Ethics bills now face conference committee

Last night the state House passed its version of ethics reform by a vote of 94-2. Reps. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, and Jere Hargrove, D-Cookeville, voted no. Negotiators from each chamber likely will meet later this week and possibly into the weekend to work out differences between the House and Senate versions, the Tennessean reports

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060201/NEWS0201/602010417

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.

00 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
05 - TN Court of Appeals
03 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
01 - 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

JAMES A. HODGE v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Wm. Kennerly Burger, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, James A. Hodge.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and George H. Coffin, Jr., Senior Counsel, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: KOCH

This appeal involves a motorcycle rider who was seriously injured while crossing two heavy steel plates placed over the surface of a portion of a state highway that was under construction. The rider filed a claim with the Tennessee Claims Commission asserting that the front tire of his motorcycle became lodged in a gap between the two steel plates and that this gap was the dangerous condition that caused his injuries. Following a hearing, a claims commissioner dismissed the claim after concluding (1) that the rider had failed to prove that the State, rather than the highway contractor, was responsible for maintaining the steel plates, (2) that the rider had failed to prove that the State had notice of the gap between the plates, and (3) that the rider’s negligence exceeded that of the State. The motorcycle rider has appealed. We have determined that the claims commissioner erred by concluding that the State was not on notice of the dangerous condition on the highway and that the motorcycle rider’s negligence exceeded the State’s negligence.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/hodgej020106.pdf


WILLIE JOHNSON v. CORRECTIONS CORPORATION OF AMERICA

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Willie Johnson, Henning, Tennessee, Pro Se.

James I. Pentecost, K. Michelle Booth, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellee, Corrections Corporation of America.

Judge: COTTRELL

An inmate incarcerated in a prison operated by Corrections Corporation of America sued the corporation for damages arising from its alleged failure to provide him with proper dental care while he was in its custody. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss for improper venue and/or for untimeliness. The trial court granted the motion and dismissed the case with prejudice, but did not state the reason for its decision. We affirm the trial court because the one-year statute of limitations had passed before the plaintiff filed his complaint.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/johnsonw020106.pdf


JAMES ROSS KEITH v. JORDAN ASHLEY SURRATT

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Frank Lannom, Lebanon, Tennessee, for the appellant, James Ross Keith.

Stephen W. Pate, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellee, Jordan Ashley Surratt.

Judge: LEE

In this child custody case, Father appeals and argues that the trial court erred in awarding Mother primary residential custody of the parties' twin minor children. Mother also appeals and argues that the trial court erred in setting Father's child support, in failing to assess her attorney's fees against Father, and in changing the children's surname to that of Father. After careful review of the evidence and applicable authorities, we find no error and affirm the judgment of the trial court in all respects.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/keithj020106.pdf


ALLISON LYN SIMMONS v. RICHARD LEE SIMMONS

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Rosemary E. Phillips, Goodlettsville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Richard Lee Simmons.

Kimberly L. Reed-Bracey, Goodlettsville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Allison Lyn Simmons.

Judge: CLEMENT

Both parties appeal aspects of the final divorce decree. Husband contends the trial court erred by awarding wife transitional alimony in excess of his ability to pay and in excess of her need. Wife raises six issues, contending she should have been granted the divorce due to his abuse; that child support should be increased; that she should be awarded the tax deductions for all three children; that she should be named trustee of life insurance for the benefit of the children; and that husband should pay her attorney fees at trial and on appeal. We affirm the trial court in all respects but one, finding the transitional alimony was set at an amount greater than husband’s ability to pay.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/simmonsa020106.pdf


UNITED STATES AVIATION UNDERWRITERS, INC., ET AL. v. JACQUELYN TEAL SELLE, a/k/a TEAL DUGGER SELLE, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Scott C. Williams and Keli S. Stewart, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Patricia B. Selle.

William S. Fleming and Michael D. Cox, Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellee, Jacquelyn Teal Selle.

Judge: FARMER

Curtis M. Selle (“Decedent”), an employee of Haulers Insurance Company, Inc. (“Haulers”), died while piloting a plane in the course of his employment with Haulers. Haulers had insurance coverage provided by United States Aviation Underwriter’s, Inc. (“Plaintiff”) which included a “Voluntary Settlement Coverage” provision. This provision provided for the payment of up to $250,000 to or for a party injured as the result of a plane crash in exchange for waiver of all claims of liability against Haulers. A dispute subsequently arose between Decedent’s mother, Patricia Selle (“Appellant”), and Decedent’s widow, Jacquelyn Teal Selle (“Appellee”), as to who should receive the $250,000 proceeds from the voluntary settlement provision. Appellant argued that the terms of the policy provided that she, as the alleged residuary beneficiary of Decedent’s estate, should receive the funds. However, the trial court held that the proceeds inured to Appellee as the proceeds of a life insurance policy under Tenn. Code Ann. § 56-7-201 and/or as the proceeds of a wrongful death settlement under Tenn. Code Ann. § 20-5-106. Appellant appeals. We affirm the trial court’s holding that the proceeds from the voluntary settlement provision constitute the settlement of a wrongful death claim and thus inure to Appellee under Tenn. Code Ann. § 20-5-106.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/usaviation020106.pdf


FREDDY LEE PARRISH, JR. v. DAVID MILLS, STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Freddy Lee Parrish, Jr., pro se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Seth P. Kestner, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The Petitioner, Freddy Lee Parrish, Jr., appeals the trial court’s denial of his petition for habeas corpus relief. The State has filed a motion requesting that this Court affirm the trial court pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The State’s motion is granted. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/parrishf020106.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. AL M. WILLIAMS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

John Candy, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Al M. Williams.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brian Clay Johnson, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Stephen P. Jones, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant was convicted of attempted second degree murder and sentenced as a Range II, multiple offender to confinement for nineteen years to be served consecutively to two prior sentences. In his appeal, he argues that the trial court erred in allowing hearsay testimony as to the desire of one of the witnesses, prior to the incident, to leave the house where the offense occurred, and that the evidence is insufficient to sustain the conviction. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/williamsa020106.pdf


RAHIM AL ZARKANI v. DAVID G. MILLS, STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Rahim Al Zarkani, pro se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Mark A. Fulks, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The Petitioner, Rahim Al Zarkani, appeals the trial court’s denial of his petition for habeas corpus relief. The State has filed a motion requesting that this Court affirm the trial court pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The State’s motion is granted. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/zarkanir020106.pdf


Emergency 911 Employment of Aliens

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-02-01

Opinion Number: 06-022

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2006/ag_06-22.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Legislative News

Legal News
DA Bottoms to chair Judicial Selection Commission
Mike Bottoms, District Attorney General for the 22nd Judicial District, has been chosen to chair the Tennessee Judicial Selection Commission by fellow commissioners. The commission screens applicants for court vacancies and recommends candidates to the governor.
Read the AOC's announcement
February TBJ online
The February issue of the Tennessee Bar Journal is online and coming to your mailbox. Read about estate planning strategies to help clients keep property in the family, an update on the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act, and a personal account from former Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Frank F. Drowota III of the changes he saw in the court in the last 35 years.
Download a pdf of the TBJ or view it in word-searchable text
Will Bredesen again consider Koch?
In an editorial today, the Nashville City Paper poses the question of whether Gov. Bredesen will consider Court of Appeals Judge William Koch to replace either Riley Anderson or Adolpho Birch Jr. on the state Supreme Court. In choosing a replacement for retiring Justice Frank Drowota, Bredesen narrowed the field to Koch and Connie Clark, who ultimately received the appointment.
Read the opinion piece
Federal prosecutor says 'wink and nod' enough to prove extortion
An assistant U.S. attorney working on the Tennessee Waltz case argued in a memo to the court that the government does not have to produce a verbal or written agreement to prove that an official act was performed in exchange for money. The memo also argued that the government does not have to prove that a defendant personally benefited from the arrangement.
Read the full story at Nashville Channel 4 online
Bush calls for medical liability reform
In his State of the Union speech last night President Bush called on Congress to enact medical liability reform this year, arguing that lawsuits are driving good doctors out of practice and depriving Americans of quality care.
Read the full speech
Legislative News
Ford extortion trial delayed
Judge Daniel Breen today delayed the trial of former state Sen. John Ford until Oct. 2 at the request of Ford's attorney. The trial had been scheduled to begin on Monday.

Judge denies Ophelia Ford's plea for relief
U.S. District Judge Bernice Donald today denied Ford's request for a preliminary injunction to stop the state Senate from voting whether to oust her. The Senate has been considering alleged improprieties in the September special election that brought Ford to power but action was put on hold when the judge imposed a restraining order on the body two weeks ago.
Read the Commercial Appeal story
Track legislation of interest to Tennessee attorneys
The TBA Action List tracks bills in the General Assembly that the TBA has a direct interest in. This means it has either initiated the legislation, taken a position on the bill or has a policy on the issue. The TBA Watch List is a broader list of bills of interest to the Tennessee legal community.
TBA Bill Tracking Service

 
 
UNSUBSCRIBE TO TBAToday? ... SURELY NOT!
But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at: http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/unsub_tbatoday.php

TBALink HomeContact UsPageFinderWhat's NewHelp
 
 
© Copyright 2006 Tennessee Bar Association