Apply by Nov. 9 for Circuit Court Position

The Judicial Nominating Commission has announced procedures for filling a vacany in the Sixth Judicial District Circuit Court following the retirement of Judge Wheeler A. Rosenbalm. Applications are due Nov. 9. The successful applicant will take office Jan. 1, 2013. Learn more about the position and download application forms on the AOC website.

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.

00 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Workers Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
03 - TN Court of Appeals
03 - 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 Court of Appeals

AMANDA JANE (FILLERS) CRUM v. ARVIN DWAYNE FILLERS

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Francis X. Santore, Jr., Greeneville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Arvin Dwayne Fillers.

Duncan C. Cave, Greeneville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Amanda Jane (Fillers) Crum.

Judge: MCCLARTY

In this post-divorce case, Mother sought to modify the existing custody arrangement relating to the Children that she shared with Father. At the time of divorce, the parties agreed to equal co-parenting time but designated Mother as the primary residential parent. Mother filed a petition to modify the parenting plan, alleging that a material change in circumstances had occurred. Father objected. The trial court held that there had been a material change of circumstances and that it was in the best interest of the Children to modify the parenting plan as Mother requested. Father appeals the court’s modification decision. We affirm the decision of the trial court.


KIMBERLY CUSTIS v. METROPOLITAN NASHVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Elliot Ozment, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kimberly Custis.

Saul Solomon, Lora Barkenbus Fox and Jeff Campbell, Metropolitan Nashville Department of Law, for the appellee, The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.

Judge: CANTRELL

This case involves a claim for attorney’s fees and costs under the Public Records Act. The trial court declined to award fees and costs to appellant under Tenn.Code Ann. § 10-7- 505(g), which requires a finding of a willful and knowing failure to comply with requests filed pursuant to the Act. We conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying an award of attorney’s fees and costs because the court made specific findings concerning the willfulness of appellee’s failure to respond, and the evidence does not preponderate against those findings. Affirmed.


DAMON GORBET v. TIFFANY GORBET

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

David W. Camp, Jackson, Tennessee, for the Petitioner/Appellant Damon Gorbet

Edward M. Bearman, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Respondent/Appellee Tiffany Gorbet

Judge: KIRBY

This is a divorce case. Prior to the parties’ marriage, the wife lived in Arkansas and the husband lived in Tennessee. When the parties married, the wife quit her job in Arkansas and the parties moved into a house in Tennessee. They separated after just seven months of marriage, and the husband filed this complaint for divorce. After a two-day trial, the trial court declared the parties divorced and equitably divided the parties’ marital property. The trial court awarded the wife transitional alimony, attorney fees as alimony in solido, and moving expenses for the wife to return to Arkansas. The husband now appeals. Discerning no error, we affirm.


TN Court of Criminal Appeals

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MATTHEW BRIAN GRAHAM

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Luke A. Evans (at hearing and on appeal) and James T. Pinson (on appeal), Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Matthew Brian Graham.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clark B. Thornton, Assistant Attorney General; William Whitesell, District Attorney General; and Laural A. Hemenway, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The Defendant, Matthew Brian Graham, appeals the Rutherford County Circuit Court’s order revoking his probation for one count of attempted child abuse and three counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and ordering the remainder of his effective eight-year sentence into execution. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.


GERRY HOOVER v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

John H. Norton, III, Shelbyville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Gerry Hoover.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; C. Michael “Mickey” Layne, District Attorney General; and Jason M. Ponder, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: DANIEL

Petitioner, Gerry Hoover, was convicted by a Coffee County jury of three counts of rape of a child. He was sentenced to an effective sentence of forty-eight years. Petitioner’s convictions and sentence were affirmed on appeal. See State v. Gerry Hoover, No. M2007- 01595-CCA-R3-CD, 2008 WL 768928, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Nashville, Mar. 25, 2008), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Sept. 29, 2008). Petitioner subsequently sought postconviction relief on the basis of ineffective assistance of counsel. After a hearing, the postconviction court denied relief. Petitioner appeals. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. BOBBY A. RAYMER

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Heather Haufler, Hendersonville, Tennessee (on appeal); and Randy P. Lucas, Gallatin, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, Bobby A. Raymer.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; Lawrence Ray Whitley, District Attorney General; and Lytle Anthony James, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: PAGE

A Sumner County grand jury indicted appellant, Bobby A. Raymer, for one count of especially aggravated kidnapping and one count of aggravated robbery, and a jury found him guilty of both counts. The trial court imposed an effective sentence of thirty years to be served at 100% release eligibility. On appeal, appellant raises the following issues: (1) whether the evidence was sufficient to sustain his convictions; (2) whether the trial court should have merged the two convictions; (3) whether the trial court erred in granting the State’s motion in limine to exclude evidence of the victim’s prior convictions; and (4) whether the trial court erred in denying appellant’s motion to use a demonstrative exhibit. Upon review of the record and the applicable case law, we conclude that the conviction for especially aggravated kidnapping must be reversed and remanded for a new trial. The conviction for aggravated robbery is affirmed.


Appeals Court to Hear Voter ID Suit

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has agreed to hear a challenge to the state's new voter identification requirement law. Last month, Davidson County Chancellor Carol McCoy ruled against the city of Memphis in a suit it brought seeking to satisfy the identification requirement through the issuing of library cards with photos. Oral arguments are set for Oct.18, one day after early voting starts in Tennessee. The Tennessean has the story


Haslam: Workers Comp Reform Still Under Discussion

Gov. Haslam said this week that he has not made a final decision about what to include in a workers’ compensation reform package and is weighing all options, but revealed that he is seriously considering removing disputes from the court system. Outside consultants recently submitted a report to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development suggesting the same idea. The Nashville Business Journal has the story.


Tomorrow is Deadline for BPR Applications

The Supreme Court of Tennessee and the Board of Professional Responsibility (BPR) are seeking a qualified applicant to fill the position of Chief Disciplinary Counsel. To apply, send a cover letter with three references, writing sample and resume to Cindy Saladin at cindy.saladin@tncourts.gov. Deadline is Friday at 4:30 p.m. CST. Download the full announcement


Former Vanderbilt Law Employee Gets 22 Years for Fraud, Theft

Former Vanderbilt Law School administrative manager Mark Hunt has been sentenced to 22 years in prison after pleading guilty to 17 counts of fraud, theft and statutory rape, the National Law Journal reports. According to prosecutors, Hunt embezzled more than $530,000 from the university between April 2010 and October 2011 using school-issued credit cards and fraudulent checks. Hunt and his partner also had sexual relations with two 17-year-old boys who cashed the checks, leading to the statutory rape charges.


Courthouse Cited for Occupancy Violation

The Cocke County courthouse must find alternatives to address overcrowding issues says the state fire marshal, who cited county officials for occupancy violations. According to the Newport Pain Talk, only 49 people are allowed in the courtroom due to safety issues, which will pose a problem when the criminal court and the grand jury meet at the same time later this month. Local Judge John Bell responded, saying several issues are being addressed, including courtroom doors, additional exits and postings to prevent overcrowding.


Chattanooga Police Challenge Pay Disparity

A dozen Chattanooga police officers have sued the city over a compensation issue, alleging that some lower ranked officers are being paid more than their senior supervisors, the Times Free Press reports. The officers’ complaints are almost identical to a lawsuit filed in July by sergeants who also alleged age discrimination. The suits are having a significant impact on the city. Mayor Ron Littlefield recently told the city council that the legal action may result in delaying a $1.2 million pay increase planned this year for the police department.


Judge Childers Honored with Leadership Award

The Hazelden Legal Professionals Program awarded its first "Excellence in Legal Community Leadership Award" to Memphis Judge Robert L. Childers, immediate past chair of the American Bar Association's Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs, at a retreat last week. Hazelden employee Link Christin presented the award to Childers saying, "I am honored to present this first annual leadership award to a true giant in the field, a person who has literally dedicated his professional life to helping others triumph over addiction in our legal profession.” Read more and see a photo on the AOC website.


Tennessee CASA Honors Legislators

The Tennessee Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association recently held its annual meeting in Nashville and recognized several state legislators for supporting its mission. Sen. Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge, was given the association’s first ever President’s Award, which honors an individual who makes a significant contribution to the growth and success of CASA in Tennessee. Sen. Douglas Henry, D-Nashville, another strong supporter of CASA, accepted the award on behalf of McNally, who unable to attend. Other honorees included Sen. Doug Overbey, R-Maryville, and Rep. Mark White, R-Memphis, who were presented with Legislator of the Year Awards. They were chosen for their work helping colleagues understand barriers faced by older youth transitioning from foster care to independent living, and their efforts to pass the Transitioning Youth Act. Read more from CASA.


LAET Hosts Two Legal Clinics Saturday

Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET) will host two free legal clinics on Saturday -- one in Chattanooga and one in Knoxville. The Chattanooga clinic will be at Hope for the Inner City, 1800 Roanoke Ave. Those interested in more information should contact Charlie McDaniel. The Knoxville event will take place at 502 South Gay St., Suite 404. Contact Terry Woods to learn more. Both clinics will run from 9 a.m to noon, and are free and open to the public. See a list of all Celebrate Pro Bono Month events


Memphis Law to Host Admissions, Recruitment Event

The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law will host its annual law admission workshop and law school recruitment fair on Oct. 23. The evening will begin at 5 p.m. with a workshop providing information about the law school application and admissions process. Then from 6-8 p.m., students will be able to interact with representatives from 12 regional law schools. Interested students should make reservations with Penny Rogers at rpenny@memphis.edu or (901) 678-5403. Download the announcement


19 Lawyers Suspended for Fee and IOLTA Violations

The Tennessee Supreme Court issued two orders on Tuesday suspending 19 Tennessee-licensed attorneys who did not pay their 2012 registration fee to the Board of Professional Responsibility and/or did not file a mandatory compliance statement that eligible client funds are held in accounts participating in the Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program. See the updated lists and download the orders


 
 

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.


© Copyright 2012 Tennessee Bar Association