Interest in AG post grows; governor likes Cooper for job

Chattanooga attorney Shelby R. Grubbs has added his name to the list of applicants to be the next Tennessee attorney general. With the deadline Monday, there are now three attorneys who have officially entered their names for consideration. Several others are rumored to be candidates, including Gov. Phil Bredeson's legal counsel Bob Cooper. If he does apply, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports, he can expect a "warm recommendation" from the governor.

http://epaper.wehco.com/Repository/getFiles.asp?Style=OliveXLib:ArticleToMail&Type=text/html&Path=ChatTFPress/2006/07/12&ID=Ar00903

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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NEVA JUNE SMITH v. TENNESSEE FARMERS LIFE REASSURANCE COMPANY ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Robert B. Littleton and David L. Johnson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tennessee Farmers Life Reassurance Company.

Clinton H. Swafford, Winchester, Tennessee, for the appellee, Neva June Smith.

Judge: WILLIAM C. KOCH

This appeal involves a dispute between an insurance company and the widow of a deceased policyholder. Following the policyholder’s death, the insurance company declined to honor the policy because it had ascertained that the policyholder’s application for insurance contained misrepresentations regarding matters that, if known, would have affected its decision to issue the policy. The policyholder’s widow filed suit in the Chancery Court for Franklin County to force the company to honor the policy. Following a bench trial, the trial court found that the policyholder had made misrepresentations on his application but that these misrepresentations did not increase the insurance company’s risk of loss. Accordingly, the trial court ordered the insurance company to pay the policyholder’s widow and estate $115,000. The insurance company has appealed. We have determined that the evidence does not support the trial court’s conclusion that the policyholder’s misrepresentations did not increase the insurance company’s risk of loss.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/smithn071306.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WILLIAM THOMAS BRANCH

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Ross E. Alderman, District Public Defender; Emma Rae Tennent, Assistant Public Defender; Clark B. Thornton, Assistant Public Defender; and Katie Weiss, Assistant Public Defender, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, William Thomas Branch.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson III, District Attorney General; and Jeffrey Devasher, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: THOMAS T. WOODALL

Following a jury trial, Defendant, William Thomas Branch, was found guilty of the offense of rape of a child, a Class A felony. The trial court sentenced Defendant as a Range I, standard offender, to fifteen years. In his appeal, Defendant argues that the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction, and that the trial court erred in its instructions to the jury. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/branchw071306.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RODNEY ANTHONY BROWN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jennifer Lichstein (at trial); Ross E. Alderman, District Public Defender; and Emma Tennent, Assistant District Public Defender, for the Appellant, Rodney Anthony Brown.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Preston Shipp, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Kathy Morante, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: JAMES CURWOOD WITT, JR.

The defendant, Rodney Anthony Brown, appeals from the Davidson County Criminal Court’s sentencing order. The defendant pleaded guilty to the October 30, 2004 aggravated assault of Keith J. Thompson, a Class C felony, see Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-102(a)(1)(B), -102(d)(1) (2003), and to unlawful possession of a handgun, a Class A misdemeanor, see id. § 39-17-1307(a). He agreed to accept a three-year, Range I sentence for aggravated assault and a concurrent sentence of 11 months and 29 days for the misdemeanor; he further agreed that the trial court would determine the manner of service of the effective three-year sentence. Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court ordered the defendant to serve his sentence in confinement. On appeal, the defendant claims he should have received judicial diversion or, in the alternative, full probation. We affirm the criminal court’s effective denial of judicial diversion and its denial of alternative sentencing.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/brownr071306.pdf


RODNEY LARON COVINGTON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

J. Chase Gober, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Rodney Laron Covington.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David E. Coenen, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson III, District Attorney General; Pamela Anderson and Amy H. Eisenbeck, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: DAVID G. HAYES

The Appellant, Rodney Laron Covington, appeals the Davidson County Criminal Court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. On appeal, Covington argues that he was denied his Sixth Amendment right to the effective assistance of counsel. After review of the record, we affirm the denial of post-conviction relief.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/covingtonr071306.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOEL KEENER

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Phillip T. Clemons, McMinnville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Joel Keener.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Dale Potter, District Attorney General; Larry Bryant, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: ROBERT W. WEDEMEYER

The Defendant, Joel Keener, was convicted of facilitation of the manufacture of methamphetamine, and the trial court sentenced him, as a Range II offender, to eight years in prison. On appeal, the Defendant contends: (1) that the evidence is insufficient to sustain his conviction; and (2) that the trial court erred when it sentenced him. Finding that there exists no reversible error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/keenerj071306.pdf


MICHAEL D. LYLES v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

James O. Martin, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael D. Lyles.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Kathy Morante, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: ALAN E. GLENN

The petitioner, Michael D. Lyles, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, arguing that his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to properly prepare for trial and that his guilty pleas were unknowing and involuntary. Following our review, we affirm the post-conviction court’s denial of the petition.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/lylesm071306.pdf


FREDERICK MORROW v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

William F. Kroeger, Springfield, Tennessee, for the appellant, Frederick Morrow.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; John Wesley Carney, Jr., District Attorney General; and Dent Morriss, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: THOMAS T. WOODALL

Pursuant to a bench trial, Petitioner, Frederick Morrow, was found guilty of one (1) count of civil rights intimidation, one (1) count of first degree felony murder in the perpetration of an attempted aggravated kidnapping and one (1) count of attempted aggravated kidnapping. Petitioner was sentenced to life in prison for first degree murder. He was sentenced as a Range I offender to consecutive terms of four (4) years for civil rights intimidation and five (5) years for attempted aggravated kidnapping. On direct appeal, a panel of this Court found that the issues were without merit and accordingly affirmed the convictions. Petitioner then filed an untimely Rule 11 application with the Tennessee Supreme Court appealing the decision of the Court of Criminal Appeals affirming his convictions. The application was denied. The trial court then granted Petitioner an additional sixty (60) days in which to file a timely Rule 11 application with the Supreme Court. That application was likewise denied. Petitioner next filed a petition for post-conviction relief. Following an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court granted a delayed appeal to the Tennessee Supreme Court and stayed the post-conviction proceedings pending disposition of that appeal. Petitioner’s appeal was denied and the post-conviction court then denied his petition for post-conviction relief. On appeal, Petitioner argues that he is entitled to post-conviction relief because he did not knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently waive his right to a trial by jury, and because the trial court, sitting without a jury, failed to consider lesser included offenses of felony murder and premeditated first degree murder. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/morrowf071306.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JAFFTON BENAY RICHARDSON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Trudy L. Bloodworth, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Jaffton Benay Richardson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and James Milam, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: JAMES CURWOOD WITT, JR.

The defendant, Jaffton Benay Richardson, pleaded guilty to two counts of impersonating a licensed professional, one count of forgery, and one count of misdemeanor theft, for which he received an effective eight-year sentence. The manner of service of that sentence was left to the trial court’s discretion, and after conducting a hearing, the court denied the defendant’s request for alternative sentencing. The defendant now brings the instant appeal challenging that denial. We affirm the trial court’s judgments.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/richardsonj071306.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JAMES B. SANDERS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Larry Samuel Patterson, Jr., Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellant, James B. Sanders.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David E. Coenen, Assistant Attorney General; and T. Michel Bottoms, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: JOHN EVERETT WILLIAMS

The defendant, James B. Sanders, appeals from his conviction for third offense of driving under the influence of an intoxicant (D.U.I.) and from the resulting sentence. On appeal, the defendant claims that a prior facially valid judgment of conviction for a previous D.U.I. was insufficient to sustain enhanced punishment when the written waiver of counsel was not introduced and the defendant testified that he was not represented by counsel. We conclude the prior certified judgment of conviction is facially valid and is not subject to collateral attack in this proceeding. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/sandersj071306.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JENNIFER SILISKI

IN RE: APPLICATIONS OF ALAN SILISKI AND MARGIE LARGIN FOR RETURN OF ANIMALS


Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Dan R. Alexander, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Margie Largin.

Deana C. Hood, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Alan Siliski.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Mark A. Fulks, Assistant Attorney General; Ronald L. Davis, District Attorney General; and Derek Keith Smith and Braden H. Boucek, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: JOSEPH M. TIPTON

The defendant, Jennifer Siliski, was convicted of nine counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty. Williamson County Animal Control took custody of over two hundred animals forfeited by the defendant as a result of her criminal charges and convictions. Third parties claiming ownership of some of the animals appeared before the trial court and asked for the return of their animals. The trial court held an informal hearing, swearing no witnesses, and put down an order regarding the third parties’ claims to the forfeited animals. This appeal arises from third parties claiming that they were denied due process by the manner in which the trial court conducted the hearing regarding ownership of the animals and that the trial court erred in denying their property claims. We conclude the trial court did not have jurisdiction in the criminal case to dispose of the claims, and we reverse the judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/siliskij071306.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MICHAEL WHITE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Curtis H. Gann, Shelbyville, Tennessee (on appeal) and Andrew Jackson Dearing III, Shelbyville, Tennessee (at trial) for the appellant, Michael White.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie Price, Assistant Attorney General; William Michael McCown, District Attorney General; and Weakley E. Bernard, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: ROBERT W. WEDEMEYER

The Defendant, Michael White, was convicted of five counts of rape and sentenced to fifty-five years in the Department of Correction. The Defendant now appeals asserting that: (1) insufficient evidence was presented to support his convictions; and (2) the sentence imposed was excessive and contrary to law. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/whitem071306.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MICHAEL M. WILLIAMS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Michael M. Williams, Pro Se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Dale Potter, District Attorney General; and Larry Bryant, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: DAVID H. WELLES

The Defendant, Michael M. Williams, appeals from the order of the trial court revoking his probation and ordering that he serve ninety days of his sentence in the county jail. On appeal, the Defendant argues that the trial court should have recused itself from hearing the Defendant’s probation violation charge. Because we conclude that the record is inadequate to allow appellate review of this issue, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/williamsm071306.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Correction
Election 2006
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Baker Donelson among law firms with highest revenues
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz has been ranked among the 200 highest grossing law firms in the country by The American Lawyer. Memphis-based Baker Donelson ranked 140th in the trade magazine's most recent annual list with 2005 reported revenues of $154 million, up from No. 143 in 2005 and No. 156 in 2004. Read the story in the
Memphis Business Journal.
Jackson-Madison County elects new officers
The new president of the Jackson-Madison County Bar Association is Paul Nicks. Vice president/president-elect is Jeff Mueller, secretary is Betsy Hesselrode and treasurer is Rick (William) Kendall.

Correction
Boston president of Lawrence County Bar Association
Ben Boston was re-elected president of the Lawrence County Bar Association recently, not of Jackson-Madison County, as reported in TBAToday yesterday. While it did seem a little out of the ordinary for a Lawrenceburg lawyer to be president of the Jackson-Madison County bar, we have observed that lawyers are increasingly mobile and anything is possible. Either way, TBAToday regrets the error.

Election 2006
Judicial campaigns pulling in dough
Anderson County campaigns for four judicial positions are the high-dollar races in that county, records show, with candidates receiving and spending the most. Fiercely waged battles for juvenile judge, district attorney, general sessions judge and chancellor are being funded by donations from lawyers, family members and the candidates themselves, according to campaign financial disclosure statements. Read the details in the
Knoxville News Sentinel.
TBA Member Services
Have you activated your FedEx® shipping discounts?
TBA members are entitled to savings from 5%-21% off select FedEx Express® services and 4% to 12% off select FedEx Ground® services. It’s easy to sign up or convert your existing FedEx account. Call 800-923-7089 to enroll today.


 
 
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