Register online now for 125th Annual TBA Convention

Join your colleagues from the Tennessee legal community at the state's largest and longest-running gathering - the annual Tennessee Bar Association convention. This year's event will be in Memphis, June 14-17 at the Peabody Hotel. The event will again be held in conjunction with gatherings of the Tennessee Judicial Conference, the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association and the Tennessee Lawyers' Association for Women. Register or find out more now.

http://www.tba.org/convention2006/index.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 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
09 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
02 - 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

BEHROUZ AMINI v. CTI PET SYSTEMS, INC., ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Behrouz Amini, pro se Appellant.

J. Chadwick Hatmaker and Robert L. Vance, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellees CTI PET Systems, Inc., d/b/a CPS Innovations, CTI Molecular Imaging, Inc., James Kelly Milam and Terry Douglass.

Judge: D. MICHAEL SWINEY

On January 15, 2002, Behrouz Amini (ďPlaintiffĒ) filed a lawsuit against the defendants alleging, inter alia, that he was wrongfully terminated on January 15, 1999. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss claiming that the one year statute of limitations for bringing a wrongful termination claim had expired. Plaintiff then voluntarily nonsuited the wrongful termination claim, but refiled that claim within one year of the nonsuit. The defendants again filed a motion to dismiss arguing that the statute of limitations had expired. The Trial Court agreed and dismissed the lawsuit. Plaintiff appeals claiming the statute of limitations was tolled because of the defendantsí fraudulent concealment. We affirm the judgment of the Trial Court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/aminib042406.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE, DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN'S SERVICES v. D.L.M.L.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

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

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter, Amy T. Master, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellee State of Tennessee, Department of Childrenís Services.

Judge: D. MICHAEL SWINEY

In May of 2005, the State of Tennessee, Department of Childrenís Services (ďDCSĒ) filed a petition seeking to terminate the parental rights of D.L.M.L. (ďMotherĒ) to her three minor children. After Mother failed to respond timely to the petition, the Juvenile Court Referee granted DCSís motion for a default judgment. At the hearing where the default motion was granted, no proof was offered concerning whether grounds for terminating Motherís parental rights existed or whether terminating Motherís parental rights was in the childrenís best interests. Following the hearing, the Referee entered an order terminating Motherís parental rights. The Juvenile Court Judge subsequently adopted and confirmed the order of the Referee. Because the complete lack of proof in the record prevents this Courtís effective review of the propriety of the Juvenile Courtís judgment, the judgment of the Juvenile Court terminating Motherís parental rights is vacated and this case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this Opinion.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/dlml042406.pdf


FRED M. LEONARD, JR. v. CITY OF KNOXVILLE

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Sharon E. Boyce, Knoxville, Tennessee, for Appellant City of Knoxville.

Glenna W. Overton, Knoxville, Tennessee, for Appellee Fred M. Leonard, Jr.

Judge: SHARON G. LEE

This is an inverse condemnation case. The primary issue presented is whether there is material evidence to support the juryís verdict that Mr. Leonardís claim was not barred by the doctrine of estoppel by deed. Plans were made to improve and widen Gleason Road within the City of Knoxville. To facilitate this project, Mr. Leonardís predecessors in title, the Tiptons, negotiated with and conveyed to the City a portion of their property. Their deed to the City recited that the "consideration ... includes payment for the property taken, also payment for any and all incidental damages to the remainder compensable under eminent domain." The remainder property was eventually conveyed to Mr. Leonard. After the completion of the road project, Mr. Leonard sued for damages, claiming that his property had been damaged by flooding caused by the road project. Following a jury verdict for Mr. Leonard in the amount of $50,000, the City appealed. Upon review, we held that the trial court erred when it precluded the City from introducing evidence on its defense of estoppel by deed. The case was remanded to the trial court on the sole issue of whether the deed to the City from Mr. Leonardís predecessors in title operated to estop Mr. Leonard from pursuing his inverse condemnation claim. A jury determined that Mr. Leonard was not estopped by deed from recovering damages for the taking of his property by flooding. The trial court reinstated the $50,000 award to Mr. Leonard and the City appealed again. After careful review, we hold that the juryís verdict is supported by material evidence and that no error was committed by the trial court. The judgment is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/leonardf042406.pdf


RODNEY M. BUTLER v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Lowe Finney, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Rodney M. Butler.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Preston Shipp, Assistant Attorney General; James G. Woodall, District Attorney General; and Alfred Lynn Earls, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: JOSEPH M. TIPTON

The petitioner, Rodney M. Butler, appeals the Madison County Circuit Courtís dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief from his conviction for driving under the influence of an intoxicant (DUI), fourth offense, a Class E felony, and resulting sentence of four years as a Range II, multiple offender to be served in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the petitioner claims he received the ineffective assistance of counsel because his trial attorney failed to prepare adequately for trial and failed to prevent the trial court from relying on one of the petitionerís prior DUI convictions, which was more than ten years old, for purposes of enhancement. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/butlerr042406.pdf


KENNETH CAMPBELL V. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Kenneth Campbell, Pro Se, Pikeville, Tennessee.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: JERRY L. SMITH

This matter is before the Court upon the Stateís motion to affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court by memorandum opinion pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The petitioner has appealed the post-conviction courtís order summarily dismissing the petition for post-conviction relief. In that petition, the petitioner alleges that the State suppressed exculpatory evidence, presented false testimony and obtained convictions using this false evidence. Upon a review of the record in this case we are persuaded that the post-conviction court was correct in summarily dismissing the petition for post-conviction relief and that this case meets the criteria for affirmance pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Accordingly, the Stateís motion is granted, and the judgment of the post-conviction court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/campbellk042406.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOEL MARSHALL JONES

With Dissent


Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Fannie J. Harris, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Joel Marshall Jones, III.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; W. Michael McCown, District Attorney General; and Michael D. Randles, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: ROBERT W. WEDEMEYER

The Defendant, Joel Marshall Jones was convicted of aggravated burglary, theft of property valued at less than $500.00 and of theft of property valued at more than $1000.00. The Defendant was sentenced to prison for fifteen years as a Range II offender. On appeal, the Defendant contends that: (1) the evidence is insufficient to sustain his convictions; (2) the trial court erred when it did not allow a witness to testify; and (3) the trial court erred when it extended the hours of the trial. Finding no reversible error, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/jonesj042406.pdf

GARY R. WADE, P.J., dissenting.
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/jonesjdissent042406.pdf


TERRY T. LEWIS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jefre Scott Goldtrap, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Terry T. Lewis.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; C. Daniel Lins, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, District Attorney General; and Dan Hamm, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: DAVID H. WELLES

The Petitioner, Terry T. Lewis, appeals the Davidson County Criminal Courtís denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. The Petitioner was convicted of first degree murder and attempted robbery. On appeal, the Petitioner argues that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. After a review of the record, we affirm the denial of post-conviction relief.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/lewist042406.pdf


RONALD MCCRAY v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Ronald McCray, pro se.

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

Judge: JOHN EVERETT WILLIAMS

The Petitioner, Ronald McCray, appeals the lower courtís denial of his petition for habeas corpus relief. The State has filed a motion requesting that this Court affirm the trial court pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The Petitioner failed to file a timely notice of appeal and this Court cannot conclude that justice requires waiver of this jurisdictional requirement. Accordingly, the above-captioned appeal is dismissed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/mccrayr042406.pdf


LAQUENTON MONGER v. DAVID G. MILLS, WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

LaQuenton Monger, pro se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: ALAN E. GLENN

The Petitioner, LaQuenton Monger, appeals the lower courtís denial of his petition for habeas corpus relief. The State has filed a motion requesting that this Court affirm the trial court pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Because the Petitioner has failed to comply with the statutory requirements for seeking habeas corpus relief, we conclude that the trial court properly dismissed the petition. We affirm the trial courtís dismissal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/mongerl042406.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CHARLES IVORY SMITH

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

George Morton Googe, District Public Defender; Joseph T. Howell and Chris R. Whittaker, Assistant Public Defenders, for the appellant, Charles Ivory Smith.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; C. Daniel Lins, Assistant Attorney General; James G. Woodall, District Attorney General; and Jody S. Pickens, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: JOSEPH M. TIPTON

A Madison County Circuit Court jury convicted the defendant, Charles Ivory Smith, of burglary and evading arrest. The trial court imposed a twelve-year sentence for burglary and an eleven-month and twenty-nine-day sentence for evading arrest and ordered the defendant to serve the sentences consecutively as a career offender in the Department of Correction. The defendant asserts that the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions and that the trial court erred in ordering consecutive sentences. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/smithc042406.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. BRIAN KEITH STANLEY

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Michael J. Collins, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Brian Keith Stanley.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Seth P. Kestner, Assistant Attorney General; W. Michael McCown, District Attorney General; and Michael D. Randles, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GARY R. WADE

The defendant, Brian Keith Stanley, was convicted of driving under the influence, first offense. The trial court imposed a sentence of eleven months and twenty-nine days, with ninety days to be served in confinement. After determining that the defendant had violated the implied consent law, the trial court revoked his driver's license for two years. In this appeal, the defendant asserts that the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction for driving under the influence. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/stanleyb042406.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. KENNETH W. THOMPSON, SR.

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

J. Robin McKinney, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee for the Appellant, Kenneth W. Thompson, Sr.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; C. Daniel Lins, Assistant Attorney General; Dan M. Alsobrooks, District Attorney General; and Robert S. Wilson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: ROBERT W. WEDEMEYER

The Defendant, Kenneth W. Thompson, Sr., pled nolo contendere to one count of attempted aggravated sexual battery, and the trial court sentenced him to five years, to be served at thirty percent. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred when it denied his request for alternative sentencing. Finding that there exists no reversible error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/thompsonk042406.pdf


Immunity of Members of the General Assembly from the Criminal Offense of Perjury

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-04-21

Opinion Number: 06-073

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2006/ag_06-073.pdf

Voiding of Election

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-04-21

Opinion Number: 06-074

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2006/ag_06-074.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Election 2006
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Federal gun charge keeps lawyer killer behind bars
The man convicted of killing Memphis lawyer Robert M. Friedman after ambushing him in a parking garage in 2002 received a six-year sentence and is about due for release. At the time, Harold Don Noel also said he planned to kill his ex-wife and a judge, but he has since accused police of framing him. Now, though, federal authorities have stepped in and won an indictment on a gun charge that could lead to another prison sentence for Noel, this one for 10 years.
WMCTV has the story.
Loser to be honored by Nashville School of Law
Alumni, faculty and staff of the Nashville School of Law will join numerous community and business leaders for the school's annual recognition dinner on May 5 to honor and roast Dean Joe C. Loser Jr. The event, which also will feature a silent auction, will be held at the Sheraton Nashville Downtown with cocktails at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. To purchase tickets, contact Nashville School of Law at (615) 256-3684. For more details about the dinner and Dean Loser, read the school's
press release.
Supreme Court grants permission to appeal
The Tennessee Supreme Court at Jackson entered two orders today in the custody case involving A.M.H., a minor. The first order grants permission to appeal by Shao-Qiang (Jack) He and wife, Qin (Casey) Luo. The matter will be put on the docket for oral argument upon the completion of briefing, according to the order. The second order denies a motion to dismiss appeal by appellees Jerry L. Baker and Louise K. Baker. Read the orders
here.
Tennessee soldier-judge buried in Rhea
Rhea County residents have cared for the grave of Tennessee Supreme Court Justice David Campbell, who also was a Revolutionary War veteran. You can visit the site, too. Read about it in the
Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Court rules to delay ĎChoose Lifeí plates
A federal appeals court has issued a decision to delay the state's production of its "Choose Life" specialty license plate. †The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee had asked the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the delay so it could seek a U.S. Supreme Court review of a ruling upholding the plate as constitutional. Read the AP story in the
Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Mississippi justice faces tax charges
A Mississippi Supreme Court justice is scheduled to stand trial this week on federal charges alleging that he and his former wife filed misleading tax returns over a three-year period. Justice Oliver Diaz Jr. and Jennifer Diaz are accused of underreporting their income by more than $25,000 in 1999. In the following two years they failed to pay more than $42,000 in taxes on income they disguised as "loan repayments," a federal indictment alleges. The couple has since divorced. Read the AP story in the
Commercial Appeal.
Although limited in scope, the ADA remains alive and well
When the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was enacted, it was widely lauded for protecting the rights of disabled workers. In a series of landmark decisions, however, the U.S. Supreme Court subsequently limited the scope of employee disability discrimination claims, and many disability rights' activists feared the court had effectively crippled the ADA. The reality is that ADA claims are the most difficult type of employment discrimination claim to prove, and employers prevail in the vast majority of ADA cases. Nevertheless, some more recent lower federal court opinions in favor of disabled workers illustrate that the ADA is alive and kicking. Read the commentary in the
Nashville Business Journal.
Election 2006
Election commission welcomes suit
Knox County election commissioners welcomed the lawsuit filed against them this week by five county commissioners as a chance to resolve many of the legal questions plaguing the August general election. At a special called meeting Friday, election commissioners authorized their attorney, Jim Murphy of Nashville to respond to the filing with their own questions. Read more about it in the
Knoxville News Sentinel.
TBA Member Services
Program offers savings on auto insurance
GEICO and the Tennessee Bar Association team up to offer the GEICO Preferred auto insurance program.
Find out more

 
 
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