Free seminar will help improve online research skills

The Tennessee Bar Association and Fastcase are offering a webinar on Wednesday, Feb. 6, to help you boost your online legal research skills. It is free and accredited for one-hour of E&P CLE credit. The webinar will give you an overview of how Fastcase works and how you can use it more effectively in your practice. All TBA members have free access to Fastcase and can use it to research court opinions from all 50 states, the U.S. Supreme Court and all Federal Courts of Appeal, as well as statutes, regulations, constitutions, and court rules from all 50 states and from federal sources. The course begins at noon central/1 p.m. eastern.

Register for the Feb. 6 seminar
TODAY'S OPINIONS
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.

00 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
07 - TN Court of Appeals
13 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
02 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR

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.

IN THE MATTER OF B.T., T.T., K.T.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

J. Hilton Conger, Smithville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Mother, C. T.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Scott Edward Schwieger, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, Department of Children's Services.

Judge: COTTRELL

Mother appeals termination of her parental rights to her three daughters. Finding that the trial court did not err in finding that termination was warranted on statutory grounds and that it was in the children's best interest, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/BT,TT,KT_020108.pdf


RICKY LEE GENTRY v. PAMELA DELORSE GENTRY

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Carrie W. Gasaway, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ricky Lee Gentry.

Thomas R. Meeks; Gregory D. Smith, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Pamela Delorse Gentry.

Judge: COTTRELL

Former husband appeals the denial of his petition to terminate or reduce his alimony obligations alleging that receipt by former wife of personal injury recovery and co-habitation by wife with another man six years before filing his petition are material and substantial changes of circumstances justifying a modification. Since the parties were aware of the personal injury claim at the time of the divorce, recovery under that claim was foreseeable and is not a material change in circumstances. Since ex-wife was not living with anyone when the petition was filed or thereafter the presumption of Tenn. Code Ann. section 36-5-121(f)(2)(B) never arose and, even if it had, ex-wife successfully rebutted it. The trial court's denial of former husband's request is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/gentryr_020108.pdf


FARA LYN (WORN) LOBERTINI v. JOE MARTIN BROWN, III

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Paula Ogle Blair, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Fara (Worn) Lobertini.

Deana C. Hood, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellee, Joe Martin Brown, III.

Judge: CLEMENT

The primary residential parent of the parties' five-year-old child requested permission to relocate to California. The mother's stated reason for the relocation was that she had married a man who resided and worked in California. The father opposed the move. The mother was spending substantially more time with the child and thus Tenn. Code Ann. section 36-6-108(d) applies. The trial court denied the request based on numerous findings and modified the Permanent Parenting Plan, making the father the primary residential parent and granting the mother two days of visitation per month. The mother appealed. Finding no error, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/lobertinif_020108.pdf


LINDA MAE (EDWARDS) MALOY v. PAUL DAVID MALOY (AKA DAVID ANTHONY)

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Mark W. Henderson, Lebanon, Tennessee, for the Defendant/Appellant, Paul David Maloy.

Thomas F. Bloom, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Plaintiff/Appellee, Linda Mae (Edwards) Maloy.

Judge: KIRBY

This is a divorce case. The husband is a musician and songwriter; the wife is a medical assistant. During the marriage, the husband became physically incapacitated, and the wife quit her job and took care of him. The parties' living expenses and costs associated with the husband's medical care were funded through monies that the wife inherited as well as credit cards. This resulted in significant credit card debt. The husband eventually recovered, but was deemed completely disabled and received social security disability payments during the marriage. The wife then had a health crisis. During the wife's health crisis, the husband took over the parties' finances, and both parties signed a document outlining division of the parties' property in the event of divorce. Over a year later, the wife filed for divorce, based in part on the husband's failure to care for her during her health crisis. The husband counterclaimed for divorce. After declaring the parties divorced, the trial court held a trial on the issue of property division. After one day of testimony, the husband filed a motion seeking to enforce the document signed by the parties purporting to divide their property in the event of divorce. After the hearing, the trial court refused to enforce the alleged agreement. It divided the marital property, including in the marital estate the social security disability payments that had been received by the husband. The trial court refused, however, to divide the parties' marital debt. The husband appeals the trial court's refusal to enforce the alleged agreement and the inclusion of his social security disability benefits in the marital estate. Both parties appeal the trial court's failure to divide the marital debt. We affirm in part and reverse in part, finding that (1) the social security disability payments were properly included in the marital estate, (2) the document is neither an MDA nor an enforceable postnuptial agreement, and (3) the trial court erred in refusing to divide the parties' marital debt.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/maloyl_020108.pdf


IN RE: THE ESTATE OF CHARLES R. RAY, TONY V. CARRUTHERS, v. SANDRA B. RAY

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Tony V. Carruthers, Petros, Tennessee, pro se.

James N. Bryan, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for appellee.

Judge: FRANKS

Plaintiff filed a legal malpractice claim against defendant's Estate. The Trial Court held the claim against the Decedent's Estate was barred by the statute of limitations. On appeal, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/rayc_020108.pdf


METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY, v. DARYL K. STARK

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

James E. Robinson, Andrew D. McClanahan and John L. Kennedy, Nashville, Tennessee, for appellant.

No attorney of record.

Judge: FRANKS

The Trial Court granted defendant permission to attend traffic school in lieu of a fine. On appeal, we reverse because State and federal law does not permit diversion for a commercially licensed operator.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/starkd_020108.pdf


CARLA MARIE WALL ET AL. v. HILLSIDE HOSPITAL, INC. ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

John H. Norton, III and Cara E. Gruszecki-Smalley, Shelbyville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Carla Marie Wall, Edward Keith Wall, and Tiffany Wall.

Bryan Essary, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Hillside Hospital, LLC, d/b/a Hillside Hospital, Donna M. Watson, L.P.N., and Jennie E. Heflin, R.N.

Tom C. Corts, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Giles Family Health Center, P.C., Akram Haggag, M.D., and Salah Muhamed Faour, M.D.

Judge: COTTRELL

This appeal arises from a medical malpractice action brought by a patient and her family. The plaintiffs claimed that the defendants, a hospital, treating nurses, treating physician, and the treating physician's medical group, committed medical malpractice by giving the patient a medication dosage ten times higher than the correct dose, thereby causing her respiratory arrest. The defendants moved for summary judgment, insisting, among other things, that although the dosage was initially incorrectly entered on the chart, the patient never received the incorrect dosage. The plaintiffs offered no evidence in response but, instead, filed a notice of voluntary dismissal without prejudice and asserted their expert witness had become uncooperative. The trial court denied their request for a voluntary dismissal without prejudice and awarded summary judgment to the defendants. The plaintiffs appealed, arguing that the trial court abused its discretion by not allowing them to non-suit their action without prejudice. We conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion, and we affirm the dismissal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/wallc_020108.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CARLOS A. BRANCH and EDWARD ALLEN, JR.

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Harold Donnelly, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Carlos A. Branch and Richard D. Dumas, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Edward Allen, Jr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Lacy Wilbur, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, District Attorney General, and James Sledge, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Appellants, Edward Earl Allen, Jr. and Carlos A. Branch, entered best interest guilty pleas in Davidson County to one count of aggravated assault and one count of possession of a weapon on school property after an incident at Vanderbilt University. The plea agreement did not specify the length or manner of service of the sentences but specified that the sentences would run concurrently to each other. After a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced Appellants to six years for aggravated assault and two years for possession of a weapon on school property, as Range I Standard Offenders. Appellants seek a review of their sentence on appeal. Because the record supports the sentences and the trial court properly denied alternative sentencing as to Appellant Branch, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/branchc_020108.pdf


EMMETT CRUTCHER v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

J. Chase Gober, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Emmett Crutcher.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Smith, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Sarah Davis, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The petitioner, Emmett Crutcher, pled guilty in 2005 to attempted aggravated arson and was sentenced as a Range II, multiple offender to twelve years in the Department of Correction. In 2006, the petitioner filed for post-conviction relief, alleging that his trial counsel was ineffective. After an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court denied his petition, and we affirm that judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/crutchere_020108.pdf


PAUL T. DAVIS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE
With Dissenting and Concurring Opinion


Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Paul T. Davis, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Roger Moore, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

The Petitioner, Paul Tobias Davis, appeals the summary dismissal of his petition for habeas corpus relief. In his petition, the Petitioner asserted that his sentence is illegal because he was denied pretrial jail credits. The habeas corpus court summarily dismissed the petition because the petition did not state a sufficient reason for not being filed in the county nearest to the Petitioner. On appeal, the Petitioner raises two issues: (1) whether a motion filed in the habeas corpus court to alter or amend the judgment pursuant to Rule 59.04 of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure can operate to limit the jurisdiction of this Court; and (2) whether the fact that the convicting court possesses relevant records relating to a petitioner's sentence and retains the authority to correct an illegal sentence at anytime is a sufficient reason under Tennessee Code Annotated section 29-21-105 to file a habeas corpus petition in the convicting court rather than the court closest in point of distance to a petitioner. Following our review, we hold that motions filed pursuant to Rule 59 of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure do not affect the jurisdiction of this Court in actions for habeas corpus relief and that the Petitioner presented a sufficient reason for filing his petition in the Davidson County Criminal Court. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the habeas corpus court and remand for the appointment of counsel and further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/davisp_020108.pdf

WITT dissenting and concurring
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/davisp_DIS_020108.pdf


CHRISTOPHER KEYLN DEARING v. HOWARD CARLTON, WARDEN
Corrected Opinion (Opinion issued 1/8/2008 has been vacated)


Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Christopher Keyln Dearing, Pro se, Mountain City, Tennessee.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; and Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: HAYES

The Appellant, Christopher Keyln Dearing, proceeding pro se, appeals the Johnson County Criminal Court's summary dismissal of his petition for the writ of habeas corpus. Dearing is currently an inmate at Northeast Correctional Complex in Johnson County as a result of his convictions for Class D felony theft and Class E evading arrest. Dearing's petition alleges that, under the terms of his plea agreement, he pled guilty to Class D theft in exchange for a sentence of two years; however, the judgment form and Department of Correction records show that the actual length of the sentence he is serving is two years and one day. Dearing argues that, because the State has breached the plea agreement, his sentence of two years and one day is void. After review, we agree with the trial court that Dearing's petition fails to state a cognizable claim for habeas corpus relief. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/dearingc_CORR_020108.pdf

THOMAS dissenting
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/dearingc_DIS_020108.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOHN RAMSEY DUNCAN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

David R. Heroux, Nashville, Tennessee, (on appeal); and Mike Anderson, Nashville, Tennessee, (at trial) for the appellant, John Ramsey Duncan.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Brian Holmgren, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Following a jury trial in May 2003, Defendant was convicted of four counts of rape of a child and four counts of aggravated sexual battery. The trial court sentenced Defendant to twenty-two years on each child rape conviction and to ten years for each aggravated sexual battery conviction. Counts one and two for rape of a child were ordered to run consecutively to each other, while all other counts were to run concurrently with count one. This created an effective sentence of forty-four years. On February 1, 2005, this Court affirmed Defendant's convictions and the imposition of consecutive sentencing. However, this Court, under Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296, 124 S. Ct. 2531, 159 L. Ed. 2d 403 (2004), modified Defendant's sentence to twenty years for each rape of a child conviction and eight years for each aggravated sexual battery sentence for a total effective sentence of forty years. The State appealed this decision and the Tennessee Supreme Court remanded for reconsideration under State v. Gomez, 163 S.W.3d 632 (Tenn. 2005). On July 27, 2005, this Court affirmed Defendant's convictions and the sentences as imposed by the trial court. The Tennessee Supreme Court denied Defendant's application for permission to appeal and Defendant then appealed to the United States Supreme Court. On February 20, 2007, the Supreme Court vacated the July 2005 decision of this Court and remanded Defendant's case for reconsideration under Cunningham v. California, ____ U.S. ____, 127 S. Ct. 856, 166 L. Ed. 2d 856 (2007). We ordered further briefing by both parties. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm Defendant's convictions and the imposition of consecutive sentencing. However, in light of Cunningham and Blakely, we modify Defendant's sentences to twenty years for each rape of a child conviction and to eight years for each aggravated sexual battery sentence for a total effective sentence of forty years.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/duncanj_020108.pdf


FELIX MIKEL GARCIA v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Vanessa Saenz, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Felix Mikel Garcia.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; and William C. Whitesel, Jr., District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

The Petitioner, Felix Mikel Garcia, appeals as of right from the judgment of the Rutherford County Circuit Court denying his petition for post-conviction relief. In February 2006, the Petitioner pled guilty to solicitation to commit rape of a child and received an eight-year sentence. Subsequently, the Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. On appeal, the Petitioner argues that the post-conviction court erred in determining that trial counsel was more credible than the Petitioner and in concluding that he received the effective assistance of counsel. After a review of the record, we affirm the post-conviction court's denial of relief.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/garciaf_020108.pdf


SAMUEL L. GIDDENS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

John P. Cauley, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Samuel L. Giddens.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; Ron Davis, District Attorney General; and Derek K. Smith, Assistant District Attorney, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Petitioner, Samuel L. Giddens, and his co-defendant, Mr. Ronald Jasmin, were arrested based upon what occurred during a meeting set up by a confidential informant. At the time of the arrest, officers found a bag of powdered substance that turned out to be cocaine. After a jury trial, Petitioner was convicted of facilitation of possession of heroin with intent to sell or deliver and possession of cocaine with the intent to sell or deliver. An appeal to this Court was unsuccessful. Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief, alleging that he was afforded ineffective assistance of counsel. After an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court denied the petition. Petitioner now appeals from this denial arguing that he was not afforded effective assistance of counsel based upon trial counsel's failure to file a motion to suppress. After a thorough review of the record, we hold that Petitioner has not on this record carried his burden of showing prejudice from counsel's deficient performance. Accordingly, the judgment of the lower court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/giddenss_020108.pdf


ANTHONY DARRELL HINES v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Paul R. Bottei and Gretchen L. Swift, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Anthony Darrell Hines.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Elizabeth T. Ryan, Assistant Attorney General, Senior Counsel; Dan M. Alsobrooks, District Attorney General; Dent Morris, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

A Cheatham County jury convicted the Petitioner, Anthony Darrell Hines, of first-degree felony murder and sentenced him to death. After a remand to reconsider sentencing, the Tennessee Supreme Court affirmed a second sentence of death, and the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari. The Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief in 1997, which was denied by the trial court and ultimately affirmed by this Court in 2004. The Petitioner filed this petition for post- conviction relief requesting permission and funds to test seven pieces of evidence for DNA. The trial court denied the petition, and, upon a thorough consideration of the facts and applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/hinesa_020108.pdf


KENNETH J. JONES v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Grant C. Glassford, Franklin, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Kenneth J. Jones.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; and Jeffrey L. Long, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: HAYES

The Appellant, Kenneth J. Jones, was found guilty of aggravated kidnapping, evading arrest, and aggravated robbery, following a bench trial, and received an effective sentence of twelve years in confinement. The convictions of both Jones and his co-defendant were affirmed by this court on direct appeal. Jones subsequently filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief alleging that he did not make a knowing and intelligent waiver of his right to a jury trial and that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. Following an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court determined that Jones knowingly and intelligently waived his right to trial by jury and that he had failed to carry his burden on his claims for ineffective assistance of counsel. On appeal, Jones argues that his waiver of the right to a jury trial was not entered knowingly and intelligently and that he received ineffective assistance of counsel based upon the following: (1) trial counsel failed to move to sever his case from that of his co-defendant; (2) trial counsel failed to move to suppress his statement to police; (3) trial counsel failed to interview State witnesses; (4) trial counsel failed to object to the State's notice of intent to seek enhanced punishment; and (5) trial counsel failed to file mitigating factors with the trial court prior to sentencing. After review, the judgment of the post- conviction court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/jonesk_020108.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. LEE EDWARD PETERSON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

B. Lynn Morton, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lee Edward Peterson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Mark A. Fulks, Senior Counsel; John Wesley Carney, Jr., District Attorney General; and Christopher G. Clark, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

Lee Edward Peterson, the defendant, was charged in a two-count indictment with possession with intent to sell less than 0.5 grams of cocaine and with possession with intent to deliver less than 0.5 grams of cocaine (Class B felonies). The defendant filed a motion to suppress the evidence obtained from a warrantless search of his person. After the motion was overruled by the trial court, the defendant, pursuant to a negotiated plea, entered a plea of nolo contendere to simple possession of cocaine (Class A misdemeanor), with an agreed sentence of eleven months and twenty-nine days suspended and a fine of $250. The defendant attempted to reserve a certified question of law pursuant to Rule 37(b)(2)(1) of the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure. After review, we conclude that the defendant has failed to properly reserve the certified question of law by failing to include or incorporate by reference the question in the final judgment. Accordingly, the issue is not properly before this court, and the appeal is dismissed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/petersonl_020108.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE V. JEANIE MARIE SEALS
Corrected Opinion


Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jonathan M. Holcomb, Morristown, Tennessee, for the Appellant Jeanie Marie Seals.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; C. Berkeley Bell, District Attorney General; Victor Vaughn, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

A Hamblen County jury convicted the Defendant of one count of second degree murder, and the trial court sentenced her to twenty years. On appeal, she contends that: (1) the evidence is insufficient to sustain her conviction; (2) the trial court erred when it admonished her counsel in front of the jury; (3) the trial court denied her constitutional right to present a defense; and (4) the trial court should have ordered a new trial because a juror made false statements during voir dire. We conclude that, because the Defendant claimed self-defense at trial, the trial court erred when it refused to admit testimony about a prior incident in which the victim threatened the Defendant's life. Further, we conclude that this error is not harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand for a new trial on the charge of second degree murder.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/sealsj_020108.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ALONZO EUGENE TERRELL

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Mark H. Chen, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Alonzo Eugene Terrell.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Sarah Davis, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant, Alonzo Eugene Terrell, was convicted of domestic assault, a Class A misdemeanor, and was sentenced to eleven months and twenty-nine days, to be served on probation. He filed a motion for new trial, which was denied, and this appeal followed. On appeal, he raises seven issues. First, he argues the evidence was insufficient to support a conviction of domestic assault. He also argues that the trial court erred in allowing the State to introduce certain evidence and erred in denying both his motion to dismiss for violation of his right to speedy trial and his motion for acquittal. Additionally, he contends the court erred in refusing to allow two specific lines of questioning to the victim and a police officer during the trial. Our review reveals that the evidence was sufficient to support the conviction and that no error exists. The judgment from the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/terrella_020108.pdf


CEDRIC TERRY v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Juni S. Ganguli, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Cedric Terry.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Patience Branham and Michelle Kimbril-Parks, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The petitioner, Cedric Terry, appeals the post-conviction courtís denial of his petition for post- conviction relief. On appeal, he argues that he received the ineffective assistance of trial counsel. After a thorough review of the record and the parties' briefs, the judgment of the post- conviction court denying post-conviction relief is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/terryc_020108.pdf


Local Government Contracts With "Pure" Construction Managers

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2008-02-01

Opinion Number: 08-16

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2008/ag_08_16.pdf

Convicted Felon in Possession of Black Powder Weapon / Officer in Possession of Firearm in Judicial Proceeding

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2008-02-01

Opinion Number: 08-17

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2008/ag_08_17.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

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Legal News
Child support collections lag; state to seek new provider
A lack of improvement in child support collections through Shelby County Juvenile Courts has led the Tennessee Department of Human Services to seek competitive bids for collection services. In a letter this week to Juvenile Court Judge Curtis Person, DHS Commissioner Virginia Lodge said the decision to solicit bids came after needed improvements to the court's child support collection rate -- which lags behind other divisions in the state -- had not been made.
Read more in the Commercial Appeal
Nashville firm names new managing director
Boult, Cummings, Conners & Berry of Nashville has named Jay Hardcastle as managing director, succeeding Bob Wood, who served in this role the past two years, the Nashville Post reports. "When I think of the former managing directors that I have worked with in my 20 years with the firm -- Davis Carr, Tom Trent, Bob Patterson, and Bob Wood -- I know I have big shoes to fill," Hardcastle said in a statement. The Vanderbilt Law graduate is a past chairman of the Tennessee Bar Association's Health Law Section and serves on the boards of several area nonprofit organizations.

Mobile firm acquires Burr & Forman
Mobile-based Bowron Latta and Wasden tells the Nashville Business Journal that it has merged with Burr & Forman, a 200-plus attorney law firm with offices in Nashville, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi.

Upgrades make Putnam Justice Center digital
The Putnam County Justice Center is going digital, with five courtrooms now equipped with computers, digital recording equipment, new public address systems and speakers.
Read more about it in the Cookeville Herald-Citizen
Chattanooga Bar recognizes Vital
The Chattanooga Bar Association recently recognized Patricia Best Vital with its 2007 Albert L. Hodge Volunteer Award for exemplary service to the Association and to the legal community. Vital contributed significant time and energy as chair of the association's Fee Dispute Arbitration Program. She is also a past speaker of the Tennessee Bar Association House of Delegates and currently serves on the executive council of the TBA's Dispute Resolution Section.

Legislative News
Track legislation of interest to Tennessee attorneys
The TBA Action List tracks bills in the General Assembly that the TBA has a direct interest in. This means it has either initiated the legislation, taken a postiion on the bill or has a policy on the issue. The TBA Watch List is a broader list of bills of interest to the Tennessee legal community.
TBA Bill Tracking Service
Your Practice
How to keep lateral partners aboard
Why do some top firms manage to keep their lateral partners aboard -- and others don't? The latest Lateral Report from the American Lawyer offers some ideas, including: 1) understanding the lateral candidate's practice during the recruiting process; 2) providing professional staff to ease the partner's move; and 3) tracking the new partner's progress through some combination of mentoring and productivity analysis.
Read more from the American Lawyer at Law.com
TBA Member Services
Health savings accounts now available
The TBA has partnered with First Horizon Msaver Inc. to offer Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and HSA-qualified health plans for individuals and groups to members. HSAs are tax-advantaged accounts that let you set aside money to pay for current and future medical expenses. For more information, or to obtain an instant quote for an HSA-qualified health plan, call the TBA's dedicated toll-free customer care line at (866) 257-2659 or visit the TBA member web site.
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