Supreme Court upholds Oregon assisted suicide law

The Supreme Court upheld Oregon's assisted-suicide law today, declaring that the Bush administration had exceeded its authority in trying to undo the statute by punishing doctors who help people end their lives, the New York Times reports.
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
02 - TN Court of Appeals
08 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
03 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR

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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

STEVEN GRIFFIN v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TSC

Attorneys:

Thomas Bloom, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Steven Griffin.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: BIRCH

We accepted review of this cause under the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure, Rule 11, in order to address a question of first impression: whether the right to DNA analysis created by the Post-Conviction DNA Analysis Act of 2001 may be waived by implication. Because the clear language of this Act provides that a petition for analysis may be filed at any time, we hold that the filing of such a petition is not subject to implied waiver. This holding, however, affects only eligibility to file the petition; the requirements set forth in the Act must be met before relief may be granted. Accordingly, and for the reasons stated, we reverse the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals and remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings pursuant to this opinion.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2006/griffins011706.pdf


ANTHONY CHATMAN v. CITY OF CHATTANOOGA
Corrected Case

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Anthony Chatman, Pro Se.

Ann K. Shaffer, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for appellee, City of Chattanooga.

Judge: INMAN

Mr. Chatman was a policeman in Chattanooga. He was fired on September 15, 2003 for untruthfulness during an investigation, and for conduct unbecoming a police officer. He appealed to the Chattanooga City Council which upheld his dismissal. His petition for certiorari was denied and he appeals. We affirm.

Middle initial of attorney Ann Shaffer corrected from "E" to "K"
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/chatmana011706.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE, ex rel., DARRELL L. TIPTON, MICHAEL L. ROSS, and DALE M. ROSS v. CITY OF KNOXVILLE

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Debra C. Poplin, Knoxville, Tennessee, for appellant, City of Knoxville.

David L. Buuck, Knoxville, Tennessee, for appellees.

Judge: FRANKS

In this quo warranto action contesting annexation by the City, the Trial Court held landowners were not entitled to a jury trial and they had the burden of proof to contest in the annexation. Following trial, the Court held landowners had carried the burden of proof to invalidate the annexation. On appeal, we affirm the Trial Courtís preliminary rulings, but reverse the invalidation of the annexation.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/tiptond011706.pdf


LEE A. ALDERSON V. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Lee A. Alderson, Pro Se, Nashville, Tennessee.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Christopher Daniel Lins, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

This matter is before the Court upon the Stateís motion to affirm the judgment of the trial court by memorandum opinion pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The petitioner has appealed the trial courtís order summarily dismissing the petition for the writ of habeas corpus. In that petition, the petitioner alleges that his judgment was void and that his sentence was illegal. Upon a review of the record in this case we are persuaded that the trial court was correct in summarily dismissing the habeas corpus petition and that this case meets the criteria for affirmance pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Accordingly, the Stateís motion is granted, and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/aldersonl011706.pdf


JOHN E. CARTER V. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

John E. Carter, Pro Se, Mountain City, Tennessee.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Preston Shipp, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

This matter is before the Court upon the Stateís motion to dismiss or in the alternative to affirm the judgment of the trial court by memorandum opinion pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The petitioner has appealed the trial courtís order summarily dismissing his three petitions for writ of error coram nobis in which the petitioner alleged that newly- discovered evidence and his own diminished capacity mandated a new trial. Upon a review of the record in this case, we are persuaded that the trial court was correct in summarily dismissing the petitions for coram nobis relief and that this case meets the criteria for affirmance pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Accordingly, the Stateís motion is granted, and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/carterj011706.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ERIC FIELDS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Robert Wilson Jones, District Public Defender; Tony N. Brayton, Assistant Public Defender; Amy Mayne, Assistant Public Defender; and Robert Gowan, Assistant Public Defender, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Eric Fields.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; James Lammey, Assistant District Attorney General; and Vanessa King, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Following a jury trial, Defendant, Eric Fields, was convicted of the following offenses and received the following concurrent sentences: aggravated robbery of Yousef Nahhas, a Class B felony, twelve years; conspiracy to possess more than three hundred grams of cocaine with intent to sell or deliver, a Class A felony, twenty-five years; attempted second degree murder of Officer Dariet Wallace, a Class B felony, twelve years; aggravated robbery of Officer Wallace, a Class B felony, twelve years; and unlawful possession of a handgun, a Class E felony, two years. The trial court sentenced Defendant as a Range I, standard offender, for his conspiracy drug conviction, and as a Range II, multiple offender, for his remaining convictions. The convictions were the result of a jury trial, and the total effective sentence of twenty-five years was the result of a negotiated agreement of the parties done in lieu of a sentencing determination by the trial court. In his appeal, Defendant challenges the sufficiency of the convicting evidence. After review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/fieldse011706.pdf


CHARLIE M. GARDNER v. TONY PARKER, WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Charlie M. Gardner, Tiptonville, Tennessee, pro se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson III, District Attorney General, and Roger Moore, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Petitioner, Charlie M. Gardner, appeals from the trial courtís summary dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus. The State has filed a motion for this Court to affirm the judgment of the trial court pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals. Having reviewed the record, we find that the motion has merit and grant same. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/gardnerc011706.pdf


RONNIE JACKSON, JR. v. RICKY J. BELL, WARDEN, and STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Ronnie Jackson, Jr., Petros, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Mark A. Fulks, Assistant Attorney General and Reporter; Victor S. Johnson, District Attorney General; and Dan Hamm, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

The Petitioner, Ronnie Jackson, Jr., appeals from the trial courtís denial of his petition seeking habeas corpus relief. The State has filed a motion requesting that this Court affirm the trial courtís denial of relief pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The Stateís motion is granted. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/jacksonr011706.pdf


TYRUS A. ROGERS v. DAVID MILLS, Warden

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Tyrus A. Rogers, West Tennessee State Prison, Henning, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter, and Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The petitioner, Tyrus A. Rogers, appeals the trial courtís denial of his petition for habeas corpus relief from his conviction for attempted second degree murder. Because the petitioner has failed to allege a cognizable claim for habeas corpus relief, we affirm the denial of the petition.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/rogerst011706.pdf


ANDREA SPENCER v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Juni S. Ganguli, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Andrea Spencer.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Mark A. Fulks, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Greg Gilbert, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee

Judge: GLENN

The petitioner was convicted of one count of aggravated rape, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of aggravated burglary, and one count of sexual battery and received an effective sentence of eighty-four years as a multiple offender. His convictions were affirmed and his sentence was reduced to eighty years on direct appeal by this court. State v. Andrea Spencer, No. W2002-01483-CCA-R3-CD, 2003 WL 22204526, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Sept. 18, 2003), perm. to appeal denied (Tenn. Jan. 5, 2004). On February 24, 2004, he filed a timely petition for post-conviction relief. Following an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court denied relief. On appeal, the petitioner argues that he was denied effective assistance at trial because his counsel failed to properly investigate and prepare the defense. Following our review, we affirm the dismissal of the petition.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/spencera011706.pdf


WILLIAM T. YELTON v. ROBERT WALLER, WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

William T. Yelton, Nashville, Tennessee, pro se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson III, District Attorney General, and Pamela Anderson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Petitioner, William T. Yelton, filed a petition for habeas corpus relief attacking his Bedford County theft of property conviction. The trial court dismissed the petition without an evidentiary hearing. Petitioner has appealed, and the State has filed a motion pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals to affirm the judgment of the trial court. Finding the motion to have merit, we grant same and affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/yeltonw011706.pdf


Removing Administrative Law Practice Exemption from Ethics Act

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-01-12

Opinion Number: 06-09

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2006/ag_06-09.pdf

Penalties for Panhandling in Violation of City Ordinance

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-01-13

Opinion Number: 06-10

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2006/ag_06-10.pdf

Courts in Gibson County

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-01-13

Opinion Number: 06-11

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2006/ag_06-11.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Legislative News
Online CLE

Legal News
Judge William Koch spared challenge to his seat
The stateís Judicial Evaluation Commission decided yesterday to give Court of Appeals Judge William Koch Jr. another chance to improve his record on timely writing of court opinions. The commission reversed an earlier vote taken in December that recommended Koch not be retained. After hearing from the judge, the panel decided to reconsider its decision according to a story in todayís Tennessean.
1017
TBA proposes disaster rule
The Tennessee Bar Association will propose an amendment to TRCP Rule 6.02 to permit waivers of deadlines when a disaster strikes a clerkís office or a legal community. The proposal was developed by the Special Committee on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Recover that was appointed by President Bill Haltom and chaired by Memphis attorney Buck Lewis in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The proposal is just one step reported on at the TBA Board of Governorís meeting on Saturday in Nashville. The committee is also working on a TBA Safety and Security Plan, a Continuity of Operations Plan, and other disaster assistance and recovery efforts.

Republican files for Anderson DA post
Clinton attorney Roger Miller has announced his candidacy for district attorney general on the Republican ticket, the Oak Ridger reports.
new_20060116034.shtml
YLD recognizes CASA volunteer
During the Leadership Conference this past weekend, the TBA Young Lawyers Division presented its annual ďCASA Volunteer of the YearĒ award to Suzanne Harrison with the Davidson County Court Appointed Special Advocates office. Harrison has volunteered with the agency for nine years, handling 28 cases and going well beyond the call of duty in placing children in safe and stable environments. Read more at
YLD/
YLD names second quarter "stars"
During the Young Lawyers Division board meeting on Saturday, President Danny Van Horn presented awards to two new Stars of the Quarter. April Berman of Nashville was recognized for her work redesigning the Tennessee Young Lawyer publication. Ben Jones of Knoxville was honored for his membership recruitment efforts.

Legislative News
TBA board gives OK to legislative initiatives
The TBA Board of Governors on Saturday approved several legislative iniatives for the upcoming General Assembly session. One proposal would strengthen the law on the unauthorized practice of law, while a second measure would make a number of technical changes to the Limited Liability Companies Act passed last year.

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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