Introduction to Federal Court Practice
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02 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
06 - TN Court of Appeals
03 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR
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Howard H. Vogel
| CATHERINE LAYMAN v. VANGUARD CONTRACTORS, INC., ET AL.
William Lamar Aldred, Jr., Clarksville, Tennessee, for the Plaintiff-Appellant, Catherine Layman.
Richard Charles Mangelsdorf, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the Defendants-Appellants, Vanguard
Contractors, Inc. and Lumberman’s Underwriting Alliance.
The plaintiff sought workers’ compensation benefits for both cognitive impairment and a disfiguring
scar resulting from a work-related accident. We conclude that the evidence does not preponderate
against the trial court’s conclusion that the plaintiff did not suffer cognitive impairment as a result
of the accident. With regard to the benefits for disfigurement, the trial court erred in calculating
benefits as an award to the body as a whole pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section
50-6-207(3)(F) (1999). Injuries for disfigurement are instead governed by Tennessee Code
Annotated section 50-6-207(3)(E) (1999), which limits the benefits for disfigurement to 200 weeks.
Because the plaintiff’s disfigurement may not be classified as an injury to the body as a whole, the
trial court erred in limiting the award to two and one-half times the impairment rating as set forth
in Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-241(a)(1) (1999). After an independent review of the
evidence, we conclude that the evidence supports a vocational disability of 20% due to the
disfigurement. Accordingly, the trial court’s judgment is affirmed as modified, and the case is
remanded to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. LARRIE MACLIN
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MICHAEL LEBRON ANDERSON
Lance Chism, Memphis, Tennessee, attorney for Defendant-Appellant, Larrie Maclin.
Ardena J. Garth, District Public Defender, Donna Robinson Miller, Assistant District Public
Defender, Chattanooga, Tennessee, attorneys for Defendant-Appellant, Michael Lebron Anderson.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Assistant Attorney General; William
L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Michelle Parks, Assistant District Attorney General,
attorneys for Appellee, State of Tennessee in State v. Larrie Maclin.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Brent C.
Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; William Cox, District Attorney General; and Boyd Patterson,
Assistant District Attorney General, for Appellee, State of Tennessee in State v. Michael Lebron
We granted permission to appeal these cases and then consolidated them to determine a question
common to both: whether the admission at trial of an unavailable witness’s “excited utterance” to
law enforcement officers at the crime scene violated the defendant’s right to confront witnesses
against him. We conclude that—depending on the particular facts of a case—an excited utterance
can be “testimonial.” If the statement is determined to be “testimonial,” then under Sixth
Amendment analysis as outlined in Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004), and under Article
I, Section 9 of the Tennessee Constitution, which guarantees the defendant’s right to “meet the witnesses face to face,” it is inadmissible unless the witness was unavailable and the defendant had a prior opportunity for cross-examination. If the statement is not testimonial, then admissibility is
governed by the standards of Ohio v. Roberts, 448 U.S. 56 (1980). We reverse the Court of Criminal
Appeals in State v. Maclin and dismiss charges against the defendant for reckless aggravated assault;
we affirm the lower court’s conviction in State v. Anderson of the defendant for burglary of a
building other than a habitation.
ALTON BOWMAN v. CHARLES WAGGONER, ET AL.
Jacky O. Bellar and Jamie D. Winkler, Carthage, Tennessee, for the appellant, Alton Bowman
David Bass, Carthage, Tennessee, for the appellees, Charles Waggoner, Tim Tisdale, Lee Davis, and
Smith County Motor Company, Inc.
This is an action by Alton Bowman seeking damages against Smith County Motor Company, Inc.
arising from the purchase of two vehicles. Bowman claims damages based on alleged
misrepresentations and fraud concerning his intent to purchase disability insurance when he
purchased the vehicles. He contends he requested both disability and life insurance when he
purchased the vehicles from the dealership, however, only life insurance was provided and the
contracts executed by the parties at the time of the sale clearly evidence only life insurance was
provided. Bowman suffered a stroke subsequently and when he attempted to file a claim for
disability coverage he was notified he did not purchase disability insurance. Bowman filed suit
seeking damages in the amount of the balance owing on the vehicles. The case went to trial and at
the close of Bowman’s proof, the dealership moved for a directed verdict on all issues, which the
trial court granted. On appeal, Bowman contends the trial court erred by granting a directed verdict
and by failing to grant a voluntary non-suit as to the issue of negligent misrepresentation. Finding
there is no material evidence to support a verdict for Bowman, we affirm the grant of directed
verdict. We also find that Bowman did not comply with Tenn. R. Civ. P. 31.01(1) by providing an
unequivocal notice of dismissal in open court and, thus, affirm on this issue as well.
DANNY R. COLEMAN v. STEPHANIE D. WILWAYCO, M.D., ET AL.
Lawrence H. Hart, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Danny R. Coleman.
Mary Martin Schaffner, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Stephanie D. Wilwayco, M.D., and
Saint Thomas Family Health Center.
The unsuccessful plaintiff brings this appeal from the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in
favor of the defendants, Stephanie Wilwayco, M.D., and St. Thomas Family Health Center. Upon
de novo review we affirm the action of the trial court.
DONITA DALE DOWDEN v. RONALD J. FEIBUS
Ronald J. Berke, Chattanooga, Tennessee for the Appellant, Ronald J. Feibus.
Bruce C. Bailey, Chattanooga, Tennessee for the Appellee, Donita Dale Dowden.
After fourteen years of marriage, Donita Dale Dowden (“Wife”) sued Ronald J. Feibus
(“Husband”) for a divorce. After trial, the Trial Court entered its Final Decree, inter alia,
awarding Wife a divorce, dividing the parties’ marital property, and ordering Husband to pay
Wife alimony in futuro of $1,000 per month. Husband appeals claiming that the Trial Court
erred in awarding Wife alimony in futuro instead of rehabilitative alimony, in awarding Wife
50% of Husband’s federal pension when a portion of that pension was earned prior to the
marriage, and in dividing an award that Husband received from a personal injury lawsuit. We
JOHN JAY HOOKER v. W. FRANK CRAWFORD ET AL.
John Jay Hooker, Nashville, Tennessee, Pro Se.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Janet M.
Kleinfelter, Senior Counsel, for the appellees, W. Frank Crawford, Holly M. Kirby, David R.
Farmer, Alan E. Highers, and Thomas W. Brothers.
This appeal involves the imposition of Tenn. R. Civ. P. 11 sanctions against a lawyer. The lawyer
filed a civil rights suit in the Circuit Court for Davidson County against five state judges seeking
monetary damages to punish the judges for their judicial actions in a prior case. The judges filed a
Tenn. R. Civ. P. 12.02(6) motion to dismiss and a motion for sanctions under Tenn. R. Civ. P. 11.
The trial court granted the motion to dismiss and later imposed monetary and other sanctions against
the lawyer. The lawyer insists on this appeal that the trial court erred by imposing Tenn. R. Civ. P.
11 sanctions against him. We have determined that the Tenn. R. Civ. P. 11 sanctions fashioned by
the trial court are carefully tailored and are clearly warranted by the lawyer’s conduct.
IN THE MATTER OF: J-BAR CORPORATION, A Tennessee Corporation, BEN A. DICKE, ET AL. v. RONALD LEE PARRISH, ET AL.
Michael V. Thompson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Ben A. Dicke and Janice K. Dicke.
Thomas E. Stewart, Madison, Tennessee, for the appellees, Ronald Lee Parrish and Judith Darlene
Appellants Ben and Janice Dick (“the Dickes”) appeal the trial court’s grant of pre-judgment interest
against the J-Bar Corporation (“J-Bar”) on a promissory note issued by J-Bar to Appellees Ronald
and Judith Parrish. Because we find that the Dickes lack standing to appeal this issue, we dismiss.
CHRISTINA M. MCWHORTER v. JAMES C. MCWHORTER
James C. McWhorter, Clifton, Tennessee, Pro Se.
Gregory Smith, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Christina M. McWhorter.
Defendant in this divorce case appeals asserting that the trial court erred in failing to treat his
admittedly untimely Motion for a New Trial and to Alter and Amend the Divorce Decree as a
Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 60 Motion. We affirm the action of the trial court.
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOHN ALLEN, JR.
Phillip A. Condra, District Public Defender; and Robert G. Morgan, Assistant Public Defender,
Jasper, Tennessee, for the appellant, John Allen, Jr.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General;
James Michael Taylor, District Attorney General, and Steven H. Strain, Assistant District
Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.
Following a revocation hearing, the trial court revoked the probation of Defendant, John Allen,
Jr., and ordered him to serve the remainder of his sentence in confinement. In his appeal,
Defendant argues that the trial court erred in finding that he had violated the terms of his
probation, and in revoking his probation and ordering that the sentence be served by
incarceration. After a review of this matter, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. SARAH LEIGH PANNELL
Donna Leigh Hargrove, District Public Defender; and Andrew Jackson Dearling, III, Assistant
District Public Defender, for the Appellant, Sarah Leigh Pannell.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General;
William Michael McCown, District Attorney General; and Weakley E. Barnard, Assistant
District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.
The defendant, Sarah Leigh Pannell, appeals from the Marshall County Circuit Court’s denial of
alternative sentencing. The record supports the court’s order, and we affirm.
Originally published 1/10/2006. District Attorney General and District Public Defender were incorrectly named. Correct District Attorney General is William Michael McCown and correct District Public Defender is Donna Leigh Hargrove.
JOEY LEE SMITH v. KEVIN MYERS, WARDEN
Joey Lee Smith, T.D.O.C.. Clifton, Tennessee, Pro Se.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General;
W. Michael McCown, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
The petitioner, Joey Lee Smith, appeals from the circuit court’s summary dismissal of his pro se
petition for writ of habeas corpus. Following our review of the parties’ briefs and applicable
law, we affirm the court’s dismissal of the petition.
| BPR Actions
|Pulaski lawyer temporarily suspended
|The Supreme Court of Tennessee has issued an order summarily and temporarily suspending Keith R. Peterson’s license to practice law, upon finding Mr. Peterson failed to answer the Board of Professional Responsibility regarding a complaint of misconduct.
|Nashville lawyer temporarily suspended
|The Supreme Court of Tennessee issued an order summarily and temporarily suspending Merrilyn Feirman’s license to practice law, upon finding Ms. Feirman had failed to answer the Board of Professional Responsibility regarding a complaint of misconduct.
|Q&A with Cheatam county juvenile judge
|Phil Maxey, Cheatham County General Sessions Judge (Juvenile Court) recently sat down for an interview with Ashland City Times reporter Jerry Perella. Read about the hardest case he has decided, the kinds of cases currently pending and his views on the Department of Children’s Services at