Bowers to resign from legislature
State Sen. Kathryn Bowers, who is awaiting trial on federal corruption charges, said today she is resigning from the legislature for health reasons and will not seek re-election this fall.
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Howard H. Vogel
SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS
ROBERT STEVEN JOHNSON v. TENNESSEE FARMERS MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY
John T. Johnson, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, and Michael Ross Campbell, Chattanooga, Tennessee,
for the appellant, Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance Company.
Bryan L. Capps and Sidney W. Gilreath, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Robert Steven
Judge: JANICE M. HOLDER
This action arises from a collision involving three vehicles. Judgment was rendered against the
defendant Johnson. Johnson filed suit against his insurer alleging that the judgment in excess of his
liability coverage was the result of the insurer’s bad faith in failing to adequately investigate and
settle his case within the policy limits. The jury determined that the insurer acted in bad faith and
awarded a judgment against the insurer. We affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals that the
insurer’s motion for a directed verdict was properly denied but reverse the Court of Appeals’
judgment setting aside the jury verdict. We reinstate the jury verdict in favor of Johnson.
NICCOLE A. NAIFEH, ET AL. v. VALLEY FORGE LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, ET AL.
J. Houston Gordon, Covington, Tennessee, for the Appellants, Niccole Naifeh and Henry Joseph
Naifeh, Co-Administrators of the Estate of John H. Naifeh.
James S. Wilder, II, Dyersburg, Tennessee, and James J. Webb, Jr., Memphis, Tennessee, for the
Appellant, Cathy Naifeh.
Sam B. Blair, Jr., and John B. Starnes, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Valley Forge Life
J. Kimbrough Johnson and John Dotson, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Appellees, Bill McGowan,
Jr., and Bill McGowan and Company.
Walker T. Tipton, Covington, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Union Planters Bank.
Charles W. Cook, III, and James E. Gaylord, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Amicus Curiae,
Tennessee Bankers Association.
Judge: E. RILEY ANDERSON
We granted this appeal to determine (1) whether a life insurance policy purchased by the insured as
part of a divorce decree had been terminated before the insured’s death; and (2) whether the insurer
or the insurance agent was negligent in failing to prevent the policy from lapsing after the insured
issued an oral stop payment order and failed to pay a monthly premium. The Chancery Court
concluded that the policy had not been terminated, that the insurer and insurance agent were
negligent, and that the proceeds of the policy were to be paid to the beneficiary. The Court of
Appeals, reversing the Chancellor’s judgment, concluded that the policy had been backdated by
agreement of the parties and had been terminated by the insured before his death. The Court of
Appeals also concluded that the insurer and the insurance agent were not negligent because their
actions were not a proximate cause of the damages. After reviewing the record and applicable
authority, we conclude that the life insurance policy remained valid at the time of the insured’s death
and that the beneficiary was entitled to the proceeds under the policy. However, we agree with the
Court of Appeals’ conclusion that the insurer and the insurance agent were not negligent because
there was no evidence that their acts were a proximate cause of the damages. Accordingly, the Court
of Appeals’ judgment is affirmed in part and reversed in part for the reasons stated herein.
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. BRUCE WARREN SCARBOROUGH
Mark E. Stephens, District Public Defender, and John Halstead, Assistant Public Defender,
Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Bruce Warren Scarborough.
Mike Mosier (at trial on No. 02-359) and Richard L. Finney (at trial on No. 02-360 and on appeal
in both cases), Jackson, Tennessee, attorneys for the Appellant, Mack T. Transou.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Brent C.
Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General, and Kevin Allen,
Assistant District Attorney (Scarborough); Jerry Woodall, District Attorney General, and Jody S.
Pickens, Assistant District Attorney General (Transou), attorneys for the Appellee, State of
Judge: CORNELIA A. CLARK
We granted these appeals to determine whether the extraction of blood from a convicted and
incarcerated felon for DNA analysis pursuant to Tennessee’s DNA collection statute, Tenn. Code
Ann. § 40-35-321 (2003), is constitutional under both the Fourth Amendment to the United States
Constitution and article I, section 7 of the Tennessee Constitution. These three cases come before
us upon Defendant Scarborough’s interlocutory appeal from the denial of his motion to suppress
evidence and upon Defendant Transou’s direct appeals from his convictions in two separate cases.
Transou also challenges the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his convictions of rape and
aggravated burglary in one of his cases and the sentences he received for those offenses. We
conclude that the DNA collection statute is constitutional as applied here. We further hold that
Transou consented to having his blood drawn; that the evidence is sufficient to support Transou’s
convictions of rape and aggravated burglary; and that his sentences for those crimes are valid. The
judgments of the Court of Criminal Appeals in all three cases are affirmed.
IN RE: T.K.Y.
Eric J. Burch, Manchester, Tennessee, for the Appellant, T.P.
J. Stanley Rogers and Christina Henley Duncan, Manchester, Tennessee, for the Appellees, K.Y. and
Judge: E. RILEY ANDERSON
We granted review in this parental termination case to decide whether the Court of Appeals erred
in determining that the parentage petition filed by the minor child’s biological father should be
denied and that the husband of the child’s biological mother should be declared the father. Having
reviewed the record and applicable authority, we reverse the Court of Appeals and hold that the
biological father is both the “father” under the parentage statutes and the “legal father” for purposes
of the adoption and termination statutes. We also modify the trial court’s order of support under the
unique circumstances of this case. We remand for a modification of the support order consistent
with this opinion.
GREG LANDAICHE and wife, COLLEEN LANDAICHE, Plaintiffs/Appellees, v. JERRY JENKINS and wife, BELINDA JENKINS, Defendants, and WAYNE BYRD, Defendant/Appellant, and BUDDY MARTIN, JERRY JENKINS, BELINDA JENKINS and LEONARD F. BROWN, Intervening Petitioners, and JACK ELKINS, MARILYN ELKINS, JANIE V. LOVE, JOSEPH P. PAYNE, CHARLES PYLE, MARY HOLLINGSWORTH BYRD, KYLE ROBINETTE, WANDA ROBINETTE, and GARY WARDEN, Intervening Petitioners/Appellants, v. GREG LANDAICHE and wife, COLLEEN LANDAICHE, Respondents/Appellees
Greg Leffew, Rockwood, Tennessee, for Appellants.
Jeffery H. Wicks, Kingston, Tennessee, for Appellees.
Judge: HERSCHEL PICKENS FRANKS
The Trial Court held that the easement at issue in this case had been abandoned. On
appeal, we affirm.
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ANTONIO ARNOLD
Phyllis Aluko (on appeal), Assistant Public Defender, Memphis, Tennessee, and Larry Nance (at
trial), Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Antonio Arnold.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General;
William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and David Zak and Patience Branham, Assistant
District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
Judge: J.C. MCLIN
The defendant, Antonio Arnold, was convicted by a Shelby County jury of felony murder, voluntary
manslaughter, aggravated burglary, and aggravated assault. On appeal, he challenges the sufficiency
of the convicting evidence and four evidentiary rulings of the trial court. Upon our review of the
record and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. GREGORY O. CHERRY
Richard W. DeBerry, Assistant Public Defender, Camden, Tennessee, for the appellant, Gregory O.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia Lee, Assistant Attorney General; Robert
Radford, District Attorney General; and John W. Overton, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
Judge: DAVID H. WELLES
The Hardin County grand jury returned two indictments against the Defendant, Gregory O. Cherry,charging him with thirteen drug offenses. In separate plea agreements, the Defendant pled guilty to
five offenses: (1) possession with intent to manufacture, deliver, or sell .5 grams or more of cocaine,
(2) simple possession of marijuana, (3) possession of drug paraphernalia, (4) selling a Schedule IV
controlled substance, and (5) delivering less than .5 grams of cocaine. The plea agreements provided
that the Defendant would receive an effective sentence of ten years with the manner of service to be
determined by the trial court. Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court ordered that the
Defendant’s ten-year sentence be served in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant
argues that the trial court erred in denying an alternative sentence. Finding no error, we affirm the
judgments of the Hardin County Circuit Court.
| Legal News
|Ethics Commission settles on new executive director
|The Tennessee Ethics Commission today named Bruce Androphy, general counsel of the New York State Ethics Commission, as its new executive director. Ethics Commission chair Tom Garland said "Mr. Androphy brings a wealth of talent as well as practical experience in the area of ethics to Tennessee's Ethics Commission. We are very fortunate to have an individual of his abilities to provide leadership during this critical start-up phase of the Commission's operations."
|Ex-judge blames his actions on wife's affair
|A former Roane County judge, captured on videotape taking thousands of dollars in kickbacks, is blaming his estranged wife's affair with a woman for his foray into public corruption.
Thomas Alva Austin, 58, who pleaded guilty earlier this year to forcing kickbacks from men he handpicked to head up a traffic school and probation office, contends it was his second wife's fling that drove him over the legal edge.
|Read more in the News Sentinel.
|Governor back at work
|Gov. Phil Bredesen said a mysterious illness is behind him as he returned to work today on "limited duty."
|Read about it in the Tennessean
|Corker subpoenaed in environmental lawsuit
| Former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker has received a subpoena to allow attorneys to take his deposition in an environmental lawsuit, according to Hamilton County Chancery Court records. Corker, Republican U.S. Senate nominee, is scheduled to testify at 9 a.m. on Oct. 18 in Chattanooga. The case involves the construction of an access road to the Brainerd Wal-Mart Supercenter.
|Read about it in the Chattanooga Times.
|Drug Court helps abusers beat addiction
|For the past 14 months, 21-year-old Robert Dowlen has been busy crushing what he calls the biggest obstacle he has ever faced.
Fortunately, he wasn't alone in his struggle.
Dowlen's victory over drug abuse was commemorated Friday afternoon with his graduation from Montgomery County Drug Court. Dowlen is the first participant to graduate since the program began last June. Read how the court helped turn his life around in
|10 of 1956's Clinton 12 celebrate historic walk
|Fifty years ago, Clinton High School's first 12 black students walked past taunting white people and television cameras as they entered their new school for the first time. On Saturday, 10 of the "Clinton 12" commemorated that Aug. 27, 1956, walk -- the first time a public school was integrated under court order in the Old South.
"It was a short walk, but it felt so long," said Minnie Ann Dickey Jones, then a junior. "But it was all worth it."
|The Commercial Appeal has the story.
|DAs see increase in juvenile cases handled as adult crimes
|Citing a recent increase in the number of juveniles arrested for violent crimes, the Davidson County District Attorney's Office is devoting more time and resources to prosecuting these youths as adults, becoming the latest Metro agency to feel the strain of dealing with violent children.
|Read more in The City Paper.
|The Tennessee Woman's Suffrage Memorial, a life-size bronze statue of three leaders of the movement, was unveiled in Knoxville Saturday.
"This is to honor what they did," said Wanda Sobieski, a Knoxville lawyer who led fund-raising efforts for the memorial.
The campaign to erect the statue took a decade, and about $100,000 was raised privately for the public work of art.
|Find out more from the News Sentinel.
|First Amendment lawyer says gag order unnecessary
|Gag orders, like the one issued by a judge in the case of a Clemson University student strangled in her own apartment, are a heavy-handed way of trying to protect a defendant's right to a fair trial, a South Carolina media attorney says. There are other ways to make sure a defendant gets a fair trial, like extensive questioning of potential jurors before the trial begins, said Jay Bender, a lawyer who represents a number of newspapers in South Carolina.
|Read more in the News Sentinel.
|Suit claims bail is set unfairly in Wilson County
|A law suit alleging that the bail-setting process in Wilson County is unfair and unconstitutional was granted class-action status last week by a federal judge.
|Read the details in the Tennessean.
|Dunn is Citizen of the Year in Cocke County
|Fourth Judicial District Attorney General-elect James B. "Jimmy" Dunn will be honored by The Senior Citizens Home Assistance Service as as Citizen of the Year at an event in September.
|Find out more from The Newport Plain Talk.
|Al Schmutzer recalls his 32 years as DA
|After 32 years as district attorney general, Al Schmutzer has been boxing up the contents of his office -- he decided not to seek re-election this year. Jimmy Dunn, his friend and long-time assistant district attorney in Cocke County, will take over the office on Friday.
|Read about his career in The Mountain Press.