Health law forum features top speakers on latest trends

Join health care attorneys from across Tennessee for the 18th Annual TBA Health Law Forum on Oct. 5-6 in Cool Springs (suburban Nashville). This two-day seminar will present the latest in health care law from some of the most recognized practitioners in state and in the country. Register today

Click on the category of your choice to view summaries of today’s opinions from that court, or other body. A link at the end of each case summary will let you download the full opinion in PDF format. To search all opinions in the TBALink database, go to our OpinionSearch page. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on TBALink at

00 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
03 - TN Court of Appeals
03 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
03 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR

TBA members can get the full-text versions of these opinions three ways detailed below. All methods require a TBA username and password. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on-line at

Here's how you can obtain full-text version. We recommend you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This should give you the option to download the original document. If not, you may need to right-click on the URL to get the option to save the file to your computer. Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion. Browse the Opinion List area of TBALink. This option will allow you to download the original version of the opinion.

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


Court: TCA


J. Daniel Freemon, Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, for the appellants, Thelma Ruth Daniel, Jeffery Daniel, Lisa Brown and Joan Inman.

Paul B. Plant, J. Christopher Williams, Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, for the appellee, Marcia Keeton.


This case involves a dispute over the ownership of a Wayne County home between the mother of a man who died intestate at age forty-seven and the woman who was her son's long-time companion. The home was purchased by the son and his companion together, but it was titled solely in the name of the son. The couple never married, but they held themselves out as husband and wife for many years, including the eight years they lived together in the house. The mother claimed that she was entitled to inherit the house as her son's heir-at-law. The companion argued that she was the rightful owner of the house under a theory of common-law marriage. The trial court rejected that theory, but imposed a resulting trust on the house in the companion's favor because of her substantial contribution to its acquisition and maintenance. The mother argues on appeal that the court should have awarded her the disputed house or, in the alternative, that it should have awarded her one-half of the property, because the companion's contribution amounted to less than half of its actual cost. We affirm the trial court's declaration of a resulting trust, but hold that it should be limited to one- half the property or its equivalent value.


Court: TCA


Christine Zellar Church, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Christine Eltriede Ricketts.

Larry B. Watson, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellee, David Harold Ricketts.

Judge: KIRBY

This case involves an alimony award. The parties were married in 1986 when they were both forty-four (44) years old. No children were born of the marriage, but the parties adopted the wife's grandson. In 1996, the parties agreed to a legal separation. The wife was given sole custody of the grandson, and the husband paid support. Seven years later, the husband filed a petition for an absolute divorce. After a trial, the wife was awarded a legal separation and $250 per month in transitional alimony for two years. The wife now appeals, claiming that the trial court erred in denying her request for alimony in futuro. In light of the deference accorded to the trial court on issues of spousal support, we affirm.


Court: TCA


Mary Katherine Longworth, Loudon, Tennessee for the Appellant, The Estate of Disa True, Paul Justice, Administrator.

A. Wayne Henry, Loudon, Tennessee, for the Appellees, William Bryant Padgett and Wende Padgett.

The Estate of Disa True, Paul Justice, Administrator (the Estate) sued William Bryant Padgett and Wende Padgett seeking, in part, the return to the Estate of monies the Padgetts obtained from Disa True's SunTrust checking account (the Account). After a trial, the Trial Court entered an order dismissing the case based, primarily, upon its finding that the Account was owned by Ms. True, Mr. Padgett, and Ms. Padgett as joint owners with right of survivorship. The Estate appeals claiming that the Trial Court erred in holding that the Account was a joint account with right of survivorship and also that the Trial Court erred in excluding testimony under Tenn. Code Ann. Section 24-1-203, the Dead manís statute. We affirm.


Court: TCCA


James M. Grant, Pro Se, Mountain City, Tennessee.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

This matter is before the Court upon the State's motion to affirm the judgment of the habeas corpus court by memorandum opinion pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The petitioner has appealed the habeas corpus court's order summarily dismissing the petition for writ of habeas corpus. Upon a review of the record in this case, we are persuaded that the habeas corpus court was correct in summarily dismissing the habeas corpus petition and that this case meets the criteria for affirmance pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Accordingly, the State's motion is granted and the judgment of the habeas corpus court is affirmed.


Court: TCCA


Guy T. Wilkinson, District Public Defender, Camden, Tennessee, for the appellant, Rick Hanebutt.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; Robert Radford, District Attorney General; and John W. Overton and Steve Jackson, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The defendant, Rick Hanebutt, was convicted of first degree premeditated murder and attempted first degree premeditated murder. He received a sentence of life imprisonment for his murder conviction and a concurrent twenty year sentence for his attempted first degree murder conviction. On appeal, the defendant raises three issues for our review: (1) whether the evidence was sufficient to support his convictions; (2) whether the state failed to comply with discovery pursuant to Rule 16 of the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure; and (3) whether the trial court erred in denying the defendant's motion to change venue. Following our review of the parties' briefs and the applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Gregory D. Gookin, Assistant Public Defender, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, James Howard Theus, III.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brian Clay Johnson, Assistant Attorney General; Jerry Woodall, District Attorney General; and Shaun A. Brown, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The defendant, James Howard Theus, III, entered a best interest plea to facilitation of rape of a child. He was sentenced to eight years in the Tennessee Department of Correction, suspended after service of eleven months and twenty-nine days, with the remainder on intensive probation. Thereafter, the trial court revoked the defendant's probation and placed his sentence into effect. On appeal, the defendant challenges the trial court's revocation of his probation. Upon our review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Constitutionality of Felon Restoration Statute

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-09-29

Opinion Number: 06-148

Authority to Investigate Animal Abuse Cases

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-10-02

Opinion Number: 06-149

City's Authority to Contract for Enforcement of Traffic Signals and Speed Limits

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-10-02

Opinion Number: 06-150


Legal News
Election 2006

Legal News
FEMA settles trailer access case
The District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana today approved a settlement in Brou v. FEMA, a class action lawsuit aimed at ensuring that Hurricane Katrina and Rita evacuees with disabilities receive accessible FEMA trailers. Under the settlement, FEMA must create special toll-free numbers for disabled evacuees to request accessible trailers and meet specific deadlines for providing suitable housing. Additional Details on the case and the terms of the settlement are available from the
National Center for Law and Economic Justice
Special DUI prosecutor renewed
Maury and Lawrence counties will continue to benefit from a special prosecutor for driving under the influence cases thanks to a grant of $159,381 from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. District Attorney General Mike Bottoms talks about the future of the program in the Columbia Daily Herald.
Read the story
County commissioner chastises criminal judges
Hamilton County Commissioner Curtis Adams revealed Monday that there is a backlog of 11,380 cases in criminal court and said judges need to get their house in order. In calling for drastic measures, he mentioned the possibility of bringing in special judges to get caught up.
Read his remarks on
Judge says more prosecutors, public defenders needed
Judge Barry Steelman of the 11th Judicial District Criminal Court commented today that hiring additional prosecutors and public defenders, rather than judges, would be a more efficient use of resources in Hamilton County.
Read his thoughts on
Library board may be violating open meeting law
Madison County Commissioner Fred Birmingham says that in at least one instance, a committee of the local library board met privately and potentially violated the Open Meetings Act. Library Board Chairwoman Kathryn Swindle takes issue with that interpretation.
Read more in the Jackson Sun
Election 2006
Corker attorneys ask to withdraw from case
Attorneys for Republican U.S. Senate nominee Bob Corker have asked to withdraw from an environmental lawsuit that already has the former Chattanooga mayor trying to delay giving a deposition until after the Nov. 7 election, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports.
Read the full story
Legal fiction author to speak on Thursday
New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer will speak at the East Tennessee Hall of Fame inductee ceremony Oct. 5 at The Foundry on the Fair site. Meltzer, who is the author of The Tenth Justice, Dead Even, The First Counsel, The Millionaire Man and The Zero Game, graduated from Columbia Law School.
Get details on the event from the Friends of Literacy
TBA plans reception at Nashville School of Law
Calling all NSL grads: The TBA Young Lawyers Division is hosting a networking reception and membership drive at the Nashville School of Law on Monday, Oct. 9, and Tuesday, Oct. 10, starting at 5:30 p.m. each night. Come share your experience and insights with law students in this informal environment. The law school is located at 4013 Armory Oaks Drive. For more information contact TBA staff member Stacey Shrader at 800-899-6993 or by email at

But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at:

TBALink HomeContact UsPageFinderWhat's NewHelp
© Copyright 2006 Tennessee Bar Association