Sampson testifies Gonzales was part of firing process

Kyle Sampson, who quit earlier this month as Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' chief of staff, told the Senate Judiciary Committee this afternoon that Gonzales was involved in the highly publicized firings of eight federal prosecutors. "The decision makers in this case were the attorney general and the counsel to the president," he told the committee, referring to Gonzales and then-White House counsel Harriet Miers. Gonzales had said on March 13 that he did not participate in discussions or see any documents about the firings. Sampson also dismissed assertions by Democrats that the firing came about because of political pressure, saying that the prosecutors were fired because they did not sufficiently support President Bush's priorities. Read the Associated Press report in the Knoxville News Sentinel
TODAY'S OPINIONS
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E.J. BERNARD, ET AL. v. METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY

This is a corrected opinion.


Court: TCA

Attorneys:

David L. Raybin, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, E.J. Bernard and Edward Michael Shea.

Francis H. Young, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County.

Judge: CAIN

Two former police officers sought several tangible benefits of retirement guaranteed by Metro ordinances and police department policies. The officers requested such benefits and were denied, the Deputy Chief of Police citing a lack of good standing, as required by the ordinances, as the reason. The officers filed a declaratory judgment action. Metro filed a motion to dismiss asserting that a common law writ of certiorari should have been filed instead. The trial court granted the motion to dismiss. We reverse and remand.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/bernardeCORR_032907.pdf


JIM BESON, ET AL. v. THE GUARDIAN WARRANTY CORPORATION

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Christopher V. Sockwell, Ryan P. Durham, Lawrence, Tennessee, for the appellant, The Guardian Warranty Corporation.

Johnny D. Hill, Jr., Fayetteville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Jim Beson and Dwayne Pierce and Darlene Pierce d/b/a R & D Truck Sales.

Judge: COTTRELL

A company that sells warranties on used cars appeals trial court's judgment finding that truck repairs are covered by its warranty, alleging inter alia that the owner suffered no injury and the warranty excluded these particular repairs. We hold that the damaged engine parts were "covered components," the damage was not caused by the failure of a non-covered component, and the warranty company's denial of coverage did not relieve it of liability. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court and remand for specific modifications in the judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/besonj_032907.pdf


CAROLYN JOHNSON CLARK v. TIMOTHY S. FOURNET

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Wm. Kennerly Burger, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant Carolyn Johnson Clark.

Daniel H. Rader, III, Cookeville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Timothy S. Fournet.

Judge: COTTRELL

A plaintiff appeals the dismissal of her action by the trial court and argues that her filing of a complaint reflecting an old docket number complied with the saving statute, Tenn. Code Ann. Section 28- 1-105(a), and with Tenn. R. Civ. P. 3. Because we find no authority for limiting the availability of the saving statute on the basis of the file number or docket number assigned, we reverse.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/clarkc_032907.pdf


HILLOAK REALTY COMPANY v. LOREN L. CHUMLEY, COMMISSIONER OF REVENUE FOR THE STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter, and Joe C. Peel, Senior Counsel, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Loren L. Chumley, Commissioner of Revenue for the State of Tennessee.

Steven E. Schmidt and Rebecca B. Murray, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Hilloak Realty Company.

Judge: SUSANO

Hilloak Realty Company, a Tennessee limited partnership, was organized in 1984. Promptly following its organization, the company purchased an apartment complex in Oak Ridge. The purchase was financed by a loan secured by a mortgage on the property. Over the years, Hilloak took deductions on its yearly federal income tax return representing depreciation of the improvements on the property. These deductions resulted in a corresponding reduction in Hilloak's basis in the property for federal income tax purposes. Prior to 1999, limited partnerships in Tennessee were not subject to the Tennessee Franchise and Excise Tax; hence, Hilloak's depreciation on its federal returns was of no benefit to the company as far as a tax liability to the State of Tennessee is concerned. This changed in 1999 when, by legislative enactment, Tennessee limited partnerships became subject to the Tennessee tax. When, in 2003, Hilloak found it necessary to transfer title to the property to the mortgage holder in return for cancellation of the underlying indebtedness, the Commissioner of Revenue for the State of Tennessee assessed Hilloak for excise taxes on the "sale" based upon the company's "federal" depreciated basis in the property. The trial court, in response to a complaint filed by Hilloak against the Commissioner, held, on the issue of Hilloak's liability for excise taxes predicated upon the transfer to the mortgage holder, that T.C.A. Section 67-4-2006(b)(2)(C) permitted Hilloak to increase its depreciated basis in the property by the amount of the pre-1999 depreciation deductions taken pursuant to federal law for which no Tennessee benefit accrued to Hilloak. The court's ruling resulted in no excise taxes being due. The Commissioner appeals. The issue on appeal is whether Hilloak is required to utilize its "federal" basis in the property in determining if it is obligated to pay state excise taxes as a result of the "sale" of the property. We hold that Hilloak's basis for excise tax purposes is different from its "federal" basis. Accordingly, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/hilloak_032907.pdf


INTERMODAL CARTAGE COMPANY, INC. v. TIMOTHY CHERRY, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

James M. Simpson, Heather W. Fletcher, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Intermodal Cartage Company, Inc.

Fred Steltemier, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellee, Timothy James Cherry.

Michael G. Derrick, R. Joseph Leibovich, for the appellee, Delta Depot/Delta Express, LLC.

Robert T. Vaughn, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Charles Pate.

John M. Cannon, Goodlettsville, Tennessee, for the appellees Dennis Etheridge and Gregory Zirock.



Judge: CAIN

This case concerns an employment agreement entered into by employees of a company. The employment agreement contained provisions against solicitation and competition. Four employees who signed the agreement later left the company and went to work for one of its main competitors. The company leveled numerous allegations against the four employees and their new employer, including breach of the employment agreement, breach of duty of loyalty, unlawful inducement of breach of contract, and tortious interference with contractual relations and business relations. The trial court granted summary judgments in favor of the four employees and their new employer. The judgment of the trial court is reversed and the case remanded for further proceedings.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/intermodal_032907.pdf


LARRY D. PITTENGER, ET AL. v. RUBY TUESDAY, INC.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Steven E. Sager, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Larry D. Pittenger and Lucy Pittenger.

Paul M. Buchanan, Julie B. Peak, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Ruby Tuesday, Inc.

Judge: CAIN

Restaurant patron and wife filed negligence and negligence per se action against restaurant for injuries patron received to his ankle while attempting to open restaurant door for wife. Restaurant filed motion for summary judgment, which trial court granted dismissing all of Plaintiffs' claims. Plaintiffs appealed. We affirm the decision of the trial court, finding that (1) Plaintiffs failed to show that restaurant breached any duty to patron; and (2) Plaintiffs failed to establish that the building code imposed an obligation on Defendant.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/pittengerl_032907.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TROY WAYNE RUTLEDGE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Clifton Corker, Johnson City, Tennessee, for appellant, Troy Rutledge.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Greeley Wells, District Attorney General; and Teresa Smith, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

The defendant's probation officer entered a probation violation warrant for receiving a speeding ticket, committing the offense of allowing dogs to run at large, failing to report a citation for driving on a suspended license and failing to present his probation identification card.1 Following a hearing, the trial court revoked the defendant's probation and ordered him to serve his originally-imposed sentence for possession of marijuana for re-sale and money laundering. We have reviewed the record on appeal and affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/rutledget_032907.pdf


Application of E911 Charges to T-1 and PRI Circuits

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-03-28

Opinion Number: 07-38

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2007/ag_07-38.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legislative News
Legal News
TBA Member Services

Legislative News
Legislative action heating up
Committee calendars are filling up as the Tennessee General Assembly moves into the heart of the current session. Despite the logjams, the medical torts issue took a big step forward, and several pieces of TBA-backed legislation moved ahead.
Read the full legislative update
Cooper's DUI may change status of bond in fraud case
State Sen. Jerry Cooper had remained free without posting bond money while awaiting a federal fraud trial when he was charged with drunk driving in February. As a result, Cooper could face new bond restrictions, which might be decided today.
WSMV has the story
Legal News
Judge says no to DNA request
Criminal Court Judge John Colton Jr. today denied a request for DNA testing by a Millington-area man convicted and sentenced to death for two 1987 stabbing deaths. Colton said the strength of other evidence pointing to Pervis Payne's guilt, including his crime-scene fingerprints and his own testimony, shows there is little likelihood that he would not have been convicted even if blood tests did not link him to the crime.
The Commercial Appeal has the story
Nonviolent fugitives could go to church to be booked
In an editorial today, the Tennessean advocates that Nashville should try a program called Operation Fugitive Safe Surrender, where nonviolent offenders with outstanding warrants could be booked at local churches, where they would get a new court date and could go free without bond.
Read the editorial
Vanderbilt's first black law students to be honored
Columnist Dwight Lewis writes about the first two black students to enter Vanderbilt University Law School -- enrolling four years before the famous civil rights sit-ins in Nashville -- making it the first law school at a private higher education institution in the South to integrate. The two men, Frederick Taylor Work and Edward Melvin Porter, will be back at Vanderbilt on Friday to be honored and discuss their experiences.
Read the editorial in the Tennessean
Vanderbilt prof appointed to Civil Rights panel
Vanderbilt professor of law Carol Swain has beenapponted to serve on the Tennessee Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights.
Read more
TBA Member Services
The disciplinary process explained; now all in one place
Learn about the attorney disciplinary process in Tennessee through a 14-month series of Tennessee Bar Journal articles now available in one convenient online location. Writer Stacey Shrader outlines the details of disbarments, suspensions, censures, disability inactive status, admonitions, reprimands, reciprocal discipline and more in this primer on attorney discipline.
Access the articles here

 
 
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