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.
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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink


Court: TWCA


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.


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.



Court: TCA


Peter Alliman, Madisonville, Tennessee, for appellant.

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


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.


With Concurring Opinion

Court: TCA


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.


Cottrell Concurring


Court: TCA


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

David Hardee, Jackson, TN, for Appellee.


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.



Court: TCCA


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.



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