Legendary litigator dead at 78

NashvillePost.com reported this afternoon that David Lee Vincent Jr., a long-time associate in the Nashville law firm of Looby & Williams, has died. In 1960, Vincent represented black students protesting segregated lunch counters in Nashville and he often worked for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, fighting for public school integration and equal employment opportunities. He was one of the first black students to study law at the University of Michigan and after graduating, practiced law in Akron and Cleveland before returning to Nashville. He subsequently served in the Davidson County public defender's office and on the county's election commission. Funeral details were not available at press time.
TODAY'S OPINIONS
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BELLSOUTH ADVERTISING & PUBLISHING CORPORATION v. DAN WILSON D/B/A MID-TENN FENCING

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

William Kennerly Burger, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Dan Wilson d/b/a Mid-Tenn Fencing.

Mark B. Reagan and Phillip D. Patterson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, BellSouth Advertising & Publishing Corporation.

Judge: LEE

BellSouth sued Mr. Wilson to collect nearly $24,000 he allegedly owed for business advertising placed in two editions of The Real Yellow Pages. At trial, BellSouth was unable to produce one of the contracts for the advertisements in question, nor could it present comprehensive documentation of the debits and credits to Mr. Wilson's accounts with BellSouth, from their inception to present. Mr. Wilson testified that he had received free advertising from BellSouth due to errors in previous advertisements and that he did not owe BellSouth any money. In support of this assertion, Mr. Wilson offered the testimony of his bookkeeper, Mary Villa Green. Ms. Green testified that, according to her calculations, BellSouth owed Mr. Wilson $8,500, and Mr. Wilson owed BellSouth nothing. Both parties introduced correspondence and statements from BellSouth. However, some of the documents were inconsistent, and the evidence was obviously not a complete and accurate summary of the business relationship between the parties. The trial court entered a judgment of $10,000 in favor of BellSouth, and Mr. Wilson appeals. After careful review, we hold that the trial court erred in ordering Mr. Wilson to pay BellSouth $10,000. We reverse and remand for entry of a judgment in favor of Mr. Wilson.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/bellsouth_073107.pdf


CREDIT GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY, in Liquidation v. INSURANCE SERVICE GROUP, INC., ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Melinda Meador, Edward C. Meade, and Matthew M. Scoggins, III; Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Credit General Insurance Company, in liquidation.

Dale R. Cantrell, Clinton, Tennessee; and James C. Gray, Jr. and Thad H. Westbrook, Columbia, South Carolina; for the appellees, Insurance Services Group, Inc.; Appalachian Underwriters, Inc.; Robert J. Arowood; William M. Arowood; and Bobbie P. Arowood.

Judge: LEE

The primary issue in this case is whether Ohio or Tennessee law should apply to resolve a contract dispute regarding arbitration between parties who have agreed that any disputes arising out of their agreement would be governed by Ohio law. After review, we conclude that the parties' choice of law must be honored. Therefore, Ohio law controls. Because Ohio law provides that on procedural matters, such as arbitration, the law of the forum governs, Tennessee law must be applied to determine whether an issue is arbitrable. Applying Tennessee law, we hold that the dispute is subject to arbitration and therefore, the trial court's judgment is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/creditgeneral_073107.pdf


TERRE JO FIELDS v. JAMES R. FIELDS, JR.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Christine Stephens and Brett A. Schubert, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, James R. Fields, Jr.

Terre Jo Fields, Pro Se.

Judge: FARMER

Husband was found in civil contempt and incarcerated. He was further enjoined from being self-employed. He appeals only the injunction which we reverse.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/fieldst_073107.pdf


EDDIE GORDON v. TENNESSEE BOARD OF PROBATION AND PAROLE

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Eddie Gordon, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, Michael Moore, Solicitor General, Pamela S. Lorch, Senior Counsel, and Kimberly J. Dean, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole.

Judge: FARMER

The chancery court dismissed Appellant's petition under common law writ of certiorari for review of a 2004 proceeding before the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole, which denied parole based on the seriousness of Appellant's offense and deferred the next parole hearing for five years. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/gordone_073107.pdf


VAN IRION, ET AL. v. LEWIS GOSS, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Van Irion, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Van Irion and Dawn Irion.

Lewis Goss, appellee, pro se.

No appearance on behalf of Jonathan Newson.

Judge: SUSANO

This case was originally commenced in the Knox County General Sessions Court. Van Irion and his wife, Dawn Irion, filed a civil warrant there against Lewis Goss, Jonathan Newson (Goss and Newson will be collectively referred to as "the defendants"), and eBay, Inc. The warrant alleges, in general terms, fraud, breach of contract, breach of warranty, and violation of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act ("the TCPA"). The plaintiffs' action arises out of their purchase of a boat from the defendants through the internet auction site eBay. The suit against the defendants was transferred by the Knox County Circuit Court to the trial court. On October 2, 2006 -- following a hearing on August 22, 2006 -- the trial court entered an "Amended Final Order" awarding the plaintiffs a judgment against the defendants for $4,410, but failing to award attorney's fees. Plaintiffs appeal the failure of the court to award fees. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/irionv_073107.pdf


GREGORY A. KEISLER v. CALVIN WALLACE, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Rob Gratigny and Brian C. Quist, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Gregory A. Keisler.

Joseph G. Coker, Jacksboro, Tennessee, for the appellee, Campbell County, Tennessee.

Johnny V. Dunaway, LaFollette, Tennessee, for the intervenor/appellee, Bart Montanari, dba Montie's Resources, LLC.

Judge: SUSANO

Gregory A. Keisler brought this action against Campbell County and the heirs of Z.D. Baird, seeking to quiet title to 600 acres of land in Campbell County. The trial court granted Campbell County summary judgment regarding the mineral rights on the property and certified the judgment as final pursuant to the provisions of Tenn. R. Civ. P. 54.02. The plaintiff and Campbell County agree that the property at issue was combined with adjacent property for tax purposes and assessed as a whole. They also agree, as far as the issue of summary judgment is concerned, that taxes due on the mineral rights were not paid for certain years and that, as a consequence, the mineral rights with respect to the combined properties were sold at a tax sale at which the successful bidder was Campbell County. The basic issue in this case is whether there was commonality of ownership such as to support a joint assessment and later sale. Since we have determined that there is a genuine issue of material fact with respect to the commonality of ownership issue, we hold that summary judgment for Campbell County is not appropriate. The judgment of the trial court granting Campbell County summary judgment is hereby vacated and this case is remanded for further proceedings. Obviously, we reject Campbell County's contention that the plaintiff's appeal is frivolous in nature.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/keislerga_073107.pdf


IN RE ESTATE OF RICHARD C. LANG

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Wesley M. Baker, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Stephanie F. Lang, Executrix of the Estate of Richard C. Lang.

Charles W. Kite, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Lydia Jane Woschenko.

Judge: SUSANO

This case involves a dispute in probate between Lydia Jane Woschenko ("the claimant"), who is the former spouse of Richard C. Lang ("the decedent"), and Stephanie F. Lang ("the executrix"), who is the decedent's widow and the executrix of his estate. The claimant filed a claim against the estate based upon a post-divorce agreement between her and the decedent. She seeks to recover the unpaid balance of half of the net value of the marital real property. The trial court found the agreement to be valid and awarded the claimant $72,238.86. The executrix appeals the court's award, raising issues addressing the Dead Man's Statute, the doctrine of incorporation by reference, and the equitable doctrine of laches. We modify the trial court's judgment. As modified, the judgment is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/langrc_073107.pdf


MALIBU EQUESTRIAN ESTATE, INC., ET AL. v. SEQUATCHIE CONCRETE SERVICE, INC.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Kim B. Tycer, Pulaski, TN, for Appellants.

Alaric A. Henry, Amanda G. Branam, Chattanooga, TN, for Appellee.

Judge: HIGHERS

This case involves a dispute between a seller and a buyer of concrete. The seller delivered the materials to the buyer's property, and the seller received a check to cover the price of the materials delivered. The buyer stopped payment on the check because it claimed that the seller's concrete truck damaged a bridge on the buyer's property. The buyer filed suit against the seller for negligence and other claims, and the seller counterclaimed for breach of contract and other claims. The trial court entered directed verdicts on all claims except for negligence and breach of contract. A jury returned a verdict in favor of the seller on both claims, finding no negligence on the seller's part, and finding that the buyer had breached the contract. The buyer appealed, challenging various aspects of the jury instructions and the verdict form, and the buyer also challenged the evidentiary basis for the amount of attorney's fees awarded to the seller. For the following reasons, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/malibuestate_073107.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. SCOTTY HENRY PACE, JR.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Paula Ogle Blair, Nashville, TN, for Appellant.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Pamela Hayden-Wood, Senior Counsel, Nashville, TN, for Appellee.

Judge: HIGHERS

The appellant's former girlfriend obtained an order of protection against the appellant in June of 2003. In August of 2003, the former girlfriend filed warrants alleging two separate violations of the order of protection by the appellant. The general sessions court found the appellant guilty of criminal contempt for both violations and sentenced the appellant to ten days in jail for each offense. The appellant appealed to the circuit court, which held a hearing and affirmed the convictions. Because the appellant has failed to include in the appellate record the June 2003 order of protection which he was found to have violated, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/paces_073107.pdf


CAROL ANN WAUGH v. TROY ALLEN WAUGH

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

James G. Martin, III, and Rebecca K. McKelvey, Nashville,Tennessee, for the appellant, Carl Ann Waugh.

Helen Sfikas Rogers, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee Troy Allen Waugh.

Judge: FARMER

In this post-divorce case, the former wife challenges the trial court's dismissal of a contempt action she brought against her former husband for refusing to make a $1,458 line of credit interest payment purportedly required by the trial court's previous pendente lite order. The trial court found that the pendente lite order did not require the former husband to pay accrued interest that was billed after the entry of the final divorce decree awarding the marital residence, along with its line of credit, to the former wife. The trial court thus dismissed the contempt proceedings because the former husband had complied with the pendente lite order. Finding no abuse of discretion, we concur in the trial court's judgment and award reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees, to the former husband under a provision of the parties' marital dissolution agreement. Affirmed and remanded for the calculation of reasonable expenses and entry of judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/waughc_073107.pdf


LARRY JOHNSON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Lance R. Chism, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Larry Johnson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Scot Bearup, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The petitioner, Larry Johnson, appeals the post-conviction court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. On appeal, he argues that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel because his attorney failed to request an instruction on second-degree murder as a lesser-included offense of premeditated first-degree murder and did not raise the trial court's failure to give such instruction as an issue in the motion for new trial. Following our review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the denial of post-conviction relief.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/johnsonl_073107.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DEDDRICK PARKER, TAURUS DRIVER, and TREMAINE ROBERSON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Paul K. Guibao, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Deddrick Parker; Charles Edgar Waldman, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Taurus Driver; and Gregory Thomas Carman (on appeal) and Matthew John (at trial), Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tremaine Roberson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Dennis Johnson and Muriel Conner, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendants, Deddrick Parker, Taurus Driver, and Tremaine Roberson, were indicted for two counts of aggravated robbery, a Class B felony, and five counts of aggravated assault, a Class C felony. Each defendant was convicted of both counts of aggravated robbery, and Roberson was also convicted of all five counts of aggravated assault, Parker of two counts, and Driver of two counts of the lesser-included offense of facilitation of aggravated assault. Roberson, Parker, and Driver were sentenced as Range I, standard offenders to consecutive sentences totaling thirty-five, twenty-four, and twenty years, respectively. In this consolidated appeal, they raise three issues: (1) the evidence is insufficient; (2) the trial court erred in its application of enhancement factors and in imposing consecutive sentencing; and (3) the trial court erred by not timely disclosing its prior relationship with an assault victim. Following our review, we remand for resentencing as to those sentences imposed on each defendant which exceed the minimum, affirm the remaining judgments, and remand to the trial court for a determination as to whether the sentences should be served concurrently or consecutively.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/parkerd_073107.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. GERALD WELLS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Tony N. Brayton, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Gerald Wells.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Anita Spinetta, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Appellant, Gerald Wells, was indicted for one count of aggravated robbery. After a jury trial, Appellant was convicted as charged. The trial court sentenced Appellant as a Range II multiple offender to seventeen years for the conviction. On appeal, Appellant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence. Because the evidence was sufficient to support the conviction for aggravated robbery, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/wellsg_073107.pdf


Prohibition of Candidate Paying for Endorsement

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-07-30

Opinion Number: 07-113

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2007/ag_07-113.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Legislative News
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Chief justice home after seizure
U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts walked out of a hospital in Maine today, released one day after he suffered a fall that doctors are now calling a seizure. A court spokeswoman said Roberts was returning to his vacation home and that doctors had found no cause for concern.
The Tennessean covered the story
Appeal of desegregation ruling possible
Members of the Shelby County Board of Education have expressed bewilderment at U.S. District Court Judge Bernice Donald's ruling that the county school system is not ready for its desegregation order to be lifted. The board's chairman, David Pickler, said the group has worked on the issue for years and has never heard Donald express the concerns she raised in her recent opinion. The board meets on Thursday and Pickler said he will "strongly recommend" that they appeal the ruling to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Memphis Daily News reports
Paper calls for Gonzalez's departure
In an editorial yesterday, the Mountain Press compared Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez to disgraced district attorney Mike Nifong of North Carolina and suggested that Gonzalez, like Nifong, should go.
Read the opinion piece
New drug task force formed
Mike Dunavant, district attorney for the 25th Judicial District, has formed a stand-alone drug task force for the five counties within the district. Three municipalities within the district previously were members of the West Tennessee Drug Task Force. The move has energized law enforcement support for the program, according to Dunavant.
Read more in the Daily News
Juvenile court holds fair to educate volunteers
The Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County hosted a volunteer resource fair today to educate volunteers about local organizations that help children and families who come in contact with the court. Agencies represented included: Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), the Commission of Missing and Exploited Children (COMEC), Auxiliary Probation Service and the Advisory Foster Care Review Board, reports the Memphis Daily News.

Branham honored by LSC
Memphis lawyer Andy Branham was honored by the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) last week when its board of governors met in Nashville. The TBA nominated Branham for the pivotal role he played in planning the association's first annual Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative and his continuing efforts cultivating corporate counsel support for pro bono activities. Four other attorneys, nominated by local legal aid and pro bono programs, also were recognized by the LSC. They are: Donald Capparella of Nashville, David M. Cook of Memphis, Leslie McWilliams of Chattanooga and Mary Jo Middlebrooks of Jackson.

Chattanooga attorneys open new firm
David R. Evans, Mark D. Hackett and F. Scott LeRoy have formed the law firm of Evans, LeRoy & Hackett PLLC at 920 McCallie Ave. in downtown Chattanooga. Learn more about the firm's practice areas and principals on Chattanoogan.com
Click here for article
Legislative News
Bredesen: ethics reform did not reign in lobbyists
While acknowledging that last year's ethics reform has stopped lobbyists from "wining and dining" lawmakers, Governor Phil Bredesen maintains that lobbyists still hold tremendous power over the legislative process.
Read about his comments in the Memphis Daily News
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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