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).
TODAY'S OPINIONS
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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink

BETTY SUE MCCARVER v. INSURANCE COMPANY OF THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA, ET AL.

Court: TSC

Attorneys:

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.

Judge: BARKER

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.

https://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2006/mccarverb_121306.pdf


JESSIE GAIL CARUTHERS v. THE AEROSTRUCTURES CORPORATION, a/k/a AEROSTRUCTURES CORPORATION, a/k/a VOUGHT AIRCRAFT INDUSTRIES, INC.

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

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.

Judge: DROWOTA

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.

https://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2006/caruthersj_121306.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN’S SERVICES v. C.M.B.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

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.

Judge: SUSANO

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.

https://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/cmb_121306.pdf


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

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

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

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

Judge: HIGHERS

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.

https://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/gns_121306.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. STEVEN THOMAS GEYER AND TAMMY SYVILLA GEYER

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

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.

https://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/geyers_121306.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
BPR Actions
TennBarU CLE
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Ethics panel may have violated open meetings and public records laws
E-mail, discussions and deliberations between Tennessee Ethics Commission members may have violated the state's open meetings and public records laws, TBA Executive Director Allan Ramsaur said while appearing before the panel yesterday. The private discussions among board members were regarding an advisory opinion on when lawyers doing work for clients with state agencies must register as lobbyists. The opinion is expected to be available on Thursday.
Read the News Sentinel's coverage
Read the Tennessean's story

New chair promises oversight of Justice Department
Senator Patrick Leahy, D-VT, the incoming chair of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, has indicated that his panel will step up oversight of the Justice Department and particularly the FBI in coming months.
The Bristol Herald Courier details his plans
Supreme Court amends Rule 4
The Tennessee Supreme Court issued an order today amending Rule 4 of the Rules of the Supreme Court to delete Rule 4(D). That section required the author of an intermediate appellate court opinion to ensure the opinion is published in the official reporter when an application for appeal is denied and a recommendation is made to publish the intermediate appellate court opinion.
Download the order
Ford defends loan
As charges of criminal financial dealings plaque Memphis Councilman Edmund Ford, an affidavit filed in the case raises questions about a $40,000 loan he received from local developer Jackie Welch. Ford has not been charged in connection with the loan, which he said was from a friend who believed in his business. He also denied that the loan influenced his vote to approve a development Welch was pushing.
The Commercial Appeal reports
Hearing on Juvenile Court is tonight
The Shelby County Commission committee formed to study the need for a second division of Juvenile Court is holding a public hearing on the matter at 6:30 p.m. tonight at Berean Missionary Baptist Church, 1666 E. Raines, the Commercial Appeal reports.

Convicts missing from state prison system
At least 57 convicts have escaped from Tennessee prisons and have been on the run for decades, authorities say. Many of them are in their 50s and 60s and have eluded capture by blending into society.
The News Sentinel has more
Judges packing pistols in courtrooms
Despite increased security at courthouses following recent shootings, many judges are bringing their own guns into the courtroom for protection. An article in the National Law Journal looks at how states are handling this issue.
Learn more
TJC adds to board; launches fundraising campaign
The Tennessee Justice Center announces new members to its board of directors. They are Sandra Roberts, former managing editor of The Tennessean; Nashville lawyers David Esquivel and A. Gregory Ramos; and Sevierville lawyer Cynthia R. Wyrick. They join retired Tennessee Supreme Court Justice E. Riley Anderson, who came onto the board in November.

TJC also launched its annual phone-a-thon fundraiser today. The drive, which runs through Dec. 19, is a major source of funding for the organization and its legal battles on behalf of the needy. To donate, mail contributions to 301 Charlotte Ave., Nashville, TN 37201 or visit
www.tnjustice.org
TBA members admitted to U.S. Supreme Court
A select group of TBA members were recently admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court in ceremonies that were part of the 23rd Annual TBA Academy.
Learn more about this program
Bradley County juvenile drug court off to strong start
The Bradley County Juvenile Drug Court has been in existence only a few months but already nine young people are enrolled in the program. The Cleveland Daily Banner profiles the court.
Read the piece
BPR Actions
Hendersonville attorney reinstated
Hendersonville lawyer Nancy G. Wallace was reinstated to the practice of law 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
TennBarU CLE
Getting paid a problem? TennBarU online ethics course can help
Collecting fees is not directly addressed in the Rules of Professional Conduct, however both the rules and malpractice carriers have something to say on the issue. A new online course from TennBarU explores practice management strategies to help reduce the number of non-paying clients and discusses ethical obligations for collecting fees from such clients.
Register or learn more
TBA Member Services
First Tennessee is TBA's preferred provider
First Tennessee has crafted a package of discounts to meet the specific needs of Tennessee Bar Association members. Find savings on merchant credit services, checking and savings, financial planning and more
on the TBA Web site

 
 
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