First of its kind jury study now available

In a first-ever comprehensive study on state court jury practices, the National Center for State Courts identifies best practices as well as stark contrasts in methods of selecting juries and awarding juror compensation. Read a summary of the study from The National Law Journal. Download the study's findings:

http://www.ncsconline.org/D_Research/cjs/state-survey.html

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
01 - 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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ARTHUR T. COPELAND

Court: TSC

Attorneys:

Robert E. Cooper, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Alice B. Lustre, Assistant Attorney General; Michael L. Flynn, District Attorney General; and Kirk Andrews and Edward P. Bailey, Jr., Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellant, the State of Tennessee

Randall E. Reagan and Gerald L. Gulley, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal); and W. Phillip Reed and Robert W. White, Maryville, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellee, Arthur T. Copeland

Judge: WADE

The Defendant, Arthur T. Copeland, was convicted of one count of first degree murder and sentenced to death. The jury found a single aggravating circumstance, that the Defendant previously had been convicted of one or more felonies involving violence to the person, see Tenn. Code Ann. section 39-13-204(i)(2) (1997), and further found that the aggravating circumstance outweighed the mitigating circumstances beyond a reasonable doubt, see Tenn. Code Ann. section 39-13-204(g)(1) (1997). The Court of Criminal Appeals held that the trial court properly excluded expert testimony on eyewitness identification but committed plain error by failing to conduct a hearing pursuant to Momon v. State, 18 S.W.3d 152, 157 (Tenn. 1999), and ordered a remand for a determination of whether the error was harmless. Further, the Court of Criminal Appeals set aside the sentence of death as disproportionate. We granted the State's application for permission to appeal in order to resolve the dispositive issues. We first hold that the trial court erred by prohibiting the Defendant from offering expert testimony regarding eyewitness testimony and overrule State v. Coley, 32 S.W.3d 831 (Tenn. 2000). Because the exclusion of the testimony cannot be classified as harmless under these circumstances, the Defendant must be granted a new trial. Although the trial court failed to conduct a Momon hearing, consideration of that issue is not necessary because of the grant of a new trial. Finally, we conclude that the Court of Criminal Appeals erred by finding that the death sentence was disproportionate; thus the State may choose to seek the death penalty upon remand. Accordingly, the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals is affirmed in part, reversed in part, and the cause is remanded for a new trial.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2007/copelanda_052307.pdf


JAMES E. GOODALE, ET AL. v. CHARLES LANGENBERG, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Robert V. Redding, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tammy Bunnell

Dale Hederick Tuttle, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Crye-Leike Realtors

Regina Morrison Newman and James Wesley Hodges, Jr., Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, James E. Goodale and Hazel F. Goodale

Judge: FARMER

Plaintiff purchasers sued Defendant sellers, real estate agent, and real estate company alleging intentional fraud and seeking rescission of a contract to purchase real property and punitive damages. The matter was tried by a jury, which awarded Plaintiffs rescission of the contract and assessed punitive damages against Defendant real estate agent. The trial court further awarded Plaintiffs discretionary costs and attorney's fees, which it assessed against Defendant sellers and real estate agent jointly and severally. The jury also determined real estate agent was an independent contractor and that Defendant real estate company was, therefore, not vicariously liable for punitive damages. Plaintiffs and Defendant sellers subsequently entered into a confidential, sealed settlement under which Plaintiffs received a substantial partial refund of the purchase price and retained ownership of the real property. Defendant real estate agent appeals the award of punitive damages and the award of attorney's fees. Appellant additionally asserts the post-trial settlement between Plaintiffs and Defendant sellers resulted in an election of damages as a remedy or, alternately, in accord and satisfaction of the judgment. Plaintiffs crossappeal, asserting the jury verdict finding that Defendant real estate agent was an independent contractor is not supported by the evidence. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/goodalej_052307.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. BOBBY DALE PARRIS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

James F. Logan, Jr., Cleveland, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Bobby Dale Parris

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; Steve Bebb, District Attorney General; and Kristie Luffman, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Bobby Dale Parris, pleaded guilty to the second degree murder of his wife, Sandy Parris. See T.C.A. section 39-13-210 (2006). After an evidentiary hearing, the trial court sentenced the defendant to serve 20 years in the Department of Correction at 100 percent after finding two enhancement factors and no mitigating factors. See T.C.A. sections 40-35-113 & -114 (2006). On appeal, the defendant claims that the sentence is excessive. Without reaching this issue, we remand this case for sentencing under the 1989 Sentencing Act and for correction of a clerical error in the judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/parrisb_052307.pdf


PERRY RICKY RAY v. RICKY J. BELL, WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Perry Ricky Ray, Pro Se

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson III, District Attorney General; and Roger Moore, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee

Judge: WOODALL

Petitioner, Perry Ricky Ray, appeals the trial court's summary dismissal of his petition for habeas corpus relief from his conviction for first degree murder. Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/rayp_052307.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. NICHOLAS KELLY WEBSTER

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

David R. Barrow (at guilty plea and sentencing) and Clayton Whittaker (on appeal), Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Nicholas Kelly Webster

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, III, District Attorney General; Neal Pinkston, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee

Judge: WEDEMEYER

The Defendant, Nicholas Kelly Webster, pled guilty to especially aggravated burglary and accessory after the fact. The trial court imposed an agreed eight-year sentence, but it denied the Defendant's request for probation or an alternative sentence. The Defendant appeals, contending that the trial court erred when it denied him probation or an alternative sentence. Concluding there exists no error, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/webstern_052307.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
TBA Member Services

Legal News
No consultation with White House, Goodling says
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' former White House liaison, Monica Goodling, testified today before the House Judiciary Committee that she never discussed the hiring or firing of U.S. attorneys with White House officials Karl Rove or Harriet Miers. Goodling, who was senior counsel and White House liaison until resigning in April, was given immunity in exchange for her testimony. Separately, the Justice Department is investigating whether she illegally considered political affiliation during the hiring of career prosecutors.
Read the latest from CNN
Supreme court orders new trial for convicted felon
The Tennessee Supreme Court today ordered a new trial for Arthur T. Copeland, who was convicted of first-degree murder in the 1998 shooting death of Andre Jackson in Maryville. A unanimous high court concluded the trial court should have allowed the defense to present testimony from an expert on the issue of eyewitness identification. Supreme Court justices also reversed an appeals court ruling that would have prohibited the state from seeking the death penalty against Copeland if he is again convicted.
Read the opinion
Execution dates reset
Four death row inmates -- who received executive reprieves while the state reviewed the manner in which death sentences are administered -- have been given new execution dates. They are: Daryl Keith Holton, Sept. 12; Edward Jerome Harbision, Sept. 26; Michael Joe Boyd, Oct. 24; and Pervis T. Payne, Dec. 12.

Assault case against attorney goes to grand jury
An assault charge against Maryville attorney William Lee "Billy" Gribble was bound over to the grand jury in Blount County General Sessions Court yesterday. The case, brought by Gribble's former secretary, alleges criminal assault.
Read more in the Daily Times
Judge: public deserves details on poll worker fraud
Shelby County Criminal Court Judge John P. Colton said Monday that the public should be told why three poll workers were involved in a plot to throw a 2005 state Senate election in favor of Ophelia Ford. The poll workers pleaded guilty earlier this month and avoided jail time, but they did not explain why they faked at least three votes, two of them cast in the names of dead people.
WSMV-TV has more on the story
Jail wins state certification
Sequatchie County officials recently announced that the county jail has been certified by the state for the first time in almost 20 years. Certification allows the county to apply for grants and receive the full amount for state prisoner reimbursement.
The Chattanooga Free Press has details
Nashville LAW announces new officers
The Lawyer's Association for Women, Marion Griffin Chapter, has named its leadership for the new bar year. Officers include President Pat Moskal with Boult, Cummings, Conners & Berry; President-elect Jude White with Renewal House; Secretary Martha Boyd with Boult, Cummings, Conners & Berry; Treasurer Bernadette Welch with the Tennessee Department of Revenue; and Past President Sue Van Sant Palmer with Stites & Harbison.

MALS awards inaugural law fellowship
Memphis Area Legal Services (MALS) will award staff attorney Craig Barnes with the first B.J. Wade Consumer Law Fellowship. Barnes, who moved to Memphis shortly after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005, volunteered to help displaced hurricane victims who were in Memphis. MALS created the recognition in honor of attorney B.J. Wade, who successfully advocated that MALS be a recipient of cy pres awards. The Memphis Daily News reported the story.

Williamson courthouse undergoes major renovation
Built in 1858, the Williamson County courthouse is one of just seven antebellum courthouses in the state. County officials decided to use funds left over from construction of a new judicial center to gut the building. Once they decide how the new building will be used, they will have to put together a renovation budget.
The Fairview Observer has the story
Memphis students receive 'Little Rock Nine' scholarships
Two Memphis seniors each will receive $10,000 over the next two years to help pay for higher education. Veronica Billingsley of Booker T. Washington High School and Lindsey Brown of Craigmont High School were selected for the award by the Little Rock Nine Foundation as part of its scholarship and mentoring program. The students will be honored at a ceremony in September commemorating the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of Little Rock Central High, reports the Memphis Daily News.

New attorneys owe tax even if not notified
Newly licensed lawyers may not receive notice of the state professional privilege tax, but still have an obligation to pay the $400 fee by June 1. If you have not received a notice, contact the Department of Revenue at (615) 253-0600.
Pay your fee online
TBA Member Services
Program offers savings on auto insurance
See how being a member of the TBA could help you save 8 percent on car insurance. GEICO offers 24-hour sales, service and claims. Call GEICO at 1-800-368-2734
or get an online rate quote

 
 
UNSUBSCRIBE TO TBAToday? ... SURELY NOT!
But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at: http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/unsub_tbatoday.php

TBALink HomeContact UsPageFinderWhat's NewHelp
 
 
© Copyright 2006 Tennessee Bar Association