Court Delays Appellate Procedure Rule Changes

The Tennessee Supreme Court has determined that the effective dates of amendments 24(b) and 25(a) to the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure should be indefinitely suspended, pending further consideration by the Court. In an order filed today, the court ruled that the amendments, which would require the filing of an electronic copy of the transcript, in addition to the original transcript, will not go into effect on July 1, the effective date for the other amendmdents.

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
01 - 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

MARVIN WINDOWS OF TENNESSEE v. BOBBY L. WILLIAMS

Court: TN Workers Comp Appeals

Attorneys:

Amber E. Luttrell, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Marvin Windows of Tennessee.

Jeffrey P. Boyd, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellee, Bobby L. Williams.

Judge: DANIEL

An employee suffered a work-related injury to his back. The employer acknowledged that the injury was compensable but disputed the extent of permanent partial impairment and the reasonableness of the employee’s decision to take early retirement. The trial court awarded the employee 28% permanent partial disability to the body as a whole, and the employer appealed, contending that the trial court erred in failing to cap the award at one-and-one-half times the anatomical impairment pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-241(d). The employee also appeals, arguing that the trial court erroneously concluded that he was not permanently and totally disabled. After a careful review of the record, we affirm the trial court’s determination that the employee is permanently and partially disabled. We reverse, however, the trial court’s determination that the statutory cap of one-and-one-half times the anatomical impairment rating does not apply and remand to the trial court for a determination of the employee’s vocational disability consistent with this opinion.


TN Court of Appeals

IN RE: CONSERVATORSHIP OF MAURICE M. ACREE, JR.

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

George Ellis Copple, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, and Suzette Peyton, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the appellant, William Q. Acree.

C. Dewey Branstetter, Jr. And Stacey K. Skillman, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Nancy Acree.

Mary Beth Boone, Pro Se.

June House, Pro Se.

Judge: FARMER

Plaintiff/Appellant appeals the trial court’s judgment awarding attorneys’ fees and affirming the final accounting of a trust in this conservatorship action. We affirm.


IN RE ESTATE OF BETTY D. GENTRY MEEK

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Patrick Matthew Potempa, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, The Estate of Paul H. Meek, Sr.

Larry B. Watson, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellees, John L. Mitchell and Katherine Y oung.

Judge: CLEMENT

The surviving husband who was excluded from his wife’s will filed a petition for elective-share, year’s support, exempt property, and homestead. The executors of her estate opposed the petition claiming the marriage was void ab initio because it was procured by fraud and misrepresentations, specifically alleging that he lied on the marriage license about his age and number of prior marriages. Alternatively, if he is the surviving spouse, they contend he is equitably estopped to assert such claims for the same underlying reasons. The trial court summarily dismissed the petition finding “(1) the marriage between [Plaintiff] and the Decedent was void ab initio due to the fraud perpetrated by [Plaintiff] in connection with false information supplied by him on the application for the parties’ marriage license; and (2) equitably estopped as a matter of law.” Based on these findings the trial court dismissed all claims. We have determined the marriage was not void ab initio; whether the marriage was voidable is now moot for any right to avoid the marriage abated upon the wife’s death. As for equitable estoppel, we have determined that summary judgment was inappropriate because essential facts are either disputed or not in the record, including whether the decedent relied on the misrepresentations to marry him. Accordingly, we reverse the award of summary judgment and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.


TN Court of Criminal Appeals

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ANDRES ANDRES FRANCISCO

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Mark E. Stephens (on appeal), Jessica Greene (on appeal and at trial), and Robert Edwards (at trial), Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Andres Andres Francisco.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Senior Counsel; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Charme Knight, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCGEE OGLE

A Knox County Criminal Court Jury convicted the appellant, Andres Andres Francisco, of one count of attempted aggravated sexual battery and three counts of rape of a child. Following his convictions, the trial court imposed a total effective sentence of fifty years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the appellant contends that the evidence was not sufficient to sustain his convictions; that the trial court erred in denying his motions to suppress DNA evidence and his statement to police; and that the trial court erred by imposing consecutive sentencing. Upon review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


TN Attorney General Opinions

Inspection Under Public Records Act of Applications for Position of Clerk and Master

Court: TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2014-05-30

Opinion Number: 59


TBA Judicial Evaluation Poll Closes Monday, Vote Now

Monday is the last day to vote in the Tennessee Supreme Court Candidate Evaluation Poll. For the first time in its history, the TBA is polling its members for their views on the three justices facing retention votes in the August General Election – Chief Justice Gary Wade, Justice Cornelia Clark and Justice Sharon Lee. The TBA is using the SurveyMonkey platform to conduct the survey, which ensures the secrecy of votes. If you have not yet received an email to participate, please check your spam folder for an email from SurveyMonkey.com. The poll is one part of TBA’s efforts to help ensure that the 2014 judicial elections maintain a fair, impartial and accountable judiciary. Learn more about other efforts at the TBA’s Judicial Selection Information Center.


Local Bars Educating Members, Public on Judicial Elections

Bar associations across Tennessee have joined the effort  to educate their members and communities on the upcoming judicial elections. The Memphis Bar Association will launch a Judicial Qualification Poll for August 's contested races, as well as the retention election for  Western Section Appellate Court seats and Supreme Court posts. The Knoxville Bar Association has developed a "Get to Know Your Judicial Candidates"  website to provide information about state judicial candidates. This tool provides a convenient way for Knox County voters to get non-partisan information about candidates so they can make an informed decision at the ballot box. The KBA, working with the League of Women Voters Knoxville/Knox County, has also invited all trial court candidates to participate in a judicial candidate forum on July 17 at the South College Auditorium.


Seeing Red Everywhere

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey’s mission to make Tennessee “red to the roots” may not end with his campaign to oust three Democratic Supreme Court justices, Knoxville columnist Sam Venable writes for Knoxnews. The urge to purge may go much further, he jokingly warns. Blue birds, blue jays, Blue Cross Blue Shield and even those blue-suede shoes at the Graceland gift shop could come under the wrath of Ramsey, he writes.


Deadline Extended for Workers' Comp Board Posts

Attorrneys in the Western and Eastern Grand Divisions interested in a position on the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board have until tomorrow (June 6) to submit an application to the Governor’s Commission for Judicial Appointments. The application period for candidates in the Middle Division has closed. The 10 applicants from Middle Tennessee are Aaron James Conklin, Marshall L. Davidson III, Brian Dunigan, Keith Jordan, Ronald W. McNutt, Janis O. Mize, Richard Murrell, Tamra Lee Smith, Sarah K. Stein and Dale A. Tipps. The Administrative Office of the Courts has more


TBI Report Looks at Domestic Violence

A Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) report released Tuesday shows domestic violence reported to police across the state dropped in 2013 for the fourth consecutive year, this time by 5.7 percent. Statewide, nearly every category of crime — including murders and aggravated assaults — decreased in 2013, and 65 out of 95 counties saw domestic violence cases drop as well. However, the TBI report notes that the number of domestic violence incidents involving same-sex couples in Tennessee has risen by 44 percent since 2008. The Tennessean has the story


Legal Aid Attorney Earns Dove Award

Legal Aid Society attorney Theresa Vay-Smith has been honored with a 2014 Dove Awards from the ARC of Anderson County, a United Way agency serving children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Smith, an attorney with the Oak Ridge office of Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, also received the award in 2011. “Receiving this award, not once, but twice reflects Thersa-Vay’s passion and dedication advocating for some of our community’s most vulnerable citizens,” Janet Mynatt, managing attorney for the Oak Ridge office, told Oak Ridge Today.


Report: DCS Rebounding Under New Leadership

An expert panel tasked with monitoring the Tennessee Department of Children's Services (DCS) says the agency has flourished under new leadership, the Memphis Daily News reports. Jim Henry became DCS Commissioner after Kate O'Day resigned early last year following a public outcry over problems at the agency. The report says that DCS has improved the way it keeps track of child deaths and investigations, recruited new foster families, invested in ways to help foster children after they turn 18 and fixed a computer system that had hindered caseworkers.


How Workers’ Comp Changes the Legal Game

Sweeping reform to Tennessee’s workers’ compensation process goes into effect next month and will have new legal implications for employers. The Nashville Business Journal spoke with Stuart Scott, an attorney with Dickinson Wright in Nashville, who highlighted what he considers the major changes in the new process. For a time being, Tennessee will be operating under both the new law and old — claims filed before July 1 will still go through the old process, meaning cases can still go to state courts. Those filed after that date will enter the new system.


New CLE Added to TBA Annual Convention

A new CLE program on why we need fair courts has been added to the lineup of the TBA Annual Convnetion next week in Gatlinburg. Alistair Newbern, assistant professor at Vanderbilt Law School, will share why retention elections are important to a fair and impartial judiciary in Tennessee. The program will take place Thursday, June 12, at 3 p.m. You can learn more or register for the convention online.


Shelby County Attorney Disbarred for Fraud

Sharon K. Anderson was disbarred by the Tennessee Supreme Court on June 5 based upon her entry of a guilty plea to the fraudulent transmission of money. View the BPR notice.


Show Your Professional Pride with the TBA Visa

TBA members can now show their professional pride and get rewarded for doing so. The Tennessee Bar Association Visa® Platinum Rewards Card is now available to all members. Apply now and earn points at hundreds of online retailers. Redeem your points for name-brand merchandise, event tickets, gift cards, travel rewards options and more. Apply now!


 
 

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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