Supreme Court vacancy hearing tomorrow

Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle will hear arguments tomorrow at 9 a.m. central in a case involving the way applicants are selected to fill vacancies on the Tennessee Supreme Court. The hearing will be held on the second floor of the First Image Building (501 Mainstream Drive) in Nashville's Metrocenter. Watch future issues of TBA Today for case developments.
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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink


Court: TSC


P. Edward Schell, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Diane Button.

Marlene Eskind Moses, Nashville, Tennessee, and Lorie S. Nachlis, San Francisco, California, for the appellee, Mitchell Waite.


This appeal arises out of a petition filed in the Chancery Court for Williamson County requesting that the Chancery Court exercise temporary emergency jurisdiction and overturn a Hawaii trial court's order relating to the selection of a therapist for the child in this case. We hold that the Court of Appeals properly concluded that the Tennessee trial court erred in exercising temporary emergency jurisdiction pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated Section 36-6-219 (2001). We further hold, however, that the Court of Appeals erred in remanding this case to the trial court with instructions to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction.

With Concurring Opinion

Court: TCA


W. Gary Blackburn, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Galadriel Basham, Individually and as next of kin to Baby Girl Basham, deceased.

Dale A. Tipps and Michael A. Geracioti, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Mark K. Greaves, M.D.


In this medical malpractice action, the plaintiff contends the emergency room physician failed to comply with the applicable standard of care, which she contends is the standard for board-certified emergency room physicians, regardless of the locale in which the physician practices, and that the trial judge improperly instructed the jury concerning the applicable community. The novel issue presented is whether the term "community," as it applies to the so-called locality rule, can be construed to mean the medical community of specialists who are board-certified as emergency room physicians without regard to thegeographic location of their practice. Although we find the issue intriguing, the facts of this case render the issue moot. Accordingly, we affirm.



Court: TCA


Robert H. Plummer, Jr., Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellants, Edward D. Harris and Professional Automotive, Inc.

Ernest W. Williams and John D. Schwalb, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellees, John McNamara and Mary McNamara.


Home construction contractor appeals the trial court's ruling that he breached the contract to construct a custom built home. Contractor entered into a written contract with John and Mary McNamara for the construction of their 6,000 square foot home. After tensions between the parties escalated over several months, the contractor left the job site, the McNamaras terminated the contract, and hired other contractors to complete the work. Contractor and the McNamaras each sued the other for breach of contract. The trial court found the contractor breached the contract and awarded the McNamaras damages for the repair and completion of the work, including the cost of a new roof. The contractor appeals contending the trial court erred by finding he was in breach and contending it erred in the calculation of damages awarded to the McNamaras. We affirm in part and reverse in part.


Court: TCA


Richard John Jolly, pro se.

William K. Seaton of Selmer, Tennessee for appellee, Lynette Suzanne Jolly. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Pamela A. Hayden-Wood, Senior Counsel, Intervening Party


After a decree was entered in a divorce proceeding in Kansas, wife attempted to enforce the decree in Tennessee as it pertains to, inter alia, a division of marital property. The case reached the Supreme Court, and that Court determined that relief sought involved the enforcement of the Kansas decree, and that the decree had not been properly registered and notice given, required by the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). The case was remanded to the trial court to insure that the registration and notice procedures of UIFSA were followed and that husband be allowed to present defenses thereto. The trial court made a division of the partie'' marital property in Tennessee and allowed credit to wife for arrearage of child support decreed by the Kansas court. Husband has appealed. We affirm.


Court: TCA


James Sanders of Memphis, Tennessee for Appellant, Travis Jones.

Michael E. Moore, Acting Attorney General and Reporter; Lauren S. Lamberth, Assistant Attorney General for Appellee, State of Tennessee ex rel., Keva Coleman.


This is an appeal from the ruling of the Juvenile Court of Shelby County overruling the juvenile Referee's finding that Appellant's voluntary acknowledgment of paternity should be set aside under T.C.A. Section 24-7-113. Finding that the evidence preponderates against the trial court's finding concerning fraudulent procurement, we vacate the Order of the trial court and remand for reinstatement of the previous Judgment of the trial court affirming the Referee's Judgment.


Court: TCA


SuSan Small-Hammer, Bethpage, Tennessee, pro se.

C. Tracey Parks, Gallatin, Tennessee, for the appellees, Edward C. Troutt and Velma Faye Troutt.


In this breach of contract action, the plaintiff appeals from an adverse judgment following a jury trial. She contends the trial court erred by denying her Motion in Limine and by giving the jury an erroneous jury instruction. Finding the plaintiff failed to raise either issue in a motion for new trial, which is a mandatory condition precedent, we affirm.


Court: TCCA


Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David E. Coenen, Assistant Attorney General; and H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General, for the Respondent, State of Tennessee.

Greg Harris, Petitioner, pro se.


The petitioner, Gregg Harris, was convicted by a Sullivan County jury of criminal conspiracy to sell or deliver more than 300 grams of cocaine, a Class A felony; possession of more than 300 grams of cocaine for resale within 1,000 feet of a school, a Class A felony; and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, Class A misdemeanors. He received an effective sentence of fifty years. Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief. The trial court dismissed the petition without the appointment of counsel and without a hearing. In this appeal, he challenges the trial court's dismissal of his petition. Following our review, we affirm the dismissal.

The legality of serving alcoholic beverages during private engagements at the McMinnville Parks and Recreation Civic Center

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-12-08

Opinion Number: 06-175


Legislative News
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Legislative News
GOP legislators oust leaders
State House Republicans today ousted Minority Leader Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville, and GOP Caucus Chairman Charles Sargent, R-Franklin, choosing a new slate of leaders to represent them in their dealings with majority Democrats.
Read more in the Chattanooga Times Free Press
Cohn wins seat on Judiciary Committee
U.S. Congressman-elect Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, has been given a seat on the House Judiciary Committee in the Congress that convenes next month. It was his first choice for a committee assignment.
Read more in the Memphis Commercial Appeal
Legal News
Justice Department eases up on pressure
The Justice Department today eased its tough legal tactics against scandal-tainted corporations, requiring prosecutors to get approval from Washington before seeking confidential information between firms and their lawyers, the Associated Press reports.
Case of missing attorney likely heading to grand jury
John Carney, District Attorney General for the 19th Judicial District, said he plans to present the case of missing attorney Van Riggins (who has been accused of taking $200,000 from his clients) to a grand jury in January. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has been investigating Riggins for four weeks and agents say that victims continue to surface. Riggins, whose law license was suspended last month by the Tennessee Supreme Court, was found in Missouri earlier this week and briefly detained but then let go by local police.
Read more on Carney's comments in the Clarksville Leaf Chronicle
Serpas rips state juvenile justice system
Nashville Metro Police Chief Ronal Serpas blasted the state's juvenile justice system last week saying it has turned into a revolving door with violent kids allowed to commit crimes over and over. Others have criticized the Department of Children's Services for an epidemic of runaways, and some lawmakers say they no longer have confidence that the department can handle the rehabilitation of young offenders.
The Tennessean has the story
DMC task force wants justice for juveniles
Members of the Disproportionate Minority Confinement Task Force think an alternative is needed for how juveniles are handled by the justice system. Formed in October 2005, the task force is exploring ways juveniles can get the supervision or rehabilitation they need without being placed in detention.
Read about their work in the Clarksville Leaf Chronicle
Court employees get salary hike
In response to persistent requests, the Fayette County Commission voted last week to give courthouse employees an additional salary increase in the middle of the budget year. Administrative staff and deputy II positions will received a 14 percent increase while deputy I positions will receive a 15 percent increase, reports the Fayette County Review.

Evidence mounts in favor of unitary status
It is getting harder and harder to avoid the conclusion that Jackson-Madison County schools are ready for unitary status, writes the editorial board of the Jackson Sun. The paper argues that the terms of a 2000 desegregation consent agreement have been met and that the district should apply for unified status.
Read the editorial
New CASA volunteers sworn in
Six new CASA volunteers were sworn in as Court Appointed Special Advocates by Maury County Juvenile Court Judge George Lovell last week. Maury County's CASA program is the newest in the state, but supporters have high hopes for it.
Read more in the Columbia Daily Herald
Memphis law student wins diversity scholarship
Constangy, Brooks & Smith presented its second annual Diversity Scholars Award for the State of Tennessee to Augusta Akpotu, a second-year law student at the University of Memphis. Akpotu was selected for the award, which comes with a $2,000 scholarship, for her personal and academic achievements and her commitment to diversity. Akpotu is president of law school's chapters of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and the International Law Students Association; is professional liaison co-chair of the law school's chapter of the Black Law Students Association; and is a member of the Association of Women Attorneys.

TBA president addresses Clarksville group
Springfield attorney and current TBA president Larry Wilks will address the Clarksville Civitan Club meeting tomorrow from noon to 1 p.m. at the First Christian Church, 516 Madison Street. For more information about the event contact Debbie Hutchinson at (615) 648-5757.

BPR Actions
Memphis lawyer disbarred
John Houser Parker was disbarred from the practice of law on Nov. 30 after the Supreme Court found that he misappropriated more than $300,000 of client funds and posed a substantial threat of irreparable harm to the public.
Read the details of Parker's case
Kentucky lawyer reinstated
Kentucky lawyer Kenneth Ray Witt was reinstated to the practice of law in Tennessee after complying with Supreme Court Rule 21, which requires mandatory continuing legal education. A list of all attorneys suspended for failure to comply with Rule 21 and those who have been reinstated to date is available on TBA Link.
Visit the TBA web site
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