Make plans now to attend the 2007 TBA convention

The TBA will celebrate 125 years of service to the Tennessee legal community at this summer's annual convention in Nashville. Don't miss it! Distinguished legal journalist and broadcaster Fred Graham will address the Bench/Bar gathering, Tennessee legal historians will delight attendees with a program on historical figures in Tennessee law and everyone will be at the Hermitage, home of President Andrew Jackson, for a gala anniversary celebration. Join us June 13-16 in Nashville. Find out more or sign up today:

http://www.tba2.org/convention2007

TODAY'S OPINIONS
Click on the category of your choice to view summaries of today’s opinions from that court, or other body. A link at the end of each case summary will let you download the full opinion in PDF format. To search all opinions in the TBALink database, go to our OpinionSearch page. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on TBALink at http://www.tba.org/getpassword.mgi.

01 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
03 - TN Court of Appeals
03 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR

TBA members can get the full-text versions of these opinions three ways detailed below. All methods require a TBA username and password. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on-line at http://www.tba.org/getpassword.mgi

Here's how you can obtain full-text version. We recommend you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This should give you the option to download the original document. If not, you may need to right-click on the URL to get the option to save the file to your computer. Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion. Browse the Opinion List area of TBALink. This option will allow you to download the original version of the opinion.

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

SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS Grants & Denials List

Court: TSC

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2007/certlist_050707.pdf


WENDY CLARK v. RANDAL LEE ARTHUR

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Randal L. Arthur, Hendersonville, TN, pro se

Wendy Clark, Nashville, TN, pro se

Judge: HIGHERS

This appeal involves petitions for contempt and to modify a custody order. Both the mother and the father filed petitions seeking to have the initial custody order modified, and both asked that the other parent be held in contempt for failing to comply with the parenting plan. They presented various arguments about why custody should be changed in their favor, but neither alleged that any circumstances had changed since the initial order was entered. The trial court dismissed both petitions after finding that both parties had failed to prove a material change in circumstances to justify a modification of the custody order. The court also dismissed both petitions for contempt. For the following reasons, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/clarkw_050707.pdf


CUMMINS STATION, LLC v. ALLISON BATEY

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Allison Batey Pro Se

Samuel F. Miller of Nashville, Tennessee for Appellee, Cummins Station, LLC

Judge: CRAWFORD

This case arises from a default judgment entered against Appellant for failure to comply with an Order to Compel. Appellant appeals. We affirm and remand for determination of damages for frivolous appeal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/cumminsstation_050707.pdf


RONALD K. PENDERGRAPH, v. J. HILTON CONGER

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Ronald Kevin Pendergraph, Pikeville, Tennessee, pro se.

William E. Godbold, III, and Bruce D. Gill, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for Appellee.

Judge: FRANKS

In this action for legal malpractice against defendant attorney, the Trial Court granted defendant summary judgment on the ground that plaintiff, as a condition precedent to maintaining the malpractice action, had to obtain post-judgment relief from his criminal conviction, which plaintiff had failed to do after bringing his post-judgment action. On appeal, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/pendergraphr_050707.pdf


JAMES R. HOLDER v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Gregory Scott Kanavos, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellant, James R. Holder.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; Steven Bebb, District Attorney General; Sandra Craig Donaghy, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The petitioner, James R. Holder, who is serving a life sentence for felony murder consecutively to a ten-year sentence for conspiracy to take a life, appeals from the Bradley County Criminal Courtís denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. He claims that the trial court erred in dismissing his petition alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/holderj_050707.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CONNIE HUGHES

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Stacy L. Street, Elizabethton, Tennessee, for the appellant, Connie Hughes.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David E. Coenen, Assistant Attorney General; Joe C. Crumley, Jr., District Attorney General; and Kenneth C. Baldwin, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant was convicted of premeditated first degree murder, abuse of a corpse (Class E felony), and forgery under $1000 (Class E felony). The defendant was sentenced to life imprisonment for first degree murder and to two concurrent one-year sentences on the remaining convictions. The defendant appeals her convictions and submits two issues: (1) the trial court erred in admitting the defendantís statements which had previously been ruled inadmissible pursuant to the Stateís motion in limine; and (2) the trial court erred in failing to conduct a hearing to ensure the defendant was voluntarily waiving her right to testify, pursuant to Momon v. State, 18 S.W.3d 152 (Tenn. 1999). After review, we affirm the defendantís convictions.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/hughesc_05070.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JAMES A. MELLON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Susan E. Shipley, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, James A. Mellon.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Leslie Nassios, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

A Knox County Criminal Court jury convicted the appellant, James A. Mellon, of first degree felony murder and especially aggravated robbery, and the trial court sentenced him to life in prison and twenty-three years, respectively. On appeal, the appellant claims that the trial court erred by (1) admitting his initial statement to police into evidence because he gave the statement involuntarily; (2) allowing the State to read into evidence an ďunavailableĒ witnessís testimony from a prior proceeding; and (3) enhancing his sentence for the especially aggravated robbery conviction based upon his being a leader in the commission of the offense and ordering consecutive sentencing. Upon review of the record and the partiesí briefs, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/mellonj_050707.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
TBA Member Services

Legal News
6th Circuit vacates order; Workman execution to proceed
A 6th Circuit panel has vacated a temporary restraining order that would have stopped the planned May 9 execution of death row inmate Philip Workman, whose lawyers claim that Tennessee's new death penalty guidelines could still cause unconstitutional pain and suffering. The panel voted 2-1 to vacate the order, saying that no court has invalidated the three-drug protocol used by Tennessee (and 28 other jurisdictions).
Read the AP story in the News Sentinel
Read today's order
and Judge R. Guy Cole's dissent
Columnist asks 'what's the rush?' on moratorium
When Gov. Phil Bredesen lifted the moratorium on executions last week, this Tennessean reporter wondered "what's the rush?" Quoting a poll that shows that "66 percent believe the statewide moratorium should be extended while the issue of the death penalty's fairness and accuracy is studied,'' Dwight Lewis asked the governor to reconsider.
Read the opinion in the Tennessean
Judges learn more
science at 'boot camp'
Judges from across the Southeast attended a conference -- or boot camp as it was called -- this weekend to educate them on scientific issues that are coming up more and more in their courtrooms: gene therapy, genetic discrimination, genetically modified foods, human cloning and stem-cell research. "We aren't here to weigh in on one side or another of these controversies," Dr. James Evans, a professor of genetics and medicine at UNC's School of Medicine, told The Associated Press. "But these are really the kinds of things that judges will face in the courtroom as contentious issues percolate into the courts."
The News Sentinel carried this AP story
Drug court saves money, lives
The 16th Judicial District's Drug Court Program has been changing lives in Rutherford and Cannon counties since 2000. The program has a 15 percent re-arrest rate for the program's 96 graduates, Judge Don Ash says, which compares to 60 percent of convicts who serve time in the state penitentiary who are re-arrested. "As a taxpayer, Drug Court saves per person $20,000 a year which is substantial amount of money," Ash said. "This is working."
Read about the program in the Murfreesboro Post
Mediation offers 'best chance'
A lawyer for 47 years, Lew Conner has been won over by mediation. "In everything I've seen, the process that gives the disputants the best chance to resolve their differences, by far, is mediation," he says. "A mediator is purely, flatly, 100-percent neutral. He has one dog in the fight, and that's trying to get the parties or some parties in the dispute to agree to solve their dispute, or parts of their dispute."
Read more in the Nashville Business Journal
Qualls likely pick for
judge in Monterey
Former Cookeville vice-mayor and lifelong Putnam County resident Steve Qualls is expected to be appointed as a new city judge in Monterey tonight, at the town council meeting.
Read more in the Herald Citizen
Racehorse owner
practices law, too
John Harris leads a double-life, one as a prominant Memphis lawyer and the other as an owner and breeder of thoroughbreds that race at such tracks as Kentucky's Churchill Downs and Keeneland and New Orleans' Fair Grounds Race Course. "I decided if I was going to be a horseman, I'd better get on with it," Harris, 69, said.
Read about Harris's hobby in The Commercial Appeal
TBA Member Services
Have you activated your FedEx shipping discounts?
TBA members are entitled to discounts on FedEx shipping. Did you know that TBA members are saving an average of $83 per quarter by utilizing their FedEx Association Advantage program discounts? Here's what some members have to say about their FedEx savings:

"Our firm took advantage of the Tennessee Bar Association FedEx discounts and saved over $200 on FedEx Express shipments last quarter alone. It's the best $200 we've ever saved," says member Bill Cameron of Cameron & Young in Cookeville. Start saving on your shipments today! For more information on how to enroll, call 1-800-923-7089 or
visit the TBA Web site

 
 
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