective July 31. Carter, 31, of Fayetteville, will serve the unexpired portion of Crawford's term as district attorney until results of the August 2014 election take effect. The Marshall County Tribune reports that Carter has been an assistant district attorney since 2010, most recently prosecuting DUI cases and previously working in the child support division.


Woman Who Sent Child to Russia Must Pay Support, Court Rules

The Shelbyville woman who backed out of her adoption of a 7-year-old Russian boy by putting him on a plane to Moscow has lost her bid to keep from paying $150,000 in child support, the New York Times reports.


Baker Names New Managing Shareholder in Chattanooga

Russell Gray has been named managing shareholder of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz’s Chattanooga office. Gray assumes the role held for seven years by Joe Conner, who will continue his commercial litigation practice with the firm. Read more about Gray in the Hamilton County Herald.


Sentencing Rescheduled in Basketball Player Slaying Case

Sentencing for Shanterrica Madden, convicted in the killing of her college roommate, MTSU basketball player Tina Stewart, has been rescheduled to Tuesday. The sentencing hearing will begin at 9 a.m. in Circuit Court Judge Don Ash’s courtroom, the Daily News Journal reports.


Rhea Courthouse Preservation Urged

With Rhea County commissioners looking at construction of a new justice center, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that officials and historical preservation activists are asking them to keep the old structure in mind as they make their plans. "The courthouse is like any other building. If it is not used, it will deteriorate and collapse. We don't want that to happen,” Tom Davis, chair of the Rhea County Historical and Genealogical Society's board says.


Incoming DA Encourages Involvement in Fight Against Alcohol, Drug Abuse

Recently appointed Eighth Judicial District District Attorney General Lori Jones rallied support for the Stand in the Gap anti-drug program Sunday. Other counties taking part in the coalition include Claiborne, Campbell, Hawkins, Hancock, Union, along with Lee County, Va., and Bell County, Ky. Learn more about he coalition’s efforts from the Claiborne Progress.


Memphis Attorney Brings Faith, Fight to Battle With Cancer

Memphis attorney Elizabeth Collins has taken the drive and competitive nature from the courtroom to her battle with cancer. That, plus a strong faith and treatment from the MD Anderson Cancer Center, have kept her in practice now eight years following an initial diagnosis that said she only had three to six months to live. The Commercial Appeal tells us more of her inspiring story.


Judge Asks for Help in Sumner County Juvenile Court

Sumner County commissioners were expected to vote today on whether to add resources to the county’s Juvenile Court in an effort to reduce the current backlog of cases. Sumner County General Sessions Judge Barry Brown asked commissioners to change a part-time magistrate position to full-time because he said the backlog can put children in danger and delay decisions in sensitive cases involving families, WKRN-TV reports.


Shelby Race Shows Incumbent With Big Lead in $$$

Fundraising in Shelby County’s district attorney general’s race is heavily lopsided, with incumbent Amy Weirich already bringing in more than $250,000, while her challenger, Memphis lawyer and former state legislator Carol Chumney, has only brought in about $3,500, the Commercial Appeal reports. Political analysts look at whether Chumney’s name recognition will let her overcome the fundraising disadvantage.


 
 

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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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