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Howard H. Vogel
| ANNIE B. COCHRAN v. ROBINHOOD LANE BAPTIST CHURCH, ET AL.
Reginald L. Eskridge, Janelle R.Eskridge, Memphis, TN, for Appellant.
Herschel L. Rosenberg, Memphis, TN, for Appellees Herschel L. Rosenberg, Memphis, TN, for Appellees.
In this appeal, we are asked by the appellant to determine whether the chancery court erred when it
granted summary judgment to the appellees, finding that there was no consideration to support the
Pastor’s Spouse Benefits agreement between the parties and that the theory of promissory estoppel
is inapplicable in this case. On appeal, the appellant asserts that her presence as first lady of the
church, her loss of benefits previously received from the Church, and/or the restraint of marriage
provision in the agreement constituted legally adequate consideration for the Agreement. In the
alternative, the appellant asserts that the doctrine of promissory estoppel is applicable in this case. We affirm.
MICHAEL JERRY COX v. PAMELA KAY COX
Edwin C. Lenow, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael Jerry Cox.
Jeffery L. Stimpson, Munford, Tennessee, for the appellee, Pamela Cox.
This is a divorce case. Plaintiff Husband appeals the trial court’s award of alimony in futuro to
Defendant/Counter-Plaintiff Wife. We affirm.
IN THE MATTER OF THE CONSERVATORSHIP OF DORIS DAVENPORT
DORIS DAVENPORT, ET AL. v. RUTH ADAIR, ET AL.
Matthew B. Frere, D. David Sexton, Knoxville, TN, for Appellant, Doris Davenport.
Paul T. Coleman, Irmie K. (Ike) Blanton, III, Knoxville, TN, for Appellant, Teddie J. Clark.
David O. Day, Edward M. Graves, III, Cookeville, TN, for Appellees.
In this conservatorship case, we are asked to evaluate the probate court’s decision that an elderly
female was mentally disabled and in need of the court’s assistance. The elderly female executed two
powers of attorney for health care; one in 1996 and the other in 2003 after the nieces of the elderly
female filed their petition in this case to appoint a conservator. The attorney-in-fact under both
powers of attorney filed a counter-petition asking the probate court to appoint her conservator over
the elderly female. The probate court ruled that the power of attorney executed in 1996 was void due
to improper execution and that the power of attorney executed in 2003 was void because it was
executed while the elderly female was mentally disabled. The probate court found that the elderly
female’s nieces and the attorney-in-fact should not serve as conservators in this case. Instead, the
probate court appointed the public guardian to serve as the elderly female’s conservator. The
attorney-in-fact and the elderly female filed an appeal to this Court. We affirm in part and reverse
MELVIN FOSTER, ET AL. v. HAROLD COLLINS, ET AL.
Archie Sanders, Memphis, TN, for Appellants, Harold Collins, as Moderator of Mississippi
Boulevard Christian Church, Inc., Kym Barnett, Eldredge Williams, Delores Flagg, Susie Williams,
Julia Bennett, Edward Reid, Sheilah Easterling, Leroy Norton, Theodore Peasant, Tessera Martin
Hardaway, Clyde Hunt, James Hudson, Ervin Isom, Anthony Brown and Veda Bankhead, as the
Church Council of MBCC.
John S.Golwen, Kristen Wright, Memphis, TN, for Appellant, Dr. Frank Thomas as Senior Pastor
of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church.
Patricia A. Odell, Memphis, TN, for Appellees, Melvin Foster, Erma Foster, Laura Cade, Allene C.
McGuire, Rholedia Morgan, Marie Brooks, James H. Banks, Nevada M. Banks, Bettye M. Friends,
Edward J. Friends, Juanita H. McCoy, and Bettye Briggs, Concerned Members of Mississippi
Boulevard Christian Church, Inc.
Fourteen members of a church filed a complaint against the church leadership seeking an injunction
to prevent the church from renewing the pastor’s contract and to enjoin the church leadership from
utilizing church funds in a manner which displeased them. The parties ultimately settled the case
by entering into a settlement agreement, which the chancery court incorporated into its order
dismissing the case with prejudice. Shortly thereafter, the members filed a petition seeking to hold
the church leadership in contempt for violating the terms of the settlement agreement. The
chancellor found the church leadership to be in civil and criminal contempt of the order dismissing
the case and imposed fines and jail time. The church leadership appealed to this Court. After
reviewing the record in this case, we hold that the chancery court lacked subject matter jurisdiction
over this case from the outset. Accordingly, the resulting order, which served as the basis for the
chancery court’s finding of contempt, is void. We reverse the chancery court’s ruling in this case
and dismiss the case in its entirety.
JOE W. KING, JR., ET AL. v. GENERAL MOTORS CORPORATION, ET AL.
Jonathan Cole, Nashville, TN, for Appellants.
Philip L. Harris, Julie A. LaBunski, pro hac vice, Chicago, IL, for Appellants.
Stephen C. Knight, Nashville, TN, for Appellees.
In this appeal, we are asked to determine whether (1) the jury based its awards of damages for lost
earning capacity and future medical expenses on speculation; (2) the trial court erred when it denied
the defendants’ motion in limine to exclude the testimony of the plaintiffs’ medical experts; and (3)
the trial court erred when it denied an award of prejudgment interest to the plaintiffs. The defendants
contend that there was no material evidence to support the jury’s awards of lost earning capacity and
future medical expenses and that the trial court should have granted their motion in limine because
the court was required to exclude the testimony of plaintiffs’ medical experts as a sanction for
plaintiffs’ failure to include those medical experts as experts in the plaintiffs’ responses to
interrogatories. With regards to prejudgment interest, the plaintiffs contend that the trial court erred
when it refused to award prejudgment interest because this type of award is applicable to some
awards from personal injury cases. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand for further
ARLIN & EDMONDSON, P.C. v. NATIONAL UNION FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY OF PITTSBURGH, PA., ET AL.
Richard Glassman and R. Douglas Hanson of Memphis, Tennessee for Appellant, National Union
Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, P.A.
Grant C. Glassford of Franklin, Tennessee for Cross-Appellant, Marlin & Edmondson
Barry L. Howard and M. Kristin Selph of Nashville, Tennessee for Appellees, Maurice Pinson and
Cooper, Love & Jackson, Inc.
This case involves a denial of coverage under a professional liability insurance policy. The
gravamen of this case is whether the Appellant/insurance company received proper notice under the
policy, of a claim by Appellee/accounting firm. Appellee/accounting firm purchased the Policy
through its usual insurance broker, also an Appellee in this appeal. Appellee/accounting firm
notified Appellee/insurance broker of its claim, but no written notice was forwarded to
Appellant/insurance company. The trial court found, inter alia, that notice to the
Appellee/insurance broker constituted notice to the Appellant/insurance company. Consequently,
the trial court entered judgment against Appellant/insurance company and dismissed
Appellee/accounting firm’s cause of action against Appellee/insurance broker. We reverse and
IN RE A.B., T.B., E.B., AND B.M.
STATE OF TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN’S SERVICES v. BELINDA MEDLIN
Jeffery T. Washburn, Dresden, Tennessee, for the appellant, Belinda Medlin.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter, and Elizabeth C. Driver, Assistant Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.
This is a termination of parental rights case. In 1999, DCS removed three of the four children living
with mother from the mother’s home. They were found to be dependent and neglected, and placed
in the custody of DCS. The children were in foster care until October 2002, when they were returned
to the mother. By that time, the fourth child had been born. In May 2003, all four children were
again removed from the mother’s custody based on reports that the mother had left the children
unsupervised, and that the eighteen-month-old was found in the street and was almost hit by a car.
Authorities later discovered that minors had been drinking alcohol in the mother’s home, and that
the mother had struck one of the children in the eye and told her to lie about the resulting bruise. The
trial court again found the children to be dependent and neglected. The mother and DCS entered into
a permanency plan with several requirements for the mother to complete in order to regain custody
of the children. Eight months later, DCS filed the instant petition to terminate the mother’s parental
rights, alleging, inter alia, that the conditions which led to the removal of the children from the
mother’s home persisted. The trial court granted the petition and terminated the mother’s parental
rights. The mother now appeals. We affirm, finding ample evidence on the ground of persistent
conditions, as well as clear and convincing evidence that termination of the mother’s parental rights
was in the children’s best interest.
DONNA RENEE MORGAN v. JEFFRIE W. MORGAN
Scarlett Beaty Latham, Albany, Kentucky, for the appellant, Jeffrie W. Morgan. Scarlett Beaty Latham, Albany, Kentucky, for the appellant, Jeffrie W. Morgan.
Jimmy W. Bilbo, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellee, Donna Renee Morgan.
Donna Renee Morgan (“Mother”) filed a complaint for divorce from her husband of 11 years, Jeffrie
W. Morgan (“Father”). The trial court awarded Mother a divorce and designated her as the primary
residential parent of the parties’ minor child. In addition, the trial court divided the parties’ property
and awarded Mother alimony and child support, basing its child support award on an annual salary
for Father of $110,000. Father appeals, arguing that he should have been awarded primary
residential parent status and contending that the trial court erred in its determination of his annual
income. We affirm.
RETAIL BUILDERS, INC. v. MARGARET LATHAM
Robert L. DeLaney, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Retail Builders, Inc.
Curtis M. Lincoln, Hendersonville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Margaret Latham.
This is a construction case. The plaintiff construction manager agreed to manage the construction
of a restaurant for the defendant restaurant owner. Preliminary documents showed that the
construction manager agreed to provide its services for a guaranteed maximum price. During
construction, there were unanticipated problems that increased costs. After construction was
completed, the construction manager sought payments from the restaurant owner over and above the
guaranteed maximum price, but the restaurant owner refused to pay more. The construction manager
filed this lawsuit against the restaurant owner, claiming that the parties did not enter into an
enforceable contract, and that the restaurant owner should pay the construction manager the
reasonable value of its services under a theory of quantum meruit. After a bench trial, the trial court
held in favor of the restaurant owner, determining that the parties had entered into a binding fixed
price contract. The construction manager now appeals. We affirm in part and reverse in part the trial
court’s determination and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
MAY SLONE v. JAMES M. MITCHELL, ET AL.
Mitzi L. Sweet, Morristown, Tennessee, for the appellant, May Slone.
Jeffrey M. Ward, Greeneville, Tennessee, for the appellees, James M. Mitchell and SE Emergency
Edward G. White, II, and E. Michael Brezina, III, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Jefferson
Memorial Hospital, Inc.
Gary Spangler and Travis J. Ledgerwood, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellees, F. Gregory
Curtin, M.D., and Abercrombie Radiological Consultants, Inc.
This medical malpractice case focuses on the correct interpretation of Tenn. R. Civ. P. 3 as we attempt to ascertain whether this suit, filed pursuant to the saving statute, was pursued so as to “toll the running of [the] statute of limitations.” The trial court held that, since no process was issued within 30 days of the filing of the plaintiff’s complaint and since the process that was eventually issued and later served on the defendants was not issued within one year of the filing of the complaint, the plaintiff’s suit was filed outside the one-year statute of limitations. The trial court dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint. She appeals. We affirm.
SOUTHERN SECURITY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION v. CUMIS INSURANCE SOCIETY, INC.
Fred C. Statum, III, Jeffrey S. Price, Nashville, TN, for Appellant.
Michael G. McLaren, William E. Cochran, Jr., Memphis, TN, for Appellee.
In this appeal, we are called upon to review the trial court’s order entering summary judgment in
favor of the bank. After one of its customers deposited a counterfeit check into its account at the
bank, the bank filed a claim with its insurance company to recover for its loss under a bond.
Specifically, the bank sought coverage under two provisions in the bond. The bank filed its first
motion for summary judgment on one of the bond’s provisions. The insurance company responded
by agreeing that, for purposes of ruling on the motion for summary judgment, the bank’s customer
intended to commit a fraud when he deposited the check. By doing so, the insurance company
sought to trigger an exclusion provision in the bond. Thereafter, the bank filed a second motion for
summary judgment on the other provision in the bond. In response, the insurance company, in an
effort to create a disputed issue of material fact as to this provision, asserted that the customer did
not intended to commit fraud when he deposited the check. The trial court granted the bank’s
motions for summary judgment. In regards to the bank’s motions for summary judgment, we
reverse the trial court’s award of summary judgment to the bank and find that genuine issues of
material fact remain to be decided, therefore, summary judgment is inappropriate.
ANTHONY TIGG ET AL. v. PIRELLI TIRE CORPORATION ET AL.
F. Dulin Kelly, Clint Kelly, and Andy L. Allman, Hendersonville, Tennessee, for the appellants,
Anthony Tigg, Levance Madden, Jr., Ronald Elliott, Vickie Dillworth, Daphney Cecil, Herschel D.
Brooks, Jr., Eugene O. Coffman, Jr., Donald Elliot, Eric Thompson, Karz Miller, and Terrance
Richard L. Colbert, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Pirelli Tire Corporation.
George E. Barrett and Gerald E. Martin, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, United Steelworkers
of America, and URW Local Union 670.
This appeal involves a dispute between workers who were hired to replace striking workers and the
employer as well as the international and local unions representing the striking workers. After a
class action purportedly filed on their behalf was dismissed before the class was certified, some of
the replacement workers who would have been members of the class filed another class action
complaint in the Circuit Court for Davidson County against the employer and the unions. The
employer moved to dismiss the complaint based on the statute of limitations and the doctrine of
laches. The trial court granted the motion, and the replacement workers appealed. We have
determined that the trial court erred by concluding that the replacement workers’ claims for breach
of contract and interference with contract are time-barred and that the doctrine of laches prevented
them from maintaining these claims against the employer and the unions.
DONNA LYNAE WATSON v. HAROLD GUY WATSON
Johnny V. Dunaway, LaFollette, Tennessee, for the appellant, Harold Guy Watson.
Mark A. Cowan, Morristown, Tennessee, for the appellee, Donna Lynae Watson.
This is a divorce case. The parties, Donna Lynae Watson (“Wife”) and Harold Guy Watson
(“Husband”), ultimately stipulated to the existence of grounds for divorce and reached an agreement
pertaining to the disposition of much of their marital property. A bench trial was held to resolve the
parties’ disputed issues, which, among other things, included the issue of how the marital real
property should be disposed of in the overall division of the parties’ marital property. The trial court
awarded the marital real property to Wife, subject, however, to the mortgage on the property;
Husband appeals this action by the trial court. We affirm.
BRUCE WOOD v. METROPOLITAN NASHVILLE & DAVIDSON COUNTY GOVERNMENT ET AL.
Bruce Wood, Nashville, Tennessee, Pro Se.
Karl F. Dean, Margaret Holleman, and John L. Kennedy, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees,
Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Metropolitan Board of Health, and
Metropolitan Public Health Department.
Sharon O. Jacobs, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Nashville Thermal Transplant Corporation.
This appeal involves a dispute between a citizen and the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and
Davidson County regarding the regulatory oversight of the now defunct Nashville Thermal Transfer
plant. The Metropolitan Department of Health decided to reopen the plant’s operating permit and
to assess monetary penalties for the plant’s violations of air quality regulations. The plant appealed
these decisions to the Metropolitan Board of Health. While the administrative appeal was pending,
the plant and the Department of Health settled their dispute. The Board of Health approved the
settlement and even reduced the monetary penalties assessed against the plant over the objections
of a private citizen who had unsuccessfully sought to intervene in the proceeding. The citizen then
filed a petition for a common-law writ of certiorari in the Chancery Court seeking judicial review
of the Board of Health’s decision. After the plant was totally destroyed by fire, the trial court
dismissed the citizen’s petition on the ground that it was moot. We affirm the dismissal because the
citizen lacked standing to file the petition for a common-law writ of certiorari.
STEPHEN LAJUAN BEASLEY v. STATE OF TENNESSEE
Stephen Lajuan Beasley, Pikeville, Tennessee, pro se.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General;
J. Michael Taylor, District Attorney General; and James W. Pope, III, Assistant District Attorney
General, for appellee, State of Tennessee.
The petitioner, Stephen Lajuan Beasley, appeals the summary dismissal of his petition for habeas
corpus relief. In this appeal, he alleges that his conviction is void because the indictment was
defective and because the sentence was illegal. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MELISSA ROBERTS
Robert N. Meeks, Collegedale, Tennessee, for the appellant, Melissa Roberts.
Paul G. Summers, District Attorney General & Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney
General; Scott McCluen, District Attorney General; and Frank Harvey, Assistant District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
The defendant, Melissa Roberts, was convicted of driving under the influence and violating the
implied consent law. See Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 55-10-401, -406 (2003). For the driving under the
influence offense, the trial court imposed a sentence of eleven months and twenty-nine days to be
suspended after the service of four days of confinement, with supervision until payment of fine and
costs. Her driver's license was suspended for one year. The trial court imposed a concurrent one-
year suspension of her driver's license for her violation of the implied consent law. In this appeal
as of right, the defendant argues that the evidence was insufficient to support her convictions. The
judgments of the trial court are affirmed.
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOSHUA SCHAEFFER
Paul Whetstone, Mosheim, Tennessee, for the appellant, Joshua Schaeffer.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Blind Akrawi, Assistant Attorney General; and Victor Vaughn and Paige Collins, Assistant District Attorneys General for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
The defendant, Joshua Schaeffer, was convicted of aggravated robbery. The trial court imposed a Range I sentence of eight years in the Department of Correction. In this appeal as of right, the defendant alleges (1) that the evidence is insufficient; (2) that the trial court provided an incorrect definition of the term "deadly weapon" in its instructions to the jury; (3) that the trial court committed plain error by giving the "result-of-conduct" definition of "knowingly" in its instructions to the jury; (4) that the trial court improperly allowed into evidence a newspaper headline related to the offense; (5) that a detective impermissibly referred to the crime as "robbery" during his testimony; (6) that the prosecutor's closing argument was improper; and (7) that the cumulative effect of the errors deprived him of the right to a fair trial. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.
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