ABA president asks governor to extend moratorium

ABA president Karen Mathis today called on Gov. Phil Bredesen to extend the moratorium on the death penalty, citing a new report that details problems in the state's use of capital punishment. "This is not a system that delivers justice to the citizens of Tennessee," Mathis said.

A team of Tennessee legal experts, working under the auspices of the ABA Death Penalty Moratorium Implementation Project, reported problems that range from excessive caseloads and inadequate standards for defense counsel to racial disparities and inadequate review of death row inmates' claims of actual innocence. The team concluded that Tennessee's death penalty system is so flawed that a temporary halt in executions should be continued to permit a thorough review of every aspect of capital punishment administration in the state. Read the report and the group's specific recommendations.
TODAY'S OPINIONS
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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink

KINA NICOLE AIBANGBEE v. KENNETH OMARI AIBANGBEE

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Lorraine Wade, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kenneth Aibangbee.

Kina Nicole Aibangbee, appellee.

Judge: COTTRELL

The trial court granted a wife's petition for an order of protection against her husband. The order included a requirement that the husband pay the wife $125 bi-weekly in spousal support. The husband argues on appeal that there was no evidence in the record that the petitioner was disadvantaged or that she needed support. However, in the absence of either a Transcript of the Evidence or of a Statement of the Evidence, we must presume that the trial court received sufficient proof to justify its support order. We therefore affirm the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/aibangbeek_042307.pdf


CRYSTAL CAPITAL, LLC v. KATHERINE McMANUS BARBER

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Patricia A. McDade, Franklin, Tennessee, Thomas F. Bloom, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Katherine McManus.

Mark A. Sexton, Little Rock, Arkansas, for the appellee, Crystal Capital, LLC.

Judge: COTTRELL

The trial court refused to set aside a default judgment based upon the defendant's delay in filing a motion to set aside. Because the defendant promptly notified the court that she had a meritorious defense, because the only evidence in the record shows the defendant did not willfully ignore the action against her, because the plaintiff has failed to allege or show any prejudice that would result from setting aside the judgment, and because relief should be granted where there is any reasonable doubt that the judgment by default should be set aside, we reverse.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/crystalcaptial_042307.pdf

WILLIAM C. KOCH, JR., P.J., M.S., dissenting.
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/crystalcapitalDIS_042307.pdf


DANA NICHOLLE GRAHAM v. CHRISTOPHER CURTIS

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Clifton B. Sobel, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Dana Nicholle Graham.

J. Todd Faulkner, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Christopher Curtis.

Judge: SWINEY

Dana Nicholle Graham ("Mother") and Christopher Curtis ("Father") were divorced by the Davidson County Circuit Court which, among other things, designated Mother as the primary residential parent of the parties' minor son. Several years later, Mother filed a request pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. Section 36-5-3001 et seq., seeking to have the case transferred to the Hamilton County Circuit Court because Mother and the child had lived in Hamilton County for more than six months and because Father no longer lived in Davidson County. The Trial Court denied the request to transfer because, in the Trial Court's opinion, Mother was "forum shopping." Mother appeals claiming the Trial Court erred in not granting her request for transfer. We agree with Mother and reverse the judgment of the Trial Court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/grahamd_042307.pdf


DOUG SATTERFIELD, As Personal Representative of the Estate of Amanda Nicole Satterfield, Deceased v. BREEDING INSULATION COMPANY, INC., and ALCOA INC., f/k/a ALUMINUM COMPANY OF AMERICA

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Gregory F. Coleman, Knoxville, Tennessee, for appellant.

John A. Lucas, John T. Winemiller, Thomas Hale, and Harry Douglas Nichol, Knoxville, Tennessee, and John Charles Thomas, Hunton & Williams, LLP., Richmond, Virginia, for appellee.

Judge: FRANKS

Plaintiff's Action alleged that as a child she was exposed to her father's clothing which was contaminated in his workplace with defendant, and that defendant knew the contamination was toxic and would cause injuries. She further alleged that as a child she was exposed to her father's contaminated clothing on a regular basis, causing her terminal illness. After the Complaint was filed plaintiff died and her father was named as party-plaintiff as the personal representative of her Estate. The pleadings were amended to plead a wrongful death action. The Trial Court, responding to a Tenn. Rules Civ. P. 12 Motion, dismissed the action for failure to state a cause of action and plaintiff has appealed. On appeal, we reverse the Trial Court and reinstate the action for further proceedings.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/satterfieldd_042307.pdf


IN RE: T.B.H.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Samuel J. Harris, and Martelia T. Crawford, Cookeville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Vince Harriman.

Henry D. Fincher, Cookeville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Cynthia Ogeltree and Wayne Ogletree.

Judge: CAIN

Father filed petition to change custody four months after juvenile court awarded "full" custody of minor child to grandparents after finding the child dependent and neglected. No appeal was perfected from this order finding the child dependent and neglected. After juvenile court construed its order as having awarded grandparents permanent custody, Father dismissed his petition for change of custody and filed a Rule 60 motion to set aside the original dependency, neglect and custody order. The juvenile court denied the motion and Father appealed to this Court. We remanded the case to circuit court, which affirmed the order of the juvenile court and denied the Rule 60 motion. Father appeals. The decision of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/tbh_042307.pdf


Payroll Deduction Under Tenn. Code Ann. Section 8-23-204(a)(2) for Personal Computers Purchased Through a Tennessee State Employees' Association Program

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-04-20

Opinion Number: 07-53

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2007/ag_07-53.pdf

Whether Senate Bill 1228 is constitutional or violates any ethics laws

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-04-23

Opinion Number: 07-54

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2007/ag_07-54.pdf

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Jones to head BPR
Nancy Jones has been named the new executive director at the Board of Professional Responsibility. She is attorney with Bass, Berry and Sims and a former assistant U.S. attorney. She succeeds Lance Bracy, who announced his retirement recently.

Experts analyze Winkler trial techniques
Local experts weigh in on tactics used in Mary Winkler's murder trial and how they worked, including the "tipping point" of the trial: when Winkler held the platform shoe and the wig that she testified her husband made her wear when they had sex. Winkler was convicted of involuntary manslaughter last week, lowered from the first-degree hopes of the prosecutors.
Read more in the Jackson Sun
Will jury makeup matter in Ford case?
The way the defense and prosecution chose the jury in former Sen. John Ford's bribery trial is analyzed in today's Commercial Appeal. The jury is made up of six black and six white people, and both sides' peremptory strikes showed a preference for race: Among five jurors dismissed by the prosecution, four were black. All six jurors dismissed by the defense were white, according to strike sheets obtained by the newspaper after it filed a motion to intervene in the case.
Read the story
Agent sums up case against Ford today
FBI agent Mark Jackson was on the witness stand this morning in former Sen. John Ford's bribery trial, giving a timeline that summed up the government's case against Ford.
Read the timeline in the Commercial Appeal
Specter says Gonzales testimony 'damaging'
Sen. Arlen Specter came close to calling for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' resignation over his handling of the firing of eight federal prosecutors during an appearance on "Fox News Sunday" yesterday. The top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Specter said the attorney general's testimony to the committee last week was "very, very damaging to his own credibility" and to the Bush administration.
Read transcript of the show
Adding money to Shelby Juvenile Court problems isn't the first step
In an editorial Sunday, the Commercial Appeal urges the players in Shelby County's Juvenile Court feud to find common ground before asking the state for $6.5 million to meet the terms of a contract with the state that requires the court to collect local child support payments.
Read the editorial
Punishment fits crime in Putnam Co.
Putnam Juvenile Court Judge John Hudson ordered three teens to paint the bridge they defaced earlier this year. The two girls and one boy were caught because, among other clues, they spray-painted their names and a phone number on the bridge.
The Herald-Citizen has the story
Opinion: Davidson Co. Grand Jury does its job
As foreman of the Davidson County Grand Jury for the past three months, Nashville lawyer Justin P. Wilson explains in an editorial how the Grand Jury works. Pointing out that in many cities this "citizen gatekeeper to the criminal justice system" just doesn't work well, Wilson says in Davidson County it does.
Read
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Bredesen to speak at Knox law day event
Gov. Phil Bredesen will speak at Knoxville's annual Law Day Celebration on May 4. The event will be held at the Knoxville Hilton at 501 W. Church Ave.
Find out more or register
Film detailing 'Clinton 12' receives award
A documentary about the "Clinton 12," a less famous leg of Brown v. Board of Education, will be awarded Nashville Public Television's Human Spirit Award at the Nashville Film Festival on Wednesday. Narrated by James Earl Jones, the film centers on 12 black students who, in 1956, endured everything from hateful epithets to threats of physical violence as they walked to and from Clinton High School each day.
Read more in the Tennessean

 
 
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