Tipton elected presiding judge of Criminal Appeals Court

The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals has elected Judge Joseph M. Tipton of Knoxville as its presiding judge. Tipton succeeds Justice Gary R. Wade, who recently was appointed to the Tennessee Supreme Court. In his new role, Tipton will be responsible for presiding over court meetings, serving on various court-related commissions and setting court dockets. Read more about Tipton's election.


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


Court: TWCA


Sean Antone Hunt, Spicer, Flynn & Rudstrom, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellants, Morningstar Manufacturing, Inc. and Travelers Property Casualty Company of America.

Steve Beal, Lexington, Tennessee, for the appellee, Bobby Crowder.

Judge: LOSER

This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Tennessee Supreme Court in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated Section 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. In this appeal, the employer's insurer insists the evidence preponderates against the trial court's finding that the employee's injury was not proximately caused by intoxication from the use of an illegal drug, marijuana. The panel has concluded the judgment of the trial court should be affirmed.



Court: TCA


Joe Bednarz, Sr., Karen M. Weimar, Nashville, Tennessee; Steven R. Walker, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Theresa Godbee.

Michael F. Jameson, Renee Levay Stewart, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Robert M. Dimick, M.D.

Judge: CAIN

Patient filed a medical malpractice claim against an orthopedic surgeon for his alleged negligence in her diagnosis and spinal surgery. After a three week trial, the jury rendered a verdict in favor of the physician. The patient appealed, claiming that she was entitled to a new trial because the trial court erred with regard to several evidentiary rulings, its communications with the jurors, its jury instructions and verdict form, and its decision to permit the jury to examine medical articles used in cross-examination. We have determined that the judgment must be reversed and the case remanded for a new trial.



Court: TCA


R. Eddie Davidson and Ben H. Cantrell, Nashville, Tennessee for the Appellants, Timothy Steve Smith and Al Ross.

Kenneth R. Jones, Jr. and William B. Hawkins, III, Nashville, Tennessee for the Appellees, Libbi D. McCullough, Jessee Lee Jones, and Honky Tonk, Inc. d/b/a Roberts Western World.


Libbi D. McCullough, Jessee Lee Jones, and Honky Tonk, Inc. d/b/a Roberts Western World (Plaintiffs) sued Inez Silverfield, Timothy Steve Smith, and Al Ross (Defendants) claiming, in part, that Ms. Silverfield had breached a contractual right of first refusal when she sold real property located at 416 Broadway in Nashville, Tennessee (416 Broadway) to Mr. Smith and Mr. Ross. Plaintiffs moved for summary judgment on the breach of contract claim. The Trial Court granted Plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment, ordered specific performance pursuant to the contractual right of first refusal, and granted Plaintiffs' motion for entry of a final judgment pursuant to Rule 54.02 of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure. Mr. Smith and Mr. Ross appeal. We affirm.


Retroactive Application of Public Chapter 965

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-09-08

Opinion Number: 06-138


County Board of Education's Authority to Contract for Professional Services Where County has Adopted Financial Management Act of 1981

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-09-11

Opinion Number: 06-139



Supreme Court Watch
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Supreme Court Watch
Commercial Appeal supports Senate confirmation for Supreme Court appointments
In an editorial yesterday, the Memphis Commercial Appeal observed that the Tennessee Judicial Selection Commission has made a "supreme mess" of the high court selection system and that the whole process would be improved if the governor could simply pick a nominee who would then be subject to confirmation by the state Senate.
Read the opinion piece
Legal News
AG interviews postponed
The Supreme Court postponed for several weeks the public hearings and private interviews it planned to conduct today with attorney general applicants. The Nashville hearings will now be held Oct. 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Room 12 of Legislative Plaza.

Chattanooga lawyers found in contempt of court
The Tennessee Court of Appeals found Chattanooga attorneys John Konvalinka and Jennifer Lawrence to be in contempt of court for filing a public records suit against Erlanger Medical Center while a stay in related litigation was in place, reports Chattanoogan.com. The court ruled that the pair filed the public records request as a way of circumventing the stay.
Download the court's order here
Coalition forms to support 'Mediation Day'
The Tennessee Bar Association joined with 15 other organizations in the state today to announce the formation of the Tennessee Coalition for Mediation Awareness and to applaud Gov. Phil Bredesen for designating Oct. 19 as "Mediation Day" in the state. The coalition, spearheaded by Margaret Huff, chair of the TBA's Dispute Resolution Section, was created to educate the public and the legal profession on the benefits of mediation and other forms of conflict resolution.
Read the group's press release
Overcrowding at county jail poses real problems
Calling the county jail a "dungeon," new Hamblen County Sheriff Esco Jarnagin began his administration with a scathing indictment of jail conditions and the argument that county government must act now to avoid a financial catastrophe.
The Citizen Tribune has the story
Arrest marks state's largest tax fraud case
A Jackson man has been indicted on several counts of sales tax evasion and theft of property in what the Tennessee Department of Revenue is calling the largest tax fraud case in state history. Randall Lee Malin is charged with filing fraudulent tax returns and failing to remit sales tax totaling $1.1 million from Papa John's Pizza franchises in Dickson, Paris, McMinnville, Tullahoma, Lawrenceburg, Covington, and Martin, reports the
Jackson Sun
Election 2006
First gubernatorial debate set
Gov. Phil Bredesen and challenger Jim Bryson have agreed to hold their first public debate Oct. 3 at West High in Knoxville. The gubernatorial candidates will hold three debates, one in each grand division. The middle Tennessee debate will be Oct. 14 at Tennessee State University in Nashville. The west Tennessee debate has not been set.
Read more in the News Sentinel
Trenton attorney dies at 65
Gibson County attorney Limmie Lee Harrell Jr., 65, died Monday in Huntingdon as he prepared to enter the Carroll County Courthouse for a morning hearing. He suffered what doctors believe was either a fatal heart attack or blood clot. Harrell was a defense attorney with the law firm of Harrell and Harrell and represented the Bradford and Trenton special school districts in Gibson County. At press time, funeral arrangements were pending at the Shelton Funeral Home in Trenton, reports the Jackson Sun.
Read a profile of Harrell
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Everyone uses the Internet, but are you taking full advantages of the research capabilities that are available? Carole Levitt, a nationally recognized author and founder of Internet for Lawyers, has developed a special course for Tennessee lawyers that is now available from TennBarU. This one-hour interactive course teaches you how to efficiently search the Tennessee Code, perform historical legislative research, search municipal codes and more.
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