Chancellor to rule by Friday on high court selection process

Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle heard oral arguments today in the ongoing controversy over how justices of the Tennessee Supreme Court are selected. After hearing the arguments, she surprised those gathered in the courtroom by saying she would rule on the case by Friday. While Lyle's opinion may come quickly, it could be awhile before the case is over. An attorney for nominee J. Houston Gordon hinted during remarks that his client was willing to appeal the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary. Read about it in the Nashville Post (subscription required).
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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink


Court: TSC


Michael Lee Parsons, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania and Carrier Corporation.

Barry H. Medley and Frank D. Farrar, McMinnville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Betty Sue McCarver.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Kimberly J. Dean, Deputy Attorney General, for the intervenor, State of Tennessee.


We granted review of this workers' compensation case to determine whether Tennessee Code Annotated section 16-15-5004(c), granting jurisdiction over workers' compensation cases to the General Sessions Court for Warren County, violates article XI, section 8 of the Tennessee Constitution. The trial court denied the defendants' motion challenging its subject matter jurisdiction and ultimately found the claimant to be 88.2% disabled. We accepted review before the case was heard or considered by a Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel. We hold that Tennessee Code Annotated section 16-15-5004(c) does not violate article XI, section 8 of the Tennessee Constitution. We further hold that the preponderance of the evidence supports the trial court's disability award. Therefore, the decision of the trial court is affirmed.


Court: TWCA


Aaron S. Guin and Stephen W. Elliott, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Aerostructures Corporation.

Debbie Holliman and Javin R. Cripps, Carthage, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Jessie Gail Caruthers.


This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-226(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The employer, Aerostructures Corporation, has appealed the trial court's award of permanent total disability benefits of 539.28 weeks in a reconsideration hearing. The employer asserts that Tennessee Code Annotated sections 50-6-241(a)(2) and (b) and 50-6-242(a) prevent a trial court from granting, in a reconsideration hearing, any award greater than six times the employee's medical impairment rating and in excess of 400 weeks. The employer claims that the trial court erred because it granted, in a reconsideration hearing, a permanent total disability award that exceeded such amounts. We disagree and hold that Tennessee Code Annotated sections 50-6-241(a)(2) and (b) and 50-6-242(a), which place limitations on permanent partial disability awards in a reconsideration hearing, do not apply to awards of permanent total disability. We therefore affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TCA


Ben H. Houston, II, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, C.M.B.

Michael E. Moore, Acting Attorney General and Reporter, and Amy T. McConnell, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, State of Tennessee Department of Children's Services.

B. Gail Howell, Maryville, Tennessee, Guardian Ad Litem for D.N.H., A.T.B., D.D.B., D.M.B., and S.M.B.


The trial court terminated the parental rights of C.M.B. (Mother) with respect to her five minor children: D.N.H. (DOB: December 31, 1994), A.T.B. (DOB: March 7, 1997), D.D.B. (DOB: February 2, 1998), D.M.B. (DOB: January 31, 2000), and S.M.B. (DOB: February 21, 2002) (collectively the children). The court did so after finding, by clear and convincing evidence, that grounds for termination existed and that termination was in the best interest of the children. Mother appeals. We affirm.

IN RE: G.N.S., d/o/b 10/09/03

Court: TCA


Carl E. Seely, Jackson, TN, and Jeremy B. Epperson, Pinson, TN, for Appellants.

Steven W. Maroney, Matthew R. West, Jackson, TN, for Appellee.


This appeal involves the termination of the parental rights of the mother and father of a child under the age of six. At the time of the petition for termination of parental rights, both parents were incarcerated. Both parents have a history of drug abuse. The state had taken custody of the child in 2004 after the father was arrested on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine in a trailer behind the home of the child's maternal grandmother, with whom the child and father had been living. Children's clothing and toys were found in the trailer. At the time of the father's arrest, the mother was incarcerated on shoplifting charges. In February of 2005, the juvenile court granted custody to the child's paternal aunt and uncle, with whom the child's parents have a turbulent relationship. In March of 2006, the aunt and uncle filed a petition for termination of parental rights in the juvenile court. In May of 2006, the juvenile court held a hearing and determined that the parents had abandoned their child and that termination of their parental rights was in the child's best interests. The juvenile court entered a final order within thirty days that incorporated by reference its oral factual determinations and legal conclusions from the proceedings. Because the trial court failed to comply with the statutory requirements set forth in Tenn. Code Ann. Section 36-1-113(k) in its final order, we remand the decision to the juvenile court for the preparation of findings of fact and conclusions of law.


Court: TCCA


Wayne T. DeWees, Bolivar, Tennessee, for the Appellants, Steven Thomas Geyer and Tammy Syvilla Geyer.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Brian Clay Johnson, Assistant Attorney General; Elizabeth T. Rice, District Attorney General; and Joe VanDyke, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: HAYES

The Appellants, Steven Thomas Geyer and his wife, Tammy Syvilla Geyer, were convicted by a Hardeman County jury of multiple offenses arising during the drive home from their children's school Christmas pageant. Appellant Steven Geyer was convicted of DUI, child endangerment, and driving on a suspended license. Appellant Tammy Geyer was convicted of reckless endangerment. On appeal, the Appellants raise three issues for review: (1) whether the trial court erred by prohibiting the Appellant's questioning of a witness regarding an obsolete law; (2) whether the trial court erred in excluding a defense photograph due to the Appellants' failure to comply with the reciprocal discovery requirements of Rule 16, Tenn. R. Crim. P.; and (3) whether the trial court erred by not filing a written order on a pre-trial Rule 16 discovery motion. After a review of the record, we affirm.


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