Nashville Attorneys Offer Opinions on Candidates

Nashville attorneys shared their opinions on dozens of candidates running in the May 6 primary election in a Nashville Bar Association (NBA) poll released today. NBA members were asked to evaluate all candidates for judicial, court clerk, district attorney and public defender positions. Executive Director Gigi Woodruff said the NBA conducts the poll "to encourage the selection of qualified judges and public officials" and "to have attorneys who are likely to know these candidates, both personally and professionally, provide an opinion on their qualifications.”

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
05 - 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


Court: TN Court of Appeals


F. R. (Rick) Evans, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Andrew S. Perry.

Jimmy W. Bilbo and Brent J. McIntosh, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellee, Eddie R. Gates.


This interlocutory appeal concerns the issue of whether the requirement of obtaining new process or recommencing an action in general sessions court is triggered for purposes of Tenn. Code Ann. § 16-15-710 by the failure to return unserved the prior process within 60 days as required by Tenn. Code Ann. § 16-15-902. Eddie R. Gates (“Gates”), alleging damages sustained in an automobile accident, sued Andrew S. Perry (“Perry”) in the General Sessions Court for Bradley County (“the General Sessions Court”). Gates’ suit was dismissed. On Gates’ appeal to the Circuit Court for Bradley County (“the Circuit Court”), Perry moved to dismiss, again alleging that the statute of limitations had run during the long gap between issuance and reissuance of process in the General Sessions Court action. The Circuit Court denied Perry’s motion, holding that the time bar did not operate because process was not returned unserved and, therefore, the statute of limitations never ran. We granted permission for this interlocutory appeal. We reverse the Circuit Court.


Court: TN Court of Appeals


Dan M. Norwood, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Plaintiff/Appellant, Helen Stewart

David A. Prather and Kathryn T. Parham, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Defendant/Appellee, Cadna Rubber Company

Judge: KIRBY

This is an employment discrimination case. The employment of the plaintiff employee was terminated in the course of a reduction in force. The plaintiff filed this lawsuit against the defendant employer alleging that she was singled out for termination in the reduction in force based on her age and/or race. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the employer. The trial court reasoned that the evidence submitted by the plaintiff was insufficient to create an issue of fact as to whether the employer singled her out for termination based on her age and/or race, and that the plaintiff’s evidence was insufficient to prove that the legitimate nondiscriminatory reason proffered by the employer for terminating the plaintiff’s employment was pretextual. The plaintiff now appeals. We reverse. The standard for summary judgment applicable in this case is the standard set out in Hannan and Gossett. Under the very high standard in those cases, the employer cannot negate an element of the plaintiff’s prima facie case merely by showing that the plaintiff did not submit sufficient evidence at the summary judgment stage; to obtain summary judgment under that standard, the employer must show that the plaintiff cannot establish this element of her claim at trial. Thus, we hold that the employer failed to meet this standard on any of the plaintiff’s claims of discrimination.


Court: TN Court of Appeals


Todd Hancock, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Bradley Wells.

Stephen J. Zralek, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Chattanooga Bakery, et al.


Plaintiff brought suit against defendants alleging the unlawful use of his image and likeness and asserting statutory claims for violation of the Tennessee Personal Rights Protection Act and the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act, and common law claims for unjust enrichment, accounting, and conversion. Upon defendants’ motion, the trial court dismissed the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction based on complete preemption by the Copyright Act. We affirm.

TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Jacob Campbell, pro se, appellant.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Senior Counsel; for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The petitioner filed pro se a writ of error coram nobis seeking relief from his first degree murder and robbery convictions. The trial court summarily denied relief and this appeal followed. We affirm the trial court’s judgment pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals.


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Robert C. Edwards, Assistant District Public Defender, for the appellant, William Cole Comer.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Kenneth F. Irvine, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, William Cole Comer, appeals his Knox County Criminal Court jury convictions of driving under the influence, failure to stop, and possession of drug paraphernalia, and his bench conviction of violating the implied consent law, claiming that the trial court erred by permitting the arresting officer to testify as an expert witness for purposes of admitting a cocaine field test. Discerning no error, we affirm.


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Barry W. Kuhn (on appeal); and Nicholas Cloud and Michael Johnson (at trial), Assistant District Public Defenders, for the appellant, Michael Davis.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Jeffrey D. Zentner, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Christopher West and Kenya Smith, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Michael Davis, appeals his Shelby County Criminal Court jury conviction of second degree murder, challenging both the sufficiency of the convicting evidence and the trial court’s refusal to instruct the jury on accident. Discerning no error, we affirm.


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Sean H. Muizers, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Defendant-Appellant, Carlos Rice.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clark B. Thornton, Senior Counsel; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Alycia Carter, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Petitioner, Carlos Rice, appeals the Shelby County Criminal Court’s denial of his motion to reopen post-conviction proceedings. After reviewing the record in this case, we conclude that the trial court properly denied the motion and that this case meets the criteria for affirmance pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Ronald G. Freemon, Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael Wiss.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Caitlin E.D. Smith, Assistant Attorney General; and Mike Bottoms, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

In 2011, the Maury County Grand Jury indicted Appellant, Michael Wiss, for harassment by the electronic phone communication of text messaging. A jury convicted Appellant of harassment. He was then sentenced to eleven months and twenty-nine days and ordered to pay a $2500 fine. On appeal, Appellant argues that the evidence presented by the State at trial was insufficient to support his conviction. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court and conclude that the evidence was sufficient to support Appellant’s conviction.

Bill Limiting Employment Discrimination Actions, Whistleblower Protections Advances

Legislation making significant changes in protections for whistleblowers, placing caps on non-economic damages for discrimination and retaliatory discharge, and limiting disability discrimination provisions advanced in both houses this week. The bill could be heard in the House Consumer and Human Resource Committee and on the Senate floor as early as next Tuesday. Let your voice be heard about this and other legislation using TBAImpact.

Bill Giving AG Power to Investigate Public Corruption Fails

A bill allowing the attorney general to investigate public corruption failed to gain enough votes in Monday's Senate floor session to proceed. Sponsored by Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, the measure failed 13-12. It would have given the attorney general concurrent jurisdiction over criminal corruption cases.

Lawmaker Drops UT Sex Week Bills

Sen. Stacey Campfield of Knoxville says he is dropping the legislative fight over the student run Sex Week at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, the Memphis Daily News reports. Campfield and other lawmakers took issue with the use of student fees for the weeklong program about sex and funding for campus speakers. The Senate last week passed a resolution decrying what it called the "radical agenda" of Sex Week. Campfied has withdrawn the measures, however, because of steps UT officials have pledged to take voluntarily.

TBA Insurance Exhange Can Help You Beat March 31 Deadline

Only a few days remain before the March 31 deadline for obtaining health insurance, so check out the TBA Health Insurance Exchange now. The TBA Health Insurance Exchange offers all of the rates and plans in the public exchanges, PLUS you will also be able to see Private Exchange rates that can offer more plan designs as well as lower premiums in some cases. The Exchange is simple, easy to use and will get you the information you need fast.

Supreme Court Appears Divided on Religious Rights of Companies

Seemingly divided, the Supreme Court struggled yesterday with the question of whether for-profit companies have religious rights, a case challenging President Barack Obama's health overhaul and its guarantee of birth control in employees' preventive care plans. The Hobby Lobby chain of stores and others challenging the provision provide health insurance to their employees, but object to covering certain methods of birth control that they say can work after conception, in violation of their religious beliefs. The justices peppered attorneys with questions during a 90-minute argument. The outcome could turn on the views of Justice Anthony Kennedy, often the decisive vote, as his colleagues appeared otherwise to divide along liberal and conservative lines. A decision is expected by late June. The Chattanoga Times Free Press has more.

High Court Bolsters Domestic Violence Gun Ban

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that people convicted of minor domestic violence offenses can be barred from possessing guns even in states where no proof of physical violence is required to support the domestic violence charge. The justices unanimously rejected the argument put forth by gun rights groups and a Tennessee man who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic assault against the mother of his child in 2001, the Johnson City Press reports.

College Athletes Can Unionize, NLRB Rules

Football players at Northwestern University are deemed employees under federal law and so can create the nation’s first college athletes’ union, according to a ruling by National Labor Relations Board regional director Peter Ohr. Union lawyers argued the Big Ten school's football players are part of a commercial enterprise that generates hefty profits through their labor. The NCAA, Big Ten Conference and the private school vehemently opposed the union drive. The Tennessean has the story.

Clarksville Defendants Miss Court Dates, Blame Bondsman

According to an anonymous client, Sallee’s Bail Bonding in Clarksville has not been notifying clients of their court appearance dates, as required by law. On March 6, the 19th Judicial District suspended Sallee's from issuing new bonds, which court officials said happens when bonding company clients don’t show up for court. Patty Arms, chief deputy of court operations told News Channel 5 that even if the company is suspended, it is still required to notify its clients of their court dates. The court said Sallee's owes $44,000 in unpaid bonds for missed court appearances, which have gone into "final forfeiture." Reached by phone, owner Marques Sallee told the television station that he wasn't aware he owed $44,000 and that the reason people haven't been notified is because he can't track them down.

East Ridge Judge Seeking Re-election

East Ridge City Judge Arvin Reingold is seeking a new eight-year term as judge. He was appointed to the bench in 2002 by the East Ridge City Commission after longtime Judge Bill Luther retired. He will face opposition from attorneys Ryan Hanzelik and Cris Helton, a former city attorney for East Ridge, the Chattanoogan reports.

Reduced-Rate Display Ads Available for Lawyers

Lawyers and firms now may promote outstanding achievements, new associates, new partners, mergers, awards or any other news in the Tennessee Bar Journal. These Professional Announcements are display ads, available at special, lower-rate pricing. Show your peers across the state about your accomplishments by placing an announcement in the Journal. For information, contact Debbie Taylor at (503) 445-2231 or To have an announcement placed in the next issue, please contact her as soon as possible.


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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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