Hearings for Supreme Court applicants begin today

The public hearing for applicants for the Tennessee Supreme Court vacancy began at 8:30 this morning in at Legislative Plaza, followed by private interviews that were expected to continue into the evening. Candidates are being considered in the following order: D'Army Bailey, Frank G. Clement Jr., David O. Day, Steve R. Dozier, John T. Fowlkes Jr., Sean Antone Hunt, William C. Koch Jr., Andrei Ellen Lee, George T. "Buck" Lewis, C. Creed McGinley, J.C. McLin, Russell T. Perkins, Nathan B. Pride, Stephanie R. Reevers and Lillie Ann Sells. At press time, the commission had completed nine of the 17 interviews.
TODAY'S OPINIONS
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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink

ROSEANN HUFFAKER v. ST. MARY'S HEALTH SYSTEM, INC.

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

John B. Dupree, McGehee, Newton, Stewart, Cole, Dupree & Boswell, P.A., Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, St. Mary's Health System, Inc.

James S. McDonald, Dunn, MacDonald, Coleman & Reynolds, P.C., Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Roseann Huffaker.

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 employer contends the trial court erred in (a) finding employee's claim for latex allergy to be compensable, (b) failing to impose liability on a subsequent employer, and (c) awarding 50 percent vocational disability. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2006/huffackerr_090506.pdf


THOMAS DOUGLAS ANDERSON v. DIMPLE MAE MURR ANDERSON

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Peter Alliman, Madisonville, Tennessee, for appellant.

Marilyn L. Hudson, Knoxville, Tennessee, for appellee.

Judge: FRANKS

The Trial Court granted the parties a divorce, denied wife alimony, and divided the marital property. The wife takes issue with the Judge's valuations and his refusal to award alimony. We affirm, but modify the property settlement.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/andersont_090506.pdf


VICKI LYNN FOX v. TERRY WAYNE FOX
With Concurring Opinion


Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Craig P. Fickling, Cookeville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Terry Wayne Fox.

Thomas F. Bloom, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Vicki Lynn Fox.

Judge: KOCH

This appeal involves the financial aspects of the dissolution of a marriage that lasted approximately ten years. Both parties sought a divorce in the Chancery Court for Putnam County. Following a bench trial, the trial court granted the wife a divorce and approved a permanent parenting plan designating her as primary residential parent for the parties' two children. In addition, the trial court classified the parties' assets, divided the marital estate, reduced the husband's alimony arrearage to a judgment for alimony in solido, and ordered the husband to pay the wife $350 per month in long-term alimony. The husband takes issue on this appeal with the manner in which the trial court classified the parties' assets and divided the marital estate and with the trial court's decision to require him to pay long-term alimony. We have determined that the trial court erred in its classification of the parties' property. However, we find that the evidence fully supports the manner in which the trial court divided the parties' marital estate, as well as the trial court's decision to award the wife long-term alimony.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/foxv_090506.pdf

Cottrell Concurring
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/foxv_con090506.pdf


BARNEY NEWCOMB v. KOHLER COMPANY

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

W. Stephen Gardner, Memphis, TN, for Appellant.

David Hardee, Jackson, TN, for Appellee.

Judge: HIGHERS

In April 2003, the plaintiff's employer terminated his employment. The employer, citing the company's respectful workplace policy, fired the employee for allegedly cursing a fellow employee. The employee subsequently filed suit against the employer for retaliatory discharge. The employee alleged that his prior workers' compensation claims were the real reason that his employer terminated his employment. In his complaint, the employee sought compensatory and punitive damages, but did not set forth the amount requested. After the jury trial got underway, the trial court allowed the employee to amend his complaint to request a specific amount of damages for back pay and front pay, but ultimately dismissed the claim for punitive damages. At the conclusion of the employee's case-in-chief, the employer moved for a directed verdict, which the trial court denied. At the close of the employer's proof, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the employee finding that his workers' compensation benefits were a substantial factor in the employer's decision to terminate his employment. At the end of trial, the trial court conducted a hearing on the issue of whether to award reinstatement or front pay to the employee. After hearing evidence on the issue, the trial court ordered the employer to pay front pay since reinstatement was not warranted under the facts of the case. The employer presented numerous issues related to the jury trial in its motion for a new trial, which the trial court denied. On appeal, the employer asks us to review (1) the trial court's decision to allow the employee to amend his complaint during the trial; (2) the trial court's decisions regarding the admissibility of certain evidence; (3) the trial court's decision to deny the employer's motion for a directed verdict; (4) the trial court's rejection of the employer's proposed jury instructions; (5) the trial court's decision to affirm the jury's verdict while acting as thirteenth juror; and (6) the trial court's award of front pay in lieu of reinstatement. We affirm the trial court's rulings on the various issues raised by the employer on appeal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/newcombb_090506.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MICHAEL EARL CAMERON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Creed Daniel, Rutledge, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Michael Earl Cameron.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David E. Coenen, Assistant Attorney General; Al C. Schmutzer, Jr., District Attorney General, for the Appellant, State of Tennessee.

Judge: HAYES

The State appeals the Grainger County Circuit Court's grant of judicial diversion to the Defendant, Michael Earl Cameron. Cameron was indicted for aggravated assault but, under the terms of a plea agreement, pled to the lesser offense of misdemeanor assault. Following a sentencing hearing, the assault conviction was "judicially deferred per T.C.A. Section 40-35-313," and Cameron was placed on supervised probation for eleven months and twenty nine days. The State now appeals this sentencing decision. After review, we conclude that judicial diversion is neither warranted based upon the circumstances of the offense nor authorized by the plea agreement. Accordingly, we vacate the grant of judicial diversion and, following de novo review, impose a split confinement sentence of eleven months and twenty-nine days with service of thirty days in confinement.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/cameronm_090506.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Legislative News
Passages

Legal News
Judicial commission not scolding governor
State Judicial Selection Commission members say their decision to allow two rejected Supreme Court candidates to reapply was not done to scold the governor, but simply to give him a variety of applicants. "We don't intend to be at odds with the governor. We are committed to a very good Supreme Court," Commission member Gary Brewer said. "Sometimes we disagree with how we get there, but we all have the right motivation in our efforts."
The News Sentinel has more
U.S. attorney resigns
U.S. Attorney Jim Vines confirmed Saturday that he will be leaving at the end of the month to return to private practice. Vines, who was appointed to the Middle District post by President Bush in 2002, departs amid allegations of age discrimination against veteran attorneys in his office but also amid praise for aggressively prosecuting public corruption.
Read more in the Tennessean
Jury awards $160,000 in eminent domain case
It took seven years and a jury for two Whitwell men to get what they believe is fair compensation from a utility company that took three-tenths of an acre of their land by eminent domain. Last Wednesday, a Marion County Circuit Court jury awarded the men $160,000 in incidental damages. One of the men, James Cooper, was asked if it was worth it. "All the stress and the legal expenses we're going to pay. No." Read more in the
Chattanooga Times Free Press
Class-action suit open to tens of thousands
Individuals who were arrested and had bond set by a Wilson County commissioner during the past five years are part of a class-action lawsuit accusing the county of unconstitutionally and arbitrarily setting bail amounts. U.S. District Court Judge Aleta Traughber ruled Friday that a Mt. Juliet resident can represent between 36,000 and 48,000 people who have had bail set by the same commissioner, the
Lebanon Democrat reports
Controversy surrounds list of 'Super Lawyers'
A new professional listing for Memphis area lawyers dubbed "Mid-South Super Lawyers" is getting mixed reactions from the Memphis legal community. Although the ethics board in at least one state, New Jersey, has prohibited lawyers from touting the designation, Tennessee's governing body hasn't weighed in yet, reports
the Memphis Business Journal
Baker to speak at KBA dinner
Howard H. Baker Jr. will speak at the Knoxville Bar Association's annual Supreme Court Dinner Wednesday night. The dinner will pay tribute to the justices of the Tennessee Supreme Court, as well as the local judiciary.
The KBA site has more information
Goble can keep city judge seat
Though local attorney Ken Goble Jr. has been the acting city judge in the wake of Charles Smith removing himself from the bench to run for city mayor, questions have lingered about the legitimacy of the appointment. Smith said he was following local precedent by appointing his replacement, while Clarksville Mayor Don Trotter said the appointment was contrary to city code. City Attorney David Haines has now reviewed the code and determined Smith and Trotter were, in a sense, both right.
Learn more in the Leaf-Chronicle
Sullivan Co. man indicted for impersonating female attorney
A Sullivan County grand jury has indicted a man for impersonating a female attorney, WATE-TV reports. Sullivan County sheriff's Detective B. J. Richardson says Christopher Mayer, who also goes by Kristal Paris, misrepresented himself at the county jail by saying he was a lawyer for an inmate who had been in a fight. Corrections officers later determined that Mayer was romantically involved with the inmate. Richardson says there is no Kristal Paris listed as a licensed attorney in Tennessee. Mayer was released on a $10,000 bond.

White House says ruling threatens national security
The Bush administration on Friday asked a federal judge to delay enforcing her order for a halt to the government's warrantless communications surveillance program. The Justice Department argued that ending the program threatens "the gravest of harms to the government and to the American public" and leaves the country "more vulnerable to terrorist attack."
Find out more from wsmv.com
Legislative News
Bowers asks for trial
Former state Sen. Kathryn Bowers asked a federal judge today to set a trial date on public corruption charges filed against her, ending speculation that she might seek a plea bargain. Four defendants in the Tennessee Waltz investigation have pleaded guilty and two were convicted at trial. The rest are awaiting trial. Read more in the
Daily News Journal
Passages
Chattanooga lawyer Stuart Duncan dies
Chattanooga lawyer Stuart E. Duncan died Saturday. He was 69. Duncan, of Louisville, Ky., received his law degree from Duke University and was a senior partner at Duncan and Hatcher. A memorial service will be Wednesday at noon at First Centenary United Methodist Church. The family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to the service.
Read his obituary at tfponline.com
Lawyer Lacy West dies
Kingsport lawyer M. Lacy West, with the law firm of West and Rose, died Monday, at 79. West began practicing law in 1951 after graduating from LaSalle Law School. Funeral arrangements are to be announced by the
Hamlett Dobson Funeral Home

 
 
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