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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.

01 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
04 - TN Court of Appeals
01 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
03 - 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

DISCRETIONARY APPEALS

Court: TSC

Attorneys:





Judge:



http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2006/certlist010906.pdf


ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY v. ARVEAL DRUMMER d/b/a TRIPPLITE

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Darrell G. Townsend and Neil M. McIntire, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Arveal Drummer d/b/a TrippLite.

John R. Cheadle, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Allstate Insurance Company.

Judge: DAVID R. FARMER

Allstate brought this subrogation action to recover amounts it paid to its insured for damages to a computer and printer following a power surge against which a surge protector manufactured by TrippLite allegedly failed to protect. The trial court denied TrippLite’s Rule 41.02 motion for involuntary dismissal and entered judgment for Allstate. TrippLite appeals. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/allstate010906.pdf


WILLIAM M. HENSLEY, ET AL. v. ROBERT CARRIER

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Rowland E. Verran and Shane Usary, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Robert Carrier

James D. Culp, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the Appellees, William M. Hensley and wife, Mary Hensley.

Judge: D. MICHAEL SWINEY

William M. Hensley and Mary Hensley (“Plaintiffs”) sued Robert Carrier (“Defendant”) regarding the use of a driveway. The case was tried without a jury and the Trial Court found and held that it was the intent of the original grantors that the driveway be a joint driveway; that if this holding was incorrect, that the Plaintiffs had established a right to the driveway through adverse possession; that if the prior two holdings were incorrect, that Plaintiffs had proven a prescriptive easement or an implied easement to use the driveway. Defendant appeals claiming that the Trial Court erred in finding a prescriptive easement or an implied easement, and also that the Trial Court erred in not dismissing Plaintiffs’ claims based upon the statute of limitations. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/hensleyw010906.pdf


MONUMENTAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY v. LINDSAY PUCKETT and the Personal Representative of the Estate of Norman Christopher Puckett

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Bobby M. Leatherman, Memphis, TN, for Appellant

Terry Abernathy, Selmer, TN, for Appellee

Judge: ALAN E. HIGHERS

This appeal stems from a declaratory judgment action determining the rights of the parties to a life insurance contract. On appeal, the insurer asserts that the chancery court erred when it found that the agent for the insureds was acting outside the course and scope of her authority when she terminated the life insurance contract. Further, the insurer asserts that, even assuming that the agent was acting outside the course and scope of her authority, the insureds ratified her actions. We reverse and declare that the insurance policy was not in effect at the time of Mr. Puckett’s death. We remand for a determination of whether Ms. Puckett’s actions constituted a violation of section 56-53-103 of the Tennessee Code, and if so, the related expenses the insurer is entitled to receive pursuant to section 56-53-103.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/monumental010906.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 Ailsa Peppel Schuller on appeal, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellee.

Judge: SHARON G. 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/soltisd010906.pdf


JAMES L. MCCURRY v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jennifer E. Raby, Rockwood, Tennessee, for the appellant, James L. McCurry.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; J. Scott McCluen, District Attorney General; and Frank Harvey, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: NORMA MCGEE OGLE

The petitioner appeals the Roane County Criminal Court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his conviction for first degree premeditated murder and resulting life sentence. He contends that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel because his trial attorney (1) failed to file a motion to suppress his statement to police; (2) failed to schedule a hearing to set bond; (3) failed to obtain a second psychological evaluation for him; and (4) failed to file a motion for change of venue. Upon review of the record and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/mccurryj010906.pdf


Arrest Warrents -- Applicability of Tenn. Code Ann. ß40-6-206 to Felony Cases

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-01-09

Opinion Number: 06-1

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2006/ag_06-1.pdf

Disclosure Requirements under Ethics Act

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-01-09

Opinion Number: 06-2

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2006/ag_06-2.pdf

Status of a Caucus Under Title VI, State and Federal Tax Law, and State Laws Governing Non-profit Corporations

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-01-09

Opinion Number: 06-4

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2006/ag_06-4.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News

Legal News
Three on list for 11th district judgeship
The Judicial Selection Commission met Friday in Chattanooga and submitted three names to Gov. Phil Bredesen as candidates to fill the criminal court vacancy in the 11th Judicial District created by the death of Judge Steve Bevil. The are Ardena Garth, Don Poole and Jerry Sloan.

Attorney sues judges
Johnson City attorney Scott Pratt has sued Criminal Court judges Lynn Brown and Robert Cupp for $23.4 million in damages as the result of a contempt of court charge placed against him in December the Kingsport Times-News reports.

Domestic tragedies force new steps
The Commercial Appeal in Memphis looks at some ways people in the legal system are trying to improve the plight of domestic violence victims, including using a $900,000 federal grant designed to bring stricter enforcement of protection orders.
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Candidates file in Roane County
Petitions were issued in Roane County to many seeking public office, including judges Thomas Austin (general sessions), Eugene Eblen (criminal), Dennis Humphrey (general sessions), Russell Simmons (circuit) and Frank Williams (chancery). Jeffery Hill Wicks has also entered the race for the judgeship held by Austin, the Roane County News reports.
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Greene County DA and Circuit Court judge file
Eleven more qualifying petitions have been filed by candidates seeking to run in the May 2 Greene County primary election, including District Attorney C. Berkeley Bell, and Circuit Court Judge John K. Wilson, the Greeneville Sun reports.


 
 
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