Medical malpractice amendment killed on Senate floor

Limits on recovery by patients injured by medical negligence by doctors or hospitals were turned back on the floor of the Tennessee Senate late yesterday when an amendment offered by Sen. Jim Bryson, R-Brentwood, was rejected 13 to 16. The amendment would have capped pain and suffering, loss of consortium and other damages at $250,000. The TBA has opposed such caps. Read more in The City Paper.

http://www.nashvillecitypaper.com/index.cfm?section=9&screen=news&news_id=49891

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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Howard H. Vogel
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Editor-in-Chief, TBALink

DENISE KISSICK v. EDWARD KALLAHER

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Vanessa G. Keeler, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Denise Kissick.

Mitchell D. Moskovitz and Cynthia A. Pensoneau, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Edward Kallaher.

Judge: DAVID R. FARMER

The juvenile court dismissed Mother's dependency and neglect petition. Mother appealed to circuit court, which dismissed her appeal without a hearing or presentation of evidence. Mother appeals. We vacate the order of dismissal and remand.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/kissicd051806.pdf


MURIEL A. RODGERS v. JODY A. RODGERS

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Stuart F. Wilson-Patton, Senior Counsel; and Warren A. Jasper, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellants, Tennessee Attorney General and the Tennessee Department of Human Services.

Wm. Kennerly Burger, Ben Hall McFarlin, III, and M. Keith Siskin, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellee, Jody A. Rodgers.

Diana Benson Burns, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for Muriel A. Rodgers.

Judge: WILLIAM C. KOCH, JR.

This appeal involves the constitutionality of the Tennessee Department of Human Services' child support enforcement and collection procedures. In September 2003, the Chancery Court for Rutherford County ordered the father to pay $375 per month in child support directly to the mother. In April 2004, the Department of Human Services issued an ex parte order attempting to require the father's employer to begin deducting both the current and past due child support from his salary and to remit these funds to the Department. The father filed a petition against the wife and the Department requesting the trial court to vacate the Department's orders and to enjoin the Department from issuing further orders or to otherwise modify the final divorce decree. The trial court issued a temporary restraining order and, following a hearing, vacated the Department's orders with regard to the father's child support and enjoined the mother from further attempts to collect child support without first seeking relief from the court. The court also dismissed the Department on the ground that it was not a proper party, and then denied the motion of the Attorney General and Reporter to intervene to defend the constitutionality of the Department's administrative child support enforcement procedures. The Department and the Attorney General appealed to this court. While this appeal was pending, the father and the mother compromised and settled their child support dispute. We have determined that this appeal is now moot because there is no continuing justiciable controversy regarding child support.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/rodgersm051806.pdf


DONNA MARIE TAIT v. WILLIAM FRANK TAIT

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Mitchell D. Moskovitz, Adam N. Cohen, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Donna Marie Tait.

Darrell D. Blanton, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Appellee, William Frank Tait.

Judge: DAVID R. FARMER

Donna Marie Tait ("Wife") filed for divorce from William Frank Tait ("Husband") citing grounds of inappropriate marital conduct. The parties entered into a Permanent Parenting Plan and a Property Settlement Agreement, but reserved the issue of alimony for trial. After hearing the evidence, the trial court found that Wife was not in need of additional alimony support from Husband, despite Husband's ability to pay. Wife appeals. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/taitd051806.pdf


BRONSON WAYNE COKER v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

John D. Parker, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellant, Bronson Wayne Coker.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; and Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: ALAN E. GLENN

The petitioner, Bronson Wayne Coker, appeals the dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief, arguing that his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance for failing to adequately investigate the case or explain the ramifications of the plea agreement and that his guilty pleas were consequently unknowing and involuntary. Following our review, we affirm the dismissal of the petition for post-conviction relief.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/cokerb051806.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RITA KAY VINES

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Gene Scott, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the appellant, Rita Kay Vines.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Joe C. Crumley, Jr., District Attorney General; and Dennis D. Brooks, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: ALAN E. GLENN

The defendant, Rita Kay Vines, pled guilty to accessory after the fact, aggravated burglary, theft over $500, theft under $500, vandalism under $500, and three counts of forgery in exchange for a total effective sentence of eight years as a Range I, standard offender, with the manner of service to be determined by the trial court. On appeal, she argues that the trial court erred in denying alternative sentencing. Based upon our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/vinesr051806.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Passages
BPR Actions
Online CLE
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Law firm charged with bribery and fraud
The securities class-action law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman was charged today with several criminal counts, including obstructing justice, perjury, bribery and fraud, the New York Times reports. The indictment represents the most prominent confrontation between the government and a law firm in years.
Read the full story
Summers requests Alley death set for June 1
Tennessee Attorney General Paul G. Summers has filed a motion with the Tennessee Supreme Court requesting a June 1 execution date for Sedley Alley. The motion points out that the Tennessee courts had already rejected Alley's prior request for DNA testing.
Read the attorney general's press release.
Waivers issue drawing bipartisan interest
A bipartisan group of House lawmakers may soon formally ask the Department of Justice to change its controversial policy on waivers of attorney-client privilege in government investigations, the National Law Journal reports. This is one of the issues that TBA leaders discussed with Tennessee legislators during recent meetings in Washington.
Read the article
Kansas justice investigated over lunch talk
A lunchtime conversation about school-funding legislation has led to an unprecedented ethics investigation of a Kansas Supreme Court justice. Justice Lawton Nuss has until June 1 to respond to a complaint accusing him of violating the code of judicial conduct. It is the first ethics complaint against a justice in the 32-year history of Kansas's Commission on Judicial Qualifications.
Read the details at TriCities.com
Arkansas Supreme Court candidates debate whether they should debate
Judges seeking a position on the Arkansas Supreme Court are engaged in a debate over whether they should debate. Court of Appeals Judge Wendell Griffen, facing an investigation for public comments he's made, criticized Booneville Circuit Judge Paul Danielson today for not debating him. Danielson said talking about issues that could come up in court wouldn't be appropriate.
WMCTV.com has the story.
Mediation is to law as reality shows are to prime time TV
Jocelyn Dan Wurzburg became an attorney at age 41 and worked divorce cases at her first job. She didn't enjoy the process. "I was just heart sickened," she said. "I just thought there had to be an easier way that wasn't so hurtful and degrading." In 1991, Wurzburg joined a committee of the Tennessee Bar Association that was exploring the use of mediation and alternate dispute resolution (ADR) in the state court system. A lot has happened since then.
Read more in The Daily News.
Passages
Trial attorney James Cox left mark on community
Prominent Memphis trial attorney, James S. Cox died Monday of kidney and lung infection. He was 77. He received his law degree from the University of Memphis School of Law. He was a trial lawyer and practiced law from 1964 until he retired from his firm, James S. Cox & Associates, in 1996. A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Second Presbyterian Church Chapel in Memphis with a reception in the Salmon Room.
Read the Commercial Appeal's story.
BPR Actions
Edward Slavin Jr. disbarred
The Tennessee Supreme Court has disbarred Edward A. Slavin Jr., and held him in contempt, ordering him to serve 10 days in jail and be fined $50. He was disbarred for a variety of offenses, including misrepresentations and deciet to the court and to his client, and abusing the legal process by habitually Tennessee Supreme Court Rules of Professional Conduct with regard to harrassment and intimidation of the court and opposing counsel. Slavin was licensed to practice in Tennessee, but resides in St. Augustine, Fla. Read the contempt order and the
order to disbar.
Online CLE
Deadline near for CLE compliance
If you still need CLE hours to meet your 2005 requirements, you should know that an important deadline is approaching. Attorneys who have received a Notice of Non-completion have only until May 31 to remedy the situation or face a $200 delinquent compliance fee. These attorneys will also have their names placed on the CLE Commission's draft suspension order for Supreme Court action.

To help prevent this from happening to you, the TBA's TennBarU online CLE program has 30 text-based and more than 100 interactive video courses available 24/7.
Learn more or register now
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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