DHS report outlines remake of Child Support Guidelines

The long-awaited  final report from the Department of Human Services on the remake of the child support guidelines was issued today. In the transmittal of the report, Commissioner Gina Lodge says that the process has resulted in "significant contribution towards improving“ the guidelines.

Hearings are underway throughout the state on proposed rules to implement the changes agreed to by the department. The final hearing and thus the deadline for comment is Jan. 31. Proposed rules and the hearing schedule.

http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/news/2006/child_support/

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink

MABLE B. BEAL, ET AL. v. WALGREEN CO.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Larry E. Parrish, Memphis, TN, for Appellants

Pam Warnock Green, Memphis, TN, for Appellee

Judge: ALAN E. HIGHERS

In 2001, a pharmacy, when filling the plaintiff’s prescription, gave the plaintiff the wrong medication. The plaintiff began taking the medication as directed, but she soon developed symptoms related to taking the wrong medication. The plaintiff subsequently filed suit against the pharmacy alleging negligence, misrepresentation, and strict liability, and she sought compensatory, consequential, and punitive damages. The pharmacy served the plaintiff with discovery requests specifically designed to discover the basis for the plaintiff’s claim for punitive damages, and the plaintiff responded. The pharmacy deemed the plaintiff’s responses inadequate, and it filed a motion to deem facts admitted, a motion for summary judgment on the plaintiff’s claim for punitive damages, and a motion for summary judgment on the plaintiff’s negligence claim. In response, the plaintiff filed a motion to strike the motions for summary judgment. At a hearing on the pharmacy’s motion to deem facts admitted and the plaintiff’s motion to strike, the trial court orally indicated its intention to grant the pharmacy’s motion for summary judgment on the plaintiff’s claim for punitive damages. Thereafter, the plaintiff orally stated that she wished to take a voluntary nonsuit of her remaining claims. The plaintiff has filed an appeal to this Court asking us to review the grant of partial summary judgment to the pharmacy on her claim for punitive damages. We have determined that, due to the plaintiff’s decision to nonsuit her remaining claims, the present appeal is presently moot. Moreover, we find that this appeal is so devoid of merit that it warrants the imposition of damages for the filing of a frivolous appeal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/bealm011206.pdf


RODNEY M. BUTLER v. QUENTIN WHITE, COMMISSIONER, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Rodney M. Butler, pro se, Jackson, TN

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

Judge: ALAN E. HIGHERS

The prison disciplinary board found the prisoner guilty on numerous occasions of refusing to submit to a drug screen. After exhausting his administrative appeals, the prisoner filed a pro se petition for a writ of certiorari in the chancery court to contest the convictions. The trial court dismissed the prisoner’s petition citing his failure to file it within the applicable statute of limitations. The prisoner appealed to this Court. Because the prisoner was released from prison during the pendency of the case in the trial court, we vacate the trial court’s order and remand this case for the entry of an order dismissing the petition on the ground of mootness.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/butlerr011206.pdf


ELIZABETH LANIER v. STEPHEN L. RAINS and JO ANN RAINS, CO-EXECUTORS, ESTATE OF DEXTER LYNDON RAINS

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Rachel C. Nelley and Keith C. Dennen, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellants.

Phillips M. Smalling, Byrdstown, Tennessee, and Amy V. Hollars, Livingston, Tennessee, for Appellees.

Judge: HERSCHEL PICKENS FRANKS

Petitioner sought to inherit from decedent by being legitimized after decedent’s death and then sharing in decedent’s Estate as a pretermitted child by virtue of Tenn. Code Ann. § 32-3-103. The Trial Court dismissed the Petition. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/laniere011206.pdf


LIPMAN BROTHERS, INC. v. ARETE AGENCIES, INC.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Eugene N. Bulso, Jr. and Barbara Hawley Smith, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lipman Brothers, Inc.

Thomas I. Carlton, Jr. and Ben M. Rose, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, The Hartford Insurance Company.

Judge: DAVID R. FARMER

Plaintiff Lipman Brothers, Inc. purchased 1,156 cases of French wine and hired Italia Di Navigazione, S.p.A. (“Italia”) to ship the wine to the United States from France. Italia subsequently hired Defendant Arete Agencies, Inc. (“Arete”) to transport the wine to Plaintiff’s Nashville warehouses. Arete placed the wine on a train bound for Nashville but, after reaching its destination, the wine was never delivered to Plaintiff and ultimately spoiled after sitting outside in the summer heat for thirty-six days. Arete’s insurance provider, The Hartford Insurance Company (“Hartford”), denied coverage for the incident. Plaintiff later obtained a judgment against Arete and, after learning that Arete was unable to pay, issued a writ of garnishment against Hartford. The trial court subsequently quashed Plaintiff’s writ after concluding that the debt was “contingent” because Plaintiff failed to first institute a declaratory judgment action to interpret the disputed insurance contract before seeking garnishment. We reverse.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/lipman011206.pdf


LAKEISHA JONES v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

James S. Haywood, Jr., Brownsville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Lakeisha Jones.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jane L. Beebe, Assistant Attorney General; Gary G. Brown, District Attorney General; Garry Brown, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: ROBERT W. WEDEMEYER

The Petitioner, Lakeisha Jones, was convicted of second degree murder, and the trial court sentenced her, as a violent offender, to fifteen years in prison. The Petitioner’s conviction and sentence were affirmed by this Court. Subsequently, the Petitioner filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief, which was later amended by appointed counsel. After a hearing, the trial court dismissed the petition. On appeal, the Petitioner contends that the trial court erred when it dismissed her petition for post-conviction relief because she received ineffective assistance of counsel at her trial. Finding that there exists no reversible error, we affirm the post-conviction court’s judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/jonesl011206.pdf


STERLING POLLARD v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Brandon Raulston, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Sterling Pollard.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, III, District Attorney General; and James A. Woods, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: JOHN EVERETT WILLIAMS

The petitioner appeals the denial of post-conviction relief, contending that: (1) the post-conviction court erred in modifying the illegal probationary period rather than vacating it; and (2) his plea to a violation of the Motor Vehicle Offender Act was not knowingly and voluntarily entered. Upon thorough review, we affirm the denial of post-conviction relief but modify the petitioner’s probationary period from five hundred fifty-two days to five years, one hundred eighty-seven days.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/pollards011206.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Online CLE

Legal News
U of M law school to move downtown
A deal has been struck in principle for the University of Memphis law school to move to the downtown post office building on Front Street. Read about it in the Commercial-Appeal.

Supreme Court considers DNA in Tennessee death row case
The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday weighed its desire to bring closure to criminal cases against growing concern over how courts should treat newly discovered evidence of innocence years after a capital conviction. For the court, the stakes are high in this Tennessee case of convicted murderer Paul Gregory House. The justices are being asked to account for advances in science by adjusting legal standards aimed at bringing finality to criminal cases, or risk allowing the execution of an innocent person. The Knoxville News-Sentinel has the story.

DNA tests confirm man executed in 1992 was guilty
Virginia's governor says that new DNA tests in a quarter-century-old murder case confirm the guilt of Roger Keith Coleman, who insisted he was innocent right up until he was executed in 1992. Read about it at TriCities.com

Read the ABA's evaluation of Judge Alito
Interested in the ABA's evaluation of Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr.? Access the report from the ABA's Standing Committee on Federal Judiciary here.
alito.html
Online CLE
Disaster Recovery: Your Ethical Duty
Tornados, fires and hurricanes happen. This new TennBarU online course will help you prepare for and respond to a disaster with the purpose of improving your chance to successfully recover from it.
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