Memphis school claims high school mock trial title

St. Mary's Episcopal School of Memphis claimed the state mock trial title on Saturday, defeating Family Christian Academy in the 27th annual Tennessee State High School Mock Trial Competition. The St. Mary's team will now represent Tennessee at nationals in Dallas, May 10-12.

http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/news/2007/mocktrial_2007.html

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.

01 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
08 - TN Court of Appeals
06 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
05 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR

TBA members can get the full-text versions of these opinions three ways detailed below. All methods require a TBA username and password. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on-line at http://www.tba.org/getpassword.mgi

Here's how you can obtain full-text version. We recommend you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This should give you the option to download the original document. If not, you may need to right-click on the URL to get the option to save the file to your computer. Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion. Browse the Opinion List area of TBALink. This option will allow you to download the original version of the opinion.

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

SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS Grants & Denials List

Court: TSC

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2007/certlist_032607.pdf


ROBERT W. BIBLE, D/B/A CHALET VILLAGE CHALETS v. TED MULLIKIN, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Ted Mullikin, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Pro se Appellant.

Boyd W. Venable, III, Sevierville, Tennessee for the Appellee Robert W. Bible d/b/a Chalet Village Chalets.

Judge: SWINEY

Robert W. Bible d/b/a Chalet Village Chalets ("Plaintiff") sued Ted Mullikin and Ted Mullikin d/b/a Mountain Rentals of Gatlinburg ("Defendant") alleging, in part, that Defendant was in breach of a contract for the sale by Plaintiff to Defendant of Plaintiff's chalet rental business. The case was tried without a jury, and the Trial Court granted Plaintiff a judgment against Defendant for $21,931.35. Defendant appeals to this Court. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/bibler_032707.pdf


CHATTANOOGA RESTAURANT PARTNERSHIP, INC. v. CITY OF CHATTANOOGA BEER BOARD

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Kenneth O. Fritz, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellant, City of Chattanooga Beer Board.

Douglas M. Cox, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Chattanooga Restaurant Partnership, Inc., d/b/a Chattanooga Food and Drink.

Judge: SWINEY

The City of Chattanooga Beer Board (the "Beer Board") temporarily suspended for seven days the beer license issued to the Chattanooga Restaurant Partnership d/b/a Chattanooga Food and Drink, which operates a bar commonly known as "the Drink". The seven day suspension was based on a finding of two violations of Chattanooga City Code 5-48 (A). The Drink appealed the decision to the Trial Court. Following a trial de novo, the Trial Court found only one violation of the applicable ordinance and reduced the suspension to three days. The Trial Court also offered the Drink the option of paying a $1,500 fine in lieu of the suspension. The Beer Board appeals claiming the Trial Court erred in finding only one violation of the ordinance and in offering the Drink the option of paying a fine in lieu of suspension. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/chattanoogarestaurant_032607.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE, ex rel., LAJAUTA McNEIL DAUDA v. CORRY JAMAL HARRIS

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Warren A. Jasper, Assistant Attorney General for Appellant, State of Tennessee, ex rel. Lajauta McNeil Dauda

Corry Jamal Harris, Pro Se

Judge: CRAWFORD

This is a Title IV-D child support case. The Appellant State of Tennessee ex rel. LaJuanta McNeil Dauda was granted an order legitimizing the minor child and setting Appellee/Father's child support obligation going forward. Appellee/Father filed a petition to set aside paternity, which was denied. Appellee/Father's child support arrears were determined and, thereafter, the child's mother sought to have Appellee/Father's support obligation suspended and any arrears forgiven. The trial court granted the motion and the State appeals. We reverse and remand.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/daudal_032607.pdf


KEVIN WAYNE HARLESS v. HOPE ANN WELDON HARLESS

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Keith A. Hopson, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellant, Hope Ann Weldon Harless

Gregory W. Francisco, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellee, Kevin Wayne Harless.

Judge: SUSANO

Kevin Wayne Harless ("Father") filed a complaint for divorce against his wife, Hope Ann Weldon Harless ("Mother"), seeking to dissolve their marriage of some 7 years. Mother answered and filed a counterclaim. Each of the parties sought to be designated as the primary residential parent of the parties' three young daughters. A pendente lite order was entered temporarily designating Mother as the primary residential parent. Following a plenary trial, the court below announced its decision from the bench, stating it found that the children's best interest would be served by designating Father as their primary residential parent. Four months passed before a judgment was entered incorporating the trial court's oral pronouncements. Before the judgment was entered, Mother filed a petition for contempt, contending that, since the trial court had said that its decree would be effective when the final judgment was entered, Father was obligated to pay her child support for the four-month period immediately following the trial court's oral pronouncement of its decision. The trial court held that Father was under no obligation to pay child support once the court orally decreed that Father would be the children's primary residential parent. Mother appeals, claiming the evidence preponderates against the trial court's finding that it was in the children's best interest for Father to be their primary residential parent. Mother also challenges the trial court's conclusion that Father was not required to pay child support and alimony during the four-month period immediately following the court' announcement from the bench. We affirm the trial court's designation of Father as the children's primary residential parent, but reverse the court's judgment that Father was not required to pay child support for the four-month period between pronouncement of the decision and the entry of the final judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/harlessk_032607.pdf


JIMMY ALAN MURPHY, ET AL. v. LAKESIDE MEDICAL CENTER, INC.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Mark E. Whittenburg, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellants, Jimmy Alan Murphy and wife, Glenda Murphy.

Arthur P. Brock and Timothy J. Millirons, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Lakeside Medical Center, Inc.

Judge: LEE

The issue presented in this medical negligence case is whether the Plaintiffs' lawsuit was timely filed. At the request of Mr. Murphy's employer, physicians at Lakeside Medical Center (the "Medical Center") performed an annual physical examination, including a hearing test, on Mr. Murphy for over 20 years. Mr. Murphy was diagnosed with noise-induced hearing loss by an independent physician on January 21, 2004, and reported this information to his employer the next day. On February 13, 2004, Mr. Murphy obtained copies of the Medical Center's records indicating that Mr. Murphy had been experiencing hearing loss at a medically unacceptable rate for the past eight years. The Plaintiffs, Mr. Murphy and his wife, Glenda Murphy, filed their lawsuit on February 2, 2005, alleging that the Medical Center negligently failed to diagnose and treat Mr. Murphy's hearing loss over a period of several years, and that the Medical Center fraudulently concealed Mr. Murphy's hearing loss. The trial court granted the Medical Center's motion for summary judgment, finding that the Plaintiffs filed their complaint after the one-year statute of limitations had expired. After careful review, we hold that the Plaintiffs had notice of their claim no later than January 21, 2004, and their lawsuit was not timely filed. We also hold that the Plaintiff's allegation of fraudulent concealment is without merit. The decision of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/murphyj_032607.pdf


HARVEY JOE OAKES v. RHONDA GAIL OAKES

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Jennifer Austin Mitchell, Dunlap, Tennessee, for the appellant, Harvey Joe Oakes.

Cindy A. Howell, Sparta, Tennessee, for the appellee, Rhonda Gail Oakes.

Judge: SUSANO

This is a divorce case. Harvey Joe Oakes ("Husband") appeals, arguing that the trial court erred (1) in awarding Rhonda Gail Oakes ("Wife") one-half of his military disability benefits; (2) in classifying a particular vehicle as marital property; (3) by failing to make an equitable division of the parties' marital estate; (4) in awarding Wife $400 per month in rehabilitative alimony for 36 months; and (5) in awarding Wife attorney's fees. Wife contends that her alimony should be in futuro rather than rehabilitative. The trial court's award to Wife of one-half of Husband's disability benefits and its award of attorney's fees are reversed. The court's classification of the subject vehicle and the court's division of the marital estate is affirmed. The award of alimony is modified, and, as such, is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/oakesh_032607.pdf


NICHOLAS J. RENO, ET AL. v. SUNTRUST, INC., ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Marcia Meredith Eason and Robert F. Parsley, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellant, SunTrust, Inc.

Joshua H. Jenne, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Linda Reno.

Judge: LEE

This appeal presents the issue of the enforceability of an arbitration provision contained in a contract for credit life insurance. After the death of her husband, Linda Reno brought this action to enforce the credit life insurance agreement entered into between the Renos and SunTrust, Inc. that provided1 for cancellation of the Renos' mortgage debt in the event one of them died. SunTrust filed a motion to compel arbitration, which the trial court denied, finding the arbitration provision unenforceable. We hold that the arbitration agreement is supported by the parties' mutual assent, and that it is not unconscionable. We therefore vacate the trial court's judgment and remand with direction to order the parties to proceed with arbitration.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/renon_032607.pdf


IN RE T.N.L.W.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Benjamin K. Mallicote, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the Appellant, H.C.W.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, and William N. Helou, Assistant Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee, Department of Children's Services.

Judge: LEE

H.C.W. ("Mother" appeals the judgment of the trial court terminating her parental rights to her child, T.N.L.W. We hold that the evidence preponderates against the trial court's conclusion that the Tennessee Department of Children's Services ("DCS") proved by clear and convincing evidence that (1) Mother was in substantial noncompliance with the permanency plan, Tenn. Code Ann. Section 36- 1-113(g)(2); and (2) the conditions that led to the child's removal persist, and are unlikely to be remedied at an early date, Tenn. Code Ann. Section 36-1-113(g)(3)(A). We reverse the decision of the trial court and remand with instructions to dismiss the petition to terminate Mother's parental rights.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/tnlw_032607.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ROBERT JONATHAN HARRISON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Joseph T. Howell, Jackson, Tennessee, for the Defendant, Robert Jonathan Harrison.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General; James G. (Jerry) Woodall, District Attorney General; Jody S. Pickens, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: HAYES

We have granted this Rule 9 interlocutory appeal from the Chester County Circuit Court for purposes of clarifying both the appropriate procedure to be employed and the scope of discovery with regard to obtaining the records and reports of an examining psychiatrist or expert in a competency proceeding in which the mental health expert will be called as a witness. The Defendant, Robert Jonathan Harrison, is currently charged with three counts of rape, one count of rape of a child, one count of attempt to commit rape, and one count of incest. Following an evaluation by the community mental health center, Harrison was found to be competent to stand trial. A second competency evaluation was performed by a private clinical psychologist at Harrison's request, and he was found to be incompetent to stand trial. The State sought, and was granted, a judicial subpoena pursuant to the provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-17-123, directing that the clinical psychologist produce to the State "any and all records" related to the competency evaluation of Harrison. Harrison then filed a motion to quash the subpoena, which was denied by the trial court, and this appeal followed. After review, we conclude that the issuance of the judicial subpoena under the authority of Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-17-123 was error. Notwithstanding, and in the absence of any specific rule applicable to the issue presented, we hold that the rules of civil procedure provide appropriate procedures for obtaining disclosure of the information sought and properly define the scope of the discovery of the examining mental health expert. Accordingly, we reverse and remand to the trial court for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/harrisonr_032607.pdf


MICHAEL HENDERSON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Michael Henderson, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Michael Moore, Solicitor General; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The Petitioner, Michael Henderson, appeals the lower court's denial of his petition for habeas corpus 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 has failed to comply with the procedural requirements for seeking habeas corpus relief and has failed to allege any ground that would render the judgment of conviction void. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court's dismissal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/hendersonm_032607.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ALLEN RAY KENNEDY

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Donna Hargrove (at trial) and Andrew Jackson Dearing, III (at trial and on appeal), Shelbyville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Allen Ray Kennedy.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Preston Shipp, Assistant Attorney General; W. Michael McCown, District Attorney General; and Ann L. Filer and Melissa Thomas, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The appellant, Allen Ray Kennedy, pled guilty in the Lincoln County Circuit Court to three counts of aggravated assault, attempted aggravated kidnapping, attempted carjacking, carjacking, reckless endangerment, carrying a handgun with the intent to go armed, and driving on a revoked license. The trial court imposed a total effective sentence of eighteen years incarceration in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the appellant challenges the imposition of consecutive sentencing. Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we conclude that due to the trial court's errors in sentencing and its failure to make the requisite findings of fact with regard to consecutive sentencing, the case should be remanded to the trial court for a new sentencing hearing and for correction of the judgment of conviction for driving on a revoked licence.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/kennedya_032607.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ERIC MAXIE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Robert Wilson Jones, District Public Defender; and Trent Hall and Tony N. Brayton, Assistant District Public Defenders, for the Appellant, Eric Maxie.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Vanessa King, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

Indicted for rape of a child, the defendant, Eric Maxie, was convicted by a Shelby County Criminal Court jury of aggravated sexual battery. He appeals and challenges the sufficiency of the convicting evidence. Because the record supports the jury's verdict, we affirm the conviction.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/maxiee_032607.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CHRISTOPHER W. NORWOOD

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Tusca R.S. Alexis, for the appellant, Christopher Norwood.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; Ronald L. Davis, District Attorney General; Braden H. Boucek and Mary Katherine White, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: THOMAS

The defendant, Christopher W. Norwood, was convicted by a Williamson County jury of conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, a Class C felony, and evading arrest, a Class A misdemeanor. The trial court imposed a sentence of 2.7 years as a mitigated offender to be served on probation after the service of sixty days incarceration for the conspiracy offense and a concurrent sentence of eleven months and twenty-nine days for the evading arrest offense. The defendant argues on appeal that the trial court abused its discretion in denying him judicial diversion. Upon a full review of the record, arguments of counsel and applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/norwoodc_032607.pdf


WILLIAM H. STITTS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

J. Colin Morris, Jackson, Tennessee, for the Appellant, William H. Stitts.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; James G. Woodall, District Attorney General; and Alfred Lynn Earls, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

Aggrieved of his robbery convictions, the petitioner, William H. Stitts, sought post-conviction relief, which was denied by the Circuit Court of Madison County after an evidentiary hearing. On appeal, the petitioner presses his claim that appellate counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to ensure that a trial exhibit, a videotape of one of the robberies, was included in the appellate record on direct appeal. We affirm the denial of post-conviction relief.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/stittsw_032607.pdf


Worthless Checks/Contract with Private Company for Restitution and Diversion Program

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-03-22

Opinion Number: 07-31

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2007/ag_07-31.pdf

Ability of airport authority to charge parking fees to handicapped drivers

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-03-22

Opinion Number: 07-32

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2007/ag_07-32.pdf

Property Tax Relief for the Elderly

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-03-23

Opinion Number: 07-33

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2007/ag_07-33.pdf

Whether Attorney's Fees for Collecting Delinquent Taxes May Be Used for Other Purposes

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-03-23

Opinion Number: 07-34

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2007/ag_07-34.pdf

Legality of Lottery Game - Hot Trax Champions

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-03-23

Opinion Number: 07-35

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2007/ag_07-35.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Senators question Gonzales' honesty
With emails in hand that "appear to contradict" Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' earlier statements that he never participated in conversations about firing federal prosecutors, Sen. Arlen Specter suggested that if that turned out to be correct then "that's a very compelling reason for him not to stay on." Calling it a "make or break" appearance, Specter said he would wait until Gonzalez testifed before the committee April 17 before deciding whether to continue supporting the attorney general. Meanwhile, Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California and Bill Nelson of Florida said Gonzales should step down.
The News Sentinel carried this AP story
Rove pal set sights on job before it was open
Two months before the U.S. attorney in Little Rock was fired, a friend of Karl Rove was working on taking the job, internal e-mails released last week show. The evidence runs contrary to assurances from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales that no such move had been planned.
Read the story in the Commercial Appeal
State's BPR ranked 4th; group questions private sanctions
A legal consumer reform group recently ranked Tennessee fourth in the nation among states for its system of disciplining lawyers, but thought not enough of its actions were made public. Tennessee sanctions attorneys in private two times as often as it issues discipline in public, according to the advocacy group HALT, which did the rankings. Chief disciplinary counsel Lance Bracey acknowledged that "we give much more private discipline than in other jurisdictions," but said "we try to address matters while they are acorns rather than oak trees."
The Times Free Press has more
Commissioner 'forgot' to mention possible conflict
The chair of the Greene County Commission's Ethics Committee didn't disclose his attorney-client relationship with Greeneville lawyer Robert Foster when a vote about Foster came before the Ethics Committee in January. "I never even thought about it," chair Hilton Seay told The Greeneville Sun. Twice the commission voted on whether to fire Foster each time by 4-to-3 votes; both times Seay voted to keep Foster.
The Greeneville Sun has the story
Ex-Interior exec falls in Abramoff case
The former No. 2 official in the Interior Department on Friday admitted lying to the Senate about his relationship with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the Washington Post reports. Steven Griles is the 10th person -- and the second high-level Bush administration official -- to face criminal charges in the continuing Justice Department investigation into Abramoff's lobbying activities.
Read the story in the Commercial Appeal
Small town gets ready for big trial
The small Tennessee town of Selmer is bracing for what some fear will be a "media circus" when the trial of Mary Winkler begins April 9. Winkler is accused of killing her minister-husband, Matthew.
Read the story in the Tennessean
Verizon prevails over Vonage for now
A federal judge ruled Friday that internet phone carrier Vonage caused "irreparable harm" to its much-larger competitor, as part of a patent infringement case. Vonage received an injunction, then a temporary reprieve, while the relatively small company scrambled to assure its customers that there would be no service interruptions.
Read the details in the Commercial Appeal
TBA Member Services
MBNA MasterCard offers low rate
Show your TBA affiliation and get a low annual percentage rate with the TBA MBNA MasterCard.
Click here to learn more

 
 
UNSUBSCRIBE TO TBAToday? ... SURELY NOT!
But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at: http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/unsub_tbatoday.php

TBALink HomeContact UsPageFinderWhat's NewHelp
 
 
© Copyright 2006 Tennessee Bar Association