Fowlkes named to Criminal Court

Shelby County chief administrative officer John Fowlkes Jr. has been appointed by Gov. Phil Bredesen to fill the vacancy on the 30th Judicial District Criminal Court Division VI, the Commercial Appeal reports this afternoon. Fowlkes, a former federal and state prosecutor, was one of three finalists for the seat left vacant since July 1 following the retirement of Judge W. Fred Axley, 70, who presided in Division VI for 25 years. Bredesen has been critical of the Judicial Selection Commission for not sending him more black candidates to consider. Fowlkes was the one black candidate of the three finalists. Read the story
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Court: TWCA


Daniel H. Rader, III, Cookeville, Tennessee, for the appellant, City of Cookeville.

Joy Davis Giddens, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellee, James R. Lane.

Judge: SCOTT

This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. In this case, the trial court found the employee's heart attack to be compensable and awarded benefits for 20 percent permanent partial disability. The employer contends that the heart attack did not arise out of or occur in the course of his employment. The employee contends the amount of the award is inadequate. We reverse the trial court's finding that the heart attack was compensable and dismiss the employee's complaint.


Court: TCA


Lewis L. Cobb, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Charles Farmer.

C. Barry Ward, Ashlee B. Ellis, and Randall J. Fishman, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, David Hersh.

Judge: KIRBY

This is a defamation case. The defendant owned a minor league baseball team which played for the City of Jackson, Tennessee. In 2002, the plaintiff, the mayor of Jackson, was negotiating with the defendant team owners to purchase the baseball team on behalf of the city. Soon the plaintiff mayor and the defendant owner became embroiled in a lawsuit related to the sale of the team. Two years later, the plaintiff mayor filed the instant lawsuit, alleging that the defendant team owner had defamed him by telling the media that the mayor was attempting to "steal" the team. After some discovery, the defendant team owner filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. At the hearing on the motion, the trial court noted that matters outside the complaint had been submitted to the court, and it therefore treated the motion as one for summary judgment. The trial court granted the motion, concluding that the statement allegedly made by the defendant team owner was not defamatory, and that the plaintiff mayor had not presented sufficient proof of damages. The plaintiff mayor now appeals. We affirm, concluding that the statement allegedly made is mere hyperbole and not defamatory as a matter of law.

Provision of Medical Services By a Certified Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nurse, Advanced

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-08-08

Opinion Number: 07-116


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Bailey says Bredesen 'disingenuous'
A black judge who was chosen by the Judicial Selection Commission earlier this year, but ultimately not chosen for the Supreme Court, took issue with Gov. Bredesen's statements that the commission has exhibited a lack of diversity in its choices. "It is disingenuous for this governor who had the opportunity with my nomination in June to maintain diversity on the state's highest court to now point the finger of blame at the Selection Commission," Circuit Court Judge D'Army Bailey said in a statement released Wednesday.
Read the AP story in the News Sentinel
Selection Commission members defend choices
Two members of the Judicial Selection Commission -- Knox County District Attorney General Randy Nichols and 22nd Judicial District Attorney General Mike Bottoms -- said they would be open to changes in the way the commission works, while defending their recent choices for the state Court of Appeals. Gov. Phil Bredesen this week criticized the panel for not recommending any minority applicants for a vacancy on the court.
Click here, then scroll down to read the Memphis Daily News story
Ethics Commission disagrees on how to handle PR
Tennessee Ethics Commission member Linda Knight proposed proactive measures to educate the media and the public on the Public Records and Open Meetings Acts, but fellow commissioners overruled her. Knight's idea came about because of some news accounts that alleged that the panel had not granted an open records request, which she said was "not true." But Knight's fellow commissioners disagreed with taking overt actions to defend the commission on the issue of whether it had complied with acts. Commissioner Larry Brown told Knight that the press "owns the newspapers" and they are "going to say what they want to say."
Read more in the Nashville City Paper
Barker elected to national post
Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice William M. Barker was elected to a two-year term on the 14-member board of directors for the Conference of Chief Justices at the organization's annual meeting in Michigan. CCJ's membership includes the highest judicial officers from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.
Justice Alito says he can't get a word in
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito said to an audience at Pepperdine University School of Law in California that his colleagues are so inquisitive that "it's extremely difficult to get a question in." The remarks -- where he reflected on his 18 months on the bench -- aired live on C-SPAN Tuesday. He is also teaching a constitutional law course at Pepperdine this summer.
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A recent story from, reported in yesterday's TBA Today, misidentified the key issues Attorney General Bob Cooper said he would address while in office. Among them, the paper wrote, was "immigrant health care fraud." Cooper's office stated today that the real issue is "provider health care fraud."

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