First legislative flurries include Tennessee Plan changes

The first of what are expected to be several bills to amend the Tennessee Plan for merit selection, evaluation and retention of judges were introduced this week. The first bill, SB171, was profiled for introduction yesterday by veteran lawmaker Senator Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge. While the bill preserves yes/no retention elections and the evaluation commission process, it proposes to replace the current selection commission with a four-person selection group elected by the Democratic and Republican caucuses in both houses. McNally's bill would also have the intermediate courts of appeal elected by grand division, rather than a statewide vote. Download McNally's bill

The other bill, HB127, was filed by freshman Rep. Mike Bell, R-Riceville. It simply abolishes the entire Tennessee Plan, meaning that judges on the Supreme Court and intermediate appellate courts would be elected in contested, partisan statewide elections. Download Bell's bill
TODAY'S OPINIONS
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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink

FRANCES BARNETT v. MILAN SEATING SYSTEMS

Court: TSC

Attorneys:

Jeffrey P. Boyd, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Frances Barnett.

P. Allen Phillips, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellee, Milan Seating Systems.

Judge: SWINEY

We accepted this appeal prior to its review by a Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel primarily to determine whether the chancery court correctly ruled that an employee is working for her "pre-injury employer" for purposes of Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-241(d)(1)(A) when the company she was working for at the time of the injury is sold to a new entity and the employee's place of work, job duties, and rate of pay with the new entity remain unchanged. We conclude that an employee is not working for her "pre-injury employer" when she returns to work and the company she was working for at the time of the injury then is purchased by a different company, and this is so even if the employee's place of work, job duties, and rate of pay remain unchanged. The judgment of the chancery court on this particular issue is, therefore, reversed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2007/barnettf_020207.pdf


DOUGLAS ELLIOTT v. RANDSTAD EMPLOYMENT SERVICES, INC., AND WARD NORTH AMERICA INSURANCE COMPANY

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

Howard R. Dunbar, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Douglas Elliott.

Douglas R. Bergeron, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Randstad Employment Services, Inc.

Judge: FORGETY

This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel in accordance to Tenn. Code Ann. Section 50-6-225 (e)(3) (2005) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The Employee appeals, claiming he is entitled to permanent, or at least temporary, benefits. We affirm the trial court's finding that the Plaintiff failed to prove a permanent injury, but we remand the case for a determination of whether any temporary total disability benefits are payable.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2007/elliottd_020207.pdf


ANNA E. GIVENS v. CLEVE MAC, INC., McDONALD'S CORP. AND WAUSAU INS. CO.

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

Harold E. Bishop, 324 North Washington St., Maryville, TN, 37804, for the Appellee, Anna E. Givens.

David C. Nagle, The Fleissner Firm, 600 Georgia Avenue, Chattanooga, TN, 37402, for the Appellants, Cleve Mac, Inc., McDonald's Corporation and Wausau Ins. Co.

Judge: FRIERSON

This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. Section 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The trial court sustained the employee's complaint by concluding that the claimant had suffered a compensable, work related injury. The court awarded benefits based upon a permanent, partial disability rating of ten (10) percent to the body as a whole. On appeal, the employer contends that the evidence does not support a determination that the employee suffered a compensable injury. The employee contends that the trial court's award of permanent, partial disability should be increased to the maximum allowed under the Act. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2007/givensa_020207.pdf


TERRY HAMBRICK v. VECELLIO & GROGAN, INC.

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

Steve C. Rose, West & Rose, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Vecellio & Grogan, Inc.

Howell H. Sherrod, Sherrod Goldstein & Lee, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Terry Hambrick.

Judge: FORGETY

This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-225 (e)(3) (2005) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The Employer appeals an order requiring it to furnish certain medical treatment for a previous injury. We Affirm in part, and Modify in part.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2007/hambrickt_020207.pdf


BILLY JOE MCKINNEY v. INLAND PAPERBOARD & PACKAGING, INC. and ACE PROPERTY AND CASUALTY

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

Angela Vincent Jones, Suite 220, 926 West Oakland Ave., Johnson City, TN, 37604, for the Appellee, Billy Joe McKinney.

J. Eddie Lauderback, P. O. Box 1160, 104 E. Main Street, Johnson City, TN, 37605-1160, for the Appellants, Inland Paperboard & Packaging, Inc. and Ace Property and Casualty.

Judge: FRIERSON

This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. Section 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The trial court sustained the employee's complaint by concluding that the claimant had suffered a compensable, work related back injury. The court awarded benefits based upon a permanent, partial disability rating of thirty-two (32) percent to the body as a whole. On appeal, the employer contends that the evidence does not support a determination that the employee suffered a compensable injury. The employer also challenges the court's determination as to the extent of vocational disability. The employee contends that the trial court's award of permanent, partial disability should be upheld. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2007/mckinneyb_020207.pdf


WANDA SPIRES v. WATSON SUPERMARKETS, INC. and THE PMA INSURANCE GROUP, THEIR WORKER'S COMPENSATION INSURANCE CARRIER

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

H. Franklin Chancey, CHANCEY, KANAVOS, LOVE & PAINTER, 166 North Ocoee Street, P. O. Box 42, Cleveland, TN, 37364, for the Appellant, Wanda Spires.

John W. Barringer, Jr., MANIER & HEROD, Suite 2200, First Union Tower, 150 Fourth Ave., North, Nashville, TN, 37219, for the Appellees, Watson Supermarkets, Inc. and The PMA Insurance Group, Their Worker's Compensation Insurance Carrier.

Judge: FRIERSON

This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. Section 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The trial court dismissed the employee's complaint. On appeal, the employee contends that the evidence supports a determination that she suffered a compensable aggravation of her preexisting degenerative disc disease. The employer contends that the trial court properly found that the employee did not sustain a compensable injury and that an award of costs, including discretionary costs, is appropriate. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2007/spiresw_020207.pdf


TINA LYNN WYATT v. IVY HALL NURSING HOME, INC.

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

Angela Vincent Jones, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Tina Lynn Wyatt.

J. Eddie Lauderback, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Ivy Hall Nursing Home, Inc.

Judge: FORGETY

This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. Section 50-6-225(e)(3) (2005) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The employee appeals from a judgment of non-compensability. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2007/wyattt_020207.pdf


THOMAS ALAN COOK v. SHERRI ANNETTE COOK

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Lee Borthick, Springfield, Tennessee, for the appellant, Sherri Annette Cook.

Christine Brasher, Springfield, Tennessee, for the appellee, Thomas Alan Cook.

Judge: CLEMENT

The mother of the parties' only child filed this post-divorce petition seeking to modify the Permanent Parenting Plan and Child Support set forth in the 2001 Final Decree of Divorce. She contends the child support award in the 2001 Final Decree of Divorce is void as against public policy because she was required to pay child support although she was the custodial parent. She requested a modification of the child support retroactive to the date of the divorce and a judgment for the arrearage. The trial court found the child support award in the Final Decree was not void, granted the mother's petition to modify child support prospectively, and ordered the father to pay $474 per month, the presumptive child support pursuant to the guidelines. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/cookt_020207.pdf


JUDY ANN PIPER v. RANDY GLENN PIPER

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Laura Y. Goodall, Gallatin, Tennessee; Robert Todd Jackson, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the appellant, Randy Glenn Piper.

Russell E. Edwards, Hendersonville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Judy Ann Piper.

Judge: CAIN

Appellant appeals the Trial Court's ruling designating Appellee as primary residential parent of the parties' two minor children. However, Appellant failed to provide the Court of Appeals with a complete record of the lower court proceedings; specifically, a transcript of a new trial on the matter was absent from the appellate record. Therefore, based upon the incomplete record, this Court cannot review the facts and must affirm the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/piperj_020207.pdf


EARNEST F. BROWN v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Dwight E. Scott, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Earnest F. Brown.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David E. Coenen, Assistant Attorney General, and Victor S. (Torry) Johnson III, District Attorney General; Pamela Anderson, Assistant District Attorney General; and Ami Eisenbeck, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

In October 2004, Petitioner, Earnest F. Brown, pled guilty to two counts of theft of property over $1,000.00, one count of burglary, two counts of burglary of a motor vehicle, and one count of assault. In exchange for his plea, the trial court sentenced Petitioner to serve two years as a Range I offender for the first conviction of theft over $1,000.00, four years as a Range II offender for the second conviction of theft over $1,000.00, two years as a Range II offender for each burglary of a motor vehicle conviction, and eleven months, twenty-nine days for the assault conviction, for a total effective sentence of fourteen (14) years, eleven (11) months, twenty-nine (29) days. In June 2005, Petitioner filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief. After appointing counsel and conducting a hearing, the post-conviction court denied Petitioner post-conviction relief. Petitioner now appeals that denial arguing that the trial court erred in denying his petition because (1) his guilty pleas were not knowingly and voluntarily entered, and (2) he did not receive effective assistance of counsel. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/browne_020207.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WILLIAM GRANVILLE HOWELL

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Daniel J. Taylor, Jackson, Tennessee, (on appeal); and Jon York, Jackson, Tennessee, (at trial), for the appellant, William Granville Howell.

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

Judge: WOODALL

Defendant, William Granville Howell, was indicted for aggravated assault. Following a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of simple assault and sentenced to serve eleven months, twenty-nine days, with the sentence suspended. On appeal, Defendant argues that his conviction should be reversed because (1) the evidence was insufficient to support a conviction of simple assault beyond a reasonable doubt; (2) the trial court erred in admitting testimony pertaining to a prior assault claim against Defendant; and (3) trial counsel was ineffective in failing to object to the admission of the prior conviction and for opening the door for introduction of this evidence. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/howellw_020207.pdf


TEDDRICK WILLIAMSON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Teddrick Willamson, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Brian Clay Johnson, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The Petitioner, Teddrick Williamson, appeals the lower court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. The State has filed a motion requesting that this Court affirm the trial court pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The Petitioner filed his petition outside the applicable statute of limitation and the petition is, therefore, time-barred. Accordingly, we affirm the court's dismissal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/williamsont_020207.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Knox Term Limits
Politics
Upcoming
Correction
Online CLE

Legal News
Bakers ask for rehearing in custody case
Attorneys for Jerry and Louise Baker today filed a petition with the Tennessee Supreme Court to rehear its adoption/termination of parental rights case. The couple also filed a petition seeking a 45-day stay. Download the petition to rehear
Download the petition for a stay
Alabama judges top nation in campaign spending
Candidates in the race for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court raised $7.3 million in direct contributions, making it the most expensive court race in America in 2006.
Read about it on AL.com
Court hears arguments in judicial nominations case
Lawyers for two rejected Tennessee Supreme Court candidates who claim they were unfairly treated because they are white asked the high court on Thursday to overturn a lower court's decision.
Read more in the Memphis Commercial Appeal
New jail, court facilities set to open
Jefferson County will unveil its new justice center this Saturday at 10 a.m. The new facility will house offices for the sheriff's department and three courtrooms for use by circuit, general sessions and juvenile courts, along with jail space for 188 inmates.
Read about it in the Citizen Tribune
Knox Term Limits
Deal offered, declined
Failed Knox County Commission nominee Jonathan Wimmer contends that he refused a trade -- his vote in exchange for an appointment -- during a backroom recess at the Wednesday meeting where 12 new county officeholders were appointed.
Read more in the Knoxville News Sentinel
Politics
Shelby races heating up
Kevin Blackwell of Southaven has announced he is running against state Sen. Merle Flowers in the Aug. 7 Republican primary. Flowers is seeking a second term. The Commercial Appeal also reports that Scott R. Ferguson has filed to run against incumbent Justice Court Judge Larry Vaughn. Vergil Whitehead also is in the race for the District 4 position.

Upcoming
Watch State of the State address online
Gov. Bredesen will present his 2007 State of the State Address to the 105th General Assembly on Monday at 6 p.m. CST. You can watch live streaming video by visiting the governor's web site.
Access streaming video
Correction
An item in Thursday's TBA Today on efforts to rename a federal building in memory of Judge Odell Horton placed the building in the wrong city. Legislation by U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., would add Horton's name to the downtown Memphis federal building named for the late Memphis Congressman Clifford Davis, who died in 1970.

Online CLE
CLE course looks at ethics of lawyer advertising
ABA and state ethics rules have not kept up with the daily challenges that the Internet presents to lawyer advertising. This TennBarU online CLE course will shed light on familiar and not-so-familiar activities regarding Internet advertising.
Learn more or sign up now

 
 
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