Lewis in line to be TBA president in 2008

Memphis lawyer George T. "Buck" Lewis III drew no opposition to his candidacy for TBA vice president so he will assume that office in June and be in line to be TBA president in 2008. Candidates were able to file for TBA office until the close of business today.

There will be contested elections for two TBA positions this spring. In the race for TBA Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates, Position 4, two former TBA presidents will square off: Albert C. Harvey of Memphis and John R. Tarpley of Nashville. For the position of Third District Governor, Bruce C. Bailey and Sam D. Elliott, both of Chattanooga, met filing requirements.

Read more about the 2006 TBA elections:


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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink


Court: TSC-Rules


Corrected Case

Court: TCA


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. 41.01(1) by providing an unequivocal notice of dismissal in open court and, thus, affirm on this issue as well.

Corrected case replaces case originally filed on 1/17/2006


Court: TCA


Phillips M. Smalling, Byrdstown, Tennessee, for the appellants, Coy Allen Kidd et al.

James Frank Wilson, Wartburg, Tennessee, for the appellee, Jarvis Drilling, Inc.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Elizabeth P. McCarter, Senior Counsel, for the appellee, Tennessee Oil and Gas Board.

Judge: KOCH

This appeal arises from a dispute between an oil drilling company and a group of Scott County property owners regarding the company's plans to recover oil from the currently non-producing West Oneida Field. After the Tennessee Oil and Gas Board approved the company's unitization and secondary recovery plans, the property owners filed a petition in the Chancery Court for Davidson County seeking judicial review of the Board's decision. The trial court affirmed the Board's decision, and the property owners appealed. We have determined that the record supports the Board's approval of the unitization plan and the secondary recovery plans. However, we have also determined that the Board failed to make all the findings required for the approval of the subterranean gas storage portion of the plan. Accordingly, we vacate the trial court's order approving the plan and remand the case with directions that it be remanded to the Board for further proceedings.



Court: TCA


Joseph D. Baugh, Franklin, Tennessee, for Appellant, Helen Sfikas Rogers.

Scott C. Williams, Keli J. Stewart, Nashville, TN, for Appellee, First National Bank.

Douglas Thompson Bates, III, Centerville, TN, for Appellees, Terry W. Christian and wife, Zelda E. Christian.

In 1997, an elderly gentleman executed a power of attorney appointing his only daughter as his attorney-in-fact. Shortly thereafter, the daughter began to withdraw funds from her father's accounts held at the bank. The father's mental and physical condition deteriorated to such a state that he had to be placed into a nursing home facility. The daughter subsequently entered into a transaction to convey her father's real property. Ultimately, the father was forced to seek assistance from TennCare to pay for his nursing home obligations. TennCare subsequently brought suit against the father seeking reimbursement of funds expended on his behalf. The probate court appointed a temporary guardian to represent the father's interest. The father's guardian brought suit against the bank, the buyers of his real estate, and the daughter seeking to rescind the land sale contract, recover the funds dissipated from his accounts, or to impose a constructive trust. The daughter was dismissed from the suit after she relinquished control of certain items purchased with the proceeds from these transactions to the guardian. As for the bank, the guardian took the position that the bank owed the father a fiduciary duty to protect his accounts from dissipation by the daughter. In regards to the buyers of the father's real property, the guardian contended that they had notice of a problem with the transaction due to the daughter’s mental instability, the unreasonably low price paid by the buyers, the existence of a contingency clause in the contract, and the fact that the father was in a nursing home. The bank and the buyers moved for summary judgment, and the trial court granted both motions. We affirm.


Corrected Cased

Court: TCA


Stephen H. Biller, Walter E. Schuler, Memphis, TN, for Appellant.

Kenneth P. Jones, Memphis, TN, for Appellee.


This appeal stems from a contract dispute between an employee doctor and her employer where the employer alleged that the doctor anticipatorily breached a covenant not to compete provision in the employment agreement between the parties. In this appeal, we are asked to determine whether (1) the trial court's grant of summary judgment to the doctor was proper; (2) the trial court's denial of summary judgment to the employer was proper; (3) the trial court's grant of the doctor's motion to stay discovery was proper; (4) the doctor's voluntary nonsuit of her counter claims while the employer's motion for summary judgment was still pending was proper; (5) the chancery court erred when it returned interpled funds back to the doctor; and (6) the chancery court abused its discretion when it denied the employer's motion to amend its complaint. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand for further proceedings.

Corrected case replaces case originally filed on 1/5/2006


Court: TCCA


Julie A. Rice, Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal); Raymond Mack Garner, District Public Defender; and Stacey D. Nordquist, Assistant Public Defender (at trial), for the appellant, Tammy Marie Wilburn.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; Michael L. Flynn, District Attorney General; and Michael A. Gallegos, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The defendant, Tammy Marie Wilburn, pled guilty to one count of attempted aggravated arson, a Class B felony. The Blount County Circuit Court sentenced her to an eight-year sentence as a Range I, standard offender to be served in the Department of Correction. The defendant appeals, contending the trial court erred in denying her alternative sentencing. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Building Permits in Union County

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-02-15

Opinion Number: 06-031


Private Act Authorizing City of LaFollette to Assess Cleanup Costs Against Real Property Owners

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-02-15

Opinion Number: 06-32



Legislative News
Legal News

Legislative News
State AG to appeal Ford ruling
State Attorney General Paul Summers filed a notice of appeal with U.S. District Court Judge Bernice Donald and plans to file a full appeal within days, claiming that contrary to her ruling, the Senate cannot be sued as a whole, according to the
Knoxville News Sentinel.
State law may impact election result
Tennessee law may make it difficult to discard votes in the disputed election of state Senator Ophelia Ford according to several senators. The law in question allows people to lawfully vote in their old district if they profess an intention to move back in the future. Assistant attorney general Janet Kleinfelter testified that the law is problematic but that senators have the right to decide if voters' explanations for casting out-of-district ballots are credible.
Read more in the Knoxville News Sentinel.
Ethics complaint against DeBerry dismissed
On Monday, the House Ethics Committee voted not to pursue a complaint against Tennessee House Speaker Pro Tem Lois DeBerry, who was alleged to have violated ethics rules by accepting money from an undercover FBI agent. It was the second time the committee failed to act on the complaint, leading committee chair Rep. Kim McMillan to declare the matter concluded.
Link to the Knoxville News Sentinel for the full story.
Ethics bill has too many loopholes says commentator
An opinion piece by Grover Porter in today's Tennessean argues that recently passed ethics legislation contains too many loopholes and that the structure of the new ethics commission is a recipe for inaction.
Read more in the Nashville Eye column.
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
Legal News
AMA designates Tenn. a crisis state
The American Medical Association and the Tennessee Medical Association have designated Tennessee as a crisis state for its medical liability situation, saying that the state possesses a deteriorating medical liability climate that is jeopardizing patients' access to care. In response, TBA Executive Director Allan Ramsaur said the legislative changes sought by the AMA and the TMA would hurt victims of medical errors by limiting non-economic damages.
Read the full story in the Commercial Appeal.
National trust fund for asbestos victims fails
The U.S. Senate voted 58 to 41 last night to not consider an asbestos compensation reform bill, a move that was hailed by opponents of the legislation. The bill would end lawsuits against manufacturers and instead compensate victims from a $140 billion trust fund. Senator Bill Frist, majority leader of the Senate, indicated he would hold another vote on the bill in the coming weeks. Last week the Senate rejected legislation that would have set medical criteria for damage awards in asbestos suits.
The Knoxville News Sentinel has the story.
McMinn eyes court move
Members of a special McMinn County Jail and Justice Center Committee will meet later this month to begin planning for a possible move of most county courts from the courthouse to the Justice Center. Judges and others who work at the courthouse have said they are worried about security, transportation of prisoners and crowded conditions. Read more in this story by the
Chattanooga Times Free Press
Rutherford-Cannon County bar elects leaders
The Rutherford-Cannon County Bar elected new leadership at its annual meeting. Tolbert F. Gilley III with Rucker, Rucker & Gilley PC of Murfreesboro will serve as president. Keith Siskin steps into the vice president spot. Leslie Collum is secretary and Darwin Colston of Mitchell & Mitchell is treasurer.

Gala to honor late Judge Bevil
The Chattanooga chapter of the American Cancer Society has announced that it will honor the life of Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Steve Bevil at its summer gala. Bevil died of lung cancer in November. The benefit ball will be held Saturday, June 3 at The Chattanoogan.

Dunn in race for 4th District DA
Assistant District Attorney Jimmy Dunn has announced his intentions to run for district attorney general in the 4th Judicial District, setting up a Republican primary election between himself and Joe Baker, his colleague in the DA's office.

Funeral arrangements set for McKenzie
Funeral arrangements for Decatur lawyer William Britton McKenzie have been set. McKenzie passed away on Monday, Feb. 13. Visitation is at the Bowers Funeral Home in Decatur on Thursday, Feb. 16, from 6-9 p.m. The funeral will be at 1:00 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17 at the funeral home.

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