Candidates Selected for 2 Appeals Court Vacancies

The Judicial Nominating Commission this weekend selected candidates for Middle and Western division appellate court vacancies, giving the governor two panels of nominees for each. Since the commission was not authorized to operate after June 30, it held hearings in Nashville and Jackson on Friday and Saturday, then named the panels. Learn more about the candidates on the AOC website.

For the Court of Appeals, Western Grand Division, the commission selected Circuit Court Judge Robert Childers of Memphis, Brandon O. Gibson with Pentecost & Glenn in Alamo and Chancellor Arnold B. Goldin of Memphis for the first panel. The second panel consists of Frank S. Cantrell with Memphis Area Legal Services, Dale Conder Jr. with Rainey, Kizer, Reviere & Bell in Jackson and Hubert Bailey Jones of Dyersburg.

For the Court of Appeals, Middle Grand Division, the commission selected Circuit Court Judge Robert L. Holloway Jr. of Columbia, William Neal McBrayer with Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens & Cannada in Nashville and former Cracker Barrel lawyer Forrest Shoaf of Lebanon. The second panel consists of Christina Henley Duncan with Rogers, Duncan & North in Manchester, Linda W. Knight with Gullett, Sanford, Robinson & Martin in Nashville and Kathryn Ann Stephenson with Corrections Corporation of America in Nashville.

The Chattanoooga Times Free Press looks at the uncertain future facing these vacancies and others than might come up in the next year.

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
05 - TN Court of Appeals
03 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
01 - 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

DAVID SCOTT BLACKWELL v. BILL HASLAM, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY ONLY; ROBERT E. COOPER, JR., TENNESSEE ATTORNEY GENERAL; VICTOR S. (TORRY) JOHNSON, III, DISTRICT ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR THE 20TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT,
IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY ONLY; KIM HELPER, DISTRICT ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR THE 21ST JUDICIAL DISTRICT, IN HER OFFICIAL CAPACITY ONLY; AND THE STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; William E. Young, Solicitor General; and Frank Borger-Gilligan, Assistant Attorney General, for the Respondents/Appellees, Bill Haslam, Governor of the State of Tennessee; Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Tennessee Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson, III, District Attorney for the 20 th Judicial District; Kim R. Helper, District Attorney for the 21st Judicial District; and the State of Tennessee

David L. Raybin and Benjamin K. Raybin, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Petitioner/Appellee, David Scott Blackwell

Judge: KIRBY

This appeal involves the Full Faith and Credit Clause and firearm rights. The petitioner was convicted of felony drug offenses in Georgia. The State of Georgia granted the petitioner a full pardon for his crimes; his Georgia pardon expressly restored his right to possess a firearm. The petitioner now resides in Tennessee. A Tennessee statute provides that it is a felony for a person who has been convicted of a felony drug offense to possess a firearm, and it does not make an exception for persons who have been pardoned for their crime. The petitioner filed this declaratory judgment action against the State of Tennessee, seeking a declaration that, because he received a pardon for his drug offenses in Georgia, he can purchase or possess a firearm in Tennessee without violating the Tennessee statute. The trial court held in favor of the petitioner, concluding that the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution requires Tennessee to recognize Georgia’s pardon in full and to permit the petitioner to carry a firearm in Tennessee. The State of Tennessee now appeals. On appeal, we consider the public-policy exception to the Full Faith and Credit Clause. We hold that Tennessee’s public policy on the restoration of firearm rights for a convicted nonviolent drug felon is not entirely inconsistent with Georgia’s public policy, so the public-policy exception to full faith and credit is not applicable in that situation. However, Tennessee public policy proscribes the restoration of firearm rights for a convicted violent drug felon, contrary to Georgia’s public policy allowing the restoration of firearm rights for all felons, violent or not. This Tennessee policy implicates public safety so as to warrant application of the public-policy exception to the Full Faith and Credit Clause under the appropriate circumstances. Therefore, we vacate the trial court’s grant of judgment on the pleadings and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.


MICHAEL TIMOTHY BROWN v. JANINE BIACHE BROWN

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Neil Campbell, Franklin, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Janine Biache Brown.

Joe W. Henry, Jr., Pulaski, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Michael Timothy Brown.

Judge: DINKINS

In this divorce case, the trial court divided property which had not been previously divided by agreement of the parties and awarded Wife alimony in solido. Wife appeals, asserting that the trial court erred in failing to classify the property as marital or separate prior to division, and in failing to award her alimony in futuro, rehabilitative alimony, transitional alimony, or attorney’s fees. Finding no error we affirm.


JAMES EBERLE ET AL. v. LISA PARROTT ELLIOTT, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ESTATE OF JERRY WAYNE PARROTT, DECEASED

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

John W. Cleveland, Sr., Sweetwater, Tennessee, for the appellants, James and Edna Eberle.

John Carson, III, Madisonville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Lisa Parrott Elliott.

Judge: FRIERSON

This is a contested easement action regarding wooded mountain property in Monroe County. The Plaintiffs/Appellants, James and Edna Eberle, filed a complaint requesting that the Defendant/Appellee, Lisa Parrott Elliott, be enjoined from crossing the Eberles’ property from her adjoining thirty-acre tract without benefit of an easement. Following a bench trial, the Monroe County Chancery Court dismissed the Eberles’ complaint for injunctive relief and ruled that an easement exists for ingress and egress over the Eberles’ property, appurtenant to and serving Ms. Elliott’s property. The Eberles have appealed. At issue is whether the trial court erred by finding the existence of an easement, either express, prescriptive, or implied. The Eberles also assert that the trial court erred by failing to limit the easement to a use no greater than the use previously made over the servient property. Discerning no error, we affirm the trial court’s ruling that an easement exists for ingress and egress and the court’s dismissal of the complaint for injunctive relief.


MACK PHILLIPS, ET AL. v. MONTGOMERY COUNTY, TENNESSEE, ET AL.

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Erik Fuqua, Austin Peay VII, Dan L. Nolan, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Montgomery County, Tennessee and Clarksville Montgomery County Regional Planning Commission.

Stanley M. Ross; Steven T. Atkins, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Mack Phillips and Leann Phillips.

Judge: COTTRELL

Property owners submitted a subdivision plat to the local planning commission for approval. The planning commission denied the proposed plan because the property lies in the path of a planned highway extension. The property owners filed a complaint alleging the planning commission’s denial constitutes a regulatory taking that is prohibited by the Tennessee Constitution, Article I, Section 21, and, also, inverse condemnation that is compensable pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-16-123. The trial court denied the government’s motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim for which relief could be granted. We affirm the trial court’s judgment as to the claim based on inverse condemnation, but reverse the judgment refusing to dismiss the regulatory taking claim.


MELODY CRUNK TELFER v. GEORGE CURTISS TELFER

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

James L. Weatherly, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee for Defendant/Appellant, George Curtiss Telfer.

Ralph W. Mello, Nashville, Tennessee for Plaintiff/Appellee, Melody Crunk Telfer.

Judge: KIRBY

This divorce appeal involves the classification of the appreciation in value of separate property. During the marriage, the wife’s family gave her ownership interests in two family companies. The parties used marital funds to pay their tax liabilities arising out of income from the companies that was attributed to them for tax purposes but retained by the companies. The trial court held that the appreciation in value of the wife’s ownership interests in the family companies were her separate property. We hold that, under the circumstances of this case, the parties substantially contributed to the preservation and appreciation in value of the wife’s separate assets, and so reverse the trial court’s classification of the appreciation in value as her separate property.


TN Court of Criminal Appeals

JEROME S. BARRETT v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Jerome Sidney Barrett, Pro Se.

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

Judge: SMITH

Petitioner, Jerome Sidney Barrett, was convicted of first degree murder stemming from a murder that occurred in Davidson County in 1975 and received a life sentence. State v. Jerome Sidney Barrett, No. M2010-00444-CCA-R3-CD, 2012 WL 2914119, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Nashville, Jul 18, 2012), perm. app. denied, (Tenn. Dec. 12, 2012). He was unsuccessful on appeal to this Court. Id. at *32. He subsequently filed a petition for writ of error coram nobis. In his petition, he argued that the DNA evidence used at this trial was not independently evaluated and that the forensic pathologist, Dr. Bruce Levy, who testified at his trial regarding the DNA evidence, was not a credible witness because he was arrested for drug crimes in Mississippi more than a year after Petitioner’s trial. The lower court dismissed the petition without a hearing. After reviewing the record on appeal, we conclude that the lower court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing the petition as untimely.


MORRIS COBB v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Morris Cobb, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

The Appellant appeals the trial court's dismissal of his petitions for writs of error coram nobis. Having determined that the petitions were properly dismissed, this Court hereby affirms the orders of the trial court.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOSHUA SHANE HAYES

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; James E. Gaylord, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; John Zimmerman, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

Rich McGee and James O. Martin, III, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Joshua Shane Hayes.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

The State appeals the trial court’s grant of a motion to suppress filed by the Defendant, Joshua Shane Hayes. The State contests the trial court’s finding that the “Exclusionary Rule Reform Act,” which took effect July 1, 2011, did not apply retroactively to the search wherein officers seized drugs from the Defendant. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.


TN Attorney General Opinions

Authority of Carroll County Watershed to Issue Bonds

Court: TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2013-06-28

Opinion Number: 47


Haslam Names Head of New Workers’ Comp Division

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced that Abbie Hudgens will oversee the new Workers’ Compensation Division starting today. Hudgens will serve a six-year term leading the revamped Workers’ Compensation Division in the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. She had been handling workers’ compensation issues for the department and was instrumental in developing legislation to make changes to the states’ workers’ compensation laws. Hudgens, 67, has a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Tennessee. Before joining the Labor Department, she was risk and insurance manager for Metro Nashville, risk and benefits manager for the City of Knoxville and a private consultant.


Governor Names New Parole Chair

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today appointed Richard Montgomery as chairman of the state Board of Parole. Montgomery replaces Charles Traughber who retired last week after serving nearly 40 years on the board. Montgomery, 66, was appointed to the Board of Parole in January. Prior to that, he served 14 years in the General Assembly representing Sevier County. While in the legislature, he served as chair of the House Education Committee. He is retired from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he was an operations manager for 27 years. Read more from the governor’s announcement.


Judge, Prosecutor Recused from Former Sheriff’s Case

Criminal Court Judge Stacy Street has recused himself from hearing the case of former Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Ricky Butler, who is accused of making false reports and reckless driving. Street said that because of Butler’s prior work with the sheriff’s department and the fact that he himself has been called to testify in cases brought by Butler, he thought it best to step down. The 1st Judicial District Attorney General’s office previously recused itself from prosecuting the case. Sullivan County District Attorney General Barry Staubus has been appointed prosecutor. Senior Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood will preside over the case. Butler will appear before Blackwood on July 10 to set a date for a full hearing, the Johnson City Press reports.


New Veterans Legal Corps Sends Lawyers, Students to Legal Aid

Low-income and homeless veterans will be getting legal help from a new program that deploys lawyers and law students to legal aid groups and courts across the country. Equal Justice Works recently announced the new Veterans Legal Corps, which is funded with money from AmeriCorps. The three-year program will dispatch 36 lawyers and 200 law students to groups across the country. The lawyers and law students will help veterans with disability benefits, barriers to housing and employment, debt and family law problems. The first class of Veterans Legal Corps members will begin work in September and will serve for two years. The ABA Journal has the story.


Crissy Haslam Names Lawyer as New Chief of Staff

Tennessee First Lady Crissy Haslam has named Rachel Lundeen as her new chief of staff. Lundeen has been a member of the staff since January 2011, serving as special assistant and policy advisor to the first lady. Prior to joining the Haslam administration, Lundeen worked at the Children’s Rights Alliance in Dublin, Ireland, and the Child Welfare League of America. She graduated from the University of Tulsa College of Law and completed her final year at Vanderbilt University Law School. Lundeen also has a masters degree in public policy from the Peabody College at Vanderbilt. Chattanoogan.com has more on the story.


Washington County Pro Bono Praised by National Group

Pro bono and access to justice initiatives sponsored by lawyers in Washington County recently were featured in an article by the national group Trial Lawyers Care. The county’s Saturday Clinic, General Sessions Court project and Pro Se Domestic Project were praised for their unique approach to meeting real needs and for their ongoing impact. The group called the projects a “model” for other communities and highlighted the work of three area lawyers – Tony Seaton, Matt Bolton and McKenna Cox – who were instrumental in launching the programs. Read more on the group’s website.


5th Annual Seniors Clinic on Tap Tomorrow in Memphis

Memphis Area Legal Services, AutoZone and Bass, Berry & Sims PLC will hold the fifth annual pro bono legal clinic for Memphis-area seniors tomorrow from 10 a.m. to noon at Orange Mound Senior Center, 2590 Park Ave. The free clinic offers seniors legal advice and helps in the preparation of wills, advanced care plans and more. Contact Linda Warren Seely at (901) 523-8822 for more information.


Nashville Lawyer Dead at 61

Services were held today for Nashville lawyer David Bruce Lyons, who died Thursday (June 27) at 61. Lyons grew up in Lindenhurst, N.Y., but moved to Tennessee and attended the University of Tennessee. He worked for the Knoxville News Sentinel in the early 1980s as the state capitol correspondent. He later attended the Nashville School of Law at night. Lyons earned his law degree in 1994 and began practicing in the areas of juvenile and family law, civil rights, general civil litigation, and tort and personal injury cases. Lyons was a member of St. James the Less Episcopal Church in Madison and served on the board of 202 Friendship House, an alcohol recovery center. Visitation was held yesterday and this morning with a service at noon today. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to The 202 Friendship House, 202 23rd Ave. N., Nashville, TN 37203. The Tennessean has more on his life.


 
 

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 2013 Tennessee Bar Association