Court offers amendments to rules

The Tennessee Supreme Court has promulgated, subject to legislative approval, amendments to the Rules of Appellate Procedure, Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules of Juvenile Procedure and Rules of Evidence. The final rules are substantially the same as those published by the court in September, with a change in the Rules of Appellate Procedure to require written reasons for denial of leave to proceed as a poor person by appellate courts. The rules changes will be effective July 1 2006, if ratified by resolutions of both houses of the General Assembly.

http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/news/2006/rulechanges_010405.pdf

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. To search all opinions in the TBALink database, go to our OpinionSearch page. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on TBALink at http://www.tba.org/getpassword.mgi.

00 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
04 - TN Court of Appeals
05 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR

TBA members can get the full-text versions of these opinions three ways detailed below. All methods require a TBA username and password. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on-line at http://www.tba.org/getpassword.mgi

Here's how you can obtain full-text version. We recommend you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. 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. Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion. Browse the Opinion List area of TBALink. This option will allow you to download the original version of the opinion.

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

WANDA BARRON and RONALD BARRON v. LOUISE STEPHENSON
d/b/a LOUISE LEARNING TREE


Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Erich M. Shultz, Memphis, TN, for Appellant.

Kevin D. Bernstein, Memphis, TN, for Appelle.

Judge: HIGHERS

In this appeal, we are called upon to evaluate the trial court’s grant of summary judgment to the defendant in a premises liability suit. After reviewing the record, we hold that the plaintiff failed to establish that the defendant owed her a duty of care. Specifically, the plaintiff failed to offer any proof tending to show that the ramp on which she slipped and fell constituted a defective and/or dangerous condition. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court’s grant of summary judgment to the defendant.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/barronw1406.pdf


YELENA UTKINA KESTERSON v. THOMAS MICHAEL KESTERSON, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

W. Brown Hawley, II, Paris, TN, for Appellant.

Larry J. Logan, McKenzie, TN, for Appellees.

Judge: HIGHERS

This case involves issues arising out of the parties’ divorce. The chancery court designated and divided the parties’ assets and placed an equitable lien on the separate property of the husband. The chancery court did not award alimony or attorney’s fees and discretionary costs to the wife. We affirm in part, vacate in part, reverse in part, and remand for further proceedings. Further, we decline to award attorney’s fees and costs on appeal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/kestersony1406.pdf


AMSOUTH BANK v. DOUGLAS A. SOLTIS, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Douglas A. Soltis and Bonnie Soltis, Seymour, Tennessee, Appellants, Pro Se.

Christopher W. Conner at trial, Lars E. Schuller and Alisa Peppel Schuller on appeal, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellee.

Judge: LEE

This is a suit for collection of a credit card debt. AmSouth Bank (“AmSouth”) filed a complaint on a sworn account seeking a judgment against Mr. and Mrs. Soltis for the unpaid balance on three credit card accounts. Mr. and Mrs. Soltis answered and denied AmSouth was entitled to any relief. AmSouth filed a motion for summary judgment. Mr. and Mrs. Soltis responded by filing three documents entitled “Verified Application to Confirm and Enforce Arbitration Award” and three “Award” documents indicating that AmSouth Bank owed Mr. and Mrs. Soltis money. The parties had not agreed to arbitration and had not participated in arbitration. The trial court granted AmSouth’s motion for summary judgment and Mr. and Mrs. Soltis appealed. The issue presented on appeal is whether the trial court erred in granting AmSouth’s motion for summary judgment and in entering judgment against Mr. and Mrs. Soltis. After careful review of the record and applicable authorities, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/soltisd1406.pdf


KENNY VAUGHN, ET AL. v. NOTIE L. CUNNINGHAM, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

J. Taylor Walker and Thomas H. O’Neal, Chattanooga, Tennessee for the Appeallants, Kenny Vaughn and wife, Barbara Vaughn

Angela Cirina Kopet and Christine M. Vanasse, Chattanooga, Tennessee for the Appellee, Notie L. Cunningham.

Scott M. Shaw, Chattanooga, Tennessee for the Appellee, John Doe.

Judge: SWINEY

Kenny Vaughn and Barbara Vaughn (“Plaintiffs” or “Mr. Vaughn” and “Mrs. Vaughn” as appropriate) sued Notie L. Cunningham and John Doe concerning an automobile accident that occurred in Hamilton County. The case was tried before a jury and the Trial Court entered judgment on the jury’s verdict. The jury found John Doe 100% at fault for the accident, but awarded Plaintiffs no damages. Plaintiffs appeal to this Court claiming that the jury verdict is contrary to the evidence because the amount of damages is not within the range of reasonableness, and that the Trial Court erred by not granting a new trial and by awarding court costs against Plaintiffs. We affirm as modified.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/vaughnk1406.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MONSANTO UNDREZ CANNON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Fannie J. Harris, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Monsanto Undrez Cannon.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth Marney, Assistant Attorney General; Mike McCown, District Attorney General; and Michael D. Randles and Ann Filer, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

The Defendant pled guilty to and was convicted of misdemeanor casual exchange of marijuana not in excess of one-half ounce, Class E felony possession with intent for resale of not less than one-half ounce nor more than ten pounds of marijuana, and possession of a handgun as a felon, also a Class E felony. The Defendant was sentenced to eleven months and twenty-nine days for his misdemeanor conviction, and three years as a Range II, multiple offender for each felony conviction. The trial court ordered the two felony conviction sentences to be served consecutively, for an effective six year term of incarceration. On appeal, the Defendant challenges his sentence, claiming the court erred by: 1) imposing consecutive sentences, and 2) denying alternative sentencing. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/cannonm1406.pdf


TERRY LYNN ROBERTS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Steven L. West, McKenzie, Tennessee, for the appellant, Terry Lynn Roberts.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie Price, Assistant Attorney General; G. Robert Radford, District Attorney General; and Stephen D. Jackson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The petitioner, Terry Lynn Roberts, was convicted of rape of a child, aggravated sexual battery, and rape and sentenced, respectively, to terms of twenty-five years, eleven years, and twelve years, with the sentences to be served consecutively. The convictions and sentences were affirmed on direct appeal, with the petitioner then filing a petition for post-conviction relief, relying on the holding in Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296, 124 S. Ct. 2531 (2004), and asserting that it should be applied retroactively and, as a result, the court erred in enhancing his sentences. The post-conviction court dismissed the petition, and we concur in that dismissal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/robertst1406.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TROY WAYNE STEPP

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

David S. Stockton, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Troy Wayne Stepp.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; Elizabeth T. Rice, District Attorney General; and James Walter Freeland, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Troy Wayne Stepp, was convicted of delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance, methamphetamine, a Class C felony, and sentenced as a multiple offender to eight years in the Department of Correction. On appeal, he argues: (1) the trial court erred in allowing the introduction of a transcript of a taped-recorded conversation; and (2) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/steppt1406.pdf


MARCUS E. THOMPSON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Larry R. Dillow, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellant, Marcus E. Thompson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; and Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The petitioner, Marcus E. Thompson, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, arguing that the post-conviction court erred in finding he received effective assistance of trial and appellate counsel. Following our review, we affirm the denial of the petition.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/thompsonm1406.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. BERNARD MIGUEL WALLACE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Curtis F. Hopper, Savannah, Tennessee, for the appellant, Bernard Miguel Wallace.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General; G. Robert Radford, District Attorney General; and John W. Overton, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Bernard Miguel Wallace, was convicted by a Hardin County jury of the sale of under .5 grams of a Schedule II controlled substance, cocaine, a Class C felony. He was sentenced as a Range II, multiple offender to nine years in the Department of Correction and fined $2000. On appeal, he argues: (1) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction; and (2) his sentence is illegal pursuant to Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296, 124 S. Ct. 2531 (2004). Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/wallaceb1406.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News

Legal News
Prominent Chattanooga attorney dies after long illness
Phillip A. Fleissner, 60, of Soddy-Daisy, a prominent Chattanooga attorney, died Monday at his home after a lengthy illness.
fleissner_010405.html
Rogersville attorney named president of trial advocates organization
Rogersville attorney Mark S. Stapleton was recently elected president of the Tennessee chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates according to the Citizen Tribune.
3&idarticle=2324
ABA announces professionalism awards
Nominations are now being accepted for the sixteenth annual E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Awards, which recognize projects that enhance professionalism among lawyers. Bar associations, law schools, law firms and other not-for-profit law related organizations are eligible to apply. Entry forms and guidelines are available online at
gambrell.html
Republican primary likely to fill judge's post
Assistant District Attorney Rob Montgomery Tuesday told a Kingsport Republican group that he would resign his office next month if he moves ahead with plans to run for criminal court judge in the 2nd Judicial District – a seat currently held by Judge Phyllis Miller who has announced her intentions not to seek re-election. The Kingsport Times News reports that Montgomery likely will face County Commissioner Ray Conkin in a Republican primary.
article.dna?_StoryID=3586500
ABA rates Supreme Court nominee Alito as well qualified
Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito has been given the American Bar Association's highest rating for professional stature and integrity as he prepares for confirmation hearings next week. The unanimous vote of the 15-member committee was delivered Wednesday to the Senate Judiciary Committee, reports CNN.
alito/index.html

 
 
UNSUBSCRIBE TO TBAToday? ... SURELY NOT!
But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at: http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/unsub_tbatoday.php

TBALink HomeContact UsPageFinderWhat's NewHelp
 
 
© Copyright 2006 Tennessee Bar Association