State high school mock trial kicks off Friday

High school students from 16 schools from across the state converge on Nashville Friday to participate in the Tennessee State High School Mock Trial Championship, sponsored by the TBA Young Lawyers Division. Rounds begin Friday at 3 p.m. and continue Saturday. The award ceremony is Saturday at 4 p.m., followed by the championship round. The courts' temporary location is at the Riverview II Building, 523 Mainstream Drive, in Nashville's Metro Center.

http://www.tba.org//mocktrial/2006_teams.html

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.

04 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
02 - TN Court of Appeals
03 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - 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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TIMOTHY WADE DAVIS

With Dissenting Opinion


Court: TSC

Attorneys:

Mark E. Stephens, District Public Defender; and John Halstead, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Timothy W. Davis.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Elizabeth T. Ryan, Senior Counsel, Criminal Justice Division, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAM M. BARKER

We granted the defendant permission to appeal to consider whether the exact copy requirement of Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 41(c) applies to an affidavit that has been incorporated by reference into a search warrant. Upon consideration, we hold that the exact copy requirement expressly applies to search warrants only and does not apply to incorporated affidavits. The record supports the trial court’s finding that the defendant a copy of the search warrant was “identical in every respect” to the original search warrant. Furthermore, even if the exact copy requirement expressly applied to affidavits, we would conclude, as did the Court of Criminal Appeals, that the insignificant differences between the original affidavit and the defendant’s copy of the affidavit do not warrant suppression of the evidence. For these reasons, we affirm the judgments of the trial court and Court of Criminal Appeals.

Majority Opinion
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2006/davistw031606.pdf

Birch dissenting
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2006/davistwDIS031606.pdf


KAREN RENEE HOWELL v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TSC

Attorneys:

Gary Lee Anderson, Knoxville, Tennessee, and Jason E.B. Smith, Waynesville, North Carolina, for the appellant, Karen Renee Howell.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Mark A. Fulks, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: JANICE M. HOLDER

In this post-conviction case, the petitioner contends that she received ineffective assistance of counsel during her juvenile transfer hearing, that her guilty plea was not knowingly, voluntarily, and understandingly entered, and that the post-conviction court erred in refusing to admit an attorney’s expert testimony regarding whether defense counsel was ineffective. We hold that the petitioner received effective assistance of counsel during the juvenile transfer hearing. Although defense counsel was deficient in failing to secure and present evidence during the juvenile transfer hearing that the petitioner was committable to a mental health facility, the deficiency did not result in prejudice. We further hold that the petitioner knowingly, voluntarily, and understandingly entered the guilty plea and that the post-conviction court properly excluded the expert testimony. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2006/howellk031606.pdf


DONNA J. OVERMAN v. ALTAMA DELTA CORPORATION

With Dissenting Opinion


Court: TSC

Attorneys:

Robert Joseph Leibovich, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Appellant-Defendant, Altama Delta Corporation.

Bradley G. Kirk, Lexington, Tennessee, for the Appellee-Plaintiff, Donna J. Overman.

Judge: JANICE M. HOLDER

We accepted this interlocutory appeal pursuant to Rule 9 of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure to determine the enforceability of the employee’s prospective waiver of her reconsideration rights in a workers’ compensation settlement agreement. We conclude that the waiver provision is contrary to both the plain language of Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-114(a) and public policy and, therefore, is unenforceable. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court as modified and remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Majority Opinion
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2006/overmand031606.pdf

Barker dissenting
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2006/overmandjDIS031606.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. STEVEN JAMES ROLLINS

With Dissenting Opinion


Court: TSC

Attorneys:

H. Randolph Fallin, Mountain City, Tennessee; Roger G. Day, Johnson City, Tennessee (at trial and on appeal) for the appellant, Steven James Rollins.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Michelle Chapman McIntire, Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, District Attorney General; and Barry P. Staubus, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAM M. BARKER

The defendant, Steven James Rollins, was convicted of premeditated murder, felony murder, and especially aggravated robbery. The trial judge merged the felony murder conviction with the premeditated first degree murder conviction. Upon conclusion of the sentencing hearing, the jury found that the State had established beyond a reasonable doubt the following five aggravating circumstances: (1) the defendant was previously convicted of one or more felonies, other than the present charge, whose statutory elements involve the use of violence to the person; (2) the murder was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel in that it involved torture or serious physical abuse beyond that necessary to produce death; (3) the murder was committed for the purpose of avoiding, interfering with, or preventing a lawful arrest or prosecution of the defendant or another; (4) the murder was knowingly committed, solicited, directed, or aided by the defendant, while the defendant had a substantial role in committing or attempting to commit, or was fleeing after having a substantial role in committing or attempting to commit, any robbery; and (5) the victim of the murder was seventy (70) years of age or older. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-204(i)(2), (5), (6), (7), (14) (1999). After further finding that these aggravating circumstances outweighed mitigating circumstances beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury imposed a sentence of death. The defendant appealed, challenging both his conviction and sentence of death. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed. The case was automatically docketed in this Court. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-206(a)(1). Thereafter, this Court entered an order specifically requesting that the parties address the following three issues at oral argument: (1) whether the interrogation of the defendant by the sheriff’s officers after his arrest violated the defendant’s state and federal constitutional rights to counsel such that the trial court erred by refusing to suppress the defendant’s statements; (2) whether the trial court erred in refusing to allow the defendant to call his co-defendant, Greg Fleenor, to the witness stand to invoke his privilege against self-incrimination in the jury’s presence; and (3) whether the mandatory review provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-13-206(c)(1) require reversal of the defendant’s death sentence. Upon thoroughly considering these and all issues raised by the defendant, the record on appeal, and the relevant authority, we affirm the defendant’s conviction of first degree murder and sentence of death.

Majority Opinion
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2006/rollinss031606.pdf

Birch concurring in part and dissenting in part
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2006/rollinssDIS031606.pdf


WILLIAM JOSEPH CURRENT v. BRENDA GAY CURRENT

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Larry Samuel Patterson, Jr., Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellant, William Joseph Current.

L. Robert Grefseng, Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellee, Brenda Gay Current.

Judge: WILLIAM B. CAIN

This case concerns the equitable division of a marital home following the termination of a sixteen- year marriage. Husband appealed the trial court’s decision to award Wife all the interest in the home as well as attorney’s fees. We affirm the judgment of the trial court in all respects.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/currentw031606.pdf


STEVEN HUGHES v. NECX DISCIPLINARY BOARD MEMBERS, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Steven Hughes, Mountain City, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter, and Jennifer L. Brenner, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellees, Tennessee Department of Correction, and NECX Disciplinary Board Members, Steve Payne, Jodie Necessary, and Tequila Osborne.

Judge: CHARLES D. SUSANO, JR.

Steven Hughes, a prisoner in state custody, filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the trial court, alleging that the prison disciplinary board (“the board”) abused and exceeded its authority when it found him guilty of intent to have drugs sent into the prison. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss, asserting that the plaintiff’s petition failed to meet certain specific constitutional and statutory requirements. The trial court granted the defendants’ motion. The plaintiff appeals. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/hughess031606.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JON A. ENGLE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Chadwick G. Hunt, Savannah, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jon A. Engle.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Seth P. Kestner, Assistant Attorney General; James G. Woodall, District Attorney General; and Anna M. Banks, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: THOMAS T. WOODALL

Defendant, Jon A. Engle, was convicted of DUI and sentenced to eleven months and twenty-nine days, with all but ten days suspended, and a fine of $1,500 and costs. He appealed, arguing that the arresting officers did not have reasonable suspicion to stop his vehicle. However, Defendant filed neither a motion to suppress the stop in the trial court nor a motion for new trial. Accordingly, we conclude that this issue is waived and affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/englej031606.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RICKY LYNN NORWOOD, ALIAS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Mark Stephens, District Public Defender; John Halstead and Mary Ellen Coleman, Assistant District Public Defenders; and Candi Henry, Special Defense Attorney, for the Appellee, Ricky Lynn Norwood.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; Marsha Mitchell and Steven C. Garrett, Assistant District Attorneys General; and Marla Holloway, Special Prosecuting Attorney, for the Appellant, State of Tennessee.

Judge: JAMES CURWOOD WITT, JR.

This state appeal, initially filed as a Tennessee Rule of Appellate Procedure 3 appeal, is deemed by this court an interlocutory appeal pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Appellate Procedure 10. The state seeks review of the Knox County Criminal Court’s determination that, in the on-going driving under the influence (DUI) prosecution of the defendant, Ricky Lynn Norwood, a 1997 DUI conviction may not be used to enhance punishment. Because the record and the applicable law support the trial court’s ruling, we affirm the order.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/norwoodr031606.pdf


SHON MAURICE PIERCE v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Timothy Boxx, Dyersburg, Tennessee, for the appellant, Shon Maurice Pierce.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brian Clay Johnson, Assistant Attorney General; and Phillip Bivens, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: NORMA MCGEE OGLE

The petitioner, Shon Maurice Pierce, appeals the Dyer County Circuit Court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief for second degree murder and resulting twenty-year sentence. He contends that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel because his trial attorney allowed him to plead guilty before the trial court held a hearing on his motion to suppress his confession. Upon review of the record and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/pierces031606pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Legislative News
TBA Member Services
TennBarU CLE Programs

Legal News
AG files lawsuit against tobacco distributor
Tennessee Attorney General Paul G. Summers, on behalf of Commissioner Loren L. Chumley of the Department of Revenue, has filed suit against a local tobacco distributor for allegedly failing to file several required revenue reports, among other allegations. The distributor, S&S Wholesale, is a “licensed agent” in Tennessee, which means it is authorized to affix tobacco stamps to tobacco products.
Read the news release from the attorney general.
Register now for the Nashville Bar's Law Day Luncheon
The Nashville Bar Association hosts its Law Day Luncheon April 28 at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel. The speaker will be Congressman Jim Cooper. You can register by clicking
here.
Statue of Liberty travels to Bar Center for TJC party
A Nashville 5th grader rolled a six-foot-tall Statue of Liberty down 4th Avenue yesterday, ushering her toward a contest sponsored by the Tennessee Justice Center. Lady Liberty and other art entries depicting her are on display and will be part of the TJC's 10th anniversary celebration today at the Bar Center. To see more about the celebration, click
here.
Sumner County sheriff indicted
Sumner County Sheriff J.D. Vandercook was indicted today on charges that he illegally funneled public money to his brother under the guise of having a third-party build a maintenance garage for the department.
Read the Tennessean story
Legislative News
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 postiion 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
TBA Member Services
Make the most of your TBA membership.
Contact Membership Director Sarah Hendrickson for more information on our money saving member benefits. Call 800.899.6993 or email shendrickson@tnbar.org

TennBarU CLE Programs
Bankruptcy update: How is new law working
The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 made sweeping changes to the Bankruptcy Code. Join bankruptcy judges and practioneers who have worked with the new law to learn what issues have arisen and how it is working. March 31 in Knoxville, April 7 in Memphis and May 4 in Nashville. 3 general credits.
Register or learn more

 
 
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