Gordon intervenes to stay on Supreme Court list

State Supreme Court candidate J. Houston Gordon filed a motion late Monday, arguing that he should be eligible for reconsideration as a high court candidate because the first list that included his name was nullified by a fellow candidate's withdrawal from consideration. Governor Bredesen, who received a second list of candidates (which included Gordon's name) in September, has sued the state's Judicial Selection Commission to block Gordon from consideration. In addition, Buck Lewis, who also was recommended by the commission on the first list, is expected to move to intervene. The next hearing in the case is set before Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle on Dec. 13. Read more in the Tennesseean:

http://tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061129/NEWS01/611290416/1006/NEWS

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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BUILDERS MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, ET AL. v. PAUL SIMMS

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

Steve Coleman Norris, Nashville, TN, for the Appellant, Paul J. Simms.

Steven Bradford Morton, Nashville, TN, for the Appellees, Builders Mutual Insurance Company and Classic Homes B.O.S., L.P.

Judge: HARRIS

This appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeal Panel pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated Section 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. On April 29, 2003, the appellant, Paul J. Simms, fractured his ankle at a construction site in Spring Hill, Tennessee. The trial court determined Mr. Simms' injury did not arise out of or in the course of employment. Mr. Simms has appealed, contending that the evidence preponderates against the trial court's holding. Mr. Simms also alleges the trial court erred in allowing the testimony of Jack Russell, the subcontractor whom Mr. Simms claims employed him on the day of his accident, because Mr. Russell invoked the Fifth Amendment at trial. After carefully considering the evidence adduced at trial, we affirm the trial court's judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2006/buildersm_112906.pdf


BOBBIE JANE T. HAGEWOOD v. AMERICAN CASUALTY COMPANY OF READING, PA., ET AL.

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

Dale A. Tipps, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellants, American Casualty Company of Reading, Pennsylvania, and Sprint Corporation.

William Joseph Butler and Frank D. Farrar, Lafayette, Tennessee, for Appellee, Bobbie Jane T. Hagewood.

Judge: HARRIS

This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel 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, Sprint Corporation (Sprint), and its insurer, American Casualty Company of Reading, PA., appeal from the trial court's determination that the claim of the employee, Bobbie Jane T. Hagewood (Hagewood), for benefits relating to a carpal tunnel injury was not barred by the statute of limitations, res judicata, or the last injurious injury rule. Appellee, Second Injury Fund (Fund), joins the statute of limitations argument and further claims that the trial court erred in apportioning the award between Sprint and the Fund. After reviewing the record, we have determined that the evidence does not preponderate against the findings of the trial court concerning the statute of limitations and the last injurious injury rule. We decline to review the res judicata issue because it was not decided by the trial court. We do, however, find that the trial court erred in its apportionment of the award and modify the award to reflect the correct apportionment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2006/hagewoodb_112906.pdf


YATES SERVICES, L.L.C. v. DONALD E. BLACK, JR.

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

John R. Rucker, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Yates Services, L.L.C.

K. Cody Allison, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Donald E. Black, Jr.

Judge: HARRIS

This worker's compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel 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 trial court determined the employee, Donald E. Black, Jr. (Black), had sustained a work-related injury resulting in a permanent partial disability amounting to 26% of the body as a whole, and awarded temporary total disability and future medical benefits. The employer, Yates Services, L.L.C. (Yates) has appealed and contends that the trial court erred (1) by allowing Black to present his evidence first at trial, (2) by holding that Black sustained a gradual back injury caused by his employment, and (3) by finding that Black had given adequate notice of his injury to his employer. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2006/yatesservice_112906.pdf


IN RE: CONSERVATORSHIP OF WILLIAM JOSEPH BURNETTE

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Gary C. Jenkins, appellant, pro se.

Alan L. Cates and Valerie H. Richardson, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellees, Eloise Burnette Roberson and Alice K. Roberson.

Stephen S. Duggins, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, Manorhouse Assisted Living.

Linda J. Norwood, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Guardian Ad Litem for William Joseph Burnette.

Judge: SUSANO

The trial court removed Gary C. Jenkins as the health care attorney in fact for William Joseph Burnette. Mr. Jenkins appeals, arguing that the trial court erred by retrospectively applying the 2004 statutory amendment to T.C.A. _ 34-6-204(a)(2)(B), which amendment states that a court may revoke or amend a power of attorney for health care or replace a health care attorney in fact "[u]pon application and good cause." We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/burnettew_112906.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN’S SERVICES v. C.D.F., ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Mary K. Longworth, Peggy J.S. Monger, Loudon, Tennessee, for the appellant, C.D.F.

Gary Fox, Lenoir City, Tennessee, for the appellant, L.D.F.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter, and Lauren S. Lamberth, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, State of Tennessee Department of Children's Services.

Brian E. Nichols, Loudon, Tennessee, for the appellee, Guardian Ad Litem for J.E.F. and S.M.F.

Judge: SUSANO

The trial court terminated the parental rights of C.D.F. (Mother) and L.D.F. (Father) with respect to their minor children, J.E.F. (DOB: March 8, 1995) and S.M.F. (DOB: August 16, 1998) (the children), upon finding, by clear and convincing evidence, that grounds for terminating their parental rights exist and that termination is in the best interest of the children. Mother and Father appeal. We affirm the trial court's judgment terminating the parental rights of C.D.F. and L.D.F., but vacate a portion of the trial court's rationale for its judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/cdf_112906.pdf


JERRY D. ECKLER v. DR. LEE ALLEN, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Scottie Wilkes, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jerry D. Eckler.

J. Kimbrough Johnson and Elizabeth T. Collins, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, Dr. Lee Allen and Memphis Dermatology Clinic.

Judge: FARMER

This is a medical malpractice action in which Plaintiff alleges Defendant physician failed to obtain informed consent. The trial court awarded Defendants summary judgment upon finding that Plaintiff's amended expert affidavit failed to comply with Tennessee Code Annotated Section 29-26-115(a)(1) and that Plaintiff had failed to file the amended affidavit by the deadline imposed by the court. We affirm summary judgment for Defendant under Section 29-26-115(a)(1).

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/ecklerj_112906.pdf


LARRY EUGENE KOON, ET AL. v. DOROTHY V. DUKE, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Larry Eugene Koon and Elizabeth Ann Koon, appellants, pro se.

No appearance on behalf of the appellees, Dorothy V. Duke and Gregory Allen Oaks.

Judge: SUSANO

Larry Eugene Koon and his wife, Elizabeth Ann Koon, proceeding pro se, filed suit against Dorothy V. Duke and Gregory Allen Oaks, seeking to invalidate (1) a warranty deed from Ms. Koon’s mother - "Edna (Bare) Jesse Oaks" - to another of Ms. Oaks' daughters, the defendant Dorothy V. Duke and (2) subsequent transfers of the subject property. The trial court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss because of the plaintiffs' failure to prosecute. Plaintiffs appeal, contending that they did not know that the defendants' motion was to be considered by the trial court on August 29, 2005, the date on which the motion was heard and granted. We vacate the trial court's judgment and remand for further proceedings.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/koonl_112906.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE, DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN'S SERVICES v. R.R.'s, IN THE MATTER OF: R.R. JR., (dob 11/17/01), K.P., (dob 04/26/00), and R.C., (dob 07/16/96), CHILDREN UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

J. Eric Harrison, Morristown, Tennessee, for appellant.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter, and Amy T. Master, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for appellee.

Judge: FRANKS

Both parents appeal the Trial Court's termination of their parental rights. We hold the State established by clear and convincing evidence statutory grounds for terminations, and the terminations were in the children's best interests.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/rr_112906.pdf


SANDALWOOD PROPERTIES, LLC v. AARON ROBERTS, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Christopher E. Rowe, David B. Hamilton and William P. Price III, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellants, Aaron Roberts and Kelli Dunn aka Kelli Dunn Roberts.

Jack W. Piper, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Sandalwood Properties LLC.

Judge: LEE

In this case, a landlord sought to collect monies from tenants pursuant to the terms of a residential rental agreement. The landlord filed a warrant in the General Sessions Court of Loudon County and was granted a default judgment after the tenants failed to appear for trial. The tenants appealed their case to the Circuit Court for Loudon County, but again failed to appear at trial, and the landlord was awarded judgment. The tenants' motion for new trial was denied. On appeal, the tenants argue that the Circuit Court erred in denying their motion for new trial because they proved excusable neglect or mistake as the reason for their failure to appear at trial; that venue was improper in Loudon County; that the Circuit Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction; and that they are entitled to attorney's fees based on the landlord's alleged violations of the Tennessee Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. After careful review, we affirm the judgment of the Circuit Court and deny the tenants' request for attorney's fees.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/sandalwood_112906.pdf


TIMOTHY ALEXANDER STRAIT v. LOUISE DAVENPORT STRAIT

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Marvin Berke, Andrew L. Berke, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Timothy Alexander Strait.

Roger W. Dickson, Leah M. Gerbitz, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, Louise Davenport Strait.

Judge: SUSANO

In this post-divorce case, Timothy Alexander Strait (Husband) appeals (1) the trial court's denial of his petition to terminate his alimony in futuro obligation to his former wife, Louise Davenport Strait (Wife), and (2) the trial court's judgment awarding Wife an alimony arrearage of $22,750. Wife raises a separate issue challenging the trial court's denial of her request for suit fees. As modified, the trial court's judgment is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/straitta_112906.pdf


ALENA WHARTON v. ROBERT WHARTON

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Mark L. Agee and Jason C. Scott of Trenton, Tennessee for Appellant, Alena Wharton.

Sam J. Watridge of Humboldt, Tennessee for Appellee, Robert Wharton.

Judge: CRAWFORD

This case arises from post-divorce proceedings concerning custody of the parties' minor child. Mother/Appellant appeals from the order of the trial court granting primary residential custody to Father/Appellee. Specifically, Mother asserts that the trial court erred in disallowing testimony at the hearing. Father also raises an issue concerning whether the trial court erred in not making an award of retroactive child support. Finding no error, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/whartona_112906.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ARTHUR R. BROOKS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Mark E. Stephens, District Public Defender, and John R. Halstead, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Arthur R. Brooks.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Steven C. Garrett and Marsha Mitchell, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The defendant, Arthur R. Brooks, pled guilty pursuant to a plea agreement in the Knox County Criminal Court to three counts of robbery, a Class C felony. The defendant was sentenced as a Range I, standard offender to six years for each conviction, to be served concurrently, with the trial court to determine the manner of service of the sentences. After a sentencing hearing, the trial court ordered that the defendant serve his sentences in confinement. The defendant appeals, claiming that the trial court erred in denying him alternative sentencing. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/brooksa_112906.pdf


CHRISTOPHER A. WHITE v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

P. Damon Wooten, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Christopher A. White.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Blind Akrawi, Assistant Attorney General; Michael L. Flynn, District Attorney General; and Ellen Lee Berez, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The petitioner seeks post-conviction relief from his Blount County Circuit Court conviction for aggravated assault and sentence of ten years as a Range II, multiple offender. The trial court dismissed the petition for post-conviction relief. In this appeal, the petitioner contends that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel because his trial counsel failed to call the victim's doctor to refute the serious bodily injury element of aggravated assault. We conclude that the trial court did not err in denying relief.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/whitec_112906.pdf


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Download all nine J. Houston Gordon filings in the Supreme Court vacancy case.
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U.S. District Judge Audrey Collins has struck down portions of a Bush executive order, which gave the president authority to designate groups as foreign terrorist organizations and impose a range of sanctions on them. Collins said that the order was too vague and could impinge on First Amendment rights of free association. The order was issued on Nov. 21 but only made public yesterday.
The News Sentinel has the story
Download a copy of Collins' opinion
Supreme Court takes up global warming for first time
The U.S. Supreme Court is about to hear its first case dealing with global warming. In arguments today, the Bush administration planned to argue that the EPA lacks authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from new vehicles.
The AP reports on today's proceedings
Justice Department begins domestic spying review
The inspector general at the U.S. Department of Justice has begun an internal investigation into the handling of information gathered through the government's domestic spying program. The inquiry will focus on the role of prosecutors and National Security Agency personnel in carrying out the warrantless surveillance program.
WSMV News Channel 4 has the story
New identity theft Web site launched
As part of a new three-year partnership, the International Association of Chiefs of Police and Bank of America have launched a Web site to provide information on identity theft for consumers and law enforcement officials. For consumers, the site includes an identity crime IQ test, ways to tell if you are a victim of ID theft and what to do if your identity has been stolen. Law enforcement officers will find information on victim assistance, victims' rights and investigating ID theft.
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