General Practice Summit back 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.

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With Dissenting Opinion

Court: TCA


Tonya L. Merrick, Nashville, Tennessee, pro se.

Karl Dean, Director of Law; James E. Robinson, Lora Barkenbus Fox, and John L. Kennedy, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County.

Judge: CAIN

This appeal involves a motor vehicle accident between a vehicle driven by Appellant and a Metropolitan Nashville school bus. The case was tried non-jury, and the trial court, based primarily upon the testimony of an alleged eye witness, decided the case in favor of Defendant. Finding the evidence of the alleged eye witness to be inherently improbable, we reverse the action of the trial court and remand the case for a new trial.

CLEMENT Dissenting


Court: TCA


Melvin L. Raymond, St. Louis, MO, and Eva Lemeh, Nashville, TN, for the appellant, William Keith Ridley.

Mary J. Chukinas Lagrone, Nashville, TN, for the appellee, Carolyn Ridley.

Judge: KURTZ

This appeal involves the construction of a will and imposition of attorney's fees. The Probate Court found that the language of the will gave the Decedent's second wife a life estate in the marital home with a one-half remainder to his stepdaughter. For the reasons stated herein we find that the language of the will does not support such a construction, and we reverse. The attorney's fees will have to be reconsidered in light of our reversal on the will construction issue.

With Concurring and Dissenting Opinions

Court: TCCA


Steven M. Wallace, District Public Defender; and Terry L. Jordan, Assistant Public Defender, Blountville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Thomas Coburn.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Greeley Wells, District Attorney General; and Joseph E. Perrin, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Thomas Coburn, was convicted by a Sullivan County jury of aggravated kidnapping, a Class B felony, and attempted rape, a Class C felony. The trial court sentenced the Defendant to nineteen years for the aggravated kidnapping and nine years for the attempted rape to be served consecutively in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant asserts the following: (1) his conviction for aggravated kidnapping violated federal and state due process protections and should be vacated under State v. Anthony, 817 S.W.2d 299 (Tenn. 1991); (2) the evidence establishing identification is insufficient to support his convictions for attempted rape and aggravated kidnapping beyond a reasonable doubt; and (3) the trial court erred in ordering the Defendant to serve consecutive sentences based upon the classification as a dangerous offender. We reverse the Defendant's conviction for aggravated kidnapping. We affirm the conviction for attempted rape.

TIPTON Concurring and Dissenting

WITT Concurring


Court: TCCA


Mark E. Stephens, District Public Defender; Robert C. Edwards, Assistant District Public Defender, for the appellant, William Robert Franks.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; Leslie Nassios, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The defendant, William Robert Franks, pled guilty to two counts of attempted aggravated sexual battery, a Class C felony, and received an effective sentence of eight years as a Range II, multiple offender, suspended to probation upon the service of nine months of incarceration. In August 2005, a probation revocation warrant was filed, and in May 2006, a revocation hearing was held in Knox County Criminal Court. The trial court revoked the defendant's probation and ordered the defendant to serve the remainder of his sentence in the Tennessee Department of Correction. The defendant appeals, arguing that the trial court acted in an arbitrary, non-conscientious manner in revoking the defendant's probation. After reviewing the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Raymond Mack Garner, District Public Defender (at trial); and J. Liddell Kirk, Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal), for the Appellant, Royal T. Freeman.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Brian Clay Johnson, Assistant Attorney General; Michael L. Flynn, District Attorney General; and Tammy Harrington, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

A Blount County indictment charged the defendant, Royal T. Freeman, with the premeditated first degree murder, see T.C.A. section 39-13-202(a)(1) (2006), of his wife, Kathleen Freeman. The jury convicted the defendant of second degree murder. See id. section 39-13-210. On appeal, the defendant argues that the evidence is insufficient to support a verdict of second degree murder and that the trial court erred in allowing the jury to consider the charge of premeditated first degree murder. After thoroughly reviewing the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Gary F. Antrican, District Public Defender, Somerville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Curtis Daniel Hart.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Mike Dunavant, District Attorney General; and James Walter Freeland, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: HAYES

The Appellant, Curtis Daniel Hart, was found guilty by a Tipton County jury of second degree murder, simple possession of Alprazolam, a Schedule IV controlled substance, and simple possession of marijuana. He was sentenced as a Range II offender to thirty-five years for second-degree murder and to eleven months and twenty-nine days for each simple possession conviction. All sentences were ordered to run concurrently for an effective sentence of thirty-five years. On appeal, Hart raises the following issues regarding his conviction for second-degree murder: (1) whether the trial court erred in denying the motion to suppress his statement; and (2) whether the evidence is sufficient to support his conviction, in light of the evidence presented that he acted in self-defense. After review, we find no error and affirm the judgment of conviction.


Court: TCCA


James M. Webster, Oak Ridge, Tennessee (on appeal); Martha J. Yoakum, District Public Defender; Charles E. Herman, Assistant District Public Defender (at trial), for the appellant, Johnny James Lloyd.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; Wm. Paul Phillips, District Attorney General; Scarlett W. Ellis and Michael O. Ripley, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


In June 2006, the defendant, Johnny James Lloyd, was charged by criminal information with one count of aggravated assault, a Class C felony. The defendant waived issuance of an indictment, pled guilty, and was sentenced to five years in prison as a Range I, standard offender. The defendant filed a timely motion to set aside his guilty plea. Following a hearing, the trial court denied the motion. The defendant appeals, claiming his guilty plea was not entered into voluntarily and knowingly. After reviewing the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Robert Jones, District Public Defender; Glenda Adams and David Bell, Assistant Public Defenders (at trial); and Phyllis Aluko, Assistant Public Defender (on appeal), for the appellant, David Threat.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and James Lammey and Michelle Parks, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, David Threat, was convicted by a Shelby County jury of first degree felony murder and aggravated robbery, for which he received concurrent sentences of life and twelve years, respectively. He raises three issues on appeal: (1) whether the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress his statements to police; (2) whether the trial court erred in admitting a store surveillance videotape into evidence; and (3) whether the evidence was sufficient to sustain his felony murder conviction. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Stephen M. Wallace, District Public Defender; and Joseph F. Harrison, Assistant Public Defender, for the Appellant, Mark Anthony Vermillion.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; and Joseph E. Perrin, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Mark Anthony Vermillion, pleaded guilty to acquiring a controlled substance by forgery, see T.C.A. section 53-11-402(a)(3) (2006), a Class D felony, forgery, see id. section 39-14-114, and theft of property under $500, see id. section 39-14-103, a Class A misdemeanor. As a result of his plea agreement, he received an effective sentence of two years and six months with the manner of service to be determined by the trial court. After an evidentiary hearing, the trial court ordered the defendant to serve his entire sentence in the Department of Correction. The defendant appeals the trial court's order and claims that the court erred in denying full probation or some other form of alternative sentencing. We hold that the trial court did not err and affirm that court's order.


Court: TCCA


Randall B. Tolley (on appeal) and John P. Pritchard (at trial), Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Vanda Watkins.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Tiffani Taylor and Bobby Carter, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The appellant, Vanda Watkins, pled guilty in the Shelby County Criminal Court to reckless aggravated assault, a Class D felony, and pursuant to the plea agreement, received a two-year sentence. After a sentencing hearing, the trial court ordered that the appellant serve his entire sentence in confinement. On appeal, the appellant claims that the trial court erred by denying his request for probation. Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Local School Board's Authority to Dismiss Employees

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-08-08

Opinion Number: 07-117

Lawrenceburg Utility Systems as Municipality under Tenn. Code Ann. Section 26-2-105

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-08-09

Opinion Number: 07-118


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Nominations sought for Access to Justice Awards
The Tennessee Bar Association's Access to Justice Committee is soliciting nominations for the 2007-2008 Access to Justice Public Services Awards. Awards include the newly renamed Ashley T. Wiltshire Public Service Attorney of the Year Award, the Harris Gilbert Pro Bono Award and the Law Student Volunteer Award, which will be presented at the TBA Public Service Awards Luncheon scheduled for Jan. 19. The deadline for nominations is Aug. 24.
Click here for more information or to submit a nomination
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