General Practice Summit returns with strong lineup

Recognized experts in 15 practice areas will bring you up to date on the latest developments in the law, offer tips, advise you on trends and provide materials and forms at the second annual General Practice Summit, Aug. 23-25 in Nashville. The sessions will also provide you with your entire 15 hours of CLE required for the year, including ethics hours.

https://www.tnbaru.com/CLE/catalog_course_details.php?course=5100

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 or to obtain a text version of each opinion, 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 the TBA's Membership Central.

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You can obtain full-text versions of the opinions two ways. We recommend that you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. 1) 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. 2) 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.

DEMETRICA BELL v. CATHY ANN BELL

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Cathy Ann Bell, Cheraw, South Carolina, Pro Se.

Christoper W. Barbar, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Demetrica Bell.

Judge: COTTRELL

Wife appeals from the trial court's final decree of divorce, alleging various deficiencies in the proceedings. Based on the limited record before us, which includes Wife's specific waiver of most of the issues she now raises, we affirm the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/belld_071907.pdf


RONALD F. FLEMING v. JIM MURPHY, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Felix H. Bean, III, Memphis, TN, for Appellant

Garrett M. Estep, Memphis, TN, for Appellees

Judge: HIGHERS

The plaintiff buyer, a Texas resident, became aware of a used car for sale in Memphis through an internet advertisement. The plaintiff contacted the defendant who had prepared the internet advertisement for the seller, and who provided him with the phone number of the defendant seller. The plaintiff and the defendant seller agreed that the plaintiff would travel to the seller's house in Memphis to see the car and decide whether to purchase it for $38,000. The plaintiff and his stepson drove to the seller's home in Memphis, inspected the car, and took it on a short test-drive. The plaintiff noted several problems with the car during the test-drive, but declined the defendant seller's offer to have the car inspected by a Memphis area mechanic prior to purchase. The plaintiff tendered full payment for the car, and he and the seller signed a bill of sale that contained "as is" disclaimers of warranty. After the plaintiff arrived back home in Texas, he took the car to a mechanic for routine maintenance. The mechanic informed the plaintiff that the car's frame was severely rusted, rendering it dangerous to drive. The plaintiff received the same opinion from a restoration specialist, and the plaintiff claims ultimately to have spent nearly $35,000 restoring the vehicle. The plaintiff filed a complaint in Shelby County Circuit Court, asserting claims under the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act and claims for negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract. The plaintiff claimed actual damages which included over $25,500 in restoring the car to the condition represented by the defendants, and he sought treble damages under the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act. After discovery, the trial court granted the defendants' joint motion for summary judgment. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/flemingr_071907.pdf


THOMAS R. JONES, JR. v. HEATHER L. RUSCH-JONES

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

John D. Lockridge and Sammi S. Maifair, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Heather L. Rusch-Jones.

Virginia A. Schwamm and Donna H. Smith, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Thomas R. Jones, Jr.

Judge: SWINEY

Following a short marriage of less than four years, Thomas R. Jones, Jr. ("Father") filed a complaint for divorce from Heather L. Rusch-Jones ("Mother"). Mother filed a counter-claim also seeking a divorce. Both parties sought to be the primary residential parent of their young daughter. While this case was pending, both parties filed competing petitions for orders of protection. Father's petition was granted; Mother's was not. Following a very lengthy trial, the Trial Court designated Father as the primary residential parent and awarded Mother supervised and restricted co-parenting time. The Trial Court awarded Mother a limited amount of alimony. Mother appeals raising numerous issues, including a challenge to the Trial Court's designation of Father as the primary residential parent and the amount of alimony she was awarded. We affirm the judgment of the Trial Court and remand for further proceedings consistent with this Opinion.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/jonest_071907.pdf

CHARLES D. SUSANO, JR., concurring.
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/jonest_CONCUR_071907.pdf


WILLIAM A. MEADOWS, JR. v. TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION, ET AL

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

William A. Meadows, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Jennifer L. Brenner, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Tennessee Department of Correction and George M. Little

Judge: CAIN

Appellant, a Department of Correction prisoner, challenges Department Policy Index 506.21 relative to inmate drug/alcohol testing in a suit pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. Section 4-5-225. The trial court granted a Motion to Dismiss filed by Appellee. The action of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/meadowsw_071907.pdf


JAMES E. MOSES v. TENNESSEE BOARD OF PROBATION AND PAROLE

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

James E. Moses, Whiteville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Jennifer R. Bailey, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole.

Judge: CLEMENT

Inmate appeals the dismissal of his Petition for a Common Law Writ of Certiorari after being denied parole. The trial court found that the inmate had failed to comply with the statutory requirements applicable to inmates filing civil actions in forma pauperis. Finding that Mr. Moses failed to file the requisite affidavit pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. Section 41-21-805 and failed to pay the requisite partial filing fee, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/mosesj_071907.pdf


LEE T. MYERS v. SANDRA BROWN

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Mitchell D. Moskovitz and Adam N. Cohen, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lee T. Myers.

Sandra Brown, pro se (no brief filed).

Judge: KIRBY

This case involves the third and fourth appeals (consolidated) of successive petitions to modify custody. The mother and father of the child at issue were never married. The mother was designated the primary residential parent for the child, and the father was given designated parenting time and ordered to pay child support. In 2002, the father filed a petition to modify custody. The trial court denied the father's petition, and the decision was affirmed by this Court ("E.J.M. I"). During the pendency of that appeal, the father filed a second petition for a change of custody based on facts that arose after his first petition was denied. A hearing on this petition was conducted shortly after this Court issued its decision in E.J.M. I. A juvenile court judge held that, though he might otherwise change custody to the father, he was bound by the appellate decision in E.J.M. I to give final decision-making authority to the mother. Nevertheless, joint custody was ordered. The father now appeals that decision. Shortly after that, the father filed another petition to modify custody, based on facts that arose after the decision to award joint custody. Another juvenile court judge conducted a hearing, heard testimony, and reviewed the entire record. After doing so, the juvenile court judge strongly criticized the father's litigiousness and, in light of the pending appeal of the joint custody award, dismissed the father's petition for lack of jurisdiction. The father appeals that decision as well. Both appeals were consolidated, but the appeal was dismissed due to a procedural defect (E.J.M. II). The procedural defect was cured, and we now hear the consolidated appeal. We reverse the conclusion by both juvenile court judges, holding that the trial court has jurisdiction and authority to modify custody even while an appeal is pending, so long as the modification is based on new facts and changed conditions that arose after the trial court judgment that is the subject of the appeal. The cause is remanded for a decision on the father's petitions to modify custody.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/myersl_071907.pdf


OVERLAND RESTAURANT MANAGEMENT, LLC, d/b/a HUDDLE HOUSE OF SHELBYVILLE v. THE COMMISSIONER OF LABOR AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lauren S. Lamberth, Assistant Attorney General; and Angela S. Bonovich, for the State.

W. Andrew Bobo, Shelbyville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Overland Restaurant Management, LLC, d/b/a Huddle House of Shelbyville.

Judge: CLEMENT

The Commissioner of Labor appeals the Chancery Court's reversal of a decision by the Board of Review for the Department of Labor concerning an individual's eligibility for unemployment benefits. The employer of a waitress who sought unemployment benefits, challenged the employee's claim contending she was not eligible to receive unemployment because she was terminated for violation of company policy. The Board of Review found her eligible for benefits. The Chancery Court reversed that decision. Having determined that the findings of fact by the Board of Review were supported by substantial and material evidence, we reverse.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/overland_071907.pdf


ROSE MARIE REIFER v. RICHARD EDWARD REIFER

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Jennifer Davis Roberts, Dickson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Richard Reifer.

Jack L. Garton, Dickson, Tennessee, for the appellee, Rose Marie Reifer.

Judge: CAIN

Husband and Wife were before a Special Master to divide their property in an action for divorce. During the pendency of the hearing, Husband and Wife entered into a settlement agreement, initialed the agreement, and informed the Special Master of the agreement. Based upon such information, the Special Master terminated the proceedings. Prior to an order being entered, Husband withdrew his consent to the agreement. Wife filed a Motion to Enforce Agreement, which the trial court granted. Husband appealed. The judgment of the trial court granting Wife's Motion to Enforce Agreement is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/reiferr_071907.pdf


AARON WALKER v. TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Aaron Walker, Nashville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Attorney General and Reporter, and Jennifer R. Bailey, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Correction.

Judge: CAIN

An inmate of the Department of Correction appeals dismissal by the trial court of his Petition for Writ of Certiorari of a Department of Correction Disciplinary Proceeding. The trial court upheld the action of the Department of Correction. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/walkera_071907.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. PHEDREK T. DAVIS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Kathleen G. Morris, Nashville, Tennessee; and Anne M. Davenport, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Phedrek T. Davis.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson III, District Attorney General; and Renee Erb, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Following a jury trial, Defendant, Phedrek T. Davis, was found guilty of first degree premeditated murder, assault, and attempted second degree murder. Defendant was sentenced to life imprisonment for his first degree premeditated murder conviction. Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced Defendant as a Range II, multiple offender, to fifteen years for his attempted murder conviction and eleven months, twenty-nine days for his misdemeanor conviction. The trial court ordered Defendant to serve his attempted murder sentence consecutively to his life sentence, and the misdemeanor sentence concurrently with his other sentences, for an effective sentence of life plus fifteen years. On appeal, Defendant argues that (1) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction of premeditated first degree murder and attempted second degree murder; (2) the trial court erred in its evidentiary rulings; (3) the trial court erred in its jury instructions; (4) the prosecutor's closing argument was improper; (5) the trial court erred in applying enhancement factors in determining the length of Defendant's sentence for attempted second degree murder; and (6) the trial court erred in imposing consecutive sentencing. After a thorough review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/davisp_071907.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WILLIE L. HICKS

Court: TCCA

Judge: WOODALL

In this cause, the appellant, Willie L. Hicks, has filed a petition to rehear following this Court's order dismissing his appeal for failing to timely file the notice of appeal. Appellant argues that the opinion filed by this Court on June 21, 2007, is in conflict with a "prior decision" rendered in the case, namely an order entered in November 2006, which granted Appellant's motion to latefile his brief. The rules regarding the timely filing an appellate brief were suspended in order to allow Appellant to late-file his brief. This order did not suspend any other rules, specifically the rule requiring a timely filing of the notice of appeal in Appellant's case. Accordingly, the petition to rehear is respectfully denied.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/hicksw_071907.pdf


Salaries of County Officers

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-07-18

Opinion Number: 07-110

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2007/ag_07-110.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Lee sues MLGW
Indicted former MLGW president Joseph Lee has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against the utility for rescinding an agreement to pay for his legal expenses stemming from a criminal investigation, the Commercial Appeal reports this afternoon.
Read the story
Knox PD to withdraw from cases because of overload
Knox County Public Defender Mark Stephens plans to withdraw from a number of cases, he said Wednesday, because poor people whom his office is tasked with defending were being shortchanged by his staff's burgeoning caseload. But members of the state Attorney General's Office, the Comptroller of the Treasury's office and the Administrative Office of the Courts have a problem with his plan for dealing with the heavy caseload: money.
The Knoxville News Sentinel has the story
Lawyers volunteer as juvenile referees
Volunteer attorneys are being trained to go to schools and hear minor cases, as referees, in Bradley County. The program, "Campus Court," emphasizes intervention and resolution. "Campus Court is an innovative program that helps by addressing and solving problems at the school, thereby freeing up the juvenile court to focus on more severe cases," said attorney Rod Miller who has volunteered as a referee for more than seven years.
Read more about Campus Court in the Cleveland Daily Banner
AWA president inspired by others to practice law
Laurie L. Christensen started out as secretary at Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. Now Christenson, 2007 president of the Association for Women Attorneys (AWA), says she "worked with some of the most intelligent, ethical, kind and hard-working people that I had ever met in my life and most of them happened to be attorneys." This inspired to become a paralegal and later, a lawyer.
The Memphis Daily News has more
Benton County approves money for new jail
Despite citizen protests, the Benton County Board of Commissioners approved an amended resolution, which authorized the issuance of a $5 million bond -- an effective 27-cent increase on property taxes -- to fund a new jail.
The Camden Chronicle has the story
Middle school videotape case goes to the students
Plaintiffs who sued the Overton County School System and a security camera company over a camera in the dressing room at Livingston Middle School will be awarded $32,000 each, the jury has found. Tuesday's verdict marked the end to a four-week-long trial presided over by 13th Judicial District Circuit Judge John Maddux. The 32 children and their parents claimed that the school system and Edutech had negligently and recklessly inflicted emotional distress upon the children who were videotaped in a dressing room at the school. The camera allegedly recorded images onto a computer hard drive and could be accessed over the Internet.
The Herald Citizen has this story
Court grants extension for comments
The Tennessee Supreme Court has extended the time for comment on the proposed change to Supreme Court Rule 31 Section 11 until Aug. 16.
Download the proposed Rule 31 amendment
TBA Member Services
TBA, Bank of America team up for no-fee credit card
The TBA Rewards American Express Card from Bank of America places a new world of rewards, privileges, and service at your command -- with no annual fee.
Click here to learn more

 
 
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