ABA House votes on signing statements and other issues

The American Bar Association's House of Delegates adopted new policy this week on an array of issues, including opposing the misuse of presidential signing statements; supporting the preservation of the attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine; opposing current legislation that would create an inspector general for the federal judiciary answerable to Congress; and urging expansion of the "pipeline" of minority students going to law school. The TBA co-sponsored the diversity pipeline and attorney-client privilege resolutions. Read about these decisions and more at the ABA Press Room.

http://www.abanet.org/media/

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

JERRY T. TROUP, JR. v. FISCHER STEEL CORPORATION

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Stephen C. Barton and Kevin Baskette, Memphis, Tennessee, for Appellant/Defendant Fischer Steel Corporation.

David G. Mills, Cordova, Tennessee, for Appellee/Plaintiff Jerry T. Troup, Jr.

Judge: HOLLY M. KIRBY

This is a personal injury action involving comparative fault. At a warehouse construction site, the defendant steel subcontractor cut a hole in the roof of the partially constructed warehouse. A temporary cover was put over the hole. A week later, the plaintiff employee of a roofing subcontractor fell through the hole and sustained serious injuries. The plaintiff received full workers' compensation benefits from his immediate employer, the roofing subcontractor. Subsequently, the plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant steel subcontractor. The steel subcontractor then sought to assert fault against the general contractor in charge of the entire warehouse construction project. The steel subcontractor filed a motion in limine to assert fault against the nonparty general contractor. The motion was denied and the case proceeded to a jury trial. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury awarded the plaintiff $546,000. The defendant steel subcontractor now appeals, asserting numerous errors by the trial court, including error in precluding the steel subcontractor from asserting fault against the general contractor. We reverse the trial court's denial of the motion in limine, vacate the judgment, and remand, finding that the steel subcontractor should have been permitted to assert fault against the general contractor.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/troupj081006.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CALVIN AUSTIN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Tony N. Brayton, Memphis, Tennessee for the appellant, Calvin Austin.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Tiffani Taylor, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: JERRY L. SMITH

The appellant, Calvin Austin, was charged with violating probation. After a hearing in which the trial court revoked the appellant's probation solely on the fact that the appellant received a new arrest, the appellant appealed. Because the trial court improperly revoked the appellant's probation without a finding that the revocation was based on a preponderance of the evidence, we reverse the revocation of probation and remand the case for a hearing in which the trial court determines whether the preponderance of the evidence justifies a revocation.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/austinc081006.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
BPR Actions

Legal News
Controversy swirls around Flippo court cases
A dispute surrounding attorneys, a client and a court reporter might play out in Bedford County Circuit Court next week. Complaints have already been heard in open court from Grady Lee Flippo, 41, a Chapel Hill-area man who's serving time on a conviction for attempted aggravated assault and who faces a charge of passing worthless checks. Now accusations involve two of his lawyers who have been reported to the Board of Professional Responsibilty. Read the details in the
Shelbyville Times-Gazette.
Gonzales issues new rules for immigration courts
Immigration court judges will undergo periodic evaluations and additional appeals judges will be hired following a review of the courts by the U.S. Attorney General's office. The review came following criticism that the courts were sometimes "intemperate or even abusive" toward asylum seekers.
The Knoxville News Sentinel has the story
Winkler may make bond today
Mary Winkler, the minister's widow accused of killing her husband, hoped to be released on bail today. Her attorneys had worked out arrangements for her release Wednesday, but she remained behind bars while Judge Weber McCraw had the circuit court clerk review the $750,000 bail bond agreement.
The Tennessean has the story.
March trial continues
Prosecutors continued their case against against accused killer Perry March today. A number of witnesses took the stand following opening statements Wednesday when prosecutors showed cards they've never shown the public before. One involved an alleged confession. A second involved testimony from March's own father.
Follow the case in the Tennessean.
Move of trust's assets invalid, court rules
The Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled that the legal home of a trust at the center of a two-state battle is in Nashville and that a move of its assets to Mississippi was invalid. The multimillion-dollar Maddox Foundation, which provides grants for nonprofit and community programs, moved from Nashville to Hernando, Miss., in 1999 after its founders died in an accident.
The Tennessean has the story.
Read the Court of Appeals opinion.
Investiture for Davidson judges set
An investiture for Circuit and Chancery Court judges for Davidson County will be Aug. 31 at 4 p.m. at the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville. Judges to be honored are Hamilton Gayden, Amanda McClendon, Barbara Haynes, Muriel Robinson, Walter Kurtz, Thomas Brothers, Randy Kennedy, Carol Soloman, Claudia Bonnyman, Carol McCoy, Ellen Hobbs Lyle and Richard Dinkins. There will be a reception following the ceremony. To RSVP, call Kitty Lammers at (615) 862-5990 or Lindy Hunter at (615) 862-5700.

BPR Actions
Nashville lawyer to be reinstated
Nashville lawyer Kevin Shalom Terry, who was suspended June 5, 2000, will be reinstated to the practice of law contingent on passing the bar examination and other conditions, the Board of Professional Responsibility reports.
Read the BPR news release.

 
 
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