Senate committee delays action on medical malpractice bill

Consideration of medical malpractice legislation was deferred again today in the Senate Judiciary Committee, as discussions among trial lawyers, health care providers and doctors continue. Other legislation did see action today, including:

-- Estate and probate legislation to treat taxation of real property transfers to trusts the same as those in estates moved out of the Tax Subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee.
-- The TBA-backed bill to address vacancies that occur when an elected judge dies before taking office passed in the House last night.
-- Legislation refining the Uniform Trust Code was recommended for adoption in both Judiciary committees.
-- A bill extending the Rule Against Perpetuities for land held in trust from 90 to 360 years and permitting self-settled spendthrift trusts passed out of the House Judiciary Committee's Civil Practice Subcommittee.

http://www.tba.org/tba_legismain.html

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

CITY OF MEMPHIS v. THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Thomas E. Hanson and Leigh H. Thomas, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lenora Armstead

Sara L. Hall, City Attorney and Elbert Jefferson, Jr., Deputy City Attorney, for the appellee, City of Memphis

Judge: FARMER

This administrative appeal arises out of the termination of Officer Lenora Armstead's (Officer Armstead) employment with the Memphis Police Department (the Department). The City took this action as a result of a public altercation between Officer Armstead and another off-duty police officer. It found that Officer Armstead had violated DR-104 Personal Conduct and terminated her employment because of this violation and other disciplinary proceedings previously brought against her. The Civil Service Commission of the City of Memphis (the Commission) reversed the City's decision to terminate her employment because it found the action to be unreasonable. The City appealed to Shelby County Chancery Court, where the chancellor reversed the Commission's decision, finding it to be arbitrary and capricious. We find that the City proved a violation of DR-104 but that the Commission's decision was supported by substantial and material evidence. We reverse and remand.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/armsteadl_031307.pdf


IN RE C.M.C., ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Robert Scott, Jacksboro, Tennessee, for the Appellant, M.L.

Robert E. Cooper, Attorney General and Reporter, and Elizabeth C. Driver, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee, Department of Children's Services

Judge: LEE

M.L. (Mother) appeals the trial court's decision terminating her parental rights. We hold that the evidence does not preponderate against the trial court's finding by clear and convincing evidence that the statutory grounds for termination found at Tenn. Code Ann. section 37-2-403(a) and section 36-1-113(g) existed, and that termination was in the best interest of the children. Consequently, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/cmc_031307.pdf


IN RE L.S.S.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Max Huff, Oneida, Tennessee, for the Appellant, M.L.S.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, and Amy T. McConnell, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee, Department of Children's Services

Judge: LEE

In this parental termination case, Father does not contest the grounds for termination, but argues that termination of his parental rights is not in the best interest of his daughter. After careful review of the evidence and applicable authorities, we hold that the evidence does not preponderate against the trial court's finding by clear and convincing evidence that termination of Father's parental rights was in the best interest of his daughter. Therefore, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/lss_031307.pdf


MARTIN MORENO v. JOSE SERVANDO RUIZ, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

W.H. Stephenson, II, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Martin Moreno

Owen R. Lipscomb, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Jose Servando Ruiz and Vincente Ruiz

Judge: COTTRELL

A small contractor entered into an oral agreement to install brick facades on new houses in a Mt. Juliet subdivision. He did brickwork on eleven houses pursuant to the agreement, and was paid in cash for the work on an irregular basis. Because he believed the other party to the agreement did not pay him in full, he walked off the job and brought suit for breach of contract. A bench trial in Circuit Court ultimately resulted in a net judgment for the plaintiff in the amount of $397.50. He argued on appeal that the evidence showed that he was entitled to receive over $10,000 on his claim. We affirm the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/morenom_031307.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DONALD MICHAEL PETTY

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Mark A. Fulks, Assistant Attorney General; Lawrence Ray Whitley, District Attorney General; Dee David Gay, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee

Robin K. Barry, Nashville, Tennessee (on appeal); Michelle H. Thompson (at trial), Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Donald Michael Petty

Judge: THOMAS

The defendant, Donald Michael Petty, was indicted on one count of possession with intent to sell or deliver a Schedule I controlled substance, one count of possession with intent to distribute a Schedule II controlled substance, and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. The defendant moved to suppress evidence resulting from the search warrant that led to the defendant's arrest. The trial court granted the motion, and the state appeals. We conclude that the motion to suppress was properly granted and affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/pettyd_031307.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MARIO PISANI

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Gerald L. Melton, District Public Defender; John Driver, Assistant District Public Defender, for the appellant, Mario Pisani

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Lawrence Ray Whitley, District Attorney General; Laurel Nutt, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee

Judge: THOMAS

The defendant, Mario Pisani, was convicted of seven counts of rape of a child, seven counts of rape, seven counts of aggravated sexual battery, eight counts of sexual battery by an authority figure, and seven counts of incest. The defendant was sentenced to an effective sentence of forty-two years in prison. The defendant appeals his convictions. We affirm the trial court's convictions and sentence.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/pisanim_031307.pdf


JAMES MARIO STARNES v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Christopher Westmoreland, Shelbyville, Tennessee, for the appellant, James Mario Starnes

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; Charles Crawford, District Attorney General; Ann Filer and Michael D. Randles, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee

Judge: WELLES

The Petitioner, James Mario Starnes, entered an open guilty plea in the Bedford County Circuit Court to attempted second degree murder and especially aggravated robbery. He received an effective sentence of twenty-five years. He subsequently petitioned for post-conviction relief. In this appeal from the denial of post-conviction relief, the Petitioner argues (1) that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel, (2) that he entered an involuntary guilty plea, and (3) that an insufficient factual basis exists for his plea. Finding no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/starnesj_031307.pdf


Assessor's Deadline for Accepting or Rejecting Amended Tangible Personal Property Schedules

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-03-12

Opinion Number: 07-27

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2007/ag_07-27.pdf

County Regulatory Authority

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-03-12

Opinion Number: 07-28

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2007/ag_07-28.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Legislative News
BPR Actions

Legal News
E-voting in TBA elections ends Thursday
Electronic voting will end Thursday (March 15) for contested positions on the TBA Board of Governors. TBA members in the Middle Tennessee Grand Division are being asked to choose between Nashville attorneys Barbara Holmes and Tim Warnock. Members in the First District face a choice between Sevierville lawyer Cynthia Richardson Wyrick and Kingsport lawyer Frank Johnstone. TBA members in these districts who do not vote electronically will receive a paper ballot that will be mailed on or before April 1.

Judge orders return of Maddox money, accountability for CEO
Saying he was "extremely troubled" by the move of $34 million out of Nashville last fall, Davidson County Circuit Judge Randy Kennedy ordered the Mississippi-based Maddox Foundation to immediately transfer the money to a financial institution that, at a minimum, has branches in Tennessee. The judge also ordered the foundation's chief executive to obtain prior approval for certain expenditures, make all financial records available to a trust firm and appear in court on possible contempt charges, reports the Commercial Appeal.
Read more
Gonzales admits firings were mishandled
U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales today acknowledged that mistakes were made and accepted responsibility for the way eight federal prosecutors were fired, but said he would not resign despite calls for his dismissal from top congressional Democrats. His comments came in the wake of new evidence that White House officials had considered such firings for some time. Justice Department officials previously maintained that the decision to fire the prosecutors was made by the department alone for performance, not political reasons.
Read more in the Herald Courier
Gonzalez aid resigns
While rejecting calls for his own resignation, Alberto Gonzales has accepted the resignation of his top aide, Kyle Sampson. Authorities said that Sampson failed to brief other Justice Department officials about discussions he had with then-White House counsel Harriet Miers about firing prosecutors. E-mail correspondence between Sampson and Miers indicate they began to consider individual U.S. attorneys for possible dismissal two years ago, the Associated Press reported today.

Bush: FBI has addressed domestic prying
President Bush said today that, "there's more work to be done," but the FBI has addressed problems that led to illegal prying into the personal information of Americans. Several weeks ago, the Justice Department's inspector general found that agents and lawyers with the bureau improperly used national security letters to get businesses to turn over customers' personal data.
Memphis News 5 has the story
Bi-lingual mediators complete training program
Twelve bi-lingual mediators recently completed an intense training program at the Lipscomb Institute for Conflict Management. Trained as part of a new pilot program, they will offer Spanish language mediation for the Davidson County General Sessions Court. Parties will be referred by the DA's office and sessions will be held at a church convenient to the Hispanic community.
Nashville's News 5 has a profile
Legislative News
Senator appeals for increased DA staffing, pay
State Sen. Randy McNally writes in the Tennessean today that staffing and pay for Tennessee's district attorneys lags far behind other states, and that the legislature needs to find money this year to better fund these critical functions.
Read his editorial
Parties agree to end driving certificates
While statehouse Republicans and Democrats agree on abolishing Tennessee's driving certificates program, a dispute over who gets the credit could jeopardize its repeal. Both sides have introduced legislation to end the program, which issues driving certificates to people without a Social Security number or proof of legal residence. But some are concerned that political wrangling may delay or scuttle chances for either bill.
The News Sentinel reports
BPR Actions
Germantown lawyer reinstated
J. Randal Tomblin was reinstated to the practice of law on Feb. 23 after paying his 2005 annual BPR fee. View a list of all attorneys suspended and reinstated for fee violations that year.
Click here

 
 
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