Tennessee top court authorizes e-filing pilot

The Tennessee Supreme Court will launch a pilot project to introduce electronic filing to Tennessee appellate courts, it announced today. The order establishing the pilot project authorized the Supreme Court clerk to request proposals from vendors and implement the project.

http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/news/2006/efiling_072106.pdf

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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink

IN RE: ELECTRONIC FILING IN THE APPELLATE COURTS

Court: TSC

Order establishing authority for development of a electronic filing pilot program.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2006/efiling_072106.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TRAVIS THOMPSON, ET AL.

Court: TSC

Attorneys:

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter, Russell T. Perkins, Deputy Attorney General, and Stephen R. Butler, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellant, the State of Tennessee.

William B. Jakes, III, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellees, Travis Thompson, et al.

Judge: BIRCH

This Court granted the application for permission to appeal in this case pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Appellate Procedure 11 to determine whether the Equal Access to Justice Act ("the Act") permits the award of attorney's fees in the amount of the statutory cap to more than one party if there are multiple prevailing parties and whether the Act allows the court to award post-judgment interest which exceeds the statutory cap. We hold that the Act's $10,000 limitation for attorney's fees applies to each prevailing party, that the limitation applies to each stage of the litigation, and that the Act allows a trial court to award post-judgment interest even if the total award exceeds the statutory cap. We therefore conclude that the Court of Appeals erred in setting aside the second award of attorney's fees and the award of post-judgment interest. Accordingly, the judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed, and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2006/thompsontr_072106.pdf


TERRY BRAZIER v. CROCKETT HOSPITAL, KARI FITZPATRICK, AND WILLIAM L. BELL, JR., M.D.. AND WILLIAM L. BELL, JR., M.D.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Brian Schutte, Bowling Green, Kentucky, and Larry L. Crain, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the appellant, Terry Brazier.

C.J. Gideon, Jr., Margaret Moore, and Chris Tardio, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Crockett Hospital, LLC, and Kari Fitzpatrick. Marty R. Phillips and Craig P. Sanders, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellee, William L. Bell, Jr., M.D.

Judge: KIRBY

This is a medical malpractice action. The defendants in this action filed a motion with the trial court for permission to conduct ex parte conferences with the plaintiff's non-party treating physicians. The trial court granted the motion. Thereafter, the plaintiff's attorney sent a letter to the plaintiff's treating physicians stating his position that, despite the trial court's order, any private contact with the defendants' attorneys would violate the plaintiff's rights under HIPAA and would constitute a breach of physician-patient confidentiality. The defendants filed a motion for a protective order and for sanctions. After a hearing, the trial court reiterated its order granting the defendants ex parte access to the plaintiff's non-party treating physicians and granted the defendants' motion for a protective order and for sanctions. The plaintiff filed an application with this court for an extraordinary appeal, which was granted. We now reverse and remand in light of the Tennessee Supreme Court's recent decision in Alsip v. Johnson City Med. Ctr., No. E2004-00831-SC-S09-CV, 2006 WL 1765900 (Tenn. June 29, 2006).

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/braziert_072106.pdf


IN THE MATTER OF: T.M., M.M., and S.M. STATE OF TENNESSEE, DEPARTMENT of CHILDREN'S SERVICES v. STATE OF TENNESSEE, DEPARTMENT of CHILDREN'S SERVICES v. RANDY McCLURE and KATHY McCLURE

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Glen A. Isbell, Winchester, Tennessee, for Appellant/Respondent Randy McClure.

Trudy McKelvey Edwards, Winchester, Tennessee, for Appellant/Respondent Kathy McClure. Paul G. Summers and Joshua D. Baker, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellee/Petitioner State of Tennessee, Department of Children's Services.

Judge: KIRBY

This is a termination of parental rights case. The Tennessee Department of Children's Services filed a petition in the Franklin County Juvenile Court to terminate the parental rights of the parents of three young girls, alleging that the parents failed to protect the girls from numerous instances of severe sexual abuse. After a hearing in which evidence was presented that the parents knew of the abuse and failed to take appropriate action, the juvenile court entered an order terminating the parents' parental rights. The parents now appeal. We affirm, finding clear and convincing evidence to support findings that (1) termination on the grounds of knowing failure to protect the children from severe sexual abuse had been established, (2) efforts to reunify the children with the parents were not required under the circumstances, and (3) termination of parental rights was in the best interest of the children.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/TM_072106.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. COREY BIGGS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Timothy Boxx, Dyersburg, Tennessee, for the appellant, Corey Biggs.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brian Clay Johnson, Assistant Attorney General; C. Phillip Bivens, District Attorney General; and Karen Burns, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

Following a jury trial, the defendant, Corey Biggs, was convicted of sale of less than .5 grams of cocaine, a Class C felony, and was sentenced as a multiple offender to eight years in the Department of Correction. On appeal, he argues that the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction and that the trial court erred by not suppressing his out-of-court identification by a police officer. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/BiggsCorey_072106.pdf

MCLIN DISSENTING
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/biggsdorey_dis_072106.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. FREDERICK D. DEBERRY

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Frederick D. Deberry, Pro Se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; and Elizabeth T. Rice, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

The Defendant, Frederick D. Deberry, appeals from an order of the trial court dismissing his "motion for new trial." The trial court dismissed the pleading because it "was not timely filed, the issue has previously been adjudicated in this matter and the Motion for New Trial is not well-taken." We affirm the order of the trial court pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/Deberryf_072106.pdf


RAYMON HAYMON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

W. Lewis Jenkins, Jr., Dyersburg, Tennessee, for the petitioner, Raymon Haymon.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; C. Phillip Bivens, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The petitioner, Raymon Haymon, appeals from the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. On appeal, he raises thirteen issues regarding claims of ineffective assistance of counsel and the violation of certain constitutional rights. Following our review of the record and the parties' briefs, including the petitioner's reply brief, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/HaymonR_072106.pdf


WILLIE L. PEGUES v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Willie L. Pegues, pro se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: HAYES

The Petitioner, Willie L. Pegues, who is serving a sentence of life imprisonment for first degree felony murder, appeals the lower court's 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 has failed to allege any ground that would render the judgment of conviction void. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court's dismissal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/PeguesWillie_072106.pdf


MELVIN J. REED v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Melvin J. Reed, Pro Se.

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

Judge: WELLES

The Petitioner, Melvin J. Reed, appeals the Davidson County Criminal Court's summary dismissal of his petition for post conviction relief. The trial court determined that the petition was filed outside the statute of limitations. After a review of the record, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/ReedMelvin_072106.pdf


SHAUNE WOOLEN v. STEPHEN DOTSON, WARDEN SHAUNE WOOLEN v. STEPHEN DOTSON, WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Shaune Woolen, Pro Se, Whiteville Correctional Facility, Whiteville, Tennessee.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; Elizabeth T. Rice, District Attorney General; and James Pentecost, Attorney for Appellee, Jackson, Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The petitioner, Shaune Woolen, appeals from the circuit court's dismissal of his pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus. Following our review of the parties' briefs and applicable law, we affirm the circuit court's judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/WoolenShaune_072106.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

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"Our recent survey of Tennessee attorneys showed that almost 50% of our members believe that lawyers professional liability coverage is an important and valuable benefit," TBA Executive Director Allan Ramsaur said in announcing the new program. "This partnership is just another way for the TBA to further serve every lawyer every day."
Learn more about this program
Newspaper supports retention of judges, justices
Voters should follow the guidance of the Judicial Evaluation Commission and vote to retain all of the state's appellate court judges and justices, the Knoxville News Sentinel says in an editorial today.
Read the full editorial
New fund will aid pro bono programs
Leaders from the Tennessee legal community joined Gov. Bredesen today as he signed into law legislation that creates a fund into which left-over class action awards and other monies can be deposited and used to benefit legal aid and pro bono programs.
See it on TBALink
Judge blocks expert testimony in murder trial
A defense attorney's attempt to have expert testimony link genes, serotonin levels and stress to acts of violence and depression is blocked in an Oak Ridge murder trial, the Oak Ridger reports.
Read the full story in the City Paper
Courthouse attorney lounge gets upgrade
Renovations to the attorney lounge at the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee are complete and the facility is ready for use. Attorneys with time between hearings or during court breaks now have use of a computer, printer, fax machine and conference phone in the lounge, located in Room 862 of the Nashville courthouse. Free Internet access is available with registration. Because the improvements were funded by attorney admissions funds, the lounge is for use by attorneys only. A cipher lock with the code of 415 allows access.

Trial set in Ford election challenge
A nonjury trial in Ophelia Ford's challenge to her ouster from the state Senate has been set for Oct. 23 before U.S. Dist. Court Judge Bernice Donald, the Commercial Appeal reports.
Read the full story
March sentencing delayed until after murder trial
Sentencing of former Nashville attorney Perry March has been put off until his upcoming murder trial is concluded this fall. March was convicted earlier this year of conspiring to murder Carolyn and Lawrence Levine. His attorneys asked for the delay, arguing that any pre-sentencing testimony March gave on his own behalf could potentially be used against him in his upcoming trial.
Read the full story in the City Paper
Pipe bomb suspect indicted on federal charges
A Donelson man who authorities say was in possession of a chemical "weapon of mass destruction" was indicted by a federal grand jury on Thursday for possessing the deadly biological agent ricin, the City Paper reports.
Read the full story in the City Paper
Online CLE
Online CLE course looks at lawyer advertising
ABA and state ethics rules have not kept up with the daily challenges that the Internet presents to lawyer advertising. This new TennBarU online CLE course will shed light on familiar and not-so-familiar activities regarding Internet advertising.
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