CLE Commission seeks increase of distance learning credits

The Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education & Specialization has petitioned the state Supreme Court to increase from six to eight hours, the number of annual CLE credits Tennessee attorneys may earn through distance learning courses. The petition seeks to amend Supreme Court Rule 21 Section 4.08, which caps the number of hours attorneys may earn through CLE programs offered in formats other than in person seminars. The Tennessee Bar Association supports the effort. Download a copy of the petition:

http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/news/2007/cle_petition_090407.pdf

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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DIANE DOWNS, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS NATURAL PARENT OF RYAN CODY DOWNS v. MARK BUSH, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Charles P. Yezbak, III, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Diane Downs.

C. Benton Patton, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Mark Bush.

Barry L. Howard and Melissa Bradford Muller, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Scott Hurdle.

W. Bryan Brooks, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Ryan F. Britt.

R. Kreis White, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the appellee, Jerry Dane Eller.

Judge: CLEMENT

The mother of a deceased eighteen-year-old filed this wrongful death action against four defendants with whom her son had been partying prior to his death. Following the party and during the drive on Interstate 65 back to the deceased's apartment, the deceased, who had been riding in the bed of the pickup truck because he was intoxicated and nauseous, fell out or jumped out of the bed of the truck. Thereafter, the deceased was seen standing near but off of the roadway, at which time he ran into traffic, was struck by two vehicles traveling north on Interstate 65, and later died from the trauma. Following discovery, each defendant filed a motion for summary judgment contending, inter alia, he owed no duty to the deceased, he did not breach a duty, and the deceased's injuries and death were the result of the deceased intentionally running into traffic. The trial court granted summary judgment without stating its grounds. This appeal followed. Finding each defendant is entitled to summary dismissal as a matter of law, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/downsd_090407.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE, DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN'S SERVICES v. L.H.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Jonathan A. Garner, Springfield, Tennessee, for the appellant, L. H.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, and James D. Foster, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee, Department of Children's Services.

Judge: CLEMENT

The trial court terminated the mother's parental rights upon findings that she abandoned the child by willfully failing to visit and support the child, and that termination was in the child's best interest. The mother appeals contending the Department of Children's Services failed to make reasonable efforts to reunite the family. We have concluded that the mother failed to provide contact information to the Department, and she abandoned her child by willfully failing to visit or support the child, each of which relieved the Department of the affirmative duty to make reasonable efforts at reunification. We have also determined that termination of the mother's parental rights was in the child's best interest. Accordingly, we affirm the termination of her parental rights.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/lh_090407.pdf


CLARENCE ELWIN PROCTOR v. LINDA WEBB PROCTOR

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

D. Scott Parsley and Michael K. Parsley, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Clarence Elwin Proctor.

Phillip R. Robinson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Linda Webb Proctor.

Judge: CLEMENT

This appeal arises out of a post-divorce petition to reduce the husband's alimony in futuro obligation. Although the husband's income dropped significantly since the divorce, the trial court concluded he had not experienced a material and substantial change "in his lifestyle" based on a finding the husband's new wife contributed to the payment of some of his obligations. We have concluded there has been a material and substantial change in the husband's financial circumstances and therefore reverse and modify the decision of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/proctorc_090407.pdf


ROGERSVILLE INVESTMENT CORPORATION d/b/a HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS v. MERIDIAN INSURANCE GROUP, INC.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Dudley W. Taylor, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Rogersville Investment Corporation d/b/a Holiday Inn Express.

Linda J. Hamilton Mowles, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Meridian Insurance Group, Inc.

Judge: LEE

In this case involving an insurance claim for property damage when a nearly-completed Holiday Inn building in Rogersville partially burned, the issue is how much money the insurance company must pay under the contract. The insurance contract provided that the insurer would pay the insured "the cost to repair, replace or rebuild the property with material of like kind and quality." The insured submitted proof that the contractor's bill for the covered repairs was $47,982.92. Over the insured's hearsay objection, the insurance company introduced evidence that its third-party investigator, who inspected the damaged property, prepared an estimate approximating the loss at $20,532.94. The trial court rejected the insurer's defense of accord and satisfaction, and awarded the insured $33,757.93. We affirm the trial court's judgment that the insurer did not prove accord and satisfaction, and hold that under the unambiguous terms of the contract, the insurer is required to pay the insured $46,982.92, in the absence of proof that the amount charged by the contractor for repairs is excessive or unreasonable. We therefore affirm the judgment of the trial court as modified.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/rogersville_090407.pdf


LARRY ARNELL ADAMS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

J. Liddell Kirk, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Larry Adams.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; Ta Kisha Fitzgerald, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: THOMAS

The petitioner, Larry Arnell Adams, was convicted of multiple offenses and received an effective sentence of thirty-seven years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. This court affirmed the petitioner's sentence on direct appeal. State v. Larry Arnell Adams, No. E2002-03046-CCA-R3-CD, 2004 WL 1467436 (Tenn. Crim. App. June 30, 2004). In November 2005, the petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief, alleging ineffective assistance of counsel based primarily on failure to call witnesses identified by the petitioner. Counsel was appointed, a hearing was held in Knox County Criminal Court, and the trial court denied relief. The petitioner appeals the trial court's ruling. After reviewing the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/adamsl_090407.pdf


TERRANCE BURKE v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Paul K. Guibao, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Terrance Burke.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Tracye Jones, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: HAYES

The Appellant, Terrance Burke, appeals the judgment of the Shelby County Criminal Court denying his petition for post-conviction relief. On appeal, Burke argues that he was denied his Sixth Amendment right to the effective assistance of counsel. After a review of the record, we affirm the denial of post-conviction relief.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/burket_090407.pdf


SHERMAN CLARK v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Sherman Clark, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Michael Moore, Solicitor General; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: HAYES

The Petitioner, Sherman Clark, appeals the trial court's denial of his petition for habeas corpus relief. The State has filed a motion requesting that this Court affirm the trial court's denial of relief pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The Petitioner fails to assert a cognizable claim for which habeas corpus relief may be granted. Accordingly, the State's motion is granted and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/clarks_090407.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WILLIAM JOSHUA HARWOOD

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Mike A. Little, Chattanooga, Tennessee, attorney for appellant, William Joshua Harwood.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, III, District Attorney General; James Woods and Boyd Patterson, Assistant District Attorneys General, attorneys for appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: THOMAS

The defendant, William Joshua Harwood, appeals as of right from his Hamilton County Criminal Court convictions for attempt to manufacture methamphetamine and two counts of theft of property valued at over one thousand dollars. On appeal, he argues that the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions because they are based upon the uncorroborated testimony of an accomplice. The state concedes in its brief that the convictions should be reversed and dismissed for this reason. Following our review, we agree. Accordingly, the convictions are reversed and dismissed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/harwoodw_090407.pdf


ALLEN OLIVER v. DAVID MILLS, WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Allen Oliver, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Michael Moore, Solicitor General; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The Petitioner, Allen Oliver, appeals the lower court's denial of his petition for habeas corpus relief. The State has filed a motion requesting that this Court affirm the trial court pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The Petitioner has failed to assert a ground that would entitle him to habeas corpus relief. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court's dismissal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/olivera_090407.pdf


Charter Schools

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-08-30

Opinion Number: ag_07-132.pdf

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2007/ag_07-131.pdf

Effect of 2007 Tenn. Pub. Acts, Ch. 371, on Tennessee Human Rights Commission's Authority

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-08-30

Opinion Number: ag_07-132.pdf

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2007/ag_07-132.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Free-speech groups play defense for football suit
Free-speech advocates from across the political spectrum are working with four dismissed Jefferson County High School football players to fend off an appellate court opinion they say would quell the athletes' rights. The issue is whether student athletes enjoy the same First Amendment protections as regular students. The case arose when the players launched a petition drive to fire a coach and were subsequently kicked off the team.
Read more in the News Sentinel
Bertelsmann to pay publishers $130 million in Napster case
Bertelsmann AG, Europe's largest media company, agreed to pay $130 million to resolve claims by music publishers that its investments in the original Napster music download service contributed to copyright infringement. The accord finally resolves a legal battle between Bertelsmann and record labels and music publishers, who claimed the loans helped Napster stay in business. Copyright infringement claims against the original Napster were never litigated and the company is now a paid music-download service.
The Tennessean has more
Judges object to clerk resources crackdown
A confidential salary cost-containment report currently making the rounds among federal judges would limit them to a single career law clerk, curtail clerk vacation pay and cap career clerk salaries. The report has plenty of judges mad, with some disputing the report's claims of financial savings.
Law.com has this National Law Journal story
County commissioner seeks audit of meth task force
Saying he wants to know where the money has gone, Hamilton County Commissioner John Allen Brooks plans to continue seeking an independent audit of the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force. The statewide task force head said there is nothing to hide.
Chattanooga Times Free Press reports
UT flips public record stance
University of Tennessee administrators recently convinced Coach Phillip Fulmer that publicizing his $1 million donation would encourage others to give. But officials took a different approach in April when they lobbied a bill through the state legislature that closed public access to donor lists and records about contributors. That measure won unanimous approval with no debate and little notice.
Read more about the Open Records Act in the Commercial Appeal
Recidivism less for sex crime offenders
Those convicted of sex crimes in Tennessee are less likely to re-offend than other types of felons, according to a recent study. Experts say the data is consistent with studies done in 1997 and the early 1990s.
Read more in the Chattanooga Times Free Press
DOJ gets ready for recovery following Gonzales
The Legal Times goes inside the Department of Justice on the cusp of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' departure and suggests that the agency (1) is in disarray and (2) needs critical attention to revive its core mission of law enforcement.
Read the full piece
Illegal immigrant notices held
A federal judge ruled Friday that the Social Security Administration may not move forward with plans for new penalties for employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants. Judge Maxine Chesney with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California made the ruling in a case brought by the AFL-CIO.
Learn more in the New Sentinel
Smyrna court finds home
Smyrna Municipal Court is operating in a new home at the town's justice center at 400 Enon Springs Road East. The court had been operating on a part-time basis at the Town Centre. Now court is full time with dockets at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Mondays, 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Thursdays.
The Daily News Journal has more
TBA Member Services
Program offers savings on auto insurance
See how being a member of the TBA could help you save 8 percent on car insurance. GEICO offers 24-hour sales, service and claims. Call GEICO at 1-800-368-2734
or get an online rate quote

 
 
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