TBA Board picks nominees to Judicial Evaluation Commission, selections for Court of Judiciary
The Tennessee Board of Governors meeting Saturday in Dandridge selected three members -- one from each grand division -- to serve on the Tennessee Court of the Judiciary. Chosen for four-year terms were: David Cook of The Hardison Law Firm in Memphis; Mary Martin Schaffner of Howell & Fisher in Nashville, and Pamela Reeves of Anderson, Reeves & Herbert in Knoxville. The Court of the Judiciary hears matters under the Code of Judicial Conduct.
The Board of Governors also chose three nominees for a position on the Tennessee Judicial Evaluation Commission. These three nominees -- one from each grand division -- will be submitted to House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh, who will appoint one for a six-year term. Those chosen as nominees were: Ardena Garth, the 11th Judicial District Public Defender in Chattanooga; Antonio Matthews of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz in Memphis and Susan McGannon, city attorney for the City of Murfreesboro. The evaluation commission issues the evaluation reports in appellate retention elections.
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Howard H. Vogel
SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS Grants & Denials List
KEITH ALAN JORDAN v. QW MEMPHIS CORP., QUEBECOR WORLD DICKSON, INC., AND TRAVELERS INDEMNITY COMPANY OF ILLINOIS
Lee Anne Murray, Feeney & Murray, P.C., Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Quebecor Printing, Inc. and Traveler's Property Casualty.
Ann Buntin Steiner, Law Offices of Steiner & Steiner, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Keith Alan Jordan.
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated Section 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The trial court found that the employee had suffered a work-related back injury and awarded the employee permanent partial disability benefits of 57.5% to the body as a whole. The employer appeals, contending that the employee's back problems did not arise out of his employment. We affirm the trial court.
LINDA BUSH v. ADWORKS ADVERTISING OUTDOOR, LLC
Robert A. McLean, Memphis, Tennessee, for Petitioner/Appellant Linda Bush.
Robert E. Craddock, Jr., and Kristen Mistretta Wilson, Memphis, Tennessee, for
Respondent/Appellee Adworks Advertising Outdoor, LLC
This is a property case involving a restrictive covenant. The homeowners in a subdivision entered
into a restrictive covenant agreement with the original developer of a tract of land directly across the
highway from the residential subdivision. The restrictive covenant prohibits the use of the
developer's property for "billboards . . . not in place on December 1, 1995." On December 1, 1995,
three billboard structures existed on the burdened property. Years later, the defendant billboard
company purchased easements in the three billboard sites and the existing billboard structures were
removed. The defendant billboard company then erected three new billboard structures.
Subsequently, the plaintiff homeowner in the subdivision filed the instant lawsuit for injunctive and
declaratory relief, alleging that the defendant billboard company's placement of new billboard
structures on the burdened property constituted a violation of the restrictive covenant. The parties
filed cross-motions for summary judgment. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of
the defendant billboard company, and the plaintiff homeowner now appeals. We affirm, finding that
the language of the restrictive covenant is unambiguous, and that it restricts only the use of the
burdened property, limiting the use to the number of billboards on the property as of December 1,
IN RE CHELBIE F.
Charles G. Wright, Jr., Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kenneth F.
Trisha L. Henegar, Shelbyville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Anita G. and Gary G.
This appeal involves the termination of the parental rights of the biological father of a nine-year-old
girl. The child's parents never married and eventually went their separate ways. The mother and
her family wanted little to do with the father, and for approximately seven years the father neither
visited nor financially supported the child. The father eventually filed a petition in the Chancery
Court for Hamilton County seeking to establish visitation and support. This proceeding was
preempted when the mother and her husband filed a petition in the Chancery Court for Bedford
County to terminate the father's parental rights and to enable the mother's husband to adopt the
child. Following a bench trial, the trial court in Bedford County found that the father had abandoned
his daughter by willfully failing to support or visit her and that terminating the father's parental
rights was in the child's best interests. The father has appealed. We have determined that the
mother and the stepfather have failed to present clear and convincing evidence that the father has
abandoned the child in light of the fact that he was actively pursuing a judicial resolution of
visitation and support issues during the four months immediately preceding the filing of the
JOSEPH C. CURTSINGER, JR., M.D. v. HCA, INC., ET AL.
Matthew B. Zenner, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Joseph C. Curtsinger, Jr., M.D.
C.J. Gideon, Timothy McIntire, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, HCA Health Services of
Tennessee, Inc. d/b/a Southern Hills Medical Center, Victor E. Giovanetti, Joseph A. Wieck, M.D.,
and Malcolm E. Baxter, M.D.
Surgeon filed action against hospital and other related persons and entities seeking injunctive relief
and monetary damages for the allegedly improper revocation of his hospital privileges and the false
reporting of such to the State Medical Board and the National Practitioner Data Bank. The trial court
granted Defendants partial summary judgment on all monetary claims asserted by surgeon pursuant
to the Health Care Quality Improvement Act (HCQIA) and the Tennessee Peer Review Law. Having
found that surgeon failed to show by a preponderance of the evidence that Defendants did not satisfy
the four prong test for immunity provided under HCQIA, we affirm the decision of the trial court in
FRANK T. DALTON v. LORIANN DEUEL
Loriann Deuel, appellant, pro se.
Chad A. Massey, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for appellee, Frank T. Dalton.
Loriann Deuel appeals an order of the Rutherford County Circuit Court ("the trial court"). The trial
court held that it did not have jurisdiction to hear an appeal from an order of the juvenile court
domesticating a foreign judgment pertaining to the custody of and visitation with the minor child of
the parties. It dismissed Ms. Deuel's appeal. Before us, she argues that the trial court erred in failing
to grant her motion that the appeal be transferred to the Court of Appeals. We conclude that the trial
court erred in failing to grant the motion. Accordingly, we vacate the order of the trial court and
remand for further proceedings pursuant to T.C.A. Section 16-4-108(a)(2) (1994).
DAMON FIERRO v. MELITA FAE FIERRO
Larry Hayes, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Damon Fierro.
William Kennerly Burger, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellee, Melita Fae Fierro.
In this appeal involving a marriage of a relatively short duration, the husband contends the trial court
erred by not dividing the property in a way that, as nearly as possible, placed the parties in the same
position they would have been in had the marriage never taken place. He also contends the wife
dissipated the marital property to pay off her student loans. The trial court made a specific finding
that the property had been transmuted in such fashion as to make it impossible to put the parties back
in the same position they were in at the time of the marriage. The court also stated that it took into
consideration the wife's use of marital property to pay off her student loans as it allocated the few
marital assets that remained at the time of the divorce. We have concluded the evidence does not
preponderate against the trial court's findings and, therefore, affirm.
GIRTMAN & ASSOCIATES, INC. v. STEPHEN ST. AMOUR, ET AL.
Phillip Byron Jones, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Girtman & Associates, Inc.
Gregory L. Cashion, S. Joseph Welborn, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Stephen St. Amour,
and Isenhour Door Products, Inc.
A commercial dealer in doors and associated hardware sued a former employee for breach of a noncompete
agreement. The dealer asked the court to award it either injunctive relief or liquidated
damages in the amount of $321,500. After a bench trial the trial court concluded that the noncompete
agreement was unenforceable under the circumstances and dismissed the claim for
liquidated damages. The court did, however, award the plaintiff nominal damages of $200 on its
claim of unfair competition based on use of a proprietary form, as well as punitive damages of
$3,000 on the same claim. The dealer appealed. We affirm the trial court.
PAUL L. IVY v. TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION, ET AL.
Paul L. Ivy, pro se Appellant.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Bradley
W. Flippin, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Tennessee
Department of Correction.
While an inmate at the South Central Correctional Facility ("SCCF"), Paul L. Ivy was found guilty
by the prison disciplinary board of possession of security threat group ("STG") material. Mr. Ivy
challenged the conviction by filing a petition for writ of certiorari in the Wayne County Chancery
Court. The Tennessee Department of Correction ("TDOC") filed a motion to dismiss, which was
granted by the trial court. After careful review, we vacate the judgment of the trial court and remand
for entry of an order granting Mr. Ivy's writ of certiorari.
KENNETH JONES v. TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION
Kenneth A. Jones, Whiteville, Tennessee, Pro Se.
Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; and Arthur Crownover II, Senior Counsel, for
the appellee, Tennessee Department of Correction.
An inmate appeals the Chancery Court's dismissal of his Petition for Writ of Certiorari based on
improper venue and the court's decision to not transfer the case to the proper venue. Finding that
the Chancery Court did not abuse its discretion, we affirm.
ELAINE M. LARSON, ET AL. v. TOMMY HALLIBURTON
Hugh Green, Lebanon, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tommy K. Halliburton.
Debra L. Dishmon, Lebanon, Tennessee, for the appellees, Elaine M. Larson and Larry J. Larson.
Grandparents filed petition for contempt against Father for willfully denying Grandparents their
court-ordered summer visitation and weekend visitation with grandchildren. Grandparents also
requested a mental evaluation and counseling for both Father and the minor children. The trial court
found Father in criminal contempt and ordered that the eldest child, B.H., undergo counseling.
Father appeals arguing that the trial court erred in (1) holding him in criminal contempt of court and
entering sanctions against him; and (2) ordering B.H. to undergo counseling. The judgment of the
trial court is vacated in part, affirmed in part and remanded.
ANTHONY ROBERTSON v. SHERIFF NORMAN LEWIS, CPT. TACKETT, LT. ARMSTRONG, SGT. WYNNE
Anthony Robertson, Clarksville, Tennessee, pro se.
Mark Nolan, Clarksville, Tennessee, for Appellees.
THE TENNESSEAN, ET AL. v. TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF PERSONNEL, ET AL.
Alfred H. Knight, Alan D. Johnson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, The Tennessean and
Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General, Janet
M. Kleinfelter, Senior Counsel, for the appellees, Tennessee Department of Personnel, Deputy
Commissioner Nathaniel E. Johnson and Assistant Commissioner and General Counsel Kae
The Tennessean and one of its reporters requested employment harassment investigation files from
the Department of Personnel pursuant to the Public Records Act. The Department withheld selected
documents claiming that they were protected by the attorney client privilege and/or work product
doctrine and, therefore, exempt from the Act's disclosure requirements. The Tennessean and its
reporter petitioned the Chancery Court to require disclosure under the Act. The trial court found the
selected documents were protected by the attorney client privilege and/or work product doctrine.
JAMIE LOU HANELINE v. STATE OF TENNESSEE
Lloyd R. Tatum, Henderson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jamie Lou Haneline.
Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Assistant Attorney General;
Hansel Jay McCadams, District Attorney General; and Jerry W. Wallace, Assistant District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
The petitioner, Jamie Lou Haneline, appeals the Decatur County Circuit Court's denial of his petition
for post-conviction and error coram nobis relief. He contends that he is entitled to post-conviction
relief because he received the ineffective assistance of counsel and that he is entitled to error coram
nobis relief based upon newly discovered evidence. Upon review of the record and the parties'
briefs, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.
| Election Notice
Knox Term Limits
TBA Member Services
|TBA election deadline Tuesday
|Tennessee Bar Association election ballots must be turned in by the close of business tomorrow. Tim Warnock and Barbara Holmes are running for Middle Tennessee governor, and Cindy Wyrick and Frank Johnstone are competing for 1st district governor. Members in those two districts who did not vote electronically received paper ballots. Those ballots must be returned to the office of the TBA auditors by the close of business May 1.
|See more election information
|Newspaper calls for Gibson's resignation
|The Cookeville Herald-Citizen says it is time for suspended District Attorney Bill Gibson to resign. In its editorial, the paper cited last week's action by the Board of Professional Responsibility, which denied Gibson's request for reinstatement. The hearing panel said he "is either willing to lie under oath to protect himself or lacks even a rudimentary understanding of his ethical responsibilities as a lawyer."
|Read the editorial
|Court adopts new standard on patent litigation
|In a major patent law development, the Supreme Court today adopted a new, flexible standard that will make it easier for patents to be denied or challenged on the grounds that the invention at issue is too obvious to deserve patent protection.
|Read more on LegalTimes.com
|Winkler grandparents move for adoption, lawyers seek diversion for Mary
|The parents of murder victim Matthew Winkler have filed a petition in Chancery Court to terminate Mary Winkler's parental rights and to adopt
their grandchildren. Mary Winkler was convicted recently of voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of her minister husband. The documents in the case will remain closed, by statute, according to Administrative Office of the Courts spokeswoman Sue Allison.
The sentencing hearing for Mary Winkler will not be on May 18 as scheduled. It will be reset because of an attorney scheduling conflict. Winkler's lawyers have requested judicial diversion, which could result in
allowing Winkler to serve her sentence on probation and possibly expunge the conviction from her record.
|Read more in the Tennessean
|Sheriff asks for more staff, explains why
|Bradley County Sheriff Tim Gobble explains in an opinion piece why he wants more money to increase staffing at the county jail.
|Read it in the Cleveland Daily Banner
|NBA announces executive director opening
|The Nashville Bar Association is looking for an executive director to lead the 3,000-member association. Deadline to apply is June 1. Read the job description
or apply online using
|A real sleeper: Supreme Court takes cases on the road
|The state Supreme Court's SCALES program went to Montgomery County Friday, listening to arguments in several real cases that were observed by high school students. After the session, students were allowed to ask the justices questions, which many did, although many others were spied -- by the bailiff and justices themselves -- sleeping during the cases.
|The Leaf-Chronicle has more
|2nd Circuit judges honored with portraits
|A portrait presentation of former Second Circuit Court judges will be May 3 at 3 p.m. at the Historic Courthouse in Nashville.
The ceremony will be followed by the re-dedication of the courthouse.
Portraits to be presented are of Claude Waller (1895-1896), John W. Childress (1896-1902), J. A. Cartwright (1902-1908), Marcus Meeks (1908-1918) and Marietta Shipley (1990-2006).
|Knox Term Limits
|Group will study government structure, recommend what to do
|A group calling itself
"Knox County: One Question" unveiled plans last week to examine the county government structure and eventually make recommendations to local government and community leaders.
"This is an historic occasion for Knox County, said former UT President Joe Johnson, who chairs the steering committee. "The Supreme Court decision gives us an opportunity to look at Knox County government and how it works."
|Read more in the News Sentinel
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