Former federal judge, Michael Mukasey, nominated for AG

President Bush announced today that he is nominating a former federal judge, Michael Mukasey, as attorney general. If confirmed by the Senate, Mukasey will replace Alberto Gonzales. The president praised Mukasey's actions after the 9/11 attacks, when he "quickly reopened his court, even though it was just blocks from ground zero." Mukasey "recognized the importance of maintaining a functioning justice system in the midst of a national emergency," Bush said. Read more from

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Court: TWCA


Gregory D. Jordan and Todd Siroky, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Hamilton-Ryker.

Beth F. Belew, Paris, Tennessee, for the appellee, Mary Pennewell.


This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated section 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 elbow injury to be compensable and awarded benefits for 25% permanent partial disability to the left arm. The employer contends that the injury did not arise from or occur in the course of the employment and that the employee did not give timely notice of her injury in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-201. We reverse the trial court's finding that the injury was compensable and dismiss the employee's complaint.


Court: TCA


William S. Lockett, Jr., and Rob Quillin, Knoxville, Tennessee for the Appellants, Brett Wilder, Dee Dee Wilder, Michael E. Cox, Dorman Lamarr Stout, Anna Stout, Timothy Welles, Kelly Welles, Dennis Freeman, and Rhonda Shockley.

Brian C. Quist, Knoxville, Tennessee for the Appellees, Melinda Anderson, Alan B. Zimmerman, Cherry W. Zimmerman, Charles F. Quade, Janine R. Quade, William Thompson & Associates, Inc., Michael A. Atkins, Sherry Lynn Turner, and Patrick L. Martin.


This case involves a dispute between members of FuturePoint Administrative Services, LLC ("FuturePoint"), a limited liability company. Plaintiffs sued Defendants after being expelled by Defendants from FuturePoint by vote. Plaintiffs received a buyout price of $150 per ownership unit for their shares and shortly after the expulsion, Defendants sold those ownership units to a third party for $250 per unit. Plaintiffs sued alleging, among other things, that Defendants had violated their fiduciary duty and duty of good faith to Plaintiffs. Defendants argued, in part, that their actions were authorized by FuturePoint"s operating agreement. After a jury trial, judgment was entered in favor of Plaintiffs and Plaintiffs were awarded damages plus pre-judgment interest totaling $98,895.36. Defendants appeal raising issues regarding the Trial Court"s denial of a motion for directed verdict; an alleged lack of evidence regarding the actions of Defendants Dee Dee Wilder, Anna Stout, and Kelly Welles; the imposition of pre-judgment interest; and allegedly erroneous jury instructions. We affirm.


Court: TCA


Herbert S. Moncier, Knoxville, Tennessee, for appellant.

Dean B. Farmer and Kristi M. Davis, Knoxville, Tennessee, for appellee, Timothy Hutchison, Individually.

Robert H. Watson, Jr., and Reid A. Spaulding, Knoxville, Tennessee, for appellee, Knox County, Tennessee.


This action was brought to gain access to public records in defendants' office. In the course of litigation numerous issues were raised, but the Trial Court ordered access to the records, and when plaintiff claimed full access was not given, the Trial Court directed the plaintiff to file a contempt petition against defendant which was done, and the records were ultimately obtained after an appeal. But the Trial Court, after ruling that plaintiff was entitled to attorney's fees, refused to award attorney's fees because plaintiff's counsel refused to comply with the Court's orders. In the course of the litigation, plaintiff sought to disqualify the Sheriff's attorney, and ultimately sought the Trial Judge's recusal. The Trial Court ruled against plaintiff on the appealed. We affirm the Judgment of the Trial Court.


Court: TCA


William J. Brown, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Robert L. Watts.

Daniel P. Berexa and Ben M. Rose, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC.

Judge: LEE

This appeal presents the issue of whether a buyer of an allegedly defective automobile is entitled to the remedy of revocation of acceptance against the automobile distributor under Tennessee's Uniform Commercial Code and the Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. We conclude that the remedy of revocation of acceptance, previously known as rescission, is only available against the seller, not the distributor, of the product. We therefore affirm the trial court's grant of summary judgment to the distributor.


Court: TCCA


Ashley L. Ownby, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellant, Hector J. Juaregui.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter, Cameron E. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; Jerry N. Estes, District Attorney General; Steven Crump and John Williams, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The defendant, Hector J. Jauregui, was convicted by a Bradley County jury of criminally negligent homicide, aggravated robbery and aggravated criminal trespass. The trial court sentenced the defendant as a Range I, standard offender to two years for the criminally negligent homicide conviction, ten years for the aggravated robbery conviction and eleven months, twenty-nine days for the aggravated criminal trespass conviction. The trial court further ordered the aggravated robbery conviction to be served consecutively to the remaining concurrent sentences, for a total effective sentence of twelve years. The defendant now challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to support his convictions for criminally negligent homicide and aggravated robbery. Additionally, he challenges the trial court"s denial of his motion to sever the offenses in this case. Following our review, we find no merit to the defendant"s challenges on appeal. However, we conclude that the judgments do not properly reflect the jury"s verdict and the trial court's sentences. Therefore, we affirm the convictions and remand the case for correction of the judgments.


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Legal News
Bredesen says he'll name appeals judge soon
Gov. Phil Bredesen said today that he does plan on filling the open spot on the state Court of Appeals, that he would not reject the panel given to him by the Judicial Selection Commission, and that a decision could soon, the Nashville City Paper reports. The three candidates up for consideration are Andy Bennett, chief deputy attorney general; Donald Capparella, a Nashville attorney; and Amy V. Hollars, a Livingston attorney.
The City Paper has more
Purcell will be dean at TSU
Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell will become the dean of a new college at Tennessee State University in January, his office confirmed today. Purcell, who leaves office after eight years later this week, will lead TSU's College of Public Service and Urban Affairs after he teaches a seminar on cities this fall at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.
Read more in the Tennessean
Today is Constitution Day,
but many don't know it
Today is Constitution Day, created by Congress in 2004, to commemorate the day the document was adopted in 1787. But it's not high on the priority of students, a study released today shows. The study, done by a foundation that focuses on journalism and the First Amendment, found that 51 percent of high school students questioned had not heard of the day. "We're concerned that teaching to the test and the emphasis on math and science is hurting the American civics education," a vice president of the program said. The report did find some encouraging news: 68 percent of students said they had taken a class that dealt with the First Amendment, compared with 58 percent in 2004.
Read about in the News Sentinel
Find out more about Constitution Day from the ABA
Shelby Commission presses for second judge
The Shelby County Commission is asking a judge to lift a stay preventing the commission from appointing a second Juvenile Court judge. But Lucian Pera, who is representing Juvenile Court Judge Curtis Person, said they have not changed their opinion that a second judge should not be appointed until after the appeals process.
The Commercial Appeal has the story
Officials review courthouse evacuation plans
An incident in the McMinn County Courthouse in Athens last week that caused an evacuation brought up "glaring weaknesses" in notifying everyone in the building of the need to leave, McMinn County Mayor John Gentry said. That has caused officials there, as well as in other Southeast area counties, to rethink their procedures.
The Times Free-Press has more
More resources needed to round up loose fugitives
Law enforcement experts say that the top correction officials in the state, county jailers, police and the state's justice system will have to commit time, attention and money to bring Tennessee's prison escapees back to justice. Tennessee currently has more than 150 fugitives on the loose, records show -- topped only by New York and California.
The Tennessean is following this story
Missing info on arrest records can mean delays
Knox County prosecutors say incomplete warrants are causing problems or delays in some cases in General Sessions Court. "Overall, most of the warrants are good. But this is a daily occurrence," Assistant District Attorney General Samyah Jubran told the News Sentinel. But General Sessions Judge Chuck Cerny, who oversees Knox County's five judicial commissioners, defends the process. "We care about doing it right," he said.
Read it in the News Sentinel
Employers should watch workers' comp decision closely
Knoxville lawyer Pamela Reeves explains the reasoning behind a recent case where a widow of an employee who died as a result of a basketball game was entitled to workers' compensation benefits. "Employers may still want to encourage employees to participate in physical activities on their breaks," Reeves writes, "but they need to know that there is potential workers' compensation exposure."
Read her column in the News Sentinel
Bragg to seek 16th Circuit seat
Murfreesboro attorney David Bragg has announced plans to run for Circuit Court judge, Part II, of the 16th Judicial District in the Feb. 5 Democratic primary. Bragg seeks to succeed incumbent Circuit Court Judge James Clayton, who has been serving Rutherford and Cannon counties in this position since 1984. Clayton was defeated by Larry Trail in August 2006, but when Trail died before he could be sworn in, Clayton was named to remain on the bench by Senior Judge Don Harris of Williamson County until voters could elect a new judge in August 2008. Clayton said in a recent interview that he was not going to seek reelection this time.
The Daily News Journal has the story
Disciplinary Actions
Three attorneys reinstated
Burkett C. McInturff of Kingsport, Danny Mahir Awdeh of the District of Columbia and Rachel Elaine Brown of Philadelphia, Pa., have been reinstated to the practice of law in Tennessee after paying the annual BPR fee.
View all attorneys suspended and reinstated for 2007 fee violations
TennBarU CLE
Learn essentials of elder law from the experts
The best of TBA's Elder Law Essentials CLE program are now available as TennBarU online video programs. A distinguished faculty, including several national experts, provide the most up-to-date information on various areas of interest to the elder law practitioner or any attorney who deals with the issues of planning for old age. Programs include: Basics of Medicaid Planning, Medicaid Spousal Impoverishment, the Issues of Aging, Medicaid Eligibility: General Rules, Basic Long-Term Care Planning, Ethics and Elder Law Practice, Pension and Retirement Plans, and Planning for Incapacity: Powers of Attorney and Conservatorships.
Learn more or register now
TBA Member Services
Student loans at low rates through SunTrust
The TBA and SunTrust Bank now have a Partnership Program to help alleviate the burden of student loans. Members and their families can consolidate their federal student loans at a special low fixed rate - right now as low as 5.375 percent. In addition, those with consolidation loans greater than $10,000 are eligible to reduce their interest rate by another 1.5 percent for on-time payments and automatic debit payments.
Learn more

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