New TennBarU online course focuses on ethics, technology

If you're looking for guidance in applying Tennessee's Rules of Professional Conduct to the technology you use in your daily practice, this course is for you. The interactive text format offers a lively learning experience, with scenarios that relate to the challenges you face.

Click on the category of your choice to view summaries of today’s opinions from that court, or other body. A link at the end of each case summary will let you download the full opinion in PDF format. To search all opinions in the TBALink database or to obtain a text version of each opinion, go to our OpinionSearch page. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on TBALink at the TBA's Membership Central.

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You can obtain full-text versions of the opinions two ways. We recommend that you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. 1) Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This should give you the option to download the original document. If not, you may need to right-click on the URL to get the option to save the file to your computer. 2) Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion.


Court: TCA


Joseph L. Broy, Germantown, Tennessee, for Appellants Dattel Family Limited Partnership and Travelers Property Casualty Company of America.

Gary R. Wilkinson and C. Michael Becker, Germantown, Tennessee, for Appellee Mary G. Wintz.

Judge: KIRBY

This is an insurance case. The plaintiff landlord purchased insurance on an apartment building that he owned. The defendant tenant leased an apartment in the landlord's building. A fire occurred and damaged the apartment building. Pursuant to the insurance policy, the plaintiff insurance carrier paid the landlord to cover the fire damage. The landlord and the insurance carrier, as the landlord's subrogee under the contract of insurance, filed a lawsuit against the tenant, claiming negligence and breach of contract and seeking compensation for the damage to the apartment building caused by the fire. The tenant moved for summary judgment, asserting that, as a tenant, she was an implied co- insured under the landlord's insurance policy, and that consequently the plaintiff insurance carrier had no right of subrogation against the tenant. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the tenant. The landlord and the insurance carrier appeal. We affirm, holding that, in the absence of an express agreement to the contrary, the tenant is deemed a co-insured under the landlord's insurance policy, and therefore subrogation against the tenant is not available to the insurance carrier.


Court: TCCA


Randy Rogers, Athens, Tennessee, for the appellant, Drew David Kirkman.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; Steven Bebb (on appeal) and Jerry N. Estes (at trial), District Attorneys General; Stephen Crump, (at trial) Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The defendant, Drew David Kirkman, appeals his convictions in the Criminal Court for Bradley County on two counts of first degree murder and two counts of aggravated robbery. He contends that his pretrial statements to police and the evidence obtained from these statements resulted from an illegal arrest and detention, and therefore the trial court erred in overruling his motion to suppress the statements and evidence. The defendant also contends that the trial court erred in refusing to grant his motion for a mistrial based on the state's arguing facts not in evidence during its closing argument. The trial court imposed consecutive sentences, which the defendant also challenges on appeal. We conclude that the defendant's arrest violated the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and was therefore illegal. As a result, the first statement given by the defendant and the evidence disclosed by the defendant in that statement were erroneously admitted by the trial court. However, we conclude that these errors were harmless beyond a reasonable doubt and did not prejudice the defendant. Furthermore, the evidence found by the police based on information gained from a person named by the defendant in that statement was properly admitted, as the circumstances surrounding the disclosure and eventual discovery of that evidence were such that the connection between the evidence and the illegal arrest was broken. The second statement given by the defendant, containing the confession, was properly admitted in that it was taken after the defendant's appearance before a magistrate, thereby breaking the connection between the illegal arrest and the second statement. We also conclude that the trial court properly refused to declare a mistrial and was correct in imposing consecutive sentences. Based on our conclusions, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Periann S. Houghton, Assistant Public Defender, Covington, Tennessee, for the appellant, Robert Christopher Maclin.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; William A. Tillner, Assistant Attorney General; Michael Dunavant, District Attorney General; and James Walter Freeland, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Robert Christopher Maclin, was convicted of driving on a revoked license and possession of more than .5 grams of cocaine with intent to deliver. He was sentenced as a Range II, multiple offender to thirteen years in the Department of Correction. On appeal, he argues that the evidence was insufficient to support his cocaine conviction because he was not in possession of cocaine when he was arrested. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Marvin E. Ballin, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Edward Charles Tennial.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Paul Goodman and Chris West, Assistant District Attorneys General,for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Appellant, Edward Charles Tennial, was indicted with two counts of first degree murder, two counts of aggravated burglary and one count of theft over $10,000. A jury convicted Appellant of two counts of second degree murder, two counts of aggravated trespass and one count of theft over $10,000. The trial court merged the second degree murder convictions into one and the aggravated trespass convictions into one. After holding a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced Appellant to twenty-one years for the murder conviction as a Range I violent offender, with release eligibility at 100%, three years for the theft over $10,000 as a Range I standard offender with release eligibility of 30%, and eleven months and twenty-nine days for the aggravated trespass in the workhouse. The trial court ordered all sentences to be served consecutively. Appellant argues on appeal that the trial court improperly considered the four enhancement factors to his second degree murder sentence. We conclude that the trial court incorrectly considered two of the four enhancement factors, but the remaining two enhancement factors support the trial court's enhancement of Appellant's sentence. Therefore, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Steve W. Walker, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; Michael Dunavant, District Attorney General; and James Pentecost, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Petitioner, Steve V. Walker, appeals from the Hardeman County Circuit Court's summary dismissal of his pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus. In 1987, a jury convicted the Petitioner of aggravated robbery, and he was sentenced to life imprisonment for an especially aggravated offense as a Range II, persistent offender. The main focus of the Petitioner's argument is that his sentence was not authorized by the 1982 Sentencing Act. The habeas corpus court dismissed the petition, finding that the Petitioner's issues had already been addressed in his first petition for a writ of habeas corpus and that he failed to state a cognizable claim for relief. The Petitioner has failed to allege any ground that would render the judgment of conviction void or his sentence illegal. The order summarily dismissing the petition is affirmed.


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Alimony Bench Book now available
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Order online now

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