Make plans now to attend the 2007 TBA convention

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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

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

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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


Court: TSC


Court: TCA


Randal L. Arthur, Hendersonville, TN, pro se

Wendy Clark, Nashville, TN, pro se


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.


Court: TCA


Allison Batey Pro Se

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


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.


Court: TCA


Ronald Kevin Pendergraph, Pikeville, Tennessee, pro se.

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


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.


Court: TCCA


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.


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.


Court: TCCA


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.


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.


Court: TCCA


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.


Legal News
TBA Member Services

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Read the AP story in the News Sentinel
Read today's order
and Judge R. Guy Cole's dissent
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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.
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The News Sentinel carried this AP story
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Read about the program in the Murfreesboro Post
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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."
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Racehorse owner
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Read about Harris's hobby in The Commercial Appeal
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