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


This is a corrected opinion.

Court: TCA


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.


Court: TCA


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.


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.


Court: TCA


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

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


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.


Court: TCA


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.


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.


Court: TCA


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.


Court: TCA


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.


Court: TCCA


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.

Application of E911 Charges to T-1 and PRI Circuits

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-03-28

Opinion Number: 07-38


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