Bredesen names McMillan top advisor, makes cabinet moves

Governor Phil Bredesen today named former House Majority Leader Kim McMillan as a senior advisor in his administration. McMillan, who served six terms in the state legislature, resigned this year and joined the Nashville law firm of Boult, Cummings, Conners & Berry. Bredesen also announced today that Department of Revenue Commissioner Loren Chumley and Department of Health Commissioner Kenneth Robinson will be leaving their posts in the new year. Read the governor's press release at:

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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink


Court: TCA


J. Timothy Street, Franklin, TN, for Appellant.

Virginia Lee Story, Franklin, TN, for Appellee.


This case involves issues arising out of the parties' divorce. The trial court divided the parties' marital assets and debts, awarded Wife alimony in futuro, and ordered Husband to pay Wife's attorney's fees. Husband challenges the award of alimony, arguing that Wife is not relatively economically disadvantaged, or alternatively, that any award should be limited to rehabilitative alimony. Husband also challenges the trial court's division of marital property and its order requiring him to pay Wife's attorney's fees. For the following reasons, we affirm.


Court: TCA


Vicky V. Klein and L. Anthony Deas, Madison, Tennessee, for Plaintiff/Appellant Penny W. Hester.

John R. Phillips, Jr., Gallatin, Tennessee, for Defendant/Appellee Harry F. Hester, Jr.

Judge: KIRBY

This is a divorce case. At the time the parties married, both worked full time. In 1994, the husband quit his job and started a business. In the early stages, the wife contributed to the business financially and performed part-time work for it as well. The business prospered and, eventually, the wife became a full-time homemaker. The parties separated and later filed for divorce. After two hearings, the trial court granted the parties a divorce, named the wife primary residential parent of the parties' minor child, ordered the husband to pay child support, divided the parties' marital estate, and awarded the wife rehabilitative alimony for seven years and alimony in solido for attorney's fees. As part of the property division, the trial court awarded the wife a substantial sum of money to be paid from the earnings of the business in monthly installments for ten years without interest. The wife appeals the division of marital property, the decision not to award post-judgment interest on the sum to be paid from the earnings of the business, and the amount and duration of the rehabilitative alimony award. We affirm.

With Concurring Opinion

Court: TCA


John C. Cavett, Jr., Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Bemis Smith.

Brad A. Lampley, Nashville, Tennessee; Peter J. Mackey, Bradenton, Florida, for the appellees, William Manful, et al.


This case involves a creditor's entitlement to a deficiency judgment after a foreclosure sale in which the creditor was the only bidder, and in which he paid considerably less for the large tract of mountaintop property than the debtor alleged it was worth. The trial court awarded the creditor's successor-in-interest a deficiency judgment of over $4 million, holding that in accordance with the rule of Holt v. Citizens Central Bank, 688 S.W.2d 414 (Tenn. 1984), the debtor should not be permitted to challenge the legal presumption that the value of the property at the time of foreclosure was equal to the sale price because there was no evidence of "irregularity, misconduct, fraud or unfairness on the part of the mortgagee." Since the Holt case did not involve a deficiency judgment, we believe it is inapplicable. After examining both the law of Tennessee and that of other jurisdictions, we conclude that the trial court should have permitted the defendant to challenge the presumption by attempting to prove that the sale price was grossly inadequate. We accordingly reverse.


JOHN RUFF v. JAMES G. NEELEY, Tennessee Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development, and EPERFORMAX, INC.

Court: TCA


John Ruff, Memphis, TN, pro se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter, Lauren S. Lamberth, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, TN, for Appellee James G. Neeley.

Eugene Stone Forrester, Jr., Memphis, TN, for Appellee Eperformax, Inc.


This case involves a claim for unemployment benefits after an employee was terminated for failing to follow company policy and refusing to follow his supervisor's instructions. A female co-worker had previously complained about the claimant's repeated attempts to ask her out on dates and several occasions when he had followed her to her car, all of which had made her uncomfortable. The claimant was suspended for two days at that time. A few months later, another female co-worker complained to her supervisor about the claimant's behavior after he continued asking her out on dates for over a month, waited for her at her car, and eventually hugged her at work after she rejected another invitation to go out with him. A meeting was held about the claimant's conduct, and his female co-worker and his supervisors asked that he agree not to communicate with the co-worker in the future. The claimant would not agree to stop contacting his co-worker, and he was terminated from his employment the next day. He filed for unemployment benefits, which were initially approved by the Department of Labor. On appeal, the Appeals Tribunal found that the claimant was disqualified from receiving benefits because he had been terminated for work related misconduct. The finding was affirmed by the Board of Review, and later by the chancery court. For the following reasons, we affirm.


Court: TCA


James P. Romer, Jamestown, Tennessee, for the appellant, F.M.S., a/k/a F.M.S.A.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, and Douglas Earl Dimond, Senior Counsel, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


Mother appeals the termination of her parental rights, contending the evidence was not clear and convincing that she abandoned her child and that termination of her parental rights is in the best interest of the child. The trial court found the mother had abandoned the child by engaging in conduct that exhibited a wanton disregard for the welfare of her child, which conduct included ingesting drugs while pregnant and while breast feeding, and the manufacture of methamphetamine in the family home. We affirm.

OPAL JEAN WOODRUFF, by and through the Guardian of Her Estate, National Bank of Commerce v. W. C. SUTTON, JR., ET AL.

Court: TCA


Brian F. Walhart, of West Memphis, Arkansas, Steven M. Markowitz, of Memphis, Tennessee, and Robert C. Banks, Jr., of West Memphis, Arkansas, for the Appellant.

Lawrence W. Kelly, of Atlanta, Georgia, for the Appellee, J. P. Morgan Chase Bank, Trustee, and Lee S. Saunders, Somerville, TN, for Appellee W. C. Sutton, Jr.


In 1997, an Arkansas state court adjudged the plaintiff/ward to be incapacitated and appointed a bank to be the conservator of her estate. The conservator bank, acting on the behalf of the incapacitated plaintiff/ward, filed a complaint in 2002 against the defendants. The plaintiff sought to set aside a quit claim deed for property located in Shelby County, Tennessee. The plaintiff/ward had executed the deed in 1996 and transferred title for the property to the defendants. The co-defendant bank, which had obtained an interest in the property through the defendants in 2002 but was not named as a defendant in the complaint, answered the complaint in 2003 and moved for a dismissal. The plaintiff sought to amend the complaint and name the bank as a co-defendant. The co-defendant bank moved to strike the amended complaint. The originally named defendants filed an answer later in 2003, and in 2004 they moved for dismissal based upon the statute of limitations. In 2005, the defendants moved for a dismissal based upon their original defenses and for the plaintiff's failure to prosecute the complaint. The plaintiff set a trial date in the chancery court, and the defendants moved to strike the trial date. The trial court held a hearing on the defendants' motions to dismiss and granted the defendants' motion for dismissal with prejudice for failure to prosecute. The plaintiff moved for reconsideration of the judgment, and the trial court denied the motion. The plaintiff filed a timely notice of appeal to this Court. We reverse and remand for further proceedings.

Domestic nonprofit water cooperative merging with or transferring assets to municipality

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-12-19

Opinion Number: 06-176

State Tax Relief Program and Exemption from Storm Water User Fees

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-12-19

Opinion Number: 06-177


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