Election: Holmes, Johnstone new TBA board members

Barbara Holmes of Harwell, Howard, Hyne, Gabbert & Manner in Nashville and Frank Johnstone of Wilson, Worley, Moore, Gamble & Stout in Kingsport have won seats on the TBA Board of Governors. Holmes, a 1986 graduate of Vanderbilt Law School, takes the Middle Grand Division Governor seat. Johnstone, who graduated in 1978 from Duke School of Law, assumes the TBA First District Governor position. Tim Warnock vied for the Middle Tennessee post while Cynthia Wyrick made the run for the TBA First District Governor position in the just-completed election.

Fifty-two percent of members in the First District cast ballots and 38 percent in the Middle Tennessee division took part in the election. More than 57 percent of votes were cast electronically.
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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink


Court: TWCA


David C. Nagle, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and Jackson Manufacturing Company.

Jimmy Bilbo, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellee, Bobby Chris Couch.


This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Tennessee Supreme Court in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court findings of fact and conclusions of law. Bobby Chris Couch was injured within the course and scope of his employment when he fell while unloading a truck. During the fall he caught his right leg between the truck and the loading dock. This resulted in a crushing injury to the right leg and a back sprain. Mr. Couch filed a complaint seeking to recover workers' compensation benefits for permanent partial disability to his leg and back. The trial court awarded 5% partial disability to the lower extremity. However, the court found no permanent impairment to the back. The court's final order required the employer to be responsible for future medical benefits for the leg and back injury. The employer has appealed only the award of future medical benefits for the back injury claiming that the trial court erred in making such an award when there was no expert medical proof of either permanent impairment or work limitations for the back injury. After review we affirm the trial's court findings.



Court: TWCA


Daniel T. Swanson, Knoxville, TN, for the Appellant, Patsy Diane Ownby.

John P. Dreiser, Knoxville, TN, for the Appellee, Marriott Hotel Services, Inc., d/b/a Marriott Business Services.


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 to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. In this appeal, the employer asserts that the trial court erred in finding that the employee's injury, caused by a fall in the workplace, arose from her employment. We agree with the findings of the trial court and in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-225(e)(2) affirm the judgment of the trial court.



Court: TCA


William T. Winchester, Memphis, TN, for Appellant

Albert C. Harvey, Andrea N. Malkin, Memphis, TN, for Appellee, Jack C. Sanford, M.D., and Memphis Mid-South OB/GYN Alliance, P.C. Brock East, Memphis, TN, for Appellee, Med Temps Personnel Services


After receiving a routine hormone injection, the plaintiff patient experienced pain, facial swelling, numbness, and blindness. The plaintiff filed a complaint against the clinic, its employee physician, and the employer of the nurse who had administered the injection, alleging medical malpractice. The defendant clinic and physician filed a motion for summary judgment, and attached the expert affidavit of the defendant physician in which he stated that all of the defendants had treated the plaintiff in accordance with the relevant standard of care and according to their best medical judgment. After the physician's deposition was taken, the plaintiff filed a motion for a determination by the trial court that his previously filed affidavit had been filed in bad faith, citing alleged inconsistencies with his deposition testimony and discovery admissions. The nurse's employer filed a motion for summary judgment that relied upon the physician's deposition testimony that the nurse had acted in accordance with the relevant standard of care and that the actions of the nurse had not caused the plaintiff's injuries. A hearing was held at which the trial court denied the plaintiff's motion to find that the physician's affidavit had been made in bad faith, and the trial court allowed the plaintiff additional time in which to produce expert proof of causation. After the plaintiff was unable to obtain expert proof, the trial court ultimately granted the defendants' motions for summary judgment. The plaintiff filed a timely notice of appeal. Finding no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.



Court: TCA


Eric Todd Jackson, Tiptonville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; and David E. Coenen, Assistant Attorney General, for the State of Tennessee.


Appellant, who was the defendant in a previous criminal proceeding, filed a Writ of Mandamus seeking to obtain a refund of the bond he posted in the criminal case. The trial court dismissed the petition. Finding no error, we affirm.



Court: TCA


Hattie Williams, Pro Se

Susan T. Jones and Rita Roberts-Turner of Nashville, Tennessee for Appellee, Metropolitan Police Department


Appellee Metropolitan Police Department terminated the employment of Employee/Appellant for violation of internal policies concerning work place harassment. The decision was upheld by the Civil Service Commission. Employee/Appellant appealed to the Davidson County Chancery Court, which court upheld the Commission's decision. Employee/Appellant appeals. We affirm.



Court: TCCA


Larry Dotson, Nashville, Tennessee Pro Se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson III, District Attorney General; and Pamela Anderson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

This case is before us after remand by the Tennessee Supreme Court for reconsideration in light of its opinion in Summers v. State, 212 S.W.3d 251 (Tenn. 2007). The Davidson County Criminal Court summarily dismissed the petitioner, Larry Dotson's, pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus. Upon review, we affirm the criminal court's order dismissing the petition.



Court: TCCA


Thomas G. Slaughter, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Rex Aaron Nelson, Alias.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Rex Aaron Nelson, alias, was indicted by a Knox County grand jury for first degree murder in the shooting death of William Arthur Nichols. Following a jury trial, the Defendant was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced as a Range I, standard offender to six years in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant argues that (1) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction beyond a reasonable doubt, (2) the trial court erred in imposing the maximum sentence within the applicable range, and (3) the trial court erred in ordering the Defendant to serve his sentence in total confinement. We conclude that the evidence is sufficient to support the conviction for voluntary manslaughter beyond a reasonable doubt. However, we conclude that the trial court erred by sentencing the Defendant pursuant to the 2005 amendments to our sentencing law because the Defendant's crime was committed before the amendments were enacted. Therefore, we remand this case for resentencing under the 1989 Sentencing Act with consideration of the Sixth Amendment constitutional limitations upon enhancing the Defendant's sentence above the presumptive minimum.


Constitutionality of HB 1008

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-05-01

Opinion Number: 07-60



Legal News
Legislative News
Supreme Court Watch
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TBA Member Services

Legal News
Lee, Horton resign
Memphis Light, Gas and Water president Joseph Lee and general counsel Odell Horton Jr. resigned today. Earlier this week it was reported that Horton had authorized payment by MLGW of legal fees in excess of $61,000, for representation during ongoing investigations into possible malfeasance at the utility. The agreement was not approved by MLGW's board or the city council. "I think the legal fee situation was not handled appropriately," Mayor Willie Herenton said. "It may amaze you all to know that it was never the intention of the council or Joseph that the MLGW organization would be responsible for Joseph's legal fees."
The Memphis Business Journal reports
Ford public corruption trial set
Former state senator John Ford will go on trial on federal public corruption charges in Nashville Sept. 18 -- a month and a half after his scheduled July 31 sentencing in Memphis for his bribery conviction there last month.
Read the details in the Commercial Appeal
Workman set to die under new rules
Philip Workman is scheduled to die by lethal injection on Wednesday, the first execution set after prison officials developed new procedures for executions by injection and the electric chair. The new procedures were developed during a moratorium called by Gov. Phil Bredesen that has since been lifted. "It didn't fix anything," Workman said Wednesday during an interview at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville. "You wouldn't use that drug to kill a dog."
Read the story and see highlights of the new procedure in the Tennesseean
Phillip Workman's lawyers have asked for a stay of execution, while the state attorney general's office has urged a federal appeals court not to grant a stay.
Follow it in the News Sentinel
Dedrick nominated for U.S. attorney
James R. "Russ" Dedrick, acting U.S. attorney in East Tennessee, has been nominated by the White House for a permanent appointment as the region's top federal prosecutor.
Read the Associated Press story on TimesNews.net
Gonzales told to hand over the e-mails
Senators subpoenaed Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Wednesday, ordering him to provide all e-mails related to presidential adviser Karl Rove and the firings of eight federal prosecutors.
The News Sentinel carried this AP story
Glankler honored for pro bono service
The law firm Glankler Brown in Memphis was recently honored for its commitment to pro bono work by the Memphis Area Legal Services. Frank J. Glankler Jr. was honored last week for his lifelong commitment to pro bono work.
See who else received awards, in the Memphis Daily News
Legislative News
Clarifying 'abandonment' could help custody situations
A bill in the state House would clarify the meaning of "abandoment," a term that was at the heart of the recent custody case of Anna Mae He. Present law provides that abandonment is grounds for terminating parental rights to a child and it defines abandonment as a parent "willfully" failing to visit or support the child for at least four consecutive months. The Hes contend they tried to visit but were not allowed to. Amendments to the bill would simply clarify the statutes to make sure that "willful abandonment" does not include failure to visit or support when the parents tried but were blocked.
The Commercial Appeal has the story
Bill would require waiting period, mediation in divorce
The House Children and Family Affairs Committee approved a bill yesterday that would require mediation and a 90-day waiting period for divorces of couples with children under 18. The bill will now move on to a vote on the House floor while its Senate companion bill will be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee next Tuesday.
The Kingsport Times-News has this story
Supreme Court Watch
Bredesen called 'stubborn' about nomination
Tennessean columnist Dwight Lewis says Gov. Bredesen is "seeming stubborn as a mule" about the appointment of a fifth justice on the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Read the opinion piece
BPR Actions
Revocation of pro hac vice registration
The Board of Professional Responsibility has revoked pro hac vice permission for a number of attorneys due to their failure to pay the annual registration fee required by Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 19. Pro hac vice authority allows out-of-state attorneys to practice in Tennessee courts.
Read the full list
Memphis lawyer transferred to disability inactive
The law license of Memphis lawyer George Russell Stanton Jr. was transferred to disability inactive last week. Stanton requested a transfer to disability inactive status based upon a medical condition; he may request a reinstatement upon showing the disability no longer exists.
Read the BPR's release
TBA Member Services
Discounts from Office Depot
Are you saving yet? Sign up for the TBA-Office Depot Program and begin saving. TBA Members receive significant discounts on office supplies from Office Depot.
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All aboard for adventure!
Join your colleagues from the TBA for an unforgettable journey to Glacier National Park and the ABA Convention in San Francisco this summer. You'll see America like you've never seen it before -- aboard Amtrak's Empire Builder as it glides across the majestic High Plains from Chicago and scales the Rockies on its way to Glacier National Park. After four nights at the historic Glacier Park Lodge, your voyage will continue down the Columbia River Gorge toward Portland, before heading south along the Pacific Ocean to San Francisco and this year's ABA Convention.
Register today or find out more

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