House committee acts on unauthorized practice of law bill

The House Judiciary Committee today began work on its 72 item "final" calendar adopting recommendations on several bills and referring several to its "summer study" docket. Among the bills forwarded with recommendations for passage is TBA's bill to strengthen enforcement of the unauthorized practice of law statute. The committee's final, final calendar will be next week.

In other legislative action today: The Senate Commerce, Labor & Agriculture Committee cleared two bills addressing predatory lending. The bills, sponsored by Sens. Steve Southerland and James Kyle, establish new standards, limits and enforcement mechanisms for high-rate home equity lending. Read the bills and the amendments at SB3800 and SB3889.

Litigation loans, which testimony showed could go as high as 180 percent annually, would be brought under regulatory control under another bill recommended for passage at what Commerce Committee Chair Jerry Cooper announced was the last meeting of the committee.

Sorry Works! a medical apology, disclosure and remedy program being touted as one way to address medical professional liability got a thorough hearing today and is likely to be the subject of a special study during the off season.

The Senate Judiciary Committee heard from Sens. Doug Jackson and David Fowler, who are working on amendments to Jackson's bill fostered by the Farm Bureau. The committee may take up that legislation next week.
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 If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on TBALink at

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

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

Order of the Court

Court: TSC


Darrell E. Baker, Jr., David Shaw Sadlow, and Deborah Whitt, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Jodi Schucker, M.D.

Craig P. Sanders and Marty R. Phillips, Jackson, Tennessee, for Amicus Curiae, Tennessee Medical Association

John A. Day, Brentwood, Tennessee, for Amicus Curiae, Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association

The appellants, Kaitlyn Calaway and Kathleen Calaway, filed a motion for rehearing of the opinion of this Court issued February 21, 2006. In their petition, the appellants request that the Court give prospective application of the newly announced rule to cases involving injuries occurring after December 9, 2005, rather than to cases commenced after this date. Upon due consideration, we conclude that the appellants' petition is not well-taken and should be denied. Also before the Court is a motion to rehear filed by the appellee, Dr. Jodi Schucker. Appellee argues violation of her Due Process rights on two grounds: (1) that she was not given the opportunity to respond to the plaintiff's motion to rehear on the matter of prospective application and (2) that prospective application of the new rule in a manner consistent with Due Process requires this Court to balance the appellant's reliance interest on the old rule against the appellee's vested property interest in the new rule. After careful consideration, the Court is of the opinion that this motion filed by the appellee should be denied. Justices Anderson and Holder adhere to the views previously expressed in their previously filed dissent.

Order of the Court

Original Opinion

With Dissenting Opinion

Original Judgment

Corrected Case

Court: TSC


John E. Herbison, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Tammy Searle.

Lisa M. Carson, Franklin, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Juvenile Court for Williamson County, Tennessee.

Judge: BIRCH

Pursuant to Rule 11 of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure, we granted permission to appeal in this case in order to address a question of first impression: whether the petitioner's current status as a fugitive prevents consideration of her habeas corpus petition. Because we conclude that the fugitive disentitlement doctrine bars consideration of this habeas corpus petition, we affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals.

Correction in the second full paragraph on page four:


Court: TCA


Henry M. Walker and Kristy R. Godsey, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, US LEC of Tennessee, Inc.

Carlos C. Smith and Mark W. Smith, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, Electric Power Board of Chattanooga.

J. Richard Collier, Carolyn E. Reed, and Randall Gilliam, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tennessee Regulatory Authority.

Judge: KOCH

This appeal involves a dispute between two telecommunications services providers in the Chattanooga market. A privately owned provider filed a complaint with the Tennessee Regulatory Authority asserting that a competing provider owned by a municipal electric utility was receiving an illegal cross-subsidy because the electric utility was permitting the provider to use its name without compensation. One of the Authority's hearing officers conducted a hearing and then filed an initial order concluding that the provider owned by the electric utility was not receiving a cross- subsidy in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 7-52-402 (2005). After the initial order became final, the private provider filed a Tenn. R. App. P. 12 petition for review with this court. We have concluded that the provider's uncompensated use of the electric utility's name is not a cross-subsidy prohibited by Tenn. Code Ann. Section 7-52-402.


Court: TCA


Allen Barnes, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Glenn E. Bilyeu.

John H. Lowe and Paul W. Duty, Goodlettsville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Volunteer State Bank.

Judge: KOCH

This appeal involves a dispute between a guarantor and a bank regarding the continuing enforceability of his guaranty. The guarantor filed suit in the Chancery Court for Sumner County asserting that a bank officer made an oral promise to relieve him of this guaranty obligation. The bank denied the allegation and moved for a judgment on the pleadings on the ground that the guarantor's claims violated the statute of frauds in Tenn. Code Ann. Section 29-2- 101(b)(1) (2000). The trial court granted the motion and dismissed the guarantor's claims. The guarantor has appealed. We affirm the dismissal of the guarantor's complaint.


Court: TCA


Debra L. Fessenden, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Shelby County, Tennessee.

Edward M. Bearman, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Appellee, William Ral Cross, Jr.


Petitioner/Appellee Cross filed a complaint in federal court against Shelby County and Shelby County Deputy Sheriff Bishoff pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Section 1983. The federal court awarded Shelby County partial summary judgment and judgment as a matter of law. The action against Deputy Bishoff was heard by a jury, which awarded Mr. Cross damages and legal fees. Mr. Cross then filed a complaint in Shelby County Circuit Court alleging that, under Tennessee Code Annotated Section 8-8- 302, Shelby County was liable for the amount of damages awarded him in the federal court action. The trial court awarded Mr. Cross summary judgment, and Shelby County appeals. We reverse and award summary judgment to Shelby County on the grounds of res judicata.


Court: TCA


A. Philip Lomonaco, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Tanya Gillispie a/n/k Sean Gillispie, deceased.

Robert H. Watson and Reid A. Spaulding, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, City of Knoxville, Tennessee.

Judge: LEE

This appeal arises out of a wrongful death action filed against the City of Knoxville under the Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act by Plaintiff Tanya Gillispie as next of kin of her son who was shot and killed by a police officer. Ms. Gillispie claimed that her sonís death was caused by the negligence of both the officer who shot her son and that officerís assisting partner. The trial court entered judgment in favor of the City, and Plaintiff appeals upon grounds that the trial court's ruling was based solely upon its consideration of the actions of the shooting officer. Ms. Gillispie contends that the trial court committed reversible error in failing to consider whether the actions of the other officer were negligent. She also appeals the trial court's order denying her motion for new trial, arguing that a new trial before a different judge was warranted because the trial judge failed to disclose that his son is a deputy employed by the Knox County Sheriff's Department, and this fact created a reasonable question of bias. We affirm the judgment and order of the trial court upon our determination that the actions of the nonshooting officer were not the proximate cause of the death of Ms. Gillispie's son, and we affirm the trial court's order denying the motion for new trial upon our determination that Ms. Gillispie failed to submit evidence creating a reasonable question as to the trial judge's impartiality.


Court: TCA


Kevin Millen, Pro Se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter and Lauren S. Lamberth, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, James Neeley, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.


The Appellant filed a claim for unemployment benefits which was denied. Appellant petitioned for judicial review in the chancery court and that court affirmed the decision of the Board of Review. Appellant next appealed to this Court and we affirm the court below.


Court: TCA


Cara C. Welsh, Chattanooga, Tennessee for the Appellant, S.M.D.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter and Amy T. Master, Assistant Attorney General for the Appellee, State of Tennessee, Department of Children's Services.


The State of Tennessee, Department of Children's Services (the State) filed a petition to terminate S.M.D.'s (Mother) parental rights to five minor children (the Children). The case was tried and the Juvenile Court entered its order on July 5, 2005, inter alia, terminating Mother's parental rights to the Children. Mother appeals claiming that there was no clear and convincing evidence to support the grounds for termination, that the Juvenile Court erred in restricting testimony, and that there was no clear and convincing evidence to support a finding that termination was in the best interest of these children. We affirm.


Court: TCCA


Richard G. Rosser, Somerville, Tennessee (on appeal); Gary F. Antrican, District Public Defender; and Shana McCoy-Johnson, Assistant Public Defender (at trial), for the appellant, Raymond Griggs.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Seth P. Kestner, Assistant Attorney General; Elizabeth T. Rice, District Attorney General; and Terry Dycus, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


Following a search of his residence, Defendant, Raymond Griggs, was indicted on two counts. Count one charged possession of a schedule II controlled substance (cocaine) with intent to deliver .5 grams or more, and count two charged Defendant with being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun. Prior to trial, Defendant filed a motion to suppress all evidence obtained as a result of the search warrant. The trial court denied the motion. A jury trial was held and Defendant was convicted of count two, convicted felon in possession of a handgun. A mistrial was declared as to count one, presumably because the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict. Defendant filed a motion for new trial which the trial court subsequently denied. On appeal, Defendant argues that (1) the evidence presented at trial was insufficient as a matter of law to sustain the conviction of being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun, and (2) the trial court erred in failing to suppress the evidence obtained as a result of the search warrant. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


David W. Tipton, Bristol, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael James Grubb.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; Greeley Wells, District Attorney General; and William B. Harper, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


This is a direct appeal as of right from a conviction on a jury verdict for aggravated robbery. The Defendant was sentenced as a Range I, standard offender to twelve years in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant raises four issues: (1) the trial court erred in overruling his motion to suppress evidence obtained during a search of his car, (2) the trial court erred in allowing into evidence the preliminary hearing testimony of a police officer who was deceased at the time of trial, (3) the evidence was insufficient to find him guilty of aggravated robbery, and (4) his sentence is excessive. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Constitutionality of Proposed Legislation Requiring a Person Arrested For a Violent Felony or Aggravated Burglary to Provide a Biological Specimen For DNA Analysis

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-04-17

Opinion Number: 06-070

Applicability of the Open Meetings Act to the Tennessee School Boards Association

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-04-17

Opinion Number: 06-071

Senate Bill 3813 Regarding Credit Cards

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-04-17

Opinion Number: 06-072


Legal News
Legislative News

Legal News
Armstrong Allen to dissolve
Armstrong Allen's 74-year run as one of Memphis' preeminent locally based independent law firms, both in terms of size and regional influence, is coming to an end. On Monday managing partner James McLaren said that the firm, along with its name, would cease to exist at the end of the month.
Read more in the Commercial Appeal
Toll-free disaster legal assistance line available
Individuals affected by recent tornado damage in Tennessee who are in need of legal assistance may call 866-336-8276 to request help. Fifteen counties now qualify for FEMA aid. They are: Benton, Cannon, Carroll, Cheatham, Cumberland, Davidson, Dickson, Dyer, Fayette, Gibson, Haywood, Maury, Sumner, Warren and Weakley. To volunteer legal assistance to victims
visit the TBA website
Want to provide bankruptcy assistance to Katrina victims?
The ABA Center for Pro Bono has established an electronic forum for attorneys who are interested in providing pro bono bankruptcy assistance to individuals and businesses affected by Hurricane Katrina. Join the forum by sending a blank email to the ABA at this address or sign up on the ABA's
Slayings raise concerns about sex offender registries
The shooting death of two sex offenders has raised concerns about vigilante violence and questions about what personal information should be available on public sex offender registries. The shooter obtained the names and street addresses of his victims from the Maine state website, according to the Associated Press. The story is in
the Knoxville News Sentinel
Justice Stevens joins 'jurist-to-watch' list
U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens turns 86 on Thursday and becomes the latest "jurist-to-watch" for possible retirement news, according to the Knoxville News-Sentinel.
Read one reporter's view of the dynamics
Legislative News
Judge denies Ford's last minute appeal
State Senator Ophelia Ford filed suit against the Senate yesterday alleging racial discrimination in the process the body used to investigate allegations of irregular voting in her election. This afternoon U.S. District Court Judge Bernice Donald denied the petition clearing the way for the full Senate to vote on the issue, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal. The Senate is expected to hold a vote this week.

Senate passes hate crimes bill
The state Senate unanimously approved a bill encouraging colleges and universities to offer instruction aimed at preventing hate crimes and sexual harassment. The measure, sponsored by Senator Kathryn Bowers, D-Memphis, originally required schools to offer a course, but it was amended. A companion bill is to be taken up this week by the House Education Committee, according to Memphis'
News Channel 3
Senate bill fines those hiring illegal workers
Knowingly hiring an illegal immigrant could lead to a $10,000 fine under a bill passed unanimously by the state Senate on Monday. The House version has yet to be scheduled for a floor vote. For more information see the
Oak Ridger
Tindell sticks with House seat
After a brief tizzy in the Knox County Democratic Party that Representative Harry Tindell was considering trade his seat in the state House for one on the county commission, Tindell opted to forego the commission and seek re-election. Read more in the
Knoxville News Sentinel
Lawmakers enter last stretch of session
With election season around the corner, state lawmakers are hoping to complete their business and get out of town by the middle of next month, according to the Associated Press. With the recent entry of state Senator Jim Bryson, R-Franklin, in the governor's race, however, some observers are predicting heavy political posturing in the final weeks. Read more in the
Knoxville News Sentinel
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

But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at:

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