Apple Wins Big in Patent Case, Seeks Injunction on Samsung Phones

Apple won a $1.05 billion victory Friday in its suit against Samsung, and today requested a preliminary injunction on eight out of 28 Samsung products found to be infringing Apple patents, the New York Times reports. If the jury award isn't brought down by post-trial motions or appeals it will be the largest patent verdict in history. The nine jurors in the case, who faced the daunting task of answering more than 700 questions on sometimes highly technical matters, returned a verdict after just three days of deliberations at a federal courthouse in San Jose, Calif.

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
04 - TN Court of Appeals
10 - 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









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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 SIDNEY WES JENKINS

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

H. Wayne Grant and Steven W. Grant, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Thelma Lucy Jenkins.

Donald (Trey) Winder, III., Athens, Tennessee, for the appellee, Sidney Wes Jenkins.

Judge: FRANKS

Claimant, the wife of decedent, filed a claim against his estate claiming that she loaned her husband monies over time, and his estate was indebted to her for the amount of the loans. The Trial Court heard testimony on the claim, and held that claimant failed to meet her burden of proof to establish that she had loaned monies to her husband. Claimant appealed, and we affirm the Trial Judge on the ground that the evidence does not preponderate against the Trial Court's factual determinations.

JAMES LYNCH, SR. v. CLEON PORTIS

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Ricky E. Wilkins and Sharon Harless Loy, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, James Lynch, Sr.

C. Michael Becker, Germantown, Tennessee, for the appellee, Cleon Portis.

Judge: FARMER

The trial court awarded summary judgment to Defendant on Plaintiff’s claim for property damages arising from a motor vehicle collision, finding that Plaintiff did not own the vehicle allegedly damaged. On appeal, Plaintiff asserts the trial court erred by awarding summary judgment to Defendant where ownership of the vehicle is a genuine issue of material fact. We reverse the award of summary judgment and remand for further proceedings.


RUTH MEADOWS, et al., v. JAMES W. SMITH

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

C. Douglas Fields, Crossville, Tennessee, for the appellants.

Susan K. Bilbrey and S. Roger York, Crossville, Tennessee, for the appellees, James W. Smith, Kendall Smith, Thomas Smith, and Michael Smith.

Howard Upchurch, Pikeville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Samantha Smith, Carrie Smith, and Michael Smith.

Judge: FRANKS

The dispute in this case is between siblings over whether an express trust was created at or before the mother, after the father's death, deeded the remainder of the parents' property to four of the children. Plaintiffs claim the four defendants created an oral express trust by agreeing to share the farm equally among all the children upon the mother's death. The Trial Court granted defendants summary judgment and plaintiffs have appealed. We vacate the Trial Court's Judgment on the grounds that there is disputed material evidence as to whether or not an express trust was created among the parties.


ESTATE OF DEOLA MILLER, ET AL. v. JIM RICE

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Nick T. Tooley, Clarksville, Tennessee, and Melanie Totty Cagle, Centerville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Estate of Deola Miller and Maury Miller.

L. Bruce Peden, Columbia, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Jim Rice.

Judge: DINKINS

Administrator of decedent’s estate who was also the sole heir-at-law of decedent asserted claim of breach of fiduciary duty against conservator for decedent. Following a trial, the court held that the claim was barred by res judicata; estate and administrator appeal. We affirm the dismissal of the action.


TN Court of Criminal Appeals

DERRANN WILLIAM ESTILL v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Susan L. Kay, Jake R. Hayes, and Nadia S. Mozaffar, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Derrann William Estill.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clark B. Thornton, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Amy Eisenbeck, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The Petitioner, Derrann William Estill, appeals the Davidson County Criminal Court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his conviction of especially aggravated kidnapping and resulting seventeen-year sentence. On appeal, the Petitioner contends that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel at trial and on appeal, that he is entitled to relief based upon cumulative error, and that the post-conviction court failed to address adequately his claims of due process violations. Based upon the oral arguments, the record, and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MARCUS TERRELL JOHNSON

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Mark Stephens. District Public Defender; and Jamie Niland, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Marcus Terrell Johnson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Philip H. Morton, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

Charged by the Knox County Criminal Court grand jury with the sale and delivery of cocaine, a Schedule II controlled substance, the defendant, Marcus Terrell Johnson, pleaded guilty to the sale of cocaine and agreed to a 10-year suspended sentence. The trial court entered the judgment on April 7, 2011, but on May 6, 2011, the State obtained a probation revocation warrant that alleged that the defendant had not reported for probation, that his whereabouts were unknown, and, by a later-filed amendment, that he was arrested for theft and did not report the arrest. Following a hearing, the trial court revoked the defendant’s probation and ordered him to serve his sentence in confinement. In his timely appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred by revoking the probation and ordering him into confinement. Because the record supports the trial court’s order, we affirm.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. NATHANIEL KELLY

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Lonnie Maze, III, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Nathaniel Kelly.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Jeffrey D. Zentner, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Rob McGuire, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: THOMAS

The Defendant, Nathaniel Kelly, appeals as of right from the Davidson County Criminal Court’s revocation of his community corrections sentence and order of incarceration. The Defendant contends (1) that the trial court abused its discretion in revoking his community corrections sentence and placing his original sentence into effect, instead of ordering a period of shock incarceration followed by release to community corrections, and (2) that the trial court did not issue a statement setting forth the evidence or factors it relied upon in making its determination to revoke his sentence. Following our review, we affirm the trial court’s revocation of the Defendant’s community corrections sentence.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. LAWRENCE V. KLINE

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Michael G. Hatmaker, Jacksboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lawrence V. Kline.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Nicholas W. Spangler, Assistant Attorney General; William Paul Phillips, District Attorney General; and Thomas Barclay, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

A Scott County Criminal Court jury convicted the defendant, Lawrence V. Kline, of one count of the sale of a schedule IV controlled substance (Xanax), and the trial court sentenced the defendant to two years as a Range I, standard offender to be served on probation. On appeal, the defendant argues that the trial court erroneously admitted into evidence the two Xanax pills. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOHN EDWARD LYNCH

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

James O. Martin, Nashville, Tennessee; and Andrew Jackson Dearing, District Public Defender, Shelbyville, Tennessee, (on appeal); and William J. Harold, Lewisburg, Tennessee, (at trial), for the appellant, John Edward Lynch.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lindsy Paduch Stempel, Assistant Attorney General; Charles Frank Crawford, Jr., District Attorney General; Weakley E. Barnard, Chris Collins, and Carey Kefauver, Assistant District Attorneys General; for the appellee, the State of Tennessee

Judge: WOODALL

A Marshall County Grand Jury returned two indictments against Defendant, John Edward Lynch, charging him with violation of the Habitual Motor Offenders Act (count one), eleventh offense driving under the influence of an intoxicant (DUI) (count two), and violation of the implied consent law (count three) in Case No. 08-CR-16 and felony failure to appear in Case No. 08-CR-98. Following two jury trials, Defendant was convicted of the offenses. He was sentenced to four years for violation of the Habitual Motor Offenders Act, three years for eleventh offense DUI, eleven months, twenty-nine days for violation of the implied consent law, and four years for felony failure to appear. The trial court ordered count three of case no. 08-CR-16 to run concurrently to count one, and the remaining counts in case nos. 08-CR-16 and 08-CR-98 were ordered to run consecutively with each other for an effective eleven-year sentence in the Department of Correction. On appeal, Defendant argues: (1) that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction for DUI; (2) that the trial court erred in denying his request for a jury instruction on necessity; (3) that the trial court erred in denying his request for a continuance in case no. 08-CR-98; and (4) that the trial court erred in imposing consecutive sentences. After a thorough review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DENNY JAMES McABEE

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Manuel B. Russ, Nashville, Tennessee, (on appeal), and Dawn Deaner, District Public Defender; and Lisa D’Souza, Assistant Public Defender, (at trial), for the appellant Denny James McAbee.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clark B. Thornton, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson, III, District Attorney General, and Rachel Sobrero, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Defendant, Denny James McAbee, was indicted by the Davidson County Grand Jury for the offenses of aggravated burglary, evading arrest, and criminal impersonation. Pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement, he pled guilty to aggravated burglary as a persistent offender with a range of punishment of not less than 12 years nor more than 15 years. According to the plea agreement, the exact length of the sentence and the manner of its service would be determined by the trial court after a sentencing hearing. The other charges were dismissed. The trial court sentenced Defendant to 14 years, rejected Defendant’s request to receive the only alternative sentence legally available, which was community corrections, and thus ordered Defendant to serve the sentence in the Department of Correction. On appeal, Defendant argues that the trial court should have ordered the sentence to be served in the community corrections program. Defendant does not contest the length of the sentence. After a thorough review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CARL RANDLE

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Gregory D. Gookin, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Carl Randle.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Nicholas W. Spangler, Assistant Attorney General; James G. Woodall, District Attorney General; and Shaun A. Brown, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

A Madison County jury convicted the Defendant, Carl Randle, of aggravated assault and attempted voluntary manslaughter. The trial court merged the convictions and ordered the Defendant to serve six years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. The Defendant appeals, arguing that the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction and that the trial court erred when it denied him an alternative sentence. Finding no error in the judgment of the trial court, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.


THANATH SAYADETH v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

James R. Smith, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant Thanath Sayadeth.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Meredith Devault, Assistant Attorney General; William C. Whitesell, Jr., District Attorney General, and J. Paul Newman, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Petitioner, Thanath Sayadeth, appeals from the post-conviction court’s dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief following an evidentiary hearing. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JAMES R. TROXELL

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

J. Liddell Kirk, Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal); and Thomas F. Eikenberry, LaFollette, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, James R. Troxell.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; William Paul Phillips, District Attorney General; and Scarlett W. Ellis, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

A Campbell County Criminal Court jury convicted the defendant, James R. Troxell, of two counts of rape of a child and one count of aggravated sexual battery. The trial court imposed a total effective sentence of 56 years’ incarceration. On appeal, the defendant contests the sufficiency of the evidence to support his convictions and the trial court’s allowing witness testimony which, the defendant alleges, improperly bolstered the victim’s testimony. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TRAVIS VAUGHN

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

James E. Lanier, District Public Defender, and Howell Tod Taylor, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Travis Vaughn.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; C. Phillip Bivens, District Attorney General; and Karen W. Burns, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant, Travis Vaughn, appeals the decision of the Dyer County Circuit Court revoking his probationary sentence. The defendant pled guilty in the Dyer County Circuit Court to three counts of non-support of a minor child and received three consecutive sentences of eleven months and twenty-nine days, all suspended to probation but for thirty days. Thereafter, a violation report was filed charging the defendant with multiple violations of the terms and conditions of his probation. Following a hearing, the trial court revoked the defendant’s probation and ordered him to serve the remainder of his sentence in incarceration. On appeal, the defendant contends: (1) that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to revoke his probation as the case was not properly commenced; and (2) that the determination to revoke was error as it conflicts with public policy. Following review of the record, we find no error and affirm the revocation of probation.


Official Investigation Opens into 10th District Allegations

The Tennessee Attorney General’s office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation today announced they have opened an investigation into allegations of misconduct and financial improprieties in the 10th Judicial District, the Times Free Press reports. On Saturday, three legislators also responded to allegations of legal and ethical impropriety surrounding 10th Judicial District Attorney General Steven Bebb. State Sen. Mike Bell, R-Riceville, House Judiciary Chair Rep. Eric Watson, R-Cleveland, and Rep. Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland, said impeachment proceedings could be started in January after the Tennessee General Assembly returns to session. “The integrity of the system of justice in the 10th District and in our state should not be determined by mere rumors, nor should the reputation of Steve Bebb," said Bell, who is secretary on the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Cleveland Daily Banner has more


Investiture Set in Chattanooga Next Week

The investiture ceremony for Judge Gary Starnes to the Hamilton County General Sessions Court, Division V,  will be Sept. 4. The event, which is open to the public and will include the swearing-in of other elected officials, is at 9 a.m. at the Chattanooga Trade and Convention Center, according to the Chattanooga Bar Association.


CASA Volunteers Have Emotional Job

The Jackson Sun looks at the 31 CASA volunteers who work with Judge Christy Little in the Madison County Juvenile Court System. Shannon Stewart, executive director of Madison County CASA, said the program does not get involved with a child unless Little has referred the case to CASA workers. “It’s a mix of happy and sad,” Little said of the process that can at times be "emotional roller-coaster" for her and case workers because of the horrific situations children have faced.


Challenger Announces 2014 Run for Brown's Seat

A Johnson City assistant district attorney general, Dennis Brooks, has announced he will seek the Criminal Court, Part II, judgeship in 2014. It is the seat held since 1988 by Judge Lynn Brown. Brooks said he is starting his campaign so early because he has little money to advertise and a lot of work to do getting his name known to approximately 30,000 active voters in the four counties. His printed campaign materials say Brown is "mishandling the job." Johnson City Press has more


Killian Speaks at Islamic Center Opening

U.S. Attorney Bill Killian gave welcoming remarks at the grand opening of the Chattanooga Islamic Center on Saturday. Federal, state and local officials, law enforcement officers and representatives of numerous religious groups were among the 250 people  attending the event, the Chattanoogan reports.


Duncan Law Students Sworn In

Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Gary R. Wade recently swore in six Lincoln Memorial University Duncan School of Law students, granting them the privilege to practice law as students, under Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 7 Section 10.03. The rule allows a law student -- in good standing with one-half or more of the legal studies required for graduation from any school of law from which a graduate is eligible to take the Tennessee bar examination -- to be granted approval to provide legal services in a limited capacity. Although the school is in a battle with the American Bar Association over accreditation, Duncan has Tennessee Board of Law Examiners approval through 2017 so students may apply to sit for the bar exam in Tennessee. Its inaugural class is slated to graduate in 2013. The Claiborne Progress reports


Baumgartner in Court Disputing Federal Charge

U.S. Magistrate Judge Clifford Shirley today heard a defense appeal to toss out a case against former Knox County Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner. Defense attorneys Donald A. Bosch and Ann Short say the federal charge against Baumgartner is legally flawed, contending he did not commit a federal crime because he did not lie to federal authorities. Assistant U.S attorneys David Lewen and Zachary Bolitho disagree, saying Baumgartner was part of a drug distribution conspiracy and lied to protect it. Shirley took the issue under advisement and will issue a written ruling later, the News Sentinel reports.


Defense Attorneys Look for Compromise in Logjam

Chattanooga defense attorneys were granted several days to work out a compromise in the conflict that has caused a logjam in Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman's courtroom. Public Defender Ardena Garth has sought to have Judge Steelman recuse himself from 150 cases of indigent defendants, saying he has been "venomous" toward her office and is biased against her and her staff. Members of the local chapter of the Tennessee Criminal Defense Attorneys Association offered to look for middle ground in the conflict and hope to have a proposal in the next couple of days, the Chattanoogan.com website reports.


 
 

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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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