Judicial evaluation report available

The Judicial Evaluation Commission has released its 2006 Appellate Judges Evaluation Report. The commission's report contains the evaluation results and retention recommendations for the three Supreme Court justices, 12 court of appeals judges, and 12 court of criminal appeals judges who are standing for retention election in August 2006. Download the full report here.

http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/news/2006/judeval_2006.pdf

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
03 - TN Court of Appeals
07 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR

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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

MARK COWAN v. KIM HATMAKER, In Re: BC, D.O.B. 4/15/93, Minor Child Under Eighteen (18) Years of Age

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Roger A. Miller, Clinton, Tennessee, for appellant.

Judith R. Whitfield, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, for appellee.

Judge: FRANKS

The father filed a Petition to Change Custody of child from the mother to the father, alleging change of circumstances. Following trial, the Trial Court refused to order a change of custody, but modified the Parenting Plan. On appeal, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/cowanm_030306.pdf

SUSANO CONCURRING
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/cowanm_con_030306.pdf


DAVID MANIS, ET UX., v. KENNETH GIBSON, ET UX.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Jerry K. Galyon, Sevierville, Tennessee, for appellants.

Steven E. Marshall, Sevierville, Tennessee, for appellees.

Judge: FRANKS

In an action for damages caused by flooding, the Trial Court invoked comparative fault, awarded damages, and ordered defendants to correct conditions which caused the flooding. Both parties appealed. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/manisd_030306.pdf


CHARLES H. WEEKS, ET AL. v. RAY SCOTT, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Michael L. Mansfield, Rainey, Kizer, Reviere & Bell, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, City of Eastview.

R. Porter Feild, Burch, Porter & Johnson, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, Charles H. Weeks and Linda O. Weeks.

Stephen Craig Kennedy, Deusner & Kennedy, Selmer, Tennessee, for the appellee, Dudley R. Ingram.

Judge: FARMER

The chancery court awarded Plaintiffs Weeks damages for the taking of trees by the City of Eastview. Eastview appeals, and we vacate the award of damages against Eastview for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. On cross-appeal, Weeks assert the trial court erred in failing to assess damages against Defendant Ingram and in determining Weeks had impliedly dedicated a roadway known as Autumn Lane as a public roadway. We modify and affirm on these issues.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/weeks_030306.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ARTHUR LEE HARRISON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Michael A. Colavecchio, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Arthur Lee Harrison.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson III, District Attorney General; and Christopher Buford, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: HAYES

The Appellant, Arthur Lee Harrison, was convicted by a Davidson County jury of the attempted voluntary manslaughter of his estranged wife. On appeal, Harrison argues that the evidence is insufficient to support the conviction. After review, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/harrisona_030306.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. PAUL NEIL LAURENT

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

James O. Martin, III, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Paul Neil Laurent.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, District Attorney General; and Bernard McEvoy, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

The appellant, Paul Neil Laurent, was indicted in 2003 for twelve counts of various crimes allegedly committed against his step-daughter and daughter. After a bench trial, the appellant was convicted of aggravated kidnapping, attempted aggravated sexual battery, aggravated sexual battery, two counts of sexual battery by an authority figure, and one count of attempted child neglect. The appellant received a total effective sentence of seventeen years. The appellant appeals, arguing that: (1) the trial court erred by denying the motion for judgment of acquittal and motion to dismiss regarding the charge of aggravated kidnapping; (2) the trial court erred in determining that the appellant was guilty of attempted aggravated sexual battery and aggravated sexual battery because the evidence was insufficient to support the convictions; and (3) the trial court erred in sentencing the appellant. For the following reasons, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/laurentp_030306.pdf

HAYES DISSENTING
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/laurentp_dis_030306.pdf


JOE DAVIS MARTIN V. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Joe David Martin, Pro Se, Tiptonville, Tennessee.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Elizabeth Bingham Marney, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

This matter is before the Court upon the State's motion to affirm the judgment of the trial court by memorandum opinion pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The petitioner has appealed the trial court's order dismissing the petition for writ of error coram nobis. Upon review of the record in this case, we are persuaded that the trial court was correct in dismissing the petition and that this case meets the criteria for affirmance pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Accordingly, the State's motion is granted and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/martinjoe_030306.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DAVID WAYNE NEAL

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Roger E. Nell, District Public Defender, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, David Wayne Neal.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brian Clay Johnson, Assistant Attorney General; and Art Bieber, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: HAYES

The Appellant, David Wayne Neal, appeals the sentencing decision of the Montgomery County Circuit Court. Neal entered a "best interest" guilty plea to one count of aggravated burglary and a guilty plea to forgery. He was sentenced to an effective term of six years in the Department of Correction. The aggregate six-year sentence was then ordered to be served consecutively to an unserved two-year sentence resulting from a revocation of probation in a separate case. On appeal, Neal argues that the trial court erred by ordering that his sentences be served in confinement. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/neald_030306.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. SCOTTIE D. PENNINGTON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Michael R. Giaimo, Livingston, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Scottie D. Pennington.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Seth P. Kestner, Assistant Attorney General; Tom P. Thompson, Jr., District Attorney General; and Tiffany Gipson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

The Appellant, Scottie D. Pennington, was convicted by a Jackson County jury of driving under the influence (DUI) and felony reckless endangerment. As a result of these convictions, Pennington received consecutive sentences of eleven months and twenty nine days for DUI and two years for reckless endangerment. On appeal, Pennington argues that the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions. Specifically, he asserts that the State failed to prove his identity as the driver of the vehicle or that the vehicle was operated in a reckless manner. After review of the record, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/penningtons_030306.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. KENNETH DEANGELO THOMAS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jeffrey O. Powell, Nashville, Tennessee (on appeal) and Leann Smith, Nashville, Tennessee (at trial), for the Appellant, Kenneth Deangelo Thomas.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Rachal E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson III, District Attorney General; Lisa Naylor and Dan Hamm, Assistant District Attorney Generals, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

A Davidson County jury convicted the Defendant of felony murder. The Defendant appeals as of right from his conviction and contends that the indictment against him should be dismissed with prejudice due to a violation of Article IV of the Interstate Agreement on Detainers. Finding no reversible error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/thomaskd_030306.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TROY ROBERT WHIPPLE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Francis W. Pryor, Jr., Jasper, Tennessee (on appeal) and David McGovern, Jasper, Tennessee (at trial), for the Appellant, Troy Robert Whipple.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; J. Michael Taylor, District Attorney General; William Copeland, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

A Franklin County Jury found the Defendant, Troy Robert Whipple, guilty of one count of evading arrest while operating a motor vehicle, one count of reckless driving, one count of driving on a revoked license, and two counts of vandalism, and the trial court sentenced the Defendant to an effective sentence of four years. The Defendant now appeals, contending that: (1) the evidence presented at trial is insufficient to support his convictions; (2) the trial court committed plain error when it failed to instruct the jury that an unlawful arrest is a defense to a charge of evading arrest while operating a motor vehicle; (3) the trial court improperly sentenced him; and (4) the fines imposed upon him are unreasonable. After thoroughly reviewing the record and the applicable authorities, we affirm the Defendant's convictions and sentences for evading arrest while operating a motor vehicle, reckless driving, and driving on a revoked license. We reverse the Defendant's convictions for vandalism, and we remand the case for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/whippletr_030306.pdf

WOODALL CONCURRING AND DISSENTING
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/whippletr_con_030306.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
TBA Member Services
Legislative News

Legal News
UT Moot Court teams excel in competitions
Tennessee's Trademark Moot Court Team won the regional championship last weekend in Atlanta and qualified for the nationals in Washington, D.C. March 18. The team also had the Best Brief. The team was coached by Profs. Carol Parker and Gary Pulsinelli. Team members are Sean Brock, Anica Conner, Scott Griswold and Stacy Sander.

UT's International Moot Court team competed in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in Baton Rouge, La., recently, and advanced to the semifinals of the event. UT lost in the semifinal to the University of Alabama, the team that went on to win the region, according to Coach Prof. Becky Jacobs. Team members are Stefanie Johnson, Maha Ayesh, Chad Cochran, Alex Johnson, Aaron Lay and Jason Lewallen.

Commissioners ask for additional judge in Sumner county
To combat a growing caseload, Sumner County Commission members this week voted to ask the General Assembly to create a third General Sessions judgeship. The county's two current judges together handled 32,000 cases last year.
Read the News Examiner story
Tennessee Justice Center celebrates 10 years
The TBA will host a reception on Thursday, March 16, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Tennessee Justice Center. Join the celebration from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Tennessee Bar Center.
Find out more about the event
Project Citizen needs volunteer judges
Interested in helping young people become better citizens? Here's your opportunity. The annual statewide Project Citizen competition is coming to Nashville May 12 and volunteers are needed to help judge presentations. The program runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and features middle school students giving presentations on problems in their communities that they have identified and developed plans to address. To volunteer, contact Janis Adams Kyser, director of Law Related Education for the Tennessee Bar Foundation, at 423-593-1444 or jkyser@clevelandschools.org

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Save on telecommunications costs
Save on telecomunications costs and upgrade your existing system with the TBA member benefits program from American Communications Services. ACS works with BellSouth and a variety of providers to bring you savings on telecom.
Learn how you can save
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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

 
 
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