Introduction to Federal Court Practice

The next installment of the Young Lawyers Division’s 4L Series takes place tomorrow, Jan. 19 in Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga. The session provides an introduction to federal court practice and runs from 3-5 p.m. local time in each city.

The 4L Series is designed to give new lawyers practical instruction to help in the daily practice of law. The series is comprised of six general interest topics with each session accredited for two general CLE credits. To register visit

https://www.tba.org/onsiteinfo/skillbuilding_05-06.html

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.

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

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

CATHERINE LAYMAN v. VANGUARD CONTRACTORS, INC., ET AL.

Court: TSC

Attorneys:

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.

Judge: HOLDER

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.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2006/laymanc011806.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. LARRIE MACLIN
AND
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MICHAEL LEBRON ANDERSON


Court: TSC

Attorneys:

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 Anderson.

Judge: BARKER

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.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2006/maclinl011806.pdf


ALTON BOWMAN v. CHARLES WAGGONER, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

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.

Judge: CLEMENT

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.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/bowmana011806.pdf


DANNY R. COLEMAN v. STEPHANIE D. WILWAYCO, M.D., ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

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.

Judge: CAIN

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.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/colemand011806.pdf


DONITA DALE DOWDEN v. RONALD J. FEIBUS

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Ronald J. Berke, Chattanooga, Tennessee for the Appellant, Ronald J. Feibus.

Bruce C. Bailey, Chattanooga, Tennessee for the Appellee, Donita Dale Dowden.

Judge: SWINEY

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 affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/dowdend011806.pdf


JOHN JAY HOOKER v. W. FRANK CRAWFORD ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

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.

Judge: KOCH

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.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/hookerj011806.pdf


IN THE MATTER OF: J-BAR CORPORATION, A Tennessee Corporation, BEN A. DICKE, ET AL. v. RONALD LEE PARRISH, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

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 Parrish.

Judge: FARMER

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.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/jbar011806.pdf


CHRISTINA M. MCWHORTER v. JAMES C. MCWHORTER

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

James C. McWhorter, Clifton, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Gregory Smith, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Christina M. McWhorter.

Judge: CAIN

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.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/mcwhorterc011806.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOHN ALLEN, JR.

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

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.

Judge: WOODALL

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.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/allenj011806.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. SARAH LEIGH PANNELL
Corrected Case

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

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.

Judge: WITT

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.
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/pannells011806.pdf


JOEY LEE SMITH v. KEVIN MYERS, WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

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.

Judge: MCLIN

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.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/smithj011806.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

BPR Actions
Legal News

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.
peterson_01_18_06.pdf
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.
feirman_01_18_06.pdf
Legal News
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
MTCN0605

 
 
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