Judicial Council recommends major revision for juries

The Tennessee Judicial Council today took up a substantial revision to the statutory scheme for jury administration authored by one of its subcommittees. The proposal addresses qualifications and exemptions of jurors, proscribes selection and attendance of jurors, establishes a jury coordinator who would administer a new automated system for selection of the jury pool, and lays out the rules for examination, challenge of jurors, and compensation of jurors. The council deferred action until its next meeting to resolve a couple of minor issues. The proposal overall seems to have widespread support. Read the proposed statute and a survey on jury practices.
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Court: TCA


Michael L. Robb, Justin N. Joy, Memphis, TN, for Appellant

Thomas R. Buckner, Lynn W. Thompson, Memphis, TN, for Appellees


This is a case involving a petition for appointment of conservator and a request for attorney's fees by the non-petitioning spouse of the ward. The husband and wife were married, but lived apart. The husband lived with his daughter from a previous marriage. Unknown by the husband's children, he continued to see and financially support his estranged wife. The husband suffered from bipolar disorder requiring several hospitalizations. The husband, during a manic period, emptied his 401K account and purchased several vehicles and properties. The husband's daughter petitioned the court for appointment of a conservatorship for her father. The court found that the husband was disabled, and appointed the daughter as the conservator over his person and a third-party attorney as the conservator over his finances. The wife was represented by counsel during the proceedings. The court ordered the conservator to pay the wife spousal support in the amount of $2,000 a month out of the husband's $150,000 estate. The wife then petitioned the court for an award of her attorney's fees, which the probate court denied. Wife appeals, arguing that the lower court has the statutory authority pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. section 34-3-109 to include in the award of financial support her attorney's fees. We affirm.



Court: TCA


August C. Winter, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the appellants, Jerry D. Carmack, Georgia Kay Carmack Brooks, and Brenda Gail Carmack Thomas.

Douglas Fisher, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Louis W. Oliver, III.


Landowners who hired an attorney to defend their property rights brought suit for legal malpractice against that attorney related to his representation in the litigation over disputed property. The defendant attorney filed a motion for summary judgment, claiming that the one-year statute of limitations for malpractice claims had passed before the landowners filed their suit against him. The trial court granted the attorney's motion. We affirm the grant of summary judgment to the defendant attorney as to any allegations of delay in seeking an injunction against a trespassing neighbor, since the landowners had complained about the delay to several official bodies over two and a half years before they filed their complaint against their attorney. However, we reverse the trial court as to any alleged acts of legal malpractice that occurred within one year of the filing of the plaintiffs' complaint.



Court: TCA


John S. Golwen, Colleen D. Hitch, Memphis, TN, for Appellants

Jonathan C. Hancock, Ross E. Webster, Memphis, TN, for Appellee


This appeal involves the second case filed by the appellants to challenge an annexation ordinance. Previously, the appellants filed a quo warranto action seeking to have the annexation ordinance declared null and void on various grounds. Other landowners had previously filed quo warranto actions that were consolidated and still pending, and the appellants sought to consolidate their action with the others. The trial court held that the appellants' quo warranto action was not timely filed, and accordingly dismissed it. On appeal, this Court affirmed. The consolidated quo warranto proceedings concluded with a consent order approving the reasonableness of the annexation ordinance, but providing that the annexation would take place in two phases. The appellants then filed the present action seeking a declaration that the annexation accomplished through the consent order was procedurally invalid and unconstitutional. The trial court dismissed the appellants' complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. We affirm.



Court: TCA


James L. Harris of Nashville, Tennessee for Appellant, Serena Rucker

Luther Wright, Jr. and Martha L. Boyd of Nashville, Tennessee for Appellee, St. Thomas Hospital


This is a common-law retaliatory discharge case. Plaintiff/Appellant alleged that she was wrongfully discharged from her employment with Defendant/Appellee. Defendant/Appellee moved for summary judgment, which the trial court granted. Plaintiff/Appellant appeals. We affirm.



Court: TCCA


William D. Massey, Lorna S. McClusky (on appeal); Mary K. Kent and Larry Nance (at trial); Assistant Public Defenders, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Derrick Settles.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Dean Decandia, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Derrick Settles, was convicted of two counts of first degree murder and two counts of possession of over .5 ounces of marijuana with the intent to sell. The jury sentenced him to life without the possibility of parole for one murder conviction, and the trial court ordered a consecutive life sentence for the other. The trial court also merged the possession offenses into a single conviction and imposed a concurrent sentence of one year for that conviction. In this appeal, the Defendant argues that the trial court erred by denying his pretrial motions to suppress the evidence recovered from a search of his apartment and his confession because he lacked the intellectual capacity to validly consent to the search or effectively waive the rights guaranteed him by Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 479 (1966). Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


County Powers Relief Act

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-11-27

Opinion Number: 07-153


Guardian Ad Litem Fees

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-11-27

Opinion Number: 07-154


Use of Highway Funds to Pay Other State Expenditures

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-11-27

Opinion Number: 07-155


Property Tax Relief for the Disabled

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-11-27

Opinion Number: 07-156



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