Tennessee students will talk to legislators about civics
A Tennessee elementary school team will be featured at the annual Congressional Conference on Civics Education in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 18. The students are from Doe Elementary School in Johnson County. Tennessee will be well-represented at the conference with Tennessee Legal Community Foundation (TLCF) President Bill Haltom, Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Connie Clark, Sen. Jamie Woodson, Sen. Bill Ketron, Rep. Mark Maddox, Tennessee Education Association representative Al Nance and Tennessee Department of Education representative Betty Ables.
The annual conference focuses members of Congress on efforts to promote civic education in schools. TLCF is the lead sponsor of civics education in Tennessee, with grants from from the Center for Civic Education and Tennessee Department of Education civics education promotion programs.
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Howard H. Vogel
SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS Grants & Denials List
CHARLES CROSS v. NORROD BUILDERS, INC., Et Al.
It appears to the Court that its opinion filed on April 11, 2006, inadvertently failed to tax
the costs of mediation pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 37(10). The Court has revised its opinion
to tax the costs of mediation to the appellant. It is therefore ordered that the attached revised
opinion be substituted for the opinion filed in this cause on April 11, 2006. No changes to the
opinion have been made except for the taxing of costs of mediation in the last sentence of the
HELEN BURK, et al. v. RHA/SULLIVAN, INC., d/b/a THE WEXFORDHOUSE, and RHA HEALTH SERVICES, INC.
Thomas D. Dossett, Kingsport, Tennessee, and J. Farrest Taylor, Dothan, Alabama, for the
Appellants, Helen Burk, Patricia Hart, Thelma Ratliff, Glenda Evjen, and Barbara Ratliff.
Darryl G. Lowe, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellees, RHA/Sullivan, Inc., and RHA Health
Judge: SHARON G. LEE
In this malpractice action, Plaintiffs allege that the negligence of Defendants' nursing home staff
proximately caused the death of Edwin Ratliff. Mr. Ratliff suffered from dementia, Alzheimer's
disease and numerous other medical conditions. While Mr. Ratliff was a resident of Defendants'
nursing home, he developed a severe scrotal infection requiring admission to a local hospital.
Following his admission on September 8, 2003, at least three medical personnel at the hospital
told Plaintiffs that this was the worst case of neglect they had ever seen. Mr. Ratliff died on
November 4, 2003. Plaintiffs filed this complaint on September 30, 2004. The trial court
granted Defendants' motion for summary judgment, finding that Plaintiffs filed their complaint
after the one-year statute of limitations had expired. After careful review, we hold that the
Plaintiffs had notice of their claim no later than September 9, 2003, and so the discovery rule
was inapplicable. However, pursuant to Tenn. R. App. P. 13, we remand to the trial court to
allow the parties to present proof of Mr. Ratliff's mental state as it may be relevant to the statute
of limitations for Plaintiffs' claim pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. Section 28-1-106 in light of the
Tennessee Supreme Court's recent holding in Abels v. Genie Industries, Inc., __ S.W.3d __,
No. M2005-02597-SC-R23-CQ (Tenn., filed Sept. 14, 2006).
WILLIAM A. COHN v. MICHAEL T. BAKER, ET AL.
Jerry R. Givens of Cordova, Tennessee for Appellant, William A. Cohn
Taylor A. Cates of Memphis, Tennessee for Appellees, Michael T. Baker, Harvey Carter,
Germantown Country Club, and Farmington Country Club
Judge: W. FRANK CRAWFORD
This case arises from the termination of Appellant's membership in a private country
club. Appellant asserts a proprietary interest in the assets of the club, and seeks to have his
membership reinstated. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the club/Appellee
and Appellant appeals. We affirm.
BRENDA GRIMSLEY v. ZACK KITTRELL
Mark Chapman, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Brenda Grimsley.
Patrick Flynn and Michael D. Cox, Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellee, Zack Kittrell.
Judge: WILLIAM C. KOCH, JR.
This appeal involves a plaintiff's efforts to pursue a personal injury claim arising from a rear-end
collision. The plaintiff obtained a judgment for the damages to her automobile in the Maury County
General Sessions Court and then filed suit to recover her personal injuries in the Circuit Court for
Maury County. When the defendant moved for a summary judgment based on res judicata, the
plaintiff argued that the defendant should not be permitted to assert this defense because he had
stood silent when she announced in the general sessions court that she was reserving her personal
injury claims for a later proceeding. The trial court granted the motion for summary judgment and
dismissed the plaintiff's personal injury claim. The plaintiff appealed. We have determined, as a
matter of law, that the single injury rule prevents plaintiffs from splitting their causes of action and
that the defendant neither waived nor should be estopped from asserting a res judicata defense basedon the plaintiff's decision to split her claim against the defendant.
ED HAWKINS, ET AL. v. CORLISS SINGLETARY
Nicholas J. Owens, Jr., Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellants, Ed and Lori Hawkins.
Paul C. Peel, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Corliss Singletary.
Judge: DAVID R. FARMER
Plaintiffs sought property damages in the amount of $2000 for diminution of value. A jury awarded
Plaintiffs damages in the amount of $500; the trial court denied Plaintiffs' motion to alter/motion
for a new trial. Plaintiffs appeal. We affirm.
JOHN McELROY v. PAMELA CARTER
James A. Simmons, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Pamela Carter.
C. Tracey Parks, Gallatin, Tennessee, for the appellee, John McElroy.
Judge: PATRICIA J. COTTRELL
A man shot and wounded a cat owned by his neighbor as the animal exited from the bed of the man's
prized pickup truck. The cat died from its wounds shortly thereafter. The neighbor sued for the
veterinary bills she incurred for treatment of the cat's injuries. The truck owner counter-sued for the
damage the cat allegedly caused to his truck by scratching the paint. After a bench trial, the court
awarded the truck’s owner $6,500 in damages, which it offset by a $372 award to the neighbor for
her veterinary bills. We reverse the award to the truck's owner, since as a matter of law the cat's
owner cannot be held liable for not keeping her cat confined when the damage the cat allegedly
caused was not foreseeable. Additionally, we find the evidence preponderates against a finding that
the cat caused the damages complained of.
PATRICK J. McREDMOND, JR., ET AL. v. ESTATE OF ANDREW MARIANELLI, ET AL.
Cyrus Booker, Tara A. Gillespie, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellants, Estate of Andrew Marianelli,
Walter Marianelli, David Manning, and Edwin Pyle.
Jon D. Ross, Elizabeth S. Tipping, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellant, Elk Brand Manufacturing
G. Thomas Nebel, Suzette Peyton, Brentwood, Tennessee, for Appellees, Patrick J. McRedmond,
Jr., and Monica McRedmond Terry, on behalf of Elk Brand Manufacturing Company.
William L. Harbison, L. Webb Campbell, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellee, Sherrard & Roe, PLC
Judge: DONALD P. HARRIS, SR.
This is the third appeal of this shareholder derivative suit. Plaintiffs, minority stockholders
in Elk Brand Manufacturing Company (Elk), a Kentucky corporation engaged in the apparel
manufacturing business, brought suit in the name of the corporation against individual directors of
the corporation. Plaintiffs allege the individual directors breached their fiduciary duties to the
corporation by entering into an agreement that transferred revenue that could have been earned by
Elk to another entity in which the defendant directors had an interest. After a trial by jury, judgment
was rendered against one of the individual directors, Walter Marianelli, in the amount of
$6,918,252.00, and another, David Manning, in the amount of $23,138.00. Plaintiff's attorneys were
awarded attorneys' fees against Elk pursuant to the Kentucky common fund doctrine. The individual
directors and Elk have appealed, alleging error in the jury instructions given by the trial court, the
admission of certain evidence, improper argument of counsel, the trial court's approval of the verdict
and the award of attorneys' fees. Finding no reversible error, we affirm the judgment of the trial
Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of
D. E. RYAN v. METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT
J. Brooks Fox and John L. Kennedy, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Metropolitan
Government of Nashville and Davidson County.
George A. Dean, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, D. E. Ryan.
Judge: FRANK G. CLEMENT, JR.
In this zoning dispute, the local government appeals the assessment of attorney fees pursuant to the
Tennessee Equal Access to Justice Act, contending the plaintiff was not eligible to recover attorney
fees because he failed to prove he was a small business, as defined in Tenn. Code Ann. Section 29-37-
103(3). Finding the local government was not afforded a reasonable opportunity to challenge the
plaintiff's contention he qualified as a small business, we reverse and remand for further
BARBARA L. WOLF, AS Trustee for LANI WOLF and SHAYE WOLF, v. JOHN LUTHER SUMMITT
Thomas F. Mabry, Knoxville, Tennessee, for appellant.
John Carson, III., Madisonville, Tennessee, for appellee.
Judge: HERSCHEL PICKENS FRANKS
In this dispute over a right of way, the Trial Court granted summary judgment to defendant on
grounds the suit was barred by res judicata or collateral estoppel. On appeal, we affirm.
WALTER LEE CARUTHERS v. RICKY BELL, WARDEN
Walter Lee Caruthers, Nashville, Tennessee, Pro Se.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michelle Chapman McIntire, Assistant
Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Dan Hamm, Assistant
District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
Judge: ALAN E. GLENN
The petitioner, Walter Lee Caruthers, appeals from the trial court's order denying his petition for
habeas corpus relief. In 1983, following convictions for first degree murder, assault with intent
to commit murder in the first degree causing bodily harm, two counts of aggravated kidnapping,
and two counts of armed robbery committed in October 1980, the petitioner was sentenced to
death, three life sentences, and two sixty-year sentences, respectively, all to be served
consecutively. On appeal, the petitioner argues that the trial court's denial of his habeas petition
was erroneous because, under the Tennessee Criminal Sentencing Reform Act of 1982, five of
his six sentences were void. Following our review, we affirm the trial court's denial of the
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ROBERT L. MYERS
Richard A. Spivey and Timothy R. Wilkerson, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellant, Robert L.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General;
H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; and Kent L. Chitwood, Jr. and William B. Harper,
Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
Judge: ALAN E. GLENN
The defendant, Robert L. Myers, pled guilty to two counts of attempted aggravated sexual battery,
a Class C felony, and was sentenced as a Range I, standard offender to six years on each count, to
be served concurrently. On appeal, he argues that the trial court erred in denying probation or
alternative sentencing. Following our review, we conclude that the trial court properly sentenced
the defendant and affirm the judgments of conviction.
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RICKY L. TRENTHAM, JR.
John S. Anderson, Rogersville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ricky L. Trentham, Jr.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General;
C. Berkeley Bell, Jr., District Attorney General; and Eric D. Christiansen, Assistant District AttorneyGeneral, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
Judge: ALAN E. GLENN
The defendant, Ricky Lee Trentham, Jr., was convicted of simple possession of marijuana, Tenn
Code Ann. Section 39-17-418(a), a Class A misdemeanor, and sentenced to eleven months, twenty-nine
days at 75%. On appeal, he raises three issues for our review: (1) whether the evidence was
sufficient to support the conviction; (2) whether a copy of High Times magazine was erroneously
admitted into evidence; and (3) whether he was properly sentenced. Following our review, we affirm
the judgment of the trial court.
Applicability of Tennessee Marriage Amendment to Same Sex Civil Unions or Domestic
TN Attorney General Opinions
Opinion Number: 06-145
Private College Security Guards and Proprietary Security Organizations
TN Attorney General Opinions
Opinion Number: 06-146
Municipal Court Clerks’ Commission on Litigation Taxes for Cases Heard Under Concurrent
TN Attorney General Opinions
Opinion Number: 06-147
| Legal News
TBA Member Services
|Morford named interim U.S. attorney
|The Justice Department announced the appointment of Craig S. Morford to serve as the interim U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. Morford will serve under an attorney general appointment, succeeding Jim Vines, who left the department Oct. 1.
|Read the Department of Justice's news release.
|Felons' voting rights hit snag
|A child support provision in a new state law allowing former felons to register to vote is keeping many from doing so and could be challenged in court, advocates said.
The law, which took effect in July, streamlines the process felons must undergo to regain the right to vote and replaces an old law experts say was among the most confusing in the country.
|The Chattanooga Times Free Press has more.
|Summers closes 8-year term as attorney general
|Attorney General Paul Summers cleared out his office at the end of his eight-year term Friday, saying he expects his successor to be named long before the squabble over the final Supreme Court nominee is resolved.
|The Tennessean has more from Summers.
|A newly conservative Supreme Court?
|Nina Totenberg gives a guide to upcoming cases the U.S. Supreme will be deciding -- many of them "divisive" -- on this first day of the court's new term.
|Read the analysis from National Public Radio.
|Justices attend mass held before Supreme Court term
|Four of the five Roman Catholics serving on the U.S. Supreme Court have attended a Red Mass for the legal profession at St. Matthew's Cathedral in Washington, the Associated Press reports.
Chief Justice John Roberts was joined by Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas, as well as Attorney General Alberto Gonzales at Sunday's service. The Red Mass is held each year before the start of a new Supreme Court term.
|Man wears cardboard box at hearing
|A Pennsylvania man accused of theft arrived for a preliminary hearing wearing a cardboard box on his head in an effort to conceal his identity.
Justin Michael Kalich, 26, wore the box at the suggestion of his lawyer while he waited outside a judge's office for an appointment Thursday morning.
"I'm trying to think outside of the box, so to speak," attorney Jeff Leonard said.
|Read more about the strategy at TriCities.com
|Two grants awarded juvenile court programs
|The Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth has announced grants to organizations across the state to reduce juvenile delinquency and teen alcohol use during the coming year. Bradley County's Juvenile Court received two grants totalling 135,900. A grant to Shelby County was $204,581, and there was a $202,0000 grant to Youth Town of Tennessee in Pinson. Frontier Health Inc. in Gray received a $150,000 award and $117,610 went to the Nashville Juvenile Court.
|More about the grants.
|New ethics rules now in effect
|New ethics rules for Tennessee lobbyists officially took hold Monday with the launch of the state's first independent ethics commission. First order of business: registration of lobbyists.
|Read about it in the Knoxville News Sentinel
|Patterson to hold court Monday
|Judge David Patterson was to hold court today for the first time since being elected August 3.
He does so with the authority of a signed order from Chancery Court declaring him the winner of the election and dismissing a lawsuit filed by his opponent, Lillie Ann Sells, contesting the election.
|Read the details in the Herald-Citizen.
|Malpractice: Docs vow to spend $1 million on effort to limit patients rights
|It's doctors versus lawyers as the November elections approach and the issue of medical malpractice is back. Representatives of Tennessee's doctors have donated to state-level candidates and plan a campaign, including television ads, calling for voters to ask where candidates stand on the issue. Opposing the doctors are groups that include the Tennessee Bar Association and the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association. These groups say that the threat of lawsuits helps keep patients safe.
|The Commercial Appeal has more.
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