Summers agrees to serve through September

Tennessee Attorney General Paul Summers today agreed to stay in office an additional month so that a new Supreme Court justice -- expected to be named in September -- could take part in selecting Summers' replacement. The state's chief legal officer will now stay in office until the end of September. Chief Justice William M. Barker said that a previously scheduled public hearing on Sept. 12 for the 14 attorney general candidates, as well as court interviews, would be rescheduled as well. Download the court's press release at:

http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/news/2006/ag_announcement082306.pdf

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

CARROLL D. HANEY v. FIVE RIVERS ELECTRONIC INNOVATION, LLC and LUMBERMENS UNDERWRITING ALLIANCE

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

John T. Milburn Rogers, Rogers, Laughlin, Nunnally, Hood & Crum, Greeneville, Tennessee for the Appellant, Carroll D. Haney.

Jay L. Johnson, Allen, Kopet & Associates, PLLC, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellees, Five Rivers Electronic Innovations, L.L.C., and Lumbermen's Underwriting Alliance.

Judge: PEOPLES

This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated Section 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The employee contends the trial court erred in finding that he made a meaningful return to work requiring the award to be capped at two and one-half times the medical impairment. We modify the award.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2006/haneyc_082306.pdf


MICHAEL RODNEY SMITH v. BEAZER HOMES, CORP, ET AL.

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

Stephen F. Libby, Memphis, Tennessee, for appellant, Michael Rodney Smith.

Sean A. Hunt, Memphis, Tennessee, for appellee Travelers Insurance Company.

Judge: WALLACE

This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated Section 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Tennessee Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The trial court found the plaintiff was an independent contractor and dismissed his complaint. The trial court further denied the counter-complaint of Travelers Insurance Company and dismissed Travelers Insurance Company's third party complaint against Joey Helton a/k/a Joey Hilton. For the reasons discussed below, we reverse the judgment of the trial court, and we remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2006/smithm_082306.pdf


SEVIER COUNTY BANK v. PAYMENTECH MERCHANT SERVICES, INC., ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Raymond E. Lacy and C. Allen Ragle, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant Sevier County Bank.

Andrew L. Colocotronis and Ashley Meredith Lowe, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellees Paymentech, L.P. and Paymentech, Inc.

Scott D. Hall, Sevierville, Tennessee, for the Appellees Katherine Oakes and Mary Jane Ownby.

Judge: SWINEY

Sevier County Bank (the Bank) entered into a referral agreement with First USA Merchant Services, Inc. (First USA) which provided that the Bank, for a fee, would refer its merchant customers to First USA for credit card processing services. The Bank filed this lawsuit over 7 years later against First USA's successor, Paymentech LP, and others. The Bank claimed that Paymentech breached the referral agreement and committed various tortious acts when it began diverting the Bank's customers to another bank located in Sevier County. The referral agreement contained a forum selection clause stating that any claims relating to or arising from the agreement would be brought in Dallas, Texas. All the defendants filed motions to dismiss pursuant to the forum selection clause. The Trial Court determined that the forum selection clause was valid and the lawsuit should have been filed in Dallas, Texas. Accordingly, the Trial Court dismissed the lawsuit without prejudice. The Bank appeals, and we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/seviercountybank_082306.pdf


JERRY ALAN TAYLOR, by and through his next friend, KAY TAYLOR GNEIWEK v. JACKSON-MADISON COUNTY GENERAL HOSPITAL DISTRICT, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Jerry D. Kizer, Jr. And Patrick W. Rogers, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jackson-Madison County General Hospital District.

David Wayne Camp, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellee, Kay Taylor Gneiwek.

Judge: FARMER

Defendant Jackson-Madison County General Hospital District (Defendant) appeals a judgment awarding damage for malpractice to Plaintiff Kay Gneiwek (Plaintiff) as administrator of the estate of Jerry Alan Taylor. Defendant raises issues pertaining to the competency of Plaintiff's expert witness, Dr. Douglas Harkrider, M.D., to provide testimony in this case, and further argues that Dr. Harkrider's testimony failed to establish proximate causation as required under Section 29-26-115 of the Tennessee Code. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/taylorj_082306.pdf


WILLIAM B. THURLBY v. SEVIER COUNTY, TENNESSEE, COUNTY EXECUTIVE MANAGER, SHERIFF MONTGOMERY, CHIEF SEALS, CAPT. PARTON, LT. HENRY, SGT. MONTGOMERY, OFFICER "ZEUS," OFFICER TRENTHAM, OFFICER "JOHN DOE," AND OFFICER KEITH

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

William Thurlby, Wartburg, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Zachariah N. Stansell and W. Mitchell Cramer, Knoxville, Tennessee, for appellees.

Judge: FRANKS

In this action, plaintiff, acting pro se, alleged certain rights were denied to him by the County and several County officials. The Trial Court granted defendants summary judgment. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/thurlbyw_082306.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TENICA DICKERSON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Gregory D. Gookin, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tenica Dickerson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; CameronL. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; Jerry Woodall, District Attorney General, and Shaun A. Brown, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

The defendant, Tenica Dickerson, and her sister, Latamia Dickerson, were involved in an argument at a Waffle House in Jackson. She was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. A jury convicted her for the charged offense. The trial court sentenced her to thirty days to be served at seventy-five percent. The defendant appeals the trial court's judgment arguing that the evidence is insufficient to support her conviction. We have reviewed the record and find that there is sufficient evidence. Therefore, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/dickersont_082306.pdf


DANNY L. FISH, JR. v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Karen T. Fleet, Bolivar, Tennessee, for the appellant, Danny L. Fish, Jr.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; Elizabeth T. Rice, District Attorney General; and Joe Van Dyke, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The petitioner, Danny L. Fish, Jr., appeals the Hardeman County Circuit Court's dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief from his conviction for sexual battery by an authority figure, a Class C felony, and his resulting sentence of five years in the Department of Correction. The petitioner contends that he received ineffective assistance of counsel, rendering his no contest plea unknowing and involuntary. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/fishd_082306.pdf


OCTAVIAN DEMETRIUS REEVES v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

J. Colin Morris, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Octavian Demetrius Reeves.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Assistant Attorney General; James G. (Jerry) Woodall, District Attorney General; and Alfred Lynn Earls, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The petitioner, Octavian Demetrius Reeves, appeals the Madison County Circuit Court's dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief from his conviction for second degree murder and resulting sentence of twenty-five years. On appeal, the petitioner claims that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel because his attorney failed to cross-examine witnesses thoroughly and failed to file a motion for a change of venue. We affirm the trial court's dismissal of the petition.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/reeveso_082306.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ANDRE SMITH

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Claiborne H. Ferguson (on appeal), and Kamilah Turner (at trial), Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Andre Smith.

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

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant, Andre Smith, appeals the trial court's denial of judicial diversion. The defendant pled guilty to theft over $1000, a Class D felony. Following a hearing, the trial court denied the defendant's request for judicial diversion and ordered the defendant to serve his sentence on supervised probation. After careful review, we affirm the trial court's denial of judicial diversion.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/smitha_082306.pdf


Monitoring of Sex Offenders at Probation and Parole Field Offices

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-08-21

Opinion Number: 06-134

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2006/ag_06-134.pdf

Collection of Fines and Court Costs in General Sessions Criminal Cases

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-08-21

Opinion Number: 06-135

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2006/ag_06-135.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Election 2006
BPR Actions

Legal News
Gordon reactivates candidacy for Supreme Court
Covington attorney J. Houston Gordon has asked that his application for appointment to the state Supreme Court be reactivated. His action follows the Judicial Selection Commission's decision yesterday that allows candidates who had previously applied to again be considered. Candidates who do not want to be considered have until 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 29 to withdraw their applications. This decision by the commission allows three attorneys, in addition to Houston, to continue in the process. They are: George T. "Buck" Lewis of Memphis, Court of Appeals Judge William C. Koch Jr. of Nashville and Court of Appeals Judge Frank G. Clement Jr. of Nashville.

Equal Justice Conference announced
The Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS) will hold its annual Equal Justice Conference Sept. 27-29 at Montgomery Bell State Park. The Tennessee Bar Association is a cosponsor of this three-day event and networking opportunities for those who share a common vision for equal access to justice. Early registration through Sept. 15 is now available for $170. For more information, including a schedule of events, information on CLE credit and a registration form, call 615-627-0956 or
visit the TALS Web site
Accusations fly in gambling ring case
Earlier this month, Senior U.S. District Judge James H. Jarvis did an about face when he vacated the prison term of gambling kingpin James "Slim" Houston and imposed a two-year probation instead. Assistant U.S. Attorney John MacCoon accused the judge of acting capriciously and now has accused defense attorney David Eldridge of misrepresenting his position. In the motion asking Jarvis to reconsider the sentence, Eldridge wrote that MacCoon had no quarrel with the request. MacCoon says he never gave approval for such a move.
Read more in the News Sentinel
Judge Martin bids 30-year career farewell
Judge Leonard Martin of the 23rd Judicial District Circuit Court capped off a 30-year career with a portrait unveiling and ceremony at the Dickson County courthouse, the Tennessean reports.
Read about his years on the bench
Lawyer wins two-year battle against West Nile virus
Longtime Memphis lawyer Charles Wright was diagnosed with West Nile virus in 2002 and soon slipped into a coma. Today he enjoys going to his office at Cochran, Uhlmann, Abney, Duck & Wright and stopping by the Criminal Justice Center to visit the morning coffee club of fellow lawyers.
Read about his journey in the Commercial Appeal
Market Square memorial celebrates women's suffrage
Knoxville lawyer Wanda Sobieski has become something of a modern champion for suffragists and has been one of the driving forces behind a grassroots fund-raising effort that has generated money for the Tennessee Woman's Suffrage Memorial. The statue will be unveiled on Knoxville's Market Square on Saturday marking the end of a more than 10-year journey to create it. The memorial honors three women who in the early 1900s fought for the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote: Lizzie Crozier French, Elizabeth Avery Meriwether and Anne Dallas Dudley.
Get details about the memorial and the event in the News Sentinel
Election 2006
Former clerk candidate fired
Unsuccessful probate court clerk candidate Sondra Becton was fired from her job in the Shelby County Finance Department yesterday. She is accused of using her post as a benefits specialist to find and distribute confidential information during her political campaign against incumbent clerk Chris Thomas, who won re-election. Becton also is accused of distributing personal information, including the Social Security number, of probate court clerk office administrator Annita Hamilton, according to the Commercial Appeal.

Two Karens ready for robes
Seven new judges will take the bench next month in Shelby County, including a pair of unheralded "Karens" who surprised many by unseating incumbents. Karen Massey, an assistant public defender and former military intelligence officer, defeated one-term General Sessions Criminal Court Judge Mischelle Alexander-Best. And in the biggest upset in the judicial races, private attorney Karen Webster edged out longtime Probate Court Judge Donn Southern by a fraction of a percentage point.
Read a profile of the two in the Commercial Appeal
BPR Actions
Greeneville attorney suspended
Lawrence A. Welch Jr. of Greeneville was suspended from the practice of law for three years on May 19 for preparing and mailing a memorandum implicating a sitting judge and members of a law firm in a criminal conspiracy. His actions violated the Tennessee Code of Professional Responsibility.
Read more about the case in the BPR's press release

 
 
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