Senate panel recommends Alito on party-line vote

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito received approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee today and likely will face a contentious fight on the Senate floor later this week. Members of the committee voted for Alitoís nomination on a 10-8 party-line vote, with all Democrats opposing him, CNN reported.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/01/24/alito/index.html

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

DEBORAH JAIME v. AMERICAN WATER HEATER COMPANY

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Howard R. Dunbar, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the appellant, Deborah Jaime.

Steven H. Trent, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the appellee, American Water Heater Company.

Judge: SUSANO

The plaintiff brought this action against her former employer, alleging that the defendant terminated her employment in retaliation for her pursuit of a claim for workersí compensation benefits. The trial court granted the defendant summary judgment, holding that the plaintiff failed to establish a prima facie case of retaliatory discharge and that she also failed to rebut the defendantís proffered legitimate reason for termination. The plaintiff appeals. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/jaimed012406.pdf


WILLIAM E. EAKES, III v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Ryan Caldwell, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, William E. Eakes, III.

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

Judge: WELLES

This is an appeal as of right from the summary dismissal of a petition for post-conviction relief. The trial court dismissed the amended post-conviction petition because the court found the petition was not verified under oath and failed to include the factual basis upon which relief was sought. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/eakesw012406.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. BRYANT GUARTOS, a.k.a. BRYANT GUARTOS CHARRY, a.k.a. BRIAN GUARTOS, a.k.a. BRIAN CRUZ, a.k.a. HECTOR CRUZ DELEON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

David L. Raybin, Nashville, Tennessee (on appeal), and Michael Colavecchio, Nashville, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, Bryant Guartos, a.k.a. Bryant Guartos Charry, a.k.a. Brian Guartos, a.k.a. Brian Cruz, a.k.a. Hector Cruz DeLeon.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Mark A. Fulks, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Bret Thomas Gunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

A Davidson County Criminal Court jury convicted the defendant, Bryant Guartos, of first degree felony murder, especially aggravated robbery, a Class A felony, aggravated robbery, a Class B felony, and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, a Class C felony. The trial court sentenced the defendant as a Range I, standard offender to life imprisonment for the murder, twenty-five years for the especially aggravated robbery, and twelve years for the aggravated robbery, and as a Range II, multiple offender to ten years for the conspiracy, ordering the sentences to run consecutively for an effective total sentence of life imprisonment plus forty-seven years. The defendant appeals, claiming that the evidence is insufficient, that newly discovered evidence exists, that his right to due process was violated for various reasons, that the police obtained his confession in violation of the federal constitution, that the trial court erred in allowing inadmissible hearsay into evidence, and that the trial court improperly sentenced him under state law and the rule announced in Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296, 124 S. Ct. 2531 (2004). Concluding that no reversible error exists, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/guartosb012406.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JAMES THOMAS MANNING

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

David Neal Brady, District Public Defender; and H. Marshall Judd, Assistant Public Defender, Cookeville, Tennessee, for the appellant, James Thomas Manning.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Preston Shipp, Assistant Attorney General; William Edward Gibson, District Attorney General; David A. Patterson, Assistant District Attorney General; and Benjamin W. Fann, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

On April 15, 1998, the Putnam County Grand Jury indicted Defendant, James Thomas Manning, on one count of aggravated burglary, two counts of aggravated rape, one count of attempted aggravated sexual battery, and one count of aggravated robbery. Following a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of two counts of aggravated rape, a Class A felony, and one count of aggravated burglary, a Class C felony. The jury acquitted Defendant of attempted aggravated sexual battery and could not reach a verdict on the aggravated robbery charge. Defendant received concurrent twenty-five year sentences for each of the aggravated rape convictions, and a consecutive six year sentence for the aggravated burglary conviction, for an effective thirty-one year sentence. These sentences were ordered to be served consecutively to a prior sentence out of Sumner County being served by Defendant at the time of trial and sentencing. In his appeal, Defendant argues that the trial court erred by (1) denying his motion to strike expert testimony for failure to lay a proper foundation; (2) excluding evidence that the victim had pending charges for aggravated assault; (3) violating double jeopardy principles in allowing Defendant to be convicted of two counts of aggravated rape; and (4) imposing consecutive sentences. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/manningj012406.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. BERNARD THOMAS NELSON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Roger E. Nell, District Public Defender, for the appellant, Bernard Thomas Nelson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie Price, Assistant Attorney General; John Wesley Carney, Jr., District Attorney General; and Arthur F. Beiber, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

On appeal, the defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to support the verdict and the denial of alternative sentencing. Following our review, we conclude that the evidence presented was sufficient to support the juryís verdicts and that the denial of alternative sentencing was justified given the defendantís lengthy history of criminal activity and the inability of probation to deter him from such conduct. Therefore, we affirm the convictions and sentences.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/nelsonb012406.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WILLIE J. SIMMONS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jeffery S. Burton, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Willie J. Simmons.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; and William C. Whitesell, Jr., District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

The Defendant, Willie J. Simmons, was convicted of rape and sexual battery. The Defendant received an effective eight year sentence in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant argues that the trial court erred in denying alternative sentencing. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/simmonsw012406.pdf


Application of Tenn. Code Ann. ß 3-6-114 to Non-Registered Lobbyists

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-01-19

Opinion Number: 06-013

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2006/ag_06-13.pdf

Validity of 1937 Private Act Regarding Marion County Teacher Tenure

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-01-20

Opinion Number: 06-016

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2006/ag_06-16.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Legislative News
Online CLE

Legal News
Roane judge charged with extortion and money laundering
Roane County General Sessions Judge Thomas A. Austin has been indicted in federal court on allegations that he extorted $12,750 from two driving schools where he sent traffic offenders; extorted a laptop computer from a private firm contracted to handle offenders placed on probation; and engaged in money laundering. In open court, Austin also was accused of using illegal substances, according to a story in today's Knoxville News Sentinel.
4410360,00.html
Court of the Judiciary suspends Judge Austin
In related news, the Tennessee Court of the Judiciary today suspended Judge Austin from all judicial duties so long as felony charges are pending against him or until the court determines otherwise. The 16-member Court of the Judiciary, created by the General Assembly, receives complaints against judges and is authorized by state law to impose a range of sanctions, including suspensions or removal from office when appropriate.

Judge seeks 'process' for TennCare children
U.S. District Judge John Nixon asked state officials to submit to him by Jan. 31 the process used to provide health care to children enrolled in TennCare. A similar order issued in December called on the state to submit its plan to a special master. The state did not comply and Nixon decided to suspend the special masterís activities. According to a report in the Tennessean, state officials agreed to turn over the requested documents.
MTCN0301
Legislative News
Ethics proposal would put limits on lawyers after leaving office
Under an amendment added to the state ethics bill Monday, lawyers who have served in the legislature would be barred from representing clients before state regulatory boards for one year after leaving office, the Tennessean reports.
NEWS02
Federal court calls senators to appear in Ford case
Three West Tennessee senators have been commanded to appear in federal court tomorrow morning and may be asked why they voted to unseat a colleague, newly elected Sen. Ophelia Ford of Memphis, the Tennessean reports.
NEWS02
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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