Court adds new specializations, denies name change request

The Tennessee Supreme Court today issued a pair of orders regarding proposals from the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization. The court agreed with comments from the Tennessee Bar Association that it should grant the request that attorneys no longer be required to sign and return an Annual Report Statement (ARS) if their ARS reflects sufficient hours to meet all requirements and no fee is due. The court also agreed with TBA comments and decided not to allow the creation of the name "Tennessee Board of Legal Specialization" for use by the CLE Commission.

The court also granted the CLE Commission's request that it be allowed to certify attorney-specialists in Social Security Disability Law; Juvenile - Child Welfare Law; and Driving Under the Influence Defense.

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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink

With concurring and dissenting opinions

Court: TCA


Patrick T. Phillips, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, James K. Cannon.

Hanson R. Tipton, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellees, Loudon County, Tennessee and Sheriff Tim Guider.

Judge: LEE

The issue presented in this slip-and-fall case is whether the trial court erred in ruling that the Plaintiff and Defendants were each 50% at fault and dismissing the Plaintiff’s lawsuit. While incarcerated in the Loudon County jail, James K. Cannon slipped on a floor wet from rainwater leaking through the ceiling and window frame of his cell. Because we find that (1) Defendants were responsible for creating the hazardous condition, and had prior notice of the hazardous condition and opportunity to remedy it but did not, and (2) Mr. Cannon had little, if any, opportunity to avoid the known risk of walking to the bathroom on a wet floor in rubber “flip-flop” type sandals, we reverse the trial court’s finding that Mr. Cannon was 50% at fault. We hold the evidence preponderates in favor of a finding that Defendants were 100% at fault in the accident causing Mr. Cannon’s injury, and remand the case for a determination and award of damages.

Majority Opinion

Concurring Opinion

Dissenting Opinion


Court: TCA


Charles W. Welch and timothy A. Glut of Nashville for Appellant, Club Systems of Tennessee, Inc.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Mary Ellen Knack, Assistant Attorney General for Appellee, State Board of Equalization

Michael D. Sontag and Christopher L. Haley of Nashville for Appellee, YMCA of Middle Tennessee


Appellants, a group of for-profit health club owners challenge the constitutionality and application of T.C.A. §67-5-225, which provides for a real and personal property tax exemption for family wellness centers. Specifically the Appellants assert that the statute violates both Tenn. Const. art. II, § 28 and Tenn. Const. art. XI, § 8. The Tennessee State Board of Equalization and the trial court upheld the statute’s constitutionality, and we affirm that portion of the trial court’s holding. Appellants also challenge the trial court’s determination that Appellee, the YMCA of Middle Tennessee, satisfies the requirements set forth in T.C.A. §67-5-225 so as to qualify for tax exempt status thereunder. Finding that there is insufficient evidence to support the trial court’s conclusion that the Uptown YMCA location satisfies the requirements of the statute, we reverse and remand on that issue. The order of the trial court is otherwise affirmed.


Court: TCA


Clark Lee Shaw, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, David L. Silvers.

Robert S. Thompson, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Candice D. Dunn.

Judge: LEE

This appeal arises from a paternity action. The trial court, inter alia, established paternity, awarded custody of the parties’ six month old child to Mother, established Father’s co-parenting time, ordered Father to pay the birth expenses, and a portion of Mother’s lost wages incurred as a result of giving birth to the child. Father appeals. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TCA


Reginald D. Hughes, pro se, Henning, TN.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Bradley W. Flippin, Assistant Attorney General, for Appellee.


The Appellant, an inmate in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Correction, filed a handwritten pro se petition seeking review by common law writ of certiorari following a denial of parole by the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole. The board filed a motion to dismiss the petition, citing several defects with the Appellant’s petition. The trial court granted the Appellant time to cure the defects. The Appellant subsequently filed a motion to amend his petition in an effort to comply with the trial court’s directives, however, the trial court subsequently entered an order dismissing the Appellant’s petition. Thereafter, the Appellant filed a post-trial “Motion to Rehear.” When the trial court did not address the motion, the Appellant filed a notice of appeal to this Court. We hold that the Appellant’s post-trial motion is, in actuality, a motion to alter or amend the judgment, therefore, we remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings on the motion.


Court: TCA


David A. Collins, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Craig John McPherson.

Pat M. Fraley, Fayetteville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Cynthia Rose McPherson (Palazzolo).

Judge: KOCH

This appeal involves a continuing post-divorce dispute regarding child support and related issues. Seven years after the divorce, the former husband filed a petition in the Chancery Court for Marshall County requesting the court to recalculate his child support obligation and to re-establish visitation that had been suspended earlier because of non-payment of child support and failure to abide by the court’s orders. The former wife responded by requesting that her former husband be held in contempt for failing to comply with the earlier court orders. Following a bench trial, the court entered an order finding the former husband in “civil” contempt. The court sentenced the former husband to a mandatory ten-day jail sentence and ordered that he remain incarcerated until he paid a portion of his child support arrearage and other financial obligations. The court also recalculated the former husband’s child support obligation and ordered the resumption of visitation. On this appeal, the former husband takes issue with the contempt judgment, the earlier suspension of his visitation, and the denial of his request to claim the children as dependents for income tax purposes. While we have determined that the judgment of contempt cannot stand because it is procedurally defective, we find that the remainder of the trial court’s August 22, 2003 order is legally and factually sound.


Court: TCCA


Robert Winters, Clifton, Tennessee, pro se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; and Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WADE

The petitioner, Robert Michael Winters, appeals the summary dismissal of his petition for post- conviction relief. The single issue on appeal is whether the petition was timely filed. The judgment is affirmed.


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