Flowers resigns Insurance post; Cooley replacement sought

Commerce and Insurance Commissioner Paula A. Flowers said today that she will leave Gov. Phil Bredesen's Cabinet to return to the private sector, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports. Flowers, an attorney from Monterey, was special counsel to the TennCare Oversight Division before being named commissioner.

Deputy Gov. Dave Cooley resigned on Friday, and Bredesen said today that he hopes to replace him by the end of this week. Read more about the process to replace Cooley in this News Sentinel story:,1406,KNS_348_5189594,00.html

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Knoxville, Tennessee
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Court: TCA


John R. Anderson and Robert S. Grot, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellant Jann B. Broyles

Timothy M. Gibbons and Daryl J. Brand, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellees Thomas Standifer and Anneliese Standifer


Jann Broyles (“Plaintiff”) owns land adjacent to land owned by Thomas and Anneliese Standifer (“Defendants”). This dispute involves a pond located primarily on Plaintiff’s property but also partially on Defendants’ property and two other ponds entirely on Defendants’ property. After Defendants erected a dam which diverted the water that had flowed into Plaintiff’s pond, Plaintiff filed suit. Thereafter, Plaintiff cleared a majority of the natural vegetation that was on her land. Several days later there was a very heavy rainfall. The removal of this vegetation resulted in damage to the two ponds on Defendants’ property. Both parties claimed the other had created a nuisance. The Trial Court agreed and determined that both parties had created temporary nuisances. After offsetting Plaintiff’s judgment by the judgment awarded to Defendants, Plaintiff received a net judgment of $785. Plaintiff appeals. We modify the judgment to Plaintiff by increasing it to $4,990, and as so modified, the judgment of the Trial Court is affirmed.


Court: TCA


John M. Richardson, Jr., Clarksville, Tennessee, for appellant

Lynn Tarpy, Knoxville, Tennessee, for appellee.


Plaintiff’s action to collect debt incurred by use of credit card by defendant was dismissed by the Trial Court because defendant had not signed a contract to use the card. We reverse.


Court: TCA


Robert A. Wampler, Memphis, Tennessee, for Defendant/Appellant Egon Horst Schuett, Jr.

Mitchell D. Moskovitz and Adam N. Cohen, Memphis, Tennessee, for Plaintiff/Appellee Jeanne L. Schuett

Judge: KIRBY

This is the second appeal of a divorce case involving alimony and child support. In the original divorce proceeding, we reversed the trial court’s holding that the increase in value of the wife’s inheritance was separate property, as well as its award of child support, based on a floating schedule. The case was remanded for the trial court to recalculate the child support, equitably divide the appreciation in value of the inheritance, and then reconsider the division of the marital assets and the award of alimony and attorney’s fees. On remand, the trial court divided the appreciation in value of the inheritance, recalculated the child support obligation, and reaffirmed its remaining rulings. The husband now appeals for the second time, arguing that the trial court erred in awarding the wife alimony in solido and in not applying the new incomes shares child support guidelines. We affirm, finding no abuse of discretion in the award of alimony in solido, and holding that the husband cannot raise the revised child support guidelines for the first time on appeal.


Court: TCA


Michael A. Wagner, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for appellant

John T. Rice, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for appellees


In this breach of contract action, the Chancellor dismissed the Complaint and Counter-Complaint and Ordered plaintiff to remove the lien on the property where the construction of a wall was placed. We affirm.


Court: TCCA


William L. Wheatley, Sevierville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jose Luis Bautista Ramirez

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; C. Berkeley Bell, Jr., District Attorney General; and Kim Lane, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee

Judge: OGLE

The appellant, Jose Luis Bautista Ramirez, pled guilty in the Hamblen County Criminal Court to the facilitation of the sale or delivery of .5 grams or more of cocaine, a Schedule II controlled substance. The appellant received a sentence of three years incarceration in the Tennessee Department of Correction. As part of his plea agreement, the appellant reserved the following certified question of law: whether there was “a lack of unequivocal, specific, intentionally given consent for the search of the [appellant’s] residence.” Upon our review of the record and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Derrick Richardson, Whiteville, Tennessee, Pro se

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth Bingham Marney, Assistant Attorney General; for the appellee, State of Tennessee

Judge: WITT

The petitioner, Derrick Richardson, appeals from the trial court’s order dismissing his petition for writ of habeas corpus. The state has filed a motion requesting that this court affirm the trial court’s denial of relief pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The petition fails to establish a cognizable claim for habeas corpus relief. Accordingly, the state's motion is granted and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.


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Legal News
Model form for insurance termination notice available
Recently the legislature passed a bill, codified at Tenn. Code Ann. Section 56-7-2366, requiring insured spouses or policy-holder-spouses to give notice of termination of medical insurance coverage to their covered spouses at least 30 days before the termination when a divorce or separation is finalized. The legislation required the Administrative Office of the Courts to develop a model notice for this new requirement, which is now available.
Download the AOC's model notice
Court hears school diversity cases
The U.S. Supreme Court is reopening the issue of affirmative action today in cases in which parents in Kentucky and Washington state are challenging school policies that use race to help determine where children go to school. carried this Associated Press story
New TBI forensic scientists should quicken justice
The hiring of 17 new forensic scientists at the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation should improve turnaround and ultimately speed up the disposition of criminal cases. Figures released by the TBI indicate that complete DNA lab testing can take up to 25 weeks, and latent fingerprint testing can take more than 20 weeks to complete.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press has the details
How Shelby County's drug court works
Nearly 80 percent of graduates from the Shelby County Drug Court have stayed out of jail and drug free. "Those people that go through the Drug Court have a significantly reduced level of recidivism when it comes to criminal activity," Sheriff Mark Lutrell says.
Find out more from WREG.
Transitional program helps reduce recidivism
The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program connects prison inmates with people on the "outside." Nashville's Inside-Out, like other transitional programs, has shown to reduce recidivism by large percentages.
Read Dwight Lewis's column in the Tennessean
Jackson city legal fees examined
More than 27 percent of money spent in legal matters by the city of Jackson was spent on the city's dispute with former Diamond Jaxx president David Hersh. That makes it one of the most expensive cases on record for the city and easily the most costly dispute in the last five years. The Jackson Sun examined bills for the city's legal services from January 2002 through October 2006 for this story.
Read it here
Posner puts forth case for rights restrictions
Federal appeals court Judge Richard A. Posner's new book, ''Not a Suicide Pact,'' emphasizes that constitutional liberties must be interpreted for an age of global terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. The book's title comes from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson's dissent in a free-speech case, where he warned: ''There is danger, that, if the Court does not temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, it will convert the constitutional Bill of Rights into a suicide pact.''
Read more about the book in the Tennessean
GOP re-elects Davis to top post
Tennessee Republicans this weekend re-elected Bob Davis as state party chair, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports. Davis was an adviser to then-Sen. Fred Thompson before being elected chairman of the state GOP in December 2003. The new term expires in 2008.

Tax extension for disaster counties ends Tuesday
The filing deadline is Dec. 5 for taxpayers in 15 Tennessee counties who filed an automatic 6-month extension last June. The tax deadline applies to counties declared part of a federal disaster area after storms and tornadoes struck the state in early April.
Read information from the IRS outlining relief provisions
TennBarU CLE Programs
Learn new rules for E-Discovery
New amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure have revamped existing discovery rules in order to better accommodate discovery directed at information generated by computers. Learn more and earn 3 dual CLE hours at this Dec. 14 program at the Tennessee Bar Center in Nashville.
Learn more or register now
TBA Member Services
Journal covers directives, bankruptcy, more
Read the December issue of the Tennessee Bar Journal -- from your mailbox or online, featuring end-of-life directives, the Bankruptcy Act of 2005, book reviews, and regular columnists Dan Holbrook, Larry Wilks, Don Paine and Bill Haltom.
Click here for the TBJ

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