Senate backs judicial pay hike; UPL bill moves ahead

The bill raising the base salary for Tennessee trial and appellate judges was unanimously adopted last night by the state Senate. With House passage last week, the bill now goes to the governor for approval. Under the proposal, trial judges will receive a $140,000 base salary for the next eight years. Intermediate appeals judges will be paid $145,000 and Supreme Court justices will be paid $150,000. The chief judge of each appellate court will receive a $2,500 supplement, while the chief justice will be given a $5,000 bonus. The new salaries take effect Sept. 1. The annual cost of living adjustment for state judges will continue to provide for annual inflationary adjustments. The bill was supported by the TBA and every organized bar group in the state. Tennessee Court of Appeals Judge Bill Koch issued the following statement: "All of Tennessee's trial and appellate judges are grateful for your support throughout this legislative session. Your voices added credibility to our case. Thanks for everything that you did to help move the bill along this year."

In other news, the TBA bill to improve enforcement of the unauthorized practice of law statute cleared its final major hurdle today when the Senate Judiciary Committee recommended the bill for passage.
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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink


Court: TWCA


Robert L. Huskey, Manchester, Tennessee, attorney for Appellant, Chad Conatser.

Bree A. Taylor, Nashville, Tennessee, attorney for Appellee, Metro Ready Mix and Lumberman's Underwriting Alliance.

Judge: INMAN

This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Tennessee Supreme Court in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated Section 50-6-225(e)(3), for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The Plaintiff alleged a cervical injury apparently owing to two separate events, including an injury sustained while exercising on the job, and another injury occurring when the truck he was driving ran into a hole and bounced him upward, jamming his neck. A number of medical physicians found no basis for his complaint. A chiropractic physician, by a range of motion study, opined that he retained a 26 percent impairment. The trial court found that the Plaintiff retained 0 percent disability as a result of his work related injury on July 22, 2000, and we affirm.


Court: TCA


Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter, and Cynthia L. Paduch, Senior Counsel, Knoxville, Tennessee, for appellants.

George W. Morton, Jr., and J. Myers Morton, Knoxville, Tennessee, for appellee.


In this inverse condemnation action, the jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff which was approved by the Trial Court after a slight reduction in the amount. The State appealed and we affirm.


Court: TCA


James J. Hayes, Annandale, Virginia, appellant, appearing pro se.

John T. Winemiller and John A. Lucas, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellees Clayton Homes, Inc., and James L. Clayton, Kevin T. Clayton, C. Warren Neel, B. Joe Clayton, Steven G. Davis, Dan W. Evins, Wilma H. Jordan, and Thomas N. McAdams.

Kevin K. Green, San Diego, California, and Douglas S. Johnston, Jr., and James G. Stranch, III, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee Denver Area Meat Cutters and Employers Pension Plan.

Judge: LEE

In this appeal, Mr. Hayes, a shareholder of Clayton Homes, Inc., argues that the trial court erred in approving the settlement of a shareholder class action complaint filed by Denver Area Meat Cutters and Employers Pension Plan, et al., also a shareholder of Clayton Homes, Inc., against members of Clayton's board of directors on behalf of Clayton's shareholders. The complaint charged the directors with breach of fiduciary duties in connection with the acquisition of Clayton by Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. and in connection with an associated merger of Clayton and a Berkshire subsidiary. Mr. Hayes contends that the trial court erred in approving the settlement because the trial court did not consider the potential recovery of damages had the case proceeded to trial, because the settlement resulted in a great disparity between the per share recovery of Clayton shareholders and the award of attorney's fees to Denver's counsel, and because the complaint filed by Denver did not include proxy fraud claims or assert Delaware's entire fairness doctrine. We affirm the judgment of the trial court and remand.


Court: TCA


Hugh C. Howser, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Wynona Ethridge (Duncan) Dunn.

Larry Hayes, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Robert Curtis Duncan.

Judge: KOCH

This appeal involves a dispute regarding a poorly drafted spousal support provision in a marital dissolution agreement. When the wife remarried shortly after the parties' divorce, the husband filed a petition under Tenn. Code Ann. Section 36-5-101(a)(2)(B) (Supp. 2003) requesting the Chancery Court for Sumner County to terminate his spousal support obligation. The wife responded that her spousal support was not subject to statutory termination upon remarriage. Following a hearing, the trial court determined that the wife's remarriage terminated a portion of the husband's spousal support obligation. The wife has appealed. We have determined that the trial court's application of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 36-5-101(a)(2)(B) to the marital dissolution agreement is correct.


Court: TCCA


George H. Ross, III, pro se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The Petitioner, George H. Ross, III, appeals the trial court's denial of his petition for habeas corpus relief. The State has filed a motion requesting that this Court affirm the trial court's denial of relief pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Petitioner has failed to allege any ground that would render the judgments of conviction void. Accordingly, we grant the State's motion and affirm the judgment of the lower court.


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Legislative News
Senate passes bill to limit eminent domain
After weeks of working through amendments, the Senate unanimously passed a bill Monday designed to limit the ability of cities and counties to seize private property. A number of amendments were withdrawn and referred to study committee for the summer. The legislation is among the least restrictive of the measures proposed after last year's U.S. Supreme Court ruling giving a city the authority to seize property for a private development project.
Read more in the News Sentinel
Legal News
Baker Donelson expands Mississippi office
Memphis-based regional firm Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz recently added 12 lawyers to its Jackson, Miss., office bringing the total there to 64. The new attorneys all came from the Jackson office of McGlinchey Stafford PLLC, a New Orleans-based firm. They will focus on government law and public finance services, particularly work associated with the rebuilding of the Gulf coast region, reports the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

MGLAW moves to bigger space
Nashville's MGLAW, the law firm headed by Robert Gonzales and Bob Mendes, is relocating from its 30th Avenue location to the 14th floor of 2525 West End Ave. on May 15. The firm will more than double its space in the process, reports the Nashville Business Journal.

Name that president
The TBA Young Lawyers Division can't find some of its presidents! Records on who served as president of the group are missing for the following bar years:
If you can help fill in the blanks, email Stacey Shrader at Prizes will be awarded!

Armstrong Allen attorneys land at Glankler Brown
Jim Arthur and Aubrey Brown Jr., formerly with the Memphis office of Armstrong Allen PLLC, will join Glankler Brown PLLC. Armstrong Allen shut its doors at the end of April.

BPR Actions
Nashville lawyer censured
John E. Herbison of Nashville was censured by the Board of Professional Responsibility on April 21 for neglecting a client's case and failing to communicate with that client, a violation of Rules 1.3, 1.4 and 8.4 of the Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct.
Read the BPR's press release
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