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TODAY'S OPINIONS
Click on the category of your choice to view summaries of today’s opinions from that court, or other body. A link at the end of each case summary will let you download the full opinion in PDF format. To search all opinions in the TBALink database, go to our OpinionSearch page. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on TBALink at http://www.tba.org/getpassword.mgi.

03 - TN Supreme Court
02 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
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Editor-in-Chief, TBALink

SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS Grants & Denials List

Court: TSC

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2007/certlist_030507.pdf


CITY OF MEMPHIS, a Municipal Corporation v. THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF MEMPHIS ET AL.
Corrected Opinion


Court: TSC

Attorneys:

Thomas E. Hansom and Leigh H. Thomas, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jack Vincent.

Sara L. Hall, City Attorney, and Gerald T. Thornton and Carmalita Carletos-Drayton, Assistant City Attorneys, for the appellee, City of Memphis.

Judge: WADE

After an internal administrative hearing, the appellee, the City of Memphis ("the City"), discharged Police Officer Jack Vincent ("Vincent"), the appellant. The Civil Service Commission ("the Commission") heard Vincent's appeal, ruled that the termination was not reasonable, and ordered reinstatement with full back pay and benefits. Subsequently, the City filed a petition for writ of certiorari challenging the decision of the Commission. The Chancery Court reviewed the record and affirmed the Commission. On direct appeal, however, the Court of Appeals reversed, holding that Vincent was lawfully terminated. We granted an application for permission to appeal to ascertain whether substantial or material evidence supported the decisions of the Commission and the Chancery Court. Because it is our view that there was no substantial or material evidence supporting the reinstatement of Vincent, we affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2007/cityofmemphisCORR_030507.pdf


ROBERT DYE v. WITCO CORP. A/K/A WITCO CORPORATION ET AL.

Court: TSC

Attorneys:

Stephen F. Libby, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Robert Dye.

Kevin W. Washburn, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, Witco Corp. a/k/a Witco Corporation, Witco Chemical Corp. a/k/a Witco Chemical Corporation, Old Republic Insurance Company, Wausau Insurance Company, and RISKO Claims Management.

Judge: HOLDER

The trial court granted summary judgment to the employer in this workers' compensation case, finding that the statute of limitations bars the employee's claim and that the savings statute provides no relief to the employee. We hold that the employee's complaint for workers' compensation benefits is barred by the statute of limitations. We further hold that the employee failed to file his complaint within the time allowed by the savings statute. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court's grant of summary judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2007/dyer_030507.pdf


MICHAEL SHANE BOST v. STAN McNABB CHEVROLET-OLDS-CADILLAC, INC. ET AL.

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

Donald D. Zuccarello, Carey E. Kefauver, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael Shane Bost.

Andrew C. Rambo, Shelbyville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Stan McNabb Chevrolet-Olds- Cadillac, Inc., and Brentwood Services.

Judge: SHIPLEY

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) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. In this appeal, the employee Michael Shane Bost argues that the trial court erred in denying him benefits based on his failure to comply with the notice provisions of the Workers' Compensation Law, Tenn. Code Ann. Section 50-6-201 (Supp. 2003). We agree. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand this matter for entry of a judgment awarding the benefits due employee.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2007/bostm_030507.pdf


JANET A. RHOADY v. BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE, INC.

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

B. Timothy Pirtle, McMinnville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc.

Henry D. Fincher, Cookeville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Janet A. Rhoady.

Judge: SHIPLEY

This worker's compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. In this appeal, the appellant employer asserts that the evidence preponderates against the trial court's award to the employee of a 39% permanent partial disability to the body as a whole, asserting that the impairment resulted from a pre- existing condition. The appellant also contests the lump-sum award to the employee of $85,000.00, asserting that the appellant employer has a companion disability program. We conclude that the findings of the trial judge should be affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2007/rhoadyj_030507.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DAVID LYNNON ALFORD

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

J. Liddell Kirk, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, David Lynnon Alford.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Mike Flynn, District Attorney General and Ellen Berez, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

The defendant's probation officer obtained a probation violation warrant alleging that the defendant failed to provide his probation officer a valid address, failed to report to his probation officer, failed to pay court costs and failed to enter and complete ETHRA Domestic Violence Class. Following a hearing, the trial court revoked the defendant's probation and ordered him to serve his originally- imposed eleven-month, twenty-nine-day sentence with a release eligibility of thirty-five percent. We have reviewed the record on appeal and affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/alfordd_030507.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DARRIN TONI WEBB

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Howell G. Clements, Chattanooga, for the appellant, Darrin Toni Webb.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, III, District Attorney General; and Neal Pinkston, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

The Defendant, Darrin Toni Webb, pled guilty in the Hamilton County Criminal Court to bribery of a public servant. Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court imposed a ten-year sentence as a Range III, persistent offender. On appeal, the Defendant argues that (1) the trial court erred in relying on Georgia convictions as prior felonies in order to classify him a Range III, persistent offender, (2) the trial court erred by ordering his sentence to be served consecutively to a prior federal sentence, and (3) his sentence amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. Although consecutive sentencing was proper and the Defendant's sentence did not amount to cruel and unusual punishment, we must nonetheless reverse and remand the case to the trial court for resentencing because the record does not support the trial court's finding that the Georgia convictions qualified as prior felonies for range classification purposes.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/webbd_030507.pdf


Constitutionality of restriction on political activity of election commissioners

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-03-01

Opinion Number: 07-23

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2007/ag_07-23.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Passages
Upcoming
TBA Member Services

Legal News
New use for Sarbanes-Oxley? Lawyer indicted for destroying client evidence
A Connecticut lawyer accused of destroying a client's laptop after the client, a church music director, was charged with having images of child pornography on the computer, may be prosecuted using the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. "Every criminal defense lawyer in the country has to be alarmed at the indictment," said New York University law professor Stephen Gillers.
The Kingsport Times-News carried this AP story
Fired U.S. attorney gets apology from senator
New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici apologized Sunday for calling a federal prosecutor to ask about a criminal investigation, even though last week Domenici denied knowledge of the call. The prosecutor, David Iglesias, was fired by the Justice Department in December. Iglesias said he believes he was dismissed for resisting pressure from two members of Congress before last year's election to rush indictments in a Democratic kickback investigation. He is one of eight U.S. attorneys fired in December, some without cause, according to the department.
The Knoxville News Sentinel has this AP story
Civil rights era case closed after 52 years
Some are asking if nothing has changed in Mississippi in the last 52 years, since the case of the 1955 murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till was closed last week. But others say it's a sign of maturing of racial justice in this part of the South. "If the grand jurors had acted on the basis of hate, not evidence," District Attorney Joyce Chiles says, that would have been more like the Jim Crow justice of 1955." Instead, everyone involved had to agree that the evidence to indict was just not there.
Read about it in the News Sentinel
Congress holds out on courthouse funding
A new federal courthouse scheduled to begin construction this fiscal year in Nashville has been put on hold pending funding approval from Congress. Now, the earliest start date for construction is estimated to be fiscal year 2008, with completion in 2011.
The Tennessean reports
Arrested but not convicted -- should names be reported?
A deal that was cut between Davidson County and state law-enforcement agencies more than 30 years ago, agreeing not to announce the names of people arrested until after a conviction in court, is in the spotlight. U.S. Magistrate Judge John S. Bryant urged U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger to force Metro and the state to abide by the agreement, prompting Metro officials and The Tennessean to file formal objections with the court on Friday afternoon. In July, Vanderbilt University law professor James Blumstein, who represented the plaintiff "John Doe" in the case more than three decades ago, asked a federal judge to force Metro and the state to abide by the deal. Blumstein argued that there must be a balance between informing the public and harming people who are innocent until proven guilty.
The Tennessean has more
Passages
Chattanooga lawyers memorialized
The Chattanooga Bar Association held its annual memorial service this morning with The Hon. L. Marie Williams presiding. Nine local attorneys who died in 2006 were honored with resolutions written about their lives. A copy of each resolution is filed in the archives of the Chattanooga Bar Association and enrolled in the Memorial Resolution Book of the Circuit and Chancery Courts of Chattanooga.

The lawyers honored were Hon. H. L. Smith, David Harrod, John T. Fort, Hon. Campbell Carden, Stuart E. Duncan, William L. Frierson, William Ragland, William B. Taylor Jr., Fount Love Jr. and Benjamin Lawson Hill III.

Upcoming
Minority law student reception
The Knoxville Bar Association sponsors a minority law student reception tomorrow, March 6, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the East Tennessee Historical Society (601 S. Gay St.). To RSVP, contact the KBA at 865-522-6522. The event is a project of the KBA Minority Opportunities Committee.

Consumer rights, wills, subjects of seminars
Seminars on consumer rights and estate planning, part of the Knoxville Bar Association's Community Law School, will be later this month. Courses are taught by area lawyers and are free and open to the public. Read more about the classes in
the Knoxville News Sentinel
TBA Member Services
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