Cane Ridge Youth Court Students Take Office

After a successful pilot program in the spring, the Academy of Law at Cane Ridge High School launched its youth court program and installed student members this week in Antioch. Davidson County Juvenile Court Judge Sophia Crawford, whose support has been central to the development of the program, officiated at the installation and swearing-in ceremonies. The school’s Restorative Court handles truancy cases referred to the Metro-Student Attendance Center and the juvenile court. Read more here about the Cane Ridge court and the Tennessee Youth Court Program or read more from this report in the Tennessean.

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
02 - 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 Workers Comp Appeals

LATARIUS HOUSTON v. MTD CONSUMER GROUP, INC.

Court: TN Workers Comp Appeals

Attorneys:

Edward L. Martindale, Jr., Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellee, Latarius Houston.

Michael Carter, Milan, Tennessee, for the appellant, MTD Consumer Group, Inc.

Judge: ASH

The parties stipulated that the employee suffered work-related injuries to both arms and that she was entitled to permanent partial disability benefits based on a 40 percent disability to each arm. The trial court found that the employee’s average weekly wage was $463.92 and that her compensation rate was $309.28 per week. The employer has appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in calculating the employee’s average weekly wage. We reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand for computation of the average weekly wage and for entry of a revised judgment.


TN Court of Appeals

AUBREY E. GIVENS, ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OF JESSICA E. GIVENS, DECEASED, ET. AL. V. THE VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY D/B/A VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL, ET. AL.

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Aubrey T. Givens and John Jay Clark, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Aubrey E. Givens, individually and as administrator of the estate of Jessica E. Givens, deceased, and Jessica R. Givens.

Steven E. Anderson and Sean C. Wlordarczyk, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, the Vanderbilt University d/b/a Vanderbilt University Hospital and David Slosky, M.D.

Judge: MCCLARTY

This is a medical malpractice action arising from the death of Decedent. Defendants moved to dismiss the action for failure to comply with the notice requirements set out in Tennessee Code Annotated section 29-26-121. The trial court agreed and dismissed the action. Plaintiffs appeal the dismissal. We hold that section 29-26-121 does not mandate dismissal with prejudice for noncompliance with its terms and that the failure to comply with the notice requirements does not mandate dismissal under the facts of this case. We vacate the dismissal order and remand for further proceedings.


PATRICIA GAY PATTERSON LATTIMORE v. JAMES S. LATTIMORE, JR.

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Angela R. Hoover and Justin Lee Crouch, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, James S. Lattimore, Jr.,

David William Garrett, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellee, Patricia Gay Patterson Lattimore.

Judge: FARMER

Wife filed a petition to hold husband in criminal contempt for breaching provisions of their marital dissolution agreement that required husband to pay alimony, provide medical insurance, and maintain life insurance policies. Following a bench trial, husband was found guilty of criminal contempt for seventy separate violations of the agreement. The trial court awarded wife $157,850.00 for alimony arrearages, $8,075.25 to reimburse medical insurance expenses, and $11,801.19 for attorney’s fees. The trial court also sentenced husband to thirty days of incarceration, but stayed the sentence for ninety days pending husband’s compliance with the judgment. After reviewing the record, we affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand for further proceedings.


TN Court of Criminal Appeals

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DAVID ALLAN BOHANON
With dissenting opinion.

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Roger E. Nell, District Public Defender (on appeal), Clarksville, Tennessee; Ann M. Kroeger, Assistant District Public Defender (at trial), Springfield, Tennessee, for the Defendant-Appellant, David Allan Bohanon.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Meredith DeVault, Senior Counsel; John Wesley Carney Jr., District Attorney General; and Jason Christian White, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCMULLEN

The Defendant-Appellant, David Allan Bohanon, entered guilty pleas to three counts of theft of property valued at $1,000 or more but less than $10,000, Class D felonies. See T.C.A. §§ 39-14-103, -105. Pursuant to the plea agreement, he received an effective three-year sentence to be served on community corrections. In a subsequent restitution hearing, the trial court also ordered him to pay a total of $16,575 in restitution at a rate of $200 per month. On appeal, the Defendant-Appellant argues that the trial court erred by setting an unreasonable amount in restitution based on the evidence presented at trial and his ability to pay. Upon review, we reverse the trial court’s order of restitution and remand the case for a new restitution hearing.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TOMMY EARL JONES

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Peggy R. Smith, White Bluff, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tommy Earl Jones.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Senior Counsel; Dan M. Alsobrooks, District Attorney General; and Billy Henry Miller, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: THOMAS

Following a retrial, the Defendant, Tommy Earl Jones, was convicted by a jury of rape, theft of property valued between $1,000 and $10,000, aggravated kidnapping, and aggravated burglary. The trial court ordered that the ten-year sentence for rape be served consecutively to the ten-year sentence for aggravated kidnapping, for a total effective sentence of twenty years. In this direct appeal, the Defendant again contends that (1) the trial court erred when it excluded him from jury selection, trial, and the return of the verdict in the absence of any waiver; and (2) the trial court erred in imposing consecutive sentencing. After our review, we conclude that the trial court complied with the dictates from this court upon remand. Accordingly, there is no error in the judgments of the trial court, and we affirm.


STATE OF TENNESSEE V. ANDRA L. TAYLOR

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Daniel J. Taylor, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Andra L. Taylor.

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

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant, Andra L. Taylor, was convicted of aggravated burglary, employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, and two counts of reckless endangerment involving a deadly weapon. He was sentenced to an effective fourteen-year sentence in the Department of Correction. On appeal, he raises the single issue of sufficiency of the evidence, but only with regard to one of his convictions for reckless endangerment. Following review of the record, we affirm.


TN Attorney General Opinions

Virtual Public Schools Act

Court: TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2013-10-24

Opinion Number: 82


State Schedules First Executions in Over a Year

Tennessee plans to execute two inmates in 2014 — Billy Ray Irick and Nickolus Johnson are scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Jan. 15 and April 22, respectively. The two execution dates come after Tennessee corrections officials decided on a new drug to use in lethal injections after the state’s supply of sodium thiopental — a key drug previously used for lethal injections — was seized in 2011 by federal authorities investigating whether the drugs were illegally imported. The Tennessean has the story.


Editorial: Gag Order Limits Speech and Justice

A Tennessean editorial today is critical of the gag order imposed in the sexual assault case against former Vanderbilt University football players, arguing that it limits the right to free speech as entitled by the First Amendment. The editorial disagrees with an opinion piece the newspaper published earlier this week by District Attorney Torry Johnson and attorney David Raybin,  who wrote that the gag order is necessary in this case to protect the defendants’ right to a fair trial.


AG Rules on Virtual Public Schools

Attorney General Robert Cooper issued an opinion today regarding virtual public schools. According to the opinion, local education agencies are required to ensure that virtual schools have a physical administrative office in Tennessee, do not exceed 1,500 students and that all teachers are qualified to teach in Tennessee. Cooper also said that Commissioner of Education Kevin Huffman has the authority to recognize and approve a virtual school established in accordance with the Virtual Public Schools Act.


Holder Talks About His Legacy

During a speech at the Equal Justice Works annual conference, Attorney General Eric Holder opened up about his career, controversial decisions such as the challenge over voter identification initiatives and the legacy he hopes to leave at the U.S. Department of Justice. Judge Ann Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit conducted a wide-ranging interview of the attorney general, who said he wants to be remembered for leading a department that was “prepared to take some heat for doing that which was right.” The Blog of the Legal Times has more.


Loudon Jail Study Nearly Complete

Initial work to reduce overcrowding at the Loudon County Justice Center is nearly complete, the  News Herald. Moseley Architects says it is finishing a feasibility study evaluating jail needs. The jail has seen an average inmate population growth of 10.2 percent since 2010, which is "slightly higher" than residential population growth. As part of its initial report to Loudon County Sheriff's Office, Moseley recommended 85,756 square feet of jail space for about 280 inmate beds to meet immediate needs, and expansion capacity for up to 400 beds. The report said that an additional 21,294 square feet of space would be required for other offices, including court services, patrol, records and criminal investigations.


Report: Cost of Judicial Elections Has 'Soared'

According to a new report, the cost of judicial campaigns has soared in recent years. Since 2000, “The New Politics of Judicial Elections” series has tracked the increased politicization and escalating spending in state judicial campaigns, as well as the growing role of special interest money. The 2011-2012 report analyzes the prominent role of special interest money in state Supreme Court elections specifically and documents how the “boundaries that keep money and political pressure from interfering with the rule of law have become increasingly blurred.”


TJC Recruiting Pro Bono Attorneys with Program

The Tennessee Justice Center will present a free one-hour CLE on the Affordable Care Act at the University of Tennessee College of Law next Wednesday at noon. Attorneys will be asked to take one pro bono referral after completing the class. For more information, visit the TJC website or call (615} 255-0331.


LAET Chattanooga Offers 2 Free Programs

Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET) will offer two free CLE programs next week at its Chattanooga office. LAET will present a one-hour CLE on the Affordable Care Act Tuesday at 2 p.m. The three-hour CLE program “Top 10 Chancery Practice Principles” will be held Wednesday at 1 p.m.


Two Murfreesboro Attorneys Announce Bids for Judgeships

Murfreesboro City Councilman Toby Gilley announced today that he will seek the Republican Party’s nomination for General Sessions Judge, Part III, during the May 2014 Rutherford County primary. In another announcement today, attorney Howard Wilson said he will seek the Republican Party’s nomination for Chancery Court Judge in Tennessee's 16th Judicial District. The 16th judicial district encompasses both Rutherford and Cannon Counties.


20 Lawyers Reinstated After Administrative Suspension

A number of Tennessee-licensed lawyers have been reinstated after being administratively suspended for failure to meet CLE requirements in 2008, 2011 and 2012; failure to submit the 2012 and 2013 annual BPR fee and/or IOLTA report; and failure to pay the professional privilege tax. They are now noted as reinstated. See the updated lists at the links above.


Save on Auto Insurance with TBA Benefit

GEICO Auto Insurance offers competitive products and services. Eligible TBA members will receive a members-only 8 percent discount on auto insurance premiums. Check out the savings today!


Services Tuesday for Chattanooga Pastor, Attorney

Chattanooga pastor Ben Haden died yesterday morning (Oct. 24). He was 88. Before being called to the ministry, Haden earned degrees from Washington and Lee University and the University of Texas at Austin. He had been in the newspaper business in Kingsport, earned his law degree, and served for a time in the CIA. He served as pastor of First Presbyterian Church for 31 years, during which time his television program "Changed Lives" was syndicated to radio and TV stations nationwide. Funeral services will be held at First Presbyterian Church on McCallie Ave Tuesday at 11 a.m., the Chattanoogan reports. The family will receive friends after the service.


 
 

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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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