Ethics Commission distributes regulatory rules

The Tennessee Ethics Commission got down to business today, taking up proposed "public necessity" rules during its second meeting. The rules, which were only made available this morning, would begin regulating lobbyists, employers of lobbyists and public officials subject to the conflict of interest disclosure and consulting services statutes on Oct. 1.

The commission did adopt a change offered by the TBA, which assures that law firms that do not wish to file as a lobbyist firm do not have to. TBA Executive Director Allan Ramsaur told the commission that the TBA is gearing up to offer the ethics training required for lawmakers and lobbyists. The commission expects that a final version of the rules -- with other minor changes -- will be available on the ethics commission web site next week. The next commission meeting will be Aug. 17, when they expect to interview executive director candidates. A copy of the rules, as originally proposed, can be found at

http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/news/2006/ethics_comm_rules_072706.pdf

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.

01 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
02 - TN Court of Appeals
04 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
01 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. GARY LEE MARISE

Court: TSC

Attorneys:

Benjamin S. Dempsey, Huntingdon, Tennessee, for the appellant, Gary Lee Marise.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General; Robert Radford, District Attorney General; and Eleanor Cahill, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: ADOLPHO A. BIRCH, JR.

We granted permission to appeal in this case pursuant to Rule 11, Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure, to determine whether lay testimony of olfactory observations alone may support a conviction for possession of anhydrous ammonia with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine, a violation of Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-17-433(a). We conclude that the burden of proving the nature and composition of anhydrous ammonia as it is defined in Tennessee Code Annotated section 43-11-303(a) cannot be met by adducing lay testimony of olfactory observations only. Because the evidence adduced in the case under submission did not include any evidence of the chemical composition of the substance, we conclude that it is insufficient to sustain the conviction for unlawful possession of anhydrous ammonia and reverse the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals insofar as it affirmed this conviction. Accordingly, we dismiss the defendant's conviction for possession of anhydrous ammonia with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2006/mariseg072706.pdf


KATHERINE STRATTON HOUGHLAND v. CALVIN HUTTON HOUGHLAND

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Thomas F. Bloom, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellant, Calvin Hutton Houghland.

John J. Hollins, Sr. and James L. Weatherly, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellee, Katherine Stratton Houghland.

Judge: SHARON G. LEE

The issue presented in this divorce case is whether the evidence preponderates against the trial court's finding that the husband fraudulently induced the wife to loan him over $225,000 before and during the parties' marriage. After careful review of the evidence and the applicable law, we hold that the evidence does not preponderate against the trial court's decision that the husband fraudulently induced his wife to loan him money, but that the full amount of the judgment is not supported by the record. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court's judgment as modified to the amount of $214,753.41.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/houghlandk072706.pdf


THE EDUCATION RESOURCE INSTITUTE v. RACHEL MOSS, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Kevin S. Key, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellant The Education Resource Institute.

Harlan Dodson, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellee Rachel Moss.

Judge: SHARON G. LEE

This is a suit against Rachel Moss to collect on two student loans. After her father agreed to pay her college tuition, she entered Dartmouth College. In 1995 and 1996, Ms. Moss's father borrowed money for her tuition. Ms. Moss's father signed the student loan applications and notes and had someone else sign his daughter's name to them. Ms. Moss did not learn of the forgery until 2001. Ms. Moss's father defaulted on the loans and The Education Resource Institute, which was the guarantor and administrator of the student loans, sued both Ms. Moss and her father. The trial court awarded the Institute a default judgment against Ms. Moss's father and dismissed the claim against her. The Institute appealed the dismissal. After careful review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court, finding that Ms. Moss was not liable to the Institute based on its theories of ratification or unjust enrichment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/mossr072706.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE V. DONNA BEATRICE KISER

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Kent L. Booher, Lenoir City, Tennessee, (on appeal) and Charles B. Hill, Kingston, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, Donna Beatrice Kiser.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Blind Akrawi, Assistant Attorney General; Scott McCluen, District Attorney General; and Frank Harvey, Assistant District Attorney General for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: ROBERT W. WEDEMEYER

The Defendant, Donna Beatrice Kiser, was convicted of driving under the influence ("DUI"), second offense. The Defendant contends that there is insufficient evidence to sustain her conviction. Finding no reversible error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/kiserd072706.pdf


TREVIS O. LOVE v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Greg W. Eichelman, District Public Defender, for the appellant, Trevis O. Love.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; C. Berkeley Bell, Jr., District Attorney General; and Eric D. Christiansen, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: JOSEPH M. TIPTON

The petitioner, Trevis O. Love, appeals the Greene County Criminal Court's summary dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief from his guilty pleas to sale of one-half gram or more of cocaine, a Class B felony, possession with intent to sell or deliver one-half gram or more of cocaine, a Class B felony, and simple possession of marijuana, a Class A misdemeanor, and resulting effective sentence of eight years to be served as a Range I, standard offender in the Department of Correction. He contends that the trial court erred in dismissing his petition for post-conviction relief which was filed beyond the one-year statute of limitations. We affirm the trial court's summary dismissal of the petition for post-conviction relief.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/lovet072706.pdf


TERRY JAMAR NORRIS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

James E. Thomas, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Terry Jamar Norris.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Jack Irvine, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: ALAN E. GLENN

The petitioner, Terry Jamar Norris, appeals the dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief, arguing ineffective assistance of appellate counsel. Following our review, we affirm the dismissal of the petition for post-conviction relief.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/norrist072706.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JERMAINE SCRUGGS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Gregory D. Gookin and Chris R. Whittaker, Assistant Public Defenders, for the appellant, Jermaine Scruggs.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; Jerry Woodall, District Attorney General; and Rolf Hazlehurst, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GARY R. WADE

The defendant, Jermaine Scruggs, pled guilty to driving under the influence, first offense, a Class A misdemeanor; reckless driving, a Class B misdemeanor; and driving without a license, a Class C misdemeanor. See Tenn. Code Ann. 55-10-401, -403, -205, 50-351 (2003). The trial court imposed concurrent sentences of eleven months and twenty-nine days and a $350.00 fine for driving under the influence, first offense; six months and a $100.00 fine for reckless driving; and thirty days and a $50.00 fine for driving without a license, each at a seventy-five percent service rate. The sentences were ordered to be served consecutively to an earlier five-year sentence for tampering with evidence. In this appeal, the defendant asserts that the trial court erred by ordering his sentences for the three misdemeanor convictions to be served consecutively to his prior felony sentence. The judgments of the trial court are affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/scruggsj072706.pdf


Responsibilities of Sex Offender Treatment Board

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-07-26

Opinion Number: 06-117

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2006/ag_06-117.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Online CLE

Legal News
A commitment to diversity
In an editorial today, the Tennessean commends Gov. Bredesen's decision to call for a new slate of three contenders for the Supreme Court after Chancellor Richard Dinkins stepped down earlier this week. Bredesen has said he wanted another qualified minority candidate on the next panel. The paper praises the other two men on the first panel -- J. Houston Gordon and George T. "Buck" Lewis -- as highly qualified candidates, but supports Bredesen's search for a qualified minority justice.
Read the editorial.
Eminent domain suit: property rights upheld
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Wednesday that economic development isn't a sufficient reason under the state constitution to justify taking homes. The case was the first challenge of property rights laws to reach a state high court since the U.S. Supreme Court last summer allowed municipalities to seize homes for use by a private developer. Read more about it in the
Commerical Appeal.
Judicial independence good, except in this case?
A commentary in Knoxville's Metro Pulse takes issue with the the Knoxville Bar Association's contentions about judicial independence.
Read it.
Justice rep hears area civil rights concerns
About 100 people gathered at the Clarksville-Montgomery County Public Library Wednesday with questions for a group of state and federal civil rights officials. On the anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act people with diverse concerns participated in a more than two-hour forum posing questions about how to file complaints with state and federal agencies and how to make positive changes in Clarksville. Discussion topics encompassed racial, age and gender discrimination both in and outside of the workplace; racial profiling; immigration rights; inmates' rights; sidewalks; the right to a sign language interpreter and retaliation. Read the story in
The Leaf-Chronicle.
Lawsuit asks Davidson court to block HCA buyout plan
A powerful West Coast attorney is suing to stop the buyout of HCA Inc., according to an article in the Tennessean today. The firm of Bill Lerach, the San Diego lawyer considered by many to be the king of shareholder class-action suits, has asked the Davidson County Chancery Court to block a plan to sell HCA to a team of investors that includes company co-founder Dr. Thomas Frist Jr.
Read the story.
Hooker wants to sue Bredesen, incumbent justices
Perennial candidate and continual litigator John Jay Hooker is trying to sue Gov. Phil Bredesen, who he is opposing in next week's Democratic gubernatorial primary, as well as incumbent state Supreme Court justices. But it appears that Hooker is blocked at the courthouse door by a Davidson County judge's 2004 order that forbids him from filing lawsuits unless certain conditions are met. One of those conditions is paying $4,500 in penalties assessed against him.
The News Sentinel has the story.
Online CLE
What you need to know about the new Rule 9
A new disciplinary system for enforcing Tennessee's Rules of Professional Conduct went into effect July 1. Find out what you need to know about the Tennessee Supreme Court's new Rule 9 in a TennBarU course featuring Brian Faughnan of Adams and Reese.
Register or learn more

 
 
UNSUBSCRIBE TO TBAToday? ... SURELY NOT!
But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at: http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/unsub_tbatoday.php

TBALink HomeContact UsPageFinderWhat's NewHelp
 
 
© Copyright 2006 Tennessee Bar Association