Haslam to Move Quickly on Judicial Appointments

Gov. Bill Haslam said he expects to move quickly in selecting three new state appellate judges from the lists of candidates forwarded to him by the Judicial Nominating Commission in its final days of existence. “Our working assumption is we will name those in the next 60 days,” Haslam told the Times Free Press yesterday. Haslam also said his administration is exploring how to legally handle the unexpected announcement from Supreme Court Justice Janice Holder that she will not seek reelection in 2014.

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


Court: TN Workers Comp Appeals


Stuart Fawcett James, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellants, McMinn County Government and Tennessee Risk Management Trust.

Charles C. Guinn, Jr. and H. Chris Trew, Athens, Tennessee, for the appellee, Paul E. Arnett.

Judge: WADE

The employee, a truck driver for McMinn County, suffered injuries in a job-related accident. Later, he filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits claiming that he had been permanently and totally disabled as a result of his injuries. The employer acknowledged that the employee’s shoulder and leg injuries were compensable but argued that his spinal injuries were not work related. Because a physician who performed two spinal surgeries on the employee was not listed on the employer’s panel of medical providers, the employer denied responsibility for the associated medical costs. While ordering that all of the employee’s injuries were compensable and granting permanent total disability benefits, the trial court did not require the employer to pay the medical costs incident to the second surgery. In this appeal, the employer maintains that the trial court erred by holding that the employee was entitled to recover either benefits or the cost of medical treatment for his spinal injuries. In response, the employee argues that the trial court erred by failing to award payment of the medical costs incident to the second surgery. The appeal has been referred to the Special Workers’ Compensation Appeals Panel for a hearing and a report of findings of facts and conclusions of law pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 51. The judgment is affirmed, but modified to require the employer to pay the medical costs incident to the second surgery. The cause is remanded for an assessment of the medical expenses related to the second surgery.

Knox County to Participate in Deportation Program

Less than a year after the Davidson County Sheriff’s office halted its participation in a controversial program that gives local law enforcement the authority to enforce federal immigration laws, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office has announced it will participate in the program. At a meeting last week, the county sheriff heard from critics who argue the program leads to racial profiling, separation of families and distrust of law enforcement. He was not swayed, Knoxnews reports. After initially applying to the program in 2010, Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones said he expects to finalize a memorandum of understanding with the federal government within the next few weeks.

New Bail Law May Increase Costs for Defendants

A recent change in bail bonding law, which took effect July 1, may mean that defendants have to pay a bail company twice for the same case, the Nashville City Paper reports. Prior to the change, state law required that bail agents stay on bonds they issue until clients are exonerated or sentenced. Now bonding agents are free from liability as soon as the client pleads guilty. John Zimmermann, an assistant district attorney in Davidson County, reacted saying, “Unsuspecting defendants will have their bonds summarily revoked before they are sentenced” which will allow “bonding companies the opportunity to charge even more money to defendants and their families for their freedom.” The Tennessee Association of Professional Bail Agents, however, applauded the change saying it was in line with the risk bondsmen face after a conviction or guilty plea.

ABA Honoring Judge It Once Opposed

Alabama's first black federal judge, U.W. Clemon of Birmingham, will be honored next month by the ABA despite the fact that the group opposed his appointment 33 years ago, WKRN reports. The ABA is scheduled to give its 2013 John H. Pickering Award to Clemon, who is now retired, at its annual meeting in San Francisco. Clemon said he was gratified to be selected for the award and that it showed how far the association had come. President Jimmy Carter nominated Clemon in 1980, and he was approved by the U.S. Senate though the ABA found at the time that he was unqualified.

Privacy Group Asks Court to Stop NSA Surveillance

The privacy rights group Electronic Privacy Information Center has filed an emergency petition with the U.S. Supreme Court asking it to stop the National Security Agency from collecting Americans’ phone records. The petition seeks to vacate a secret order by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court – revealed in a leak by Edward Snowden – that ordered a Verizon business subsidiary to give the government all its customer records on an “ongoing daily basis.” Alternatively, the petition asks the court to grant review of the surveillance court’s ruling. The ABA Journal has more on the story and links to coverage.

2013 Equal Justice University Set for October

Registration for the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services’ 2013 Equal Justice University is now open. The conference, scheduled for Oct. 8-11, is the annual gathering of lawyers, advocates, social workers and pro bono attorneys involved in providing civil legal assistance in Tennessee. EJU, which is cosponsored by the TBA, offers a unique opportunity to earn up to 15 hours of CLE credit and network with colleagues from across the state. See a tentative schedule and learn more about the event or register now. The first 30 registrants will receive a free 30-minute massage during the conference!

CASA Fundraiser Offers Cornhole, Minor League Baseball

CASA of Northeast Tennessee is hosting a cornhole tournament on July 27 at the Johnson City Cardinals Stadium. The event will run from 1 to 5 p.m. A $30 fee will get a two-person team registered for the tournament, as well as a t-shirt and a ticket to the baseball game later that evening. Call (423) 461-3500 for more information or download this brochure and registration form. All proceeds will benefit CASA.


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