U.S. Supreme Court rules for TSSAA

Athletic associations can enforce limits on recruiting without violating coaches' free-speech rights, the U.S. Supreme Court today ruled in the long-running dispute between football powerhouse Brentwood Academy and the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association.

In a unanimous ruling, the court said, "hard-sell tactics directed at middle school students could lead to exploitation, distort competition between high school teams and foster an environment in which athletics are prized more highly than academics." Games have rules, Justice John Paul Stevens said for the court. "It is only fair that Brentwood follow them." Download the opinion. Read more from The Nashville Post
TODAY'S OPINIONS
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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ARTHUR T. COPELAND

This is a corrected opinion.


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_CORR_062107.pdf


MARGUERITE EVANS CHITWOOD AKERS v. MICHAEL TODD AKERS

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Phillip L. Davidson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Marguerite Evans Chitwood Akers.

George Copple, Ben H. Cantrell, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Michael Todd Akers.

Judge: CAIN

In this divorce proceeding, both parties appeal the trial court's classification and division of the marital estate. Wife also appeals the trial court's failure to award her an annulment. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed in all respects.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/akersm_062106.pdf


PEGGY GASTON v. TENNESSEE FARMERS MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Larry B. Nolen, Athens, Tennessee, for the appellee, Peggy Gaston.

H. Chris Trew, Athens, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance Company.

Judge: SUSANO

This case involves issues pertaining to under-insured motorist coverage, the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act ("the TCPA"), the insurance bad faith statute, and the subject of prejudgment interest. In an earlier appeal, the Supreme Court reversed the trial court's judgment directing a verdict for the insurance company at the conclusion of the plaintiff's proof. In doing so, the High Court held that there was evidence from which a jury could reasonably conclude that the insurance company had waived the subrogation provisions of the plaintiff's policy. The Supreme Court also held that issues relating to the TCPA and the bad faith statute were for the trier of fact. On remand, the parties waived a jury and the case proceeded to trial before the court. At the conclusion of the trial, the court (1) found that the plaintiff's insurance company had waived the subrogation provisions of the policy precluding it from asserting non-compliance with those provisions as a defense to the plaintiff's claim for under-insured motorist coverage; (2) awarded the plaintiff $25,000 based upon (a) the under-insured motorist coverage of the policy and (b) the insurance company's violation of the TCPA; (3) granted the plaintiff a judgment for attorney's fees; (4) found that the insurance company was not guilty of bad faith; (5) denied the plaintiff's request for treble damages; and (6) refused to award prejudgment interest. The insurance company appeals. Both parties raise issues. We reverse the trial court's refusal to award prejudgment interest. In all other respects, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed. Furthermore, we hold that the plaintiff is entitled to her reasonable attorney's fees and costs associated with this appeal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/gastonp_062107.pdf


JOHN RUFF v. RALEIGH ASSEMBLY OF GOD CHURCH, INC.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

John Ruff, Pro se.

Evan Nahmias, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Raleigh Assembly of God Church, Inc.

Judge: FARMER

On remand pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated Section 27-3-128, the trial court awarded summary judgment to Defendant with respect to Plaintiff's claim for assault. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/ruffj_062107.pdf


SMITH BROTHERS, INC. v. UNION CITY INSURANCE AGENCY, INC.,

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Charles M. Agee, Jr., Dyersburg, Tennessee, for the appellant, Smith Brothers, Inc.

Lawrence W. White and Cliston V. Bodine, III, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Union City Insurance Agency.
Robert O. Binkley, Jr. and James V. Thompson, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellee, State Auto Mutual Insurance Co.

Judge: FARMER

The trial court awarded summary judgment in favor of Defendants in this negligence action. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/smithbrothers_062107.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MARK A. AMMONS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Justin Johnson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Mark A. Ammons.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson III, District Attorney General; and Sharon Reddick, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Defendant, Mark A. Ammons, was indicted on one count of assault, a Class A misdemeanor, and one count of theft of property less than $500.00, a Class A misdemeanor. After a bench trial, Defendant was found guilty of the offense of assault and not guilty of theft of property. Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced Defendant for his assault conviction to thirty days to be served in the county workhouse. On appeal, Defendant argues that (1) the evidence is insufficient to support his assault conviction; (2) the trial court erred in permitting the State to amend the indictment after jeopardy attached; and (3) the trial court erred in not sustaining Defendant's objection to the introduction of hearsay evidence. After a thorough review, we conclude that the trial court erred in allowing the State to amend count one of the indictment without Defendant's consent after jeopardy attached, but that such error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. We therefore affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/ammonsm_062107.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WILLIE L. HICKS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Willie L. Hicks, Jr., Clifton, Tennessee, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General, T. Michel Bottoms, District Attorney General; and C. Daniel Lins, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Petitioner, Willie L. Hicks, appeals the circuit court's summary dismissal of his second pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus. Following our review of the parties' briefs and applicable law, we dismiss the appeal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/hicksw_062107.pdf


CALVIN LEWIS HILL V. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Richard L. Tennent (on appeal), Nashville, Tennessee, and Jheri Beth Rich (at post-conviction relief hearing), Lewisburg, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Calvin Lewis Hill.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; Charles Crawford, District Attorney General; Weakley E. Barnard, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee

Judge: WEDEMEYER

The Petitioner, Calvin Lewis Hill, was convicted of car jacking, theft of property valued over $1000.00, and forgery, and his convictions were affirmed on direct appeal. He petitioned for post-conviction relief claiming that he had received the ineffective assistance of counsel at trial. The post-conviction court dismissed the post-conviction petition, and we affirm that judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/hillc_062107.pdf


JEREMY WAYNE PITTARD v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Dale O. Quillen, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jeremy Wayne Pittard.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Preston Shipp, Assistant Attorney General; William C. Whitesell, Jr., District Attorney General; and Laurel Nutt, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Petitioner, Jeremy Wayne Pittard, was indicted on one count of rape of a child, a Class A felony. Petitioner entered a best interest plea to the offense of attempted rape of a child, a Class B felony, and agreed to a sentence of twelve years as a Range I standard offender. Petitioner argues on appeal that the trial court erred in denying him post-conviction relief. After a thorough review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/pittardj_062107.pdf


JOEY SALCIDO v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Joey Salcido, Clifton, Tennessee, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; Mike Bottoms, District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

The Petitioner, Joey Salcido, filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The habeas court denied relief, and the Petitioner filed a timely notice of appeal. On appeal, the Petitioner contends that the habeas corpus court erred because: (1) the trial court lacked jurisdiction to convict him because of a defective indictment; and (2) the delay in the disposition of his postconviction petition has deprived him of due process of law. Finding no error, we affirm the judgment of the habeas court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/salcidoj_062107.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DARRIN R. SHEFFIELD

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

William B. Lockert, III, District Public Defender; and Haylee A Bradley, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Darrin R. Sheffield.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General; Dan Mitchum Alsobrooks, District Attorney General; and Lisa C. Donegan, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Defendant, Darrin R. Sheffield, pled guilty to charges of possession of methamphetamine and promotion of the manufacturing of methamphetamine. He was sentenced to serve five years for the possession conviction and three years for the manufacturing conviction, to be served concurrently for a total effective sentence of five years. Prior to the guilty plea, Defendant moved the court to suppress evidence taken during the traffic stop which led to Defendant's arrest. The motion was denied, and the resulting plea was taken subject to the appeal of a certified question of law. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/sheffieldd_062107.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Winkler leaves county for mental health facility
Judge Weber McCraw signed a sealed order yesterday allowing Mary Winkler to leave McNairy County jail and enter a facility for mental health treatment, Sue Allison of the Administrative Office of the Courts reports. At the provider's request and to ensure Winkler gets the treatment she needs, the name and location of the facility are not being disclosed.

Winkler defense lawyers to talk about tactics in case
Lawyers who represented Mary Winkler will speak at a seminar June 28 in Memphis to discuss litigating high profile cases.
Find out more about the seminar in the Memphis Daily News
Baugh named special prosecutor
The Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference named retired district attorney Joseph Baugh as special prosecutor to investigate claim that a prominent lawyer paid a woman to entangle Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton in a sex scandal. Herenton contends it is a conspiracy to derail his bid for reelection.
The Tennessean reports
Assistant DA to receive
full DA pay
Assistant District Attorney Tony Craighead will get a $36,000 raise after an attorney general's opinion said he should receive the pay of the district attorney because he has in effect been doing that job since last September. Craighead has filled in while District Attorney Bill Gibson has been suspended for an ethics violation.
The Herald-Citizen has the story
Judge Mattice explains sentencing
U.S. District Judge Sandy Mattice explained some differences between state and federal sentencing to a rotary club yesterday, saying that defendants used to state sentencing are "shocked" when they land in federal court. "They've been through the state system, in and out of jail. And frankly, they don't think jail is all that bad." When they learn about federal sentencing guidelines, "Then what they want to do is fire their lawyer," he said.
The Chattanoogan.com has the story
Court imposes strict standards on investors alleging securities fraud
The Supreme Court today imposed a strict standard that investors must meet to keep alive lawsuits alleging securities fraud. In an 8-1 decision, the justices said that courts must weigh possible innocent explanations for defendants' conduct at the very start of a securities fraud case. Doing so can lead to early dismissal of investors' lawsuits.
Read the Associated Press account on Law.com
TBA Member Services
Alimony Bench Book now available
The 5th Edition of the Alimony Bench Book is now available from the TBA Family Law Section. This newest edition is available for purchase at the TBA's online bookstore or by calling 800-899-6993 or in Nashville at 383-7421.
Order online now

 
 
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