Tennessee lawyers prominent at ABA meeting

As always seems to be the case when the American Bar Association meets, Tennessee lawyers played a prominent role in the activities of the world's largest association this week in Chicago. The meeting, set for New Orleans until it was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, concluded yesterday with business sessions in the House of Delegates. Among the Tennessee lawyers playing a featured role were Judge Bernice Donald, whose candidacy for the coveted position of secretary of the ABA got a big boost when she dazzled the nominating committee; Al Harvey, who as vice chair of the ABA Standing Committee on National Security led the presentation by the subcommittee he chaired on the adequacy of the legal authorities to address the Katrina disaster; and David Johnson, who enlightened, entertained and enthused the ABA/YLD and Fellows of the ABA/YLD at the annual Fellows Debate.
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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink


Court: TSC


Erich M. Shultz, Memphis, Tennessee, for appellant-plaintiff, Wanda Barron.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Sarah H. Cope, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee-defendant, State of Tennessee.


The plaintiff sought workers' compensation benefits for pain in her lower back and hip resulting from a work-related accident. We conclude that the Commissioner erred in finding the evidence insufficient to establish that the plaintiff's injury was permanent and in dismissing the plaintiff's claim. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Claims Commission and remand the case to determine the extent of vocational impairment and the reasonableness and necessity of medical expenses paid by the plaintiff.



Court: TCA


Jerry Cowan, Henning, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Bradley W. Flippin, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, Tennessee Board of Paroles, et al.


This appeal involves a prisoner's challenge to a decision of the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole. After the Board denied the prisoner parole and scheduled his next hearing for the year 2016, the prisoner filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the Chancery Court for Davidson County. The Chancery Court dismissed the petition on the grounds it was not timely filed and was not verified. We affirm the dismissal of the petition.



Court: TCA


Melanie R. Bean, Lebanon, Tennessee, for the Appellant David Randal Smithson.

Kirk L. Clements, Goodlettsville, Tennessee, for the Appellee Marie Soledad Torrico (Morales).


David Randal Smithson (Father), a Tennessee resident, is a pilot for a major airline and his job duties require him to fly to Bolivia, South America. During one of these trips to Bolivia, Father became romantically involved with Marie Soledad Torrico (Morales) (Mother), a citizen and resident of Bolivia. In April of 2001, Mother gave birth in Bolivia to the parties' son, who is a citizen and resident of Bolivia and has been since his birth. After obtaining a temporary Visa authorizing her to come to the United States, Mother filed this paternity action in the Wilson County Juvenile Court. Based on DNA test results, the Juvenile Court enter an Order establishing Father as the biological father of the child. The Juvenile Court later entered an order requiring Father to pay child support based on the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines. Father appeals claiming, among other things, that the Juvenile Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to enter an order requiring him to pay child support when the child was conceived in Bolivia, born in Bolivia, and when both Mother and the child are citizens and residents of Bolivia. We hold that the Juvenile Court had subject matter jurisdiction over the proceedings but erred in applying Tennessee law. The judgment of the Juvenile Court is, therefore, vacated and this case is remanded for further proceedings.



Court: TCA


G. Kline Preston, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Billy Suddarth, Jr., and Angela Suddarth.

Neal H. Levin, Chicago, Illinois, and D. Alexander Fardon, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Household Commercial Financial Services, Inc.


Billy Suddarth, Jr. and Angela Suddarth appeal the summary dismissal of their action, which was dismissed on the grounds of res judicata, collateral estoppel, the Full Faith and Credit Clause, and the compulsory counterclaim rule of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In the former action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois wherein the Suddarths were defendants, Household Commercial Financial Services, Inc. alleged the Suddarths breached a guaranty agreement by failing to pay a deficiency owing on the underlying credit agreement they had guaranteed. Household prevailed on the merits in the former action against the Suddarths. In the present action in the Circuit Court of Davidson County the Suddarths allege fraud, fraudulent inducement and civil conspiracy against Household and two other defendants concerning the guaranty agreement that was the subject of the former action in the United State District Court. The present claims by the Suddarths arose out of the same transaction or occurrence that was the subject of Household's action in the United State District Court; therefore, it was compulsory that the Suddarths' claims be presented in the former action. The Suddarths failed to do so. Therefore, we affirm the dismissal of this action.


Authority of City Utility System to Repair Privately Owned Lines

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-02-14

Opinion Number: 06-030



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Read the ABA's release on domestic surveillance
Read the ABA's release on immigration and asbestos
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Decatur lawyer Britt McKenzie dies
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