TBA Judicial Election Plans Announced

The Tennessee Bar Association today announced plans to assist in ensuring that the 2014 judicial elections help to maintain a fair, impartial and accountable judiciary, and honor the dignity of the courts while allowing a vigorous debate. Strict neutrality in judicial elections will remain a hallmark of the TBA. Those plans reviewed and reaffirmed by the TBA at its April meeting include:

• A brand new Tennessee Supreme Court Candidate Evaluation Poll, which will poll all TBA members on the upcoming retention election.
• Vigorous use of a policy on unjust criticism, which requires the leadership to respond to false and misleading statements about judges and the judicial system.
• Continued voter education efforts like the Informed Voter Project and TBA Judicial Selection Center.

The poll will be conducted using SurveyMonkey polling software. Each member will be given a unique, identifying address to vote. Those members who have not provided the TBA with an email address will be mailed a letter with the information enclosed to vote by electronic means. Those with email addresses will receive an email on or about May 28. Members will be asked to state whether they would highly recommend, recommend, not recommend or express no opinion at this time as to the three members of the Tennessee Supreme Court standing for retention election on the Aug. 7 ballot. Poll results will be reported in mid-June. The policy on unjust criticism was adopted in 1998 as a result of a Blue Ribbon Task Force on judicial elections. The TBA website has more information.

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
01 - TN Court of Appeals
07 - 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

JOE CHRISTOPHER WATSON v. THE PARENT COMPANY

Court: TN Workers Comp Appeals

Attorneys:

Richard R. Clark, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, The Parent Company.

Eric J. Burch, Manchester, Tennessee, for the appellee, Joe Christopher Watson.

Judge: SUMMERS

In 2007, the employee suffered a work-related back injury. After conservative treatment failed to provide relief, the employee underwent an unauthorized back surgery. Employee’s workers’ compensation claim was settled in 2009. The settlement provided for “future medical benefits relating to the back injury” of 2007, while precluding future benefits for unauthorized medical care. In 2011, the employee sought authorization for a second surgery by an authorized treating surgeon. The employer refused, asserting that it was not liable under the terms of the settlement. The trial court ordered the employer to pay for the second surgery. The employer has appealed. We affirm the trial court’s judgment.


TN Court of Appeals

KRISTINA KAY KLAMBOROWSKI, ET AL. v. JASON S. JOHNSON, ET AL.

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

J. P. Barfield, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kristina Kay Klamborowski

Herbert J. Sievers, III, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company

Judge: HIGHERS

Plaintiff filed suit after she allegedly sustained injuries in an automobile accident. A jury trial was held, and at the close of Plaintiff’s proof, a verdict was directed in Plaintiff’s favor as to the liability of Defendant. However, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Plaintiff for zero dollars. Plaintiff filed a motion for additur or a new trial, which the trial court denied. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.


TN Court of Criminal Appeals

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. LARRY BALTIMORE

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Matthew W. Willis, Dyersburg, Tennessee, for the appellant, Larry Baltimore.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; and Phillip Bivens, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Appellant, Larry Baltimore, was acting as a bail bondsman in Dyer County at the time this Court decided in In re: The Application of Tony Cox (Seeking to Qualify as Agent for Memphis Bonding), 389 S.W.3d 794 (Tenn. Crim. App. 2012), that a convicted felon could not act as a bail bondsman under Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-11-128. After Cox was decided, the trial court determined that Appellant could not be a bail bondsman because of a previous conviction for felony assault. Appellant appeals from this order and asks this Court to reverse its decision in Cox. After a thorough review of Appellant’s arguments, we find no reason to reverse our earlier determination. Therefore, the trial court’s decision is affirmed.


MARVIN GREEN v. AVRIL CHAPMAN, WARDEN

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Marvin Magay James Green, Clifton, Tennessee, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Senior Counsel, Criminal Justice Division; and Mike Bottoms, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WALKER

The pro se petitioner, Marvin Green, appeals the dismissal of two petitions for habeas corpus relief. He was sentenced to fifteen years under the Drug Free School Zone Act. He argues that he is a standard offender and should be released after service of thirty percent of the sentence, and he alleges errors in his indictment. Finding no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


JEREMY JARVIS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Roger E. Nell, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jeremy Jarvis.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney Gneral and Reporter; Clark Bryan Thornton, Assistant Attorney General; John W. Carney, District Attorney General; and Steven Garrett, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WALKER

The Petitioner, Jeremy Jarvis, appeals the denial of post-conviction relief, alleging ineffective assistance by counsel. Petitioner alleges that trial counsel was unaware of the law concerning self-defense until trial and was ineffective by asserting the defense of self-defense with regard to the death of an innocent third person; and was ineffective by failing to attempt to negotiate a settlement of the case short of trial. Finding that the court properly denied post-conviction relief, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ANDREW QUINN

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Mark L. Puryear, III, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Andrew Quinn.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michelle Consiglio-Young, Assistant Attorney General; Kim Helper, District Attorney General; and Carlin Hess, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WALKER

The defendant, Andrew Quinn, appeals a certified question of law pertaining to the stop of his vehicle and the denial of a motion to suppress. Finding no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


LAWRENCE RALPH v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

James M. Judkins, Smithville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lawrence Ralph.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Tracy L. Alcock, Assistant Attorney General; and Lisa Zavogiannis, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WALKER

The petitioner, Lawrence Ralph, appeals the denial of post-conviction relief, alleging that counsel provided ineffective assistance by not requesting the transcript of voir dire, and that the trial court erred by merging two convictions. Finding that the trial court properly denied post-conviction relief, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CHARLES FRANKLIN SMITH

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Gerald L. Gulley, Jr., for the appellant, Charles Franklin Smith.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; and John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The appellant, Charles Franklin Smith, appeals as of right from the judgments of the Knox County Criminal Court convicting the appellant of two counts of burglary. The appellant’s counsel has filed a motion to withdraw pursuant to Rule 22 of the Rules of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals. We conclude that the motion is well-taken and, in accordance with Rule 22(F), affirm the trial court’s judgments pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. FREDERICK LEON TUCKER

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Jennifer Jessica Hall, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Frederick Leon Tucker.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michelle Consiglio-Young, Assistant Attorney General; and Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WALKER

Petitioner, Frederick Leon Tucker, sought a writ of error coram nobis. The hearing court found there were no due process concerns which would entitle petitioner to relief and dismissed the petition as not being filed within the applicable statute of limitations. Finding no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Judge Rules Mosque Can Keep Attorney

Senior Judge Paul Summers ruled today that Islamic Center of Murfreesboro (ICM) attorney John Green can continue to represent the congregation in a lawsuit about the ICM cemetery. Plaintiffs’ attorney Duncan Cates Cave had objected to Green being involved because the ICM attorney had spoken like a witness before the Rutherford County Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) during a public hearing when the BZA approved the cemetery in a 3-2 vote Jan. 8. The judge  said he will return to court on June 19 to rule on whether to dismiss the case or schedule a trial that would start about a month later, the Daily News Journal reports.


Criminal Court Moving to Credit Card System

Hamilton County Commission members are expected to approve next Wednesday a new credit card system for accepting payments at the Criminal Court clerk's office, the Chattanoogan reports. Officials said the LexisNexis VitalChk Network will allow offices the flexibility to accept credit card payments either in person, over the phone or online. The service will be provided at no cost to Hamilton County as all fees will be absorbed by the credit card holder.


Editorial: Keep Politics, Big Money Out of State Judicial Races

An editorial from the Jackson Sun denounces Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey’s plan to raise money to influence the Aug. 7 retention election of three Supreme Court Justices.  “An independent judicial system is critical to law and order in our state and in our nation,” the newspaper writes. “We all have seen the consequences of radical political agendas, which can be illogical and even destructive. We love a good political fight, but the courts are not the place to have one. Ramsey is wrong to use politics and big money to oust state judges for political reasons and gain.”


NAACP Criminal Justice Seminar Saturday

The Chattanooga-Hamilton County NAACP will host the 7th Annual Criminal Justice Seminar Saturday at the Chattanooga-Choo-Choo. According to officials, the seminar will focus on balancing the scales of justice through rehabilitation, reentry and redemption especially for non-violent offenders who compose the mass majority of individuals currently incarcerated or that are on parole and probation. The Chattanoogan has more.


Public Defender Announces Re-election Plans

Donna Orr Hargrove announced her candidacy for re-election for public defender of the 17th Judicial District, which covers Bedford, Lincoln, Marshall and Moore counties. Hargrove has served as public defender for 16 years and was an assistant PD for five years prior, the Elk Valley Times reports.


Briggs Outpacing Sen. Campfield in Fundraising

Knox County Commissioner Richard Briggs has nearly $158,000 in campaign funds to take on state Sen. Stacey Campfield in the Aug. 7 Republican primary, and he has more fundraisers planned in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Nashville. Knoxnews reports that in the latest financial disclosures filed in April, Briggs said he raised $13,100 and spent $12,183. He entered the reporting period with $156,543. Campfield raised no money during the period since the legislature was in session. He entered the reporting period with $23,202 and spent $370. Mike Alford, who entered the 7th Senate District race on the last day possible, did not file a report. Knoxnews has more.


Political Campaign Ads Target Women Voters

About half of the more than $80 million that has already been spent on political campaign advertising is targeted specifically at women, Nashville Public Radio reports. Both Republicans and Democrats are implementing new techniques to reach women voters, such as appealing to emotions; aiming for tough, but not harsh attack ads; using endorsements by candidates’ wives, mothers and daughters; and using female candidates in macho, attack formats. In a follow-up piece, NPR further discusses how political ad-makers use Internet and television to collect information on women in order to personalize their advertising approach.


Protect Your Practice with the Bar Plan

Protecting your practice and your family from an unexpected loss is a priority for many TBA members. The Bar Plan program provides TBA members with the most comprehensive and fairly priced professional liability coverage available. Learn more online.


 
 

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.


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