Supreme Court Gives Sendoff to Justice Koch

Tennessee Supreme Court Justice William C. Koch Jr. was honored at a reception today (July 7) at the Tennessee Supreme Court building in advance of his upcoming retirement. Emceed by Justice Connie Clark, the program featured comments by those impacted by Koch's service over the years. Herbert Slattery, counsel to the governor, presented a gubernatorial proclamation announcing today as "Justice William C. Koch Jr. Appreciation Day" and Sen. Randy McNally presented a resolution from the Tennessee General Assembly honoring Koch. All five members of the court were present at the standing-room-only event. To honor their colleague, the justices made a donation to the Nashville School of Law – where Koch will take over as dean next week – and Chief Justice Gary Wade presented a framed copy of the recent Tennessee Bar Journal, which features Koch on the cover. Court of Appeals Judge Frank Clement, a trustee of the Nashville School of Law, also spoke. He said Koch's arrival will be a huge "shot in the arm" for the school.  See photos from the event.

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.

01 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Workers Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
03 - TN Court of Appeals
04 - 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









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TN Supreme Court

TENNESSEE SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS Grants & Denials List

Court: TN Supreme Court


TN Court of Appeals

BRADLEY M. BARKHURST, ET AL. v. BENCHMARK CAPITAL, INC., ET AL.

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Dudley W. Taylor, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Bradley M. Barkhurst and Judith R. Barkhurst.

Terry G. Adams and Kevin J. Tonkin, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Amparo Goyes Jarosh, personal representative of the estate of Charles D. Candler.

Judge: SWINEY

This appeal concerns a dispute over damages in a fraud case. Bradley M. Barkhurst and his wife Judith R. Barkhurst (“the Plaintiffs”), victims of a Ponzi scheme, filed a complaint against Amparo Goyes Jarosh, personal representative of the estate of Charles D. Candler (“Defendant”)1, in the Chancery Court for Knox County (“the Trial Court”). The Trial Court granted summary judgment in favor of the Plaintiffs. The Plaintiffs appeal, arguing, among other things, that they should have been granted enhanced damages under the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act (“the TCPA”). We hold that enhanced damages are not available in an action against an estate. We also modify the Trial Court’s judgment to include in the award to Plaintiffs certain taxes and interest that the Plaintiffs incurred in the Ponzi scheme. We affirm the judgment of the Trial Court as modified.


JOHNNY L. MILLER, ET AL. v. MIRANDA MORETZ, ET AL.

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

R. Deno Cole, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Johnny L. Miller and Margie L. Miller.

John T. Johnson and Brandon L. Morrow, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Miranda Moretz and Travis K. Moretz.

Judge: MCCLARTY

This appeal results from an automobile accident. The plaintiffs filed a negligence action against the owner and driver of the vehicle that collided with them. The jury that heard the matter concluded that the defendant driver was only 10 percent at fault, with the rest of the fault assessed to the plaintiff driver. The trial court entered judgment on the jury verdict for the defendants. After a motion for a new trial was denied, the plaintiffs filed this appeal. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.


STEPHANIE D. TURNER v. KEVIN TURNER
With Concurring Opinion

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Harriet S. Thompson, Bolivar, Tennessee, and Thomas F. Bloom, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kevin Turner.

Charles W. McGhee, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Stephanie D. Turner.

Judge: STAFFORD

Father appeals the trial court’s order setting aside its prior judgment terminating Mother’s parental rights. After a hearing, the trial court ruled that Father’s failure to comply with the statutory notice requirements rendered the termination judgment void. Discerning no error, we affirm.


TN Court of Criminal Appeals

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TARRANTS CHANDLER

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Joshua L. Brand, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tarrants Chandler.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Kristen Menke and Rob  McGuire, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant, Tarrants Chandler, was indicted by a grand jury for ten counts of rape by coercion, Class B felonies, and two counts of criminal exposure to HIV, Class C felonies. After a trial, the jury convicted the defendant of nine counts of rape by coercion and one count of criminal exposure to HIV. The trial court declared a mistrial as to Count 2, rape by coercion, and Count 12, criminal exposure to HIV . The conviction in Count 1 was dismissed by the trial court after the motion for a new trial. The defendant now appeals the remaining convictions, arguing that the evidence was not sufficient to find the defendant guilty of eight counts of rape by coercion, that the trial court erred by ruling that consent was not a defense to rape by coercion, that the trial court erred by failing to find prosecutorial misconduct based on aspects of the State’s closing argument, and that the trial court erred by imposing an effective fifty-year sentence on the defendant. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgments of the trial court but remand for: (1) entry of corrected judgments that reflect the dismissal of Count 1; and (2) to correct clerical errors in the judgments on both Count 6, because the judgment in Count 6 orders the sentence to be served concurrently with the sentence from Count 2, which was declared a mistrial, and the judgment in Count 8, which states that the sentence is to be served concurrently, rather than consecutively to the sentence in Count 11.


GARY CARR v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Gary Carr, Henning, Tennessee, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; and Benjamin A. Ball, Senior Counsel, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: PAGE

The Petitioner, Gary Carr, appeals the Circuit Court for Lauderdale County’s denial of his pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus. The State has filed a motion requesting that this court affirm the trial court’s judgment pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Following our review, we grant the State’s motion and affirm the judgment of the trial court.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DEON LAMONT CARTMELL

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Jim Todd and Katie Hagan, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Defendant, Deon Lamont Cartmell.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson, III, District Attorney General; Tom Thurman, Deputy District Attorney General; and Amy H. Eisenback, Assistant District Attorney, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The Defendant, Deon Lamont Cartmell, was convicted by a Davidson County Criminal Court jury of second degree murder, a Class A felony, and received an eighteen-year sentence. See T.C.A. § 39-13-210 (2010). On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred (1) in admitting the victim’s statements into evidence, (2) in admitting evidence that the victim’s wedding ring was missing, (3) in admitting evidence that Megan Prisco had a flirtatious relationship with him before the victim’s death, (4) in admitting evidence that he boasted about his treating his wife poorly to Metro Police Field Training Officer Mackovis Peebles, (5) in admitting evidence that he carelessly left weapons around his house and used profanity when Antoya Brandon confronted him about it, (6) in admitting evidence of his conversation with Metro Police Chaplain James Duke, (7) in admitting proof of his relationships with other women after the victim’s death, (8) in allowing the State to question him about his contact with Paige Merriweather, (9) in allowing the State to question him about an incident three years before the victim’s death when he confronted her about having sex with other men, (10) in ordering redaction of a portion of the defense expert’s report, and (11) in enhancing his sentence. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WALTER GEORGE GLENN

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Benjamin L. McGowan (at trial) and Donna Robinson Miller (on appeal), Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Walter George Glenn.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Deshea Dulany Faughn, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, III, District Attorney General; Brian Finlay and Matthew Rogers, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

A Hamilton County jury convicted the Defendant, Walter George Glenn, of second degree murder, and the trial court imposed a Range II sentence of thirty-five years of incarceration. On appeal, the Defendant contends that: (1) the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction; (2) the trial court erred in allowing a medical examiner to testify as to the cause of the death in violation of his right to confrontation; and (3) the trial court erred when it sentenced him by improperly applying enhancement factors and failing to apply mitigating factors. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Tuesday is Deadline for Voter Registration

Registration for the August election ends tomorrow, July 8. Election officials advise residents to check with their local election commission to make sure they are properly registered. Paper registration forms may be mailed but must be postmarked by tomorrow. This year, the August general election will include judicial races across the state and party primaries for state offices that will be on the ballot in November. Early voting will begin July 18 and run through Aug. 2. Read more about upcoming election deadlines in the Johnson City Press, Roane County News and Winchester Herald Chronicle.


Judicial Evaluation Report Published in State Papers

The 2014 report of the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission was printed and included in newspapers across the state this past weekend. The report recommends retention of all 22 justices and judges seeking retention in the August general election. Read the report.


Dickinson Wright Opens Music Row Office

Dickinson Wright has tapped a trio of attorneys to lead its expanded entertainment law practice group, newly located on Music Row, the Nashville Business Journal reports. Derek Crownover, founder of the Crownover Firm, will serve as the group’s practice leader while Austen Adams and Cam Caldwell, also previously with the Crownover Firm, join the group. The firm will maintain its downtown Nashville office in addition to the new Music Row location.


Gideon’s Promise Recruits 2 Vanderbilt Law Grads

Gideon’s Promise has signed two Vanderbilt University Law School graduates to participate in its Law School Partnership Program. Jose Costales and William Howell join 13 other recent graduates who will work in underserved public defender offices with the promise of a full-time position after one year. The program is a partnership between Gideon’s Promise, the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, participating law schools and public defender offices in the southeast. See the full list of participants.


UT Health Science Center to Operate Forensic Center

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center has been awarded a one-year $3.1 million contract to operate the West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center and the Shelby County Medical Examiner’s Office, Memphis Daily News reports. Under the contract, the university will oversee medico-legal death investigation services for 20 counties that send autopsies to the facility. It also will provide staffing and management of the forensic center, including supplying forensic pathologists and technicians, support staff and a physician eligible for appointment as the Shelby County medical examiner. Read more about the history of the forensic center and the role the university will play in this Memphis Daily News article.


Attorney Returns to White House ‘Under Legal Siege’

Washington, D.C., lawyer Neil Eggleston could be looking toward a comfortable retirement; instead, he is returning to a grueling post at a White House “under siege on multiple legal fronts,” the Associated Press reports. The 61-year-old Eggleston has joined the Obama administration as chief legal counsel after a career clerking for the U.S. Supreme Court, working in the House of Representatives, serving in President Bill Clinton's counsel’s office and representing a range of high profile clients in his private practice. Eggleston said he has no qualms about coming back into government service amid so many challenges. "To me, that's even better," he says with a smile. NPR has the AP story.


Report: Law School 'Stock' May Be Rising

Law school “stock” is currently undervalued after the recent decline in legal jobs, a Slate article claims. With the number of law school applications at its lowest in 30 years and the legal market starting to stabilize, the articles says now might be a good time to go to law school as job-hunting in 2016 is going to be “a relative cinch.” Above the Law wholly refutes Slate’s premise, however, saying, “Law school isn’t an ‘investment’ like buying a stock, so much as it’s a gamble like buying a lotto ticket.” Read more at the ABA Journal.


Domestic Partners Ordinance to Proceed as Drafted

Hamilton County Circuit Court Judge Neil Thomas ruled this morning that the Domestic Partners Ordinance referendum will proceed as drafted by the group that gained signatures to put it on the ballot, Chattanoogan.com reports. The city of Chattanooga had sought to add wording to the measure to explain the ordinance. The city adopted a policy providing benefits to same-sex or live-in partners of city employees, but it was put on hold because of the referendum.


Court Issues ‘2nd Blow’ to Contraceptive Mandate

The U.S. Supreme Court issued an order Thursday allowing Wheaton College in Illinois to bypass regulations governing how religious objections to contraceptive coverage are to be made. Under the law, religiously affiliated organizations are allowed an exemption from the mandate so long as they fill out a government form for their insurers and third-party administrators. The court’s order allows the school to skip the form if it notifies the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in writing that it is a nonprofit religious group and has religious objections to providing the coverage. The school had argued that filling out the form made it complicit in the provision of the services. Dissenting justices argued that the decision departs from language in the Hobby Lobby case, causing confusion and undermining confidence in the court. The ABA Journal has links to coverage of the issue.


TBA Offers CLE Your Way

Remember to use the three hours of free CLE programming that comes with your TBA membership. Members can use this credit to cover all or part of the cost of live programs across the state, weekly webcasts or any of the 300-plus online courses offered in both video and text formats. Find a course now.


 
 

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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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