Tennessee GOP line up legislative leaders

Republicans have chosen their leaders as a possible showdown to knock Lt. Governor John Wilder (D-Somerville) from his long-held position nears. State Sen. Mark Norris (R-Collierville) is the new chairman of the State Senate Republican Caucus, beating out incumbent State Sen. Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge), and State Sen. Ron Ramsey, was re-elected Republican Leader in a unanimous public roll call vote. When Republican Senators were committing to support Ramsey against Wilder, however, State Sen. Mike Williams (R-Maynardville) abstained. Read more at the Nashville Post (subscription required).

http://www.nashvillepost.com/news/2006/12/11/norris_bests_mcnally_for_senate_repub_caucus_chair

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS Grants & Denials List

Court: TSC

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2006/certlist_121106.pdf


BELLSOUTH TELECOMMUNICATIONS, INC. v. RUTH E. JOHNSON, COMMISSIONER OF REVENUE OF STATE OF TENNESSEEThis is a corrected opinion.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Michael D. Sontag and Tara L. Swafford, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Richard H. Sforzini, Jr., and Jonathan N. Wike, Assistant Attorney Generals, for the appellee, Ruth E. Johnson, Commissioner of Revenue of the State of Tennessee

Judge: CLEMENT

BellSouth Telecommunications seeks a refund of sales and use taxes assessed on some of its voice mail services. Following an audit, the Department of Revenue assessed a tax on all but the most basic of BellSouth’s voice mail services, finding they were subject to the sales and use taxes as “telecommunication” services under Tenn. Code Ann. § 67-6-102(a)(32). When the Department of Revenue denied a refund request, BellSouth filed this action. The trial court ruled in favor of the Department finding the services were taxable as “telecommunication” services. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/bellsouthCORR_121106.pdf


STANLEY F. BLACKWOOD v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

George M. Googe, District Public Defender, and Gregory Gookin, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, Stanley F. Blackwood

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; James G. (Jerry) Woodall, District Attorney General; and Alfred L. Earls, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee

Judge: WILLIAMS

The petitioner, Stanley F. Blackwood, appeals the Madison County Circuit Court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his convictions of first degree murder, three counts of attempted first degree murder (Class A felony), five counts of aggravated assault (Class C felony), two counts of reckless endangerment (Class E felony), and one count of aggravated burglary (Class C felony ), for which he now serves a life sentence plus twenty-two years. The petitioner claims he received ineffective assistance of counsel at trial because his attorney: (1) acknowledged to the jury in opening statements that the petitioner shot the victim; (2) characterized the petitioner’s version of events as “bizarre,” undermining his credibility with the jury; (3) failed to fully investigate the possibility that the handgun discharged accidentally; and (4) failed to object to a prejudicial jury instruction. We find no basis to grant relief and affirm the post-conviction court’s denial of relief.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/blackwoods_121106.pdf


LARRY P. CONWAY AND MARILYN J. CONWAY v. EASTERN SAVINGS BANK, FSB

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Venita Marie Martin, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellants, Larry P. Conway and Marilyn J. Conway

Joel W. Giddens and Jason S. Mangrum, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Eastern Savings Bank, FSB.

This is a petition to set aside a foreclosure sale. The plaintiffs, husband and wife, borrowed over $1.1 million from the defendant bank in order to buy the subject home. The plaintiffs later defaulted on the loan. The husband filed a petition in bankruptcy and listed the home as a part of his bankruptcy estate. The bank obtained relief from the automatic stay, accelerated the debt, and began foreclosure proceedings. The day before the scheduled foreclosure sale, the wife filed a petition in bankruptcy and listed the home as part of her bankruptcy estate. The foreclosure sale was postponed. The bank obtained relief from the automatic stay in the wife’s bankruptcy case, and the foreclosure sale was conducted. The bank purchased the home for a credit bid of $750,000. Eight months later, the husband and wife filed this action for injunctive relief and to vacate the foreclosure sale. They alleged, among other things, inadequate consideration and lack of proper notice. The bank filed a motion for summary judgment, which was granted based in part on earlier findings by the bankruptcy court in the plaintiffs’ bankruptcy proceedings. The husband and wife now appeal, again arguing inadequate consideration and lack of notice. We affirm, finding that the plaintiffs failed to proffer sufficient evidence to create a genuine issue of fact for trial.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/conwayl_121106.pdf


PHILLIP WAYNE CROCKER v. NANCY JO REECE CROCKER

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Mary Jo Middlebrooks and Betty S. Scott of Jackson, Tennessee for Appellant, Phillip Wayne Crocker

Michael A. Carter of Milan, Tennessee for Appellee Nancy Jo Reece Crocker

Judge: CRAWFORD

This case involves a divorce ending a five year marriage. Wife/Appellee was awarded a divorce on grounds of Husband/Appellant’s inappropriate marital conduct. The trial court awarded Wife/Appellee alimony in futuro. Husband/Appellant appeals the award of alimony in futuro. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/crockerp_121106.pdf


IN RE: H.O.K., (DOB 3-5-2004), D.M. v. M.K. and STATE OF TENNESSEE, DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN’S SERVICES

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Gerald T. Eidson, Greeneville, Tennessee, for appellant

N. David Roberts, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for appellee, D.M.

Judge: FRANKS

The Trial Court terminated the mother’s parental rights on statutory grounds of abandonment and failure to comply with the plan of care. On appeal, we affirm the Trial Court’s Order of Termination.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/dm_121106.pdf


ANTHONY H. DEAN v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

William C. Gosnell, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Anthony Dean

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brian Clay Johnson, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Glen Baity, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee

Judge: WELLES

The Petitioner, Anthony H. Dean, appeals as of right from the judgment of the Shelby County Criminal Court denying post-conviction relief. In 2000, a jury convicted the Petitioner of aggravated rape, and he was sentenced to forty years as a violent offender. This Court affirmed his conviction and sentence on direct appeal. Subsequently, the Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief and several amendments thereto. Following multiple hearings, the post-conviction court denied relief, and he now appeals to this Court. In this appeal, he raises nine issues which, in substance, relate to the following two claims: (1) violation of his constitutional rights when he was not taken timely before a magistrate and (2) ineffective assistance of counsel. After a review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court denying relief.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/deana_121106.pdf


JAMIE NICOLE FERRELL v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Cynthia M. Fort, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jamie Nicole Ferrell

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson III, District Attorney General; James Sledge, Assistant District Attorney General; and Kathy Morante, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee

Judge: WOODALL

Petitioner, Jamie Nicole Ferrell, appeals the post-conviction court’s dismissal of her petition for post-conviction relief in which she alleged that her pleas of guilty were not voluntarily and knowingly entered into. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/ferrellj_121106.pdf


JAMES MATTHEW GRAY v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jefre S. Goldtrap, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, James Matthew Gray

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Lisa Naylor, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee

Judge: WILLIAMS

The petitioner, James Matthew Gray, pled guilty in the Davidson County Criminal Court to a charge of reckless homicide. He was sentenced to twelve years in the Department of Correction as a career offender with a release eligibility of sixty percent. He was originally indicted on two counts: (1) felony murder, and (2) especially aggravated robbery. As part of his plea agreement, he agreed to plead out of range of his offender status. On appeal, he argues that his guilty plea was involuntary and unknowingly entered because he asserts that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. After careful review, we conclude that the petitioner has not met his burden of showing that he received ineffective assistance of counsel by clear and convincing evidence and, further, that he has not shown that his plea was involuntary and unknowing. No grounds for relief exist, and the judgment of the post-conviction court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/grayj_121106.pdf


WALTER D. STARNES v. TONY PARKER, WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Walter D. Starnes, pro se

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

Judge: GLENN

The Petitioner, Walter D. Starnes, appeals the trial court's denial of his petition for habeas corpus relief. The State has filed a motion requesting that this Court affirm the trial court's denial of relief pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The Petitioner has failed to allege any ground that would render the judgment of conviction void. Accordingly, we grant the State’s motion and affirm the judgment of the lower court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/starnesw_121106.pdf


MARLON THOMAS v. STEVE DOTSON, WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Marlon Thomas, pro se

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee

Judge: WILLIAMS

The Petitioner, Marlon Thomas, appeals the trial court's denial of his petition for habeas corpus relief. The State has filed a motion requesting that this Court affirm the trial court's denial of relief pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The Petitioner has failed to allege any ground that would render the judgment of conviction void. Accordingly, we grant the State’s motion and affirm the judgment of the lower court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/thomasm_121106.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Legislative News
Passages
Online CLE
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Missing lawyer found in Missouri
A missing Clarksville attorney under investigation because of accusations that he took clients' money was picked up by authorities Sunday in Independence, Mo., but was later released, authorities said. Since Nov. 12, Van Riggins has been under investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation on allegations he took about $200,000 from his clients. Police said because he did not do anything illegal in Independence and didn't have any criminal warrants on file, police let him go.
Read more in the Leaf-Chronicle
Banks enter agreement about consumer deception
The state of Tennessee today entered into two 15-state agreements with Chase Bank and Trilegiant Corp. to resolve allegations that they deceived consumers into buying membership programs to get discounts on car and home repair, shopping, and other benefits, the attorney general's office reports. The firms will pay out $14.5 million as part of the settlement. Consumers who have not already complained to the state or to Trilegiant, have until Sept. 6, 2007, to do so in order to recover.
Read the attorney general's press release
Unrest over Juvenile Court comes to a boil
At least five public hearings will be held in Shelby County to determine the need for a second Juvenile Court judge; some of the meetings that have already happened have garnered many details from people who have dealt with the court in recent years.
Citizen Editor Jerome Wright examines the issue for the Commercial Appeal
More in Shelby: Judge Person can equalize juvenile justice
A former Juvenile Court probation officer sounds off about Shelby County's controversial court: "In my opinion, the court's main objective has been to make money, not to provide adequate services to our children."
Read John Hall's column in the Commercial Appeal
Study shows fewer inmates on death row in '05 than '04
Fewer prison inmates were moved to death row in 2005, according to a federal study that shows one more person was executed than in the year before. Four states -- California, Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania -- held half of the 3,254 inmates awaiting execution at the end of 2005, the study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics showed. There were 37 death row inmates in federal prisons at that time.
The News Sentinel carried this AP story
Legislative News
Williams' Waltz trial delayed
The Tennessee Waltz bribery trial for Calvin Williams, a former chief administrator for the Shelby County Commission, that was set for Monday has been rescheduled for Jan. 8.
Read more details from wmctv.com
New law cuts 'Net gamblers' line of finance
In the 109th Congress, which adjourned Saturday, lawmakers attached a provision to the SAFE Port Act that would attempt to forever change the country's gambling landscape, the Tennessean reports. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act is aimed at U.S. credit card companies and financial institutions that help fund Americans' gambling. It bars them from transferring money to Internet betting sites.
Read about it
Passages
Chattanooga lawyer Ben L. Hill III dies
Benjamin L. Hill III died Dec. 5 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease and cancer, according to the Chattanooga Bar Association. Burial was Dec. 8 at Sequatchie Valley Memorial Gardens in Jasper. Hill, 64, had served as city judge for Jasper and Whitwell for more than 20 years, and in 1990 was elected Juvenile Court judge. He was re-elected in 1998, a position he held until retiring in 2001.
Read the obituary at the Chattanoogan.com
Online CLE
Disaster Recovery: Your Ethical Duty
Tornados, fires and hurricanes happen. This TennBarU® online course will help you prepare for and respond to a disaster with the purpose of improving your chance to successfully recover from it.
Register now or find out more
TBA Member Services
Let JobLink help you with your next career move
A career service for Tennessee attorneys and law students, TBA JobLink is a job seeking and recruitment tool available at no charge. Whether you have a position to fill or are seeking employment, this site will guide you through a simple process to post your information.
Visit the site

 
 
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