TBA web site offers judicial campaign information

The Tennessee Bar Association is offering a number of resources for voters in upcoming judicial elections. Central among these is the Tennessee Fair Judicial Campaign Code of Conduct, which judicial candidates can sign to pledge that they will campaign in a manner that upholds the "public faith in the integrity of the justice system in Tennessee." You can read the full pledge and review a list of candidates who have already signed on at the TBA's Judicial Campaign web site.

http://www.tba.org/judicialcampaign/

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
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00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
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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

WILNER DIEUDONNE v. METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY
Corrected Case


Court: TCA

Attorneys:

J. Brooks Fox and John Kennedy, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee.

Wilner Dieudonne, Nashville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Judge: CLEMENT

This action for personal injury arises out of a vehicular accident between the plaintiff and an on-duty police officer of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County. Plaintiff timely filed this action in the General Sessions Court; however, he failed to properly identify the defendant and service of process was returned unserved. Plaintiff did not attempt to renew service of process until after the one-year statute of limitations had run, waiting sixteen months before making his second attempt at service of process on the defendant. The trial court denied the defendant's motion to dismiss based upon its finding the plaintiff's delays in service of process did not constitute an abandonment of the claim. The case proceeded to trial, and the plaintiff was awarded damages. The defendant appeals contending the trial court erred by not dismissing the action. Finding the statute of limitations had run, we therefore reverse and remand with instructions to dismiss.

The correction in this case is as folows: On page two, the third full paragraph, line six, the sentence that reads "was not a legal entity capable of being served" has been change to read "was not a legal entity capable of being sued."

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/dieudonnew_corr051006.pdf


BOB PATTERSON, TRUSTEE OF SHELBY COUNTY, TENNESSEE v. A. C. WHARTON, JR., MAYOR OF SHELBY COUNTY, TENNESSEE

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Brian L. Kuhn, Shelby County Attorney; Robert B. Rolwing, Senior Assistant County Attorney, Memphis, TN, for Appellant.

JoeDae L. Jenkins, Memphis, TN, for Appellee.

Judge: HIGHERS

After the Board of County Commissioners for Shelby County passed the county's 20032004 budget, the Trustee of Shelby County filed suit against the county mayor pursuant to section 8-20-101 et seq. of the Tennessee Code seeking additional personnel and funding for his department. After entering into a settlement agreement with the county, the trustee filed a motion seeking to recover his attorney's fees at a rate of $250 per hour. The county asserted that such fees were capped at $100 per hour pursuant to a budget resolution passed by the Board of County Commissioners. The trial court entered an order awarding the trustee his attorney's fees at a rate of $250 per hour pursuant to Section 8-20-107 of the Tennessee Code. The county appealed arguing that the trial court did not have the discretion to award attorney's fees in excess of the $100 per hour limit placed on such fees by the county legislative body. We affirm the decision of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/pattersonb051006.pdf


KENNETH T. WHALUM, JR., ET AL. v. PAMELA HARRIS MARSHALL, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Kevin A. Snider, Germantown, TN, for Appellant, Pamela Harris Marshall.

Brian L. Kuhn, Shelby County Attorney, Thomas E. Williams, Assistant County Attorney, Memphis, TN, for Appellee, Shelby County, TN.

Patrick M. Dandridge, Memphis, TN, for Appellees Kenneth T. Whalum, Jr., et al.

Judge: HIGHERS

After delinquent property taxes accumulated on certain real property, the city and county pursued a tax sale of the subject property. The defendant purchased the property at the tax sale and received a deed from the clerk of the chancery court. After the one-year redemption period expired, the plaintiffs filed suit against various individuals and entities, including the present owner of the property and the county, seeking to rescind the sale. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that they were not provided with notice of the sale. The county subsequently conceded that it did not provide notice of the sale to the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment. The present owner did not file an answer to the complaint and did not respond to the motion for summary judgment. After the trial court granted summary judgment to the plaintiffs, the present owner of the property filed a motion pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 59.04 asking the trial court to set aside the order granting summary judgment. In her motion, the present owner sought to introduce evidence related to her claim that she was entitled to reimbursement for the approximately $68,000 spent improving the property. The trial court denied the motion, and the present owner appealed to this Court. We affirm the decisions of the chancery court in all respects. Moreover, we find this appeal to be so devoid of merit as to warrant the imposition of damages for the filing of a frivolous appeal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/whalumk051006.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. THOMAS RICHARDSON, JR.
Corrected Concurring Opinion


Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Robert Wilson Jones, District Public Defender; and Tony N. Brayton, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Thomas Richardson, Jr.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Charles W. Bell, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant, Thomas Richardson, Jr., appeals his conviction for first degree felony murder. In support of his appeal, the defendant presents three issues: (a) The evidence is insufficient to support the conviction; (b) Two photographs of the victim were improperly admitted; and (c) Hearsay statements were improperly admitted. After a full review of the record, we have found no reversible error. We therefore affirm the judgment of the trial court as entered.

Corrected Concurring Opinion (Hayes)
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/richardsont_con_corr051006.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ARTIS WHITEHEAD

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

William D. Massey and Lorna S. McClusky (on appeal), and Howard Wagerman (at trial), Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Artis Whitehead.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Amy Weirich and Theresa McCusker, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant, Artis Whitehead, appeals his convictions and sentencing on five counts of especially aggravated kidnapping (Class A felony); two counts of aggravated assault (Class C felony); two counts of aggravated robbery (Class B felony); two counts of especially aggravated robbery (Class A felony); and one count of attempted aggravated robbery (Class C felony). The consecutive sentences imposed totaled 249 years. On appeal, the defendant presents the following issues: (1) the evidence of identity was insufficient to support the conviction, (2) a computer composite of the suspect was improperly admitted into evidence, (3) the identification testimony of Ray Spence was improperly admitted, (4) the defendant was prevented from effective cross-examination of Sergeant Howell, and (5) the defendant was improperly sentenced. Having found no reversible error, we affirm the convictions and sentencing.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/whiteheada051006.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Legislative News
Election 2006
BPR Actions
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Reeves has eye on state AG position
Knoxville lawyer and former TBA President Pamela Reeves has announced her intention to seek the office of state attorney general. "It's the best legal job in the state of Tennessee. It's an opportunity to do public service I've never done," she said in confirming her interest in the position. Current Attorney General Paul Summers announced last week that he would not seek re-appointment when his term expires at the end of August. Georgiana Vines of the Knoxville News Sentinel broke the news in her column today.
Read it here
FBI arrests former Cocke County jailer
A former Cocke County Sheriff's Department corrections officer was arrested this morning by the FBI on charges of beating a jail inmate in 2003. Darrell Hayes, 22, was indicted by a federal grand jury on civil rights violation charges and is expected to make an initial appearance today in federal court. He is the eighth Cocke County lawman to be arrested as part of a five-year probe into public corruption and organized crime in the county.
Read about the case in the Knoxville News Sentinel
Tennessee law student wins diversity award
Atlanta-based Constangy, Brooks and Smith LLC presented its 2006 Diversity Scholars Award to University of Tennessee College of Law student Jodi Hansen. Hansen, who is in her second year of law school, will receive a $2,000 scholarship. The Diversity Scholars Award recognizes law students who are committed to diversity, have overcome challenges in the pursuit of their goals and have a continued commitment to diversity in the law profession. Constangy, Brooks & Smith is a labor and employment law firm with offices across the south and southeast, including Nashville.

Hotel near full for TBA Convention
Interest in the 2006 TBA Convention -- June 14-17 in Memphis -- has been strong, and the TBA block of rooms at the Peabody Hotel is almost full. If you plan to attend and haven't yet reserved a room, do so now. Make your reservation by calling 800-Peabody. Ask for the special Tennessee Bar Association Annual Meeting rate of $165 per night.
Learn more about the TBA Convention
Legislative News
Civics education bill moves forward
Legislation to bring new attention to civics education in Tennessee schools was adopted by the Senate last night and given a favorable nod in the House Budget Subcommittee today. The Commission on Civics Education, which would be created by the measure, would include representatives of the legal community.

Domestic violence education bill advances
A TBA proposal requiring health care providers to post information about resources to combat domestic violence cleared the House Finance Committee this afternoon. The measure could be on the floor as early as Thursday under an expedited process in effect for the end of the session.

Election 2006
Certification won't be final word
The Knox County Election Commission will meet Friday to certify the results of last week's primary, but the legal battle over the general election ballot begins on May 19 in Chancellor John Weaver's courtroom. According to unofficial returns, nine term-limited incumbent commissioners won their parties' nominations last week. Weaver will hear arguments next week on whether to fast track a lawsuit filed by five term-limited commissioners.
The Knoxville News Sentinel has the story
BPR Actions
Nashville lawyer censured
Gary D. Copas of Nashville was publicly censured on May 5 for failing to answer discovery, failing to adequately communicate with a client and failing to appear for five schedule appointments. He also was cited for neglecting a second client's case and failing to keep that client informed. The Board of Professional Responsibility found that he violated Rules 1.3, 1.4, 1.5 and 8.4 of the Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct.
Read the BPR's press release
TBA Member Services
New listings on JobLink
TBA JobLink is a career service for Tennessee attorneys and law students. New job openings recently posted on the site include a business affairs attorney with EMI Music in Brentwood; a collections attorney with SESAC, a music licensing agency in Nashville; and an instructor in law and legal writing at the Vanderbilt University Law School. Visit the site to learn more about these positions, create an online resume or post a job opening of your own.
Click here

 
 
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