Labor & Employment Law Forum offers strong lineup

The TBA's Annual Labor & Employment Law Forum returns for its 12th year on April 3, featuring a program focused on the unique issues impacting labor and employment law, including bankruptcy, sports and entertainment law. It will also include an ethics panel of distinguished in-house attorneys from a Tennessee Fortune 100 company, plus recent case law developments and related issues.

https://www.tnbaru.com/CLE/catalog_course_details.php?course=5611

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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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.

IN RE C.H.E.H.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Charles E. Stanbery, Jr., Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellant, L.M.H.H.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter, and Lauren S. Lamberth, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Tennessee Department of Children's Services.

Judge: SWINEY

In this termination of parental rights case, L.M.H.H. ("Mother") gave birth to her daughter, C.H.E.H., while incarcerated for prostitution and violation of probation. Mother surrendered C.H.E.H. to the Tennessee Department of Children's Services ("DCS"). DCS placed C.H.E.H. with a foster family when she was eight days old. C.H.E.H. has Down Syndrome, which causes her significant medical problems and developmental delays. DCS prepared a parenting plan for Mother when she was released from jail, but Mother made no progress on this plan because of her drug addiction and frequent incarceration. Mother was released again from jail but this time into the Family Way program, a substance abuse program for mothers. Shortly thereafter, DCS prepared a second permanency plan for Mother, and Mother did make progress on its requirements. Mother currently is participating in drug counseling through Family Way and has not failed a drug screen since starting the program. Mother has obtained a job, has an apartment where two of her other children reside with her, has completed a parenting assessment, and has participated in therapy sessions. DCS filed a petition to terminate Mother's parental rights to C.H.E.H. in February of 2007. Following a trial, the Trial Court terminated Mother's parental rights based upon four grounds for termination. Mother appeals. After careful review, we reverse the judgment of the Trial Court as to the termination of Mother's parental rights under Tenn. Code Ann. section 36-1-113(g)(1) for willful failure to visit and willful failure to support the Child and Tenn. Code Ann. section 36-1-113(g)(2) for substantial noncompliance with the permanency plans. We affirm the remainder of the Trial Court's judgment terminating Mother's parental rights pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. section 36-1-113(g)(3).

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/cheh_022108.pdf


CITY OF KNOXVILLE v. KNOX COUNTY, TENNESSEE

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

John E. Owings and Robert C. McConkey, III, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Knox County, Tennessee.

W. Morris Kizer and Debra C. Poplin, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, City of Knoxville.

Judge: CLEMENT

The issue on appeal in this annexation dispute between the annexing city and the county is which tax allocation statute controls the allocation of Local Option Revenue derived from the annexed territory: the one in effect when the city passed the annexation ordinance on final reading, or the one in effect when the annexation ordinance became operative following a protracted quo warranto action. The city, which annexed valuable retail and commercial property, contends the tax scheme in effect in 1995 when the ordinance passed final reading applies. The county contends Tenn. Code Ann. section 6-51-115(b)(2) (1998), which was enacted after the ordinance was passed by the city, applies because it was in effect when the ordinance became operative. The Chancellor ruled in favor of the city, finding the statute in effect when the city passed the annexation ordinance applies. We reverse finding Tenn. Code Ann. section 6-51-115(b)(2) (1998), which was in effect when the ordinance became operative, controls the allocation of tax revenue from the annexed territory.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/knoxville_022108.pdf

COTTRELL concurring
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/knoxville_Con_022108.pdf


JEANETTE SCOGGIN v. GUY SCOGGIN

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Jeanette Scoggin, pro se Appellant.

Richard A. Sedgley, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Guy Scoggin.

Judge: SWINEY

Jeanette Scoggin ("Wife") filed for divorce from Guy Scoggin ("Husband") following a marriage of four years. The parties agreed on how to equitably divide the marital property, with the exception of Husband's interest in a limited partnership. The Trial Court divided Husband's interest in the limited partnership by awarding Wife a 50% interest in any distribution of income or proceeds from a sale. Wife appeals and is proceeding pro se. Wife appears to claim that she should have been given an interest in other business ventures of Husband. Wife also claims her attorney failed to have certain documents admitted at trial. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/scogginj_022108.pdf


WESTERN EXPRESS, INC. v. LEXINGTON INSURANCE COMPANY

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Isham B. Bradley, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Western Express, Inc.

H. Frederick Humbracht, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Lexington Insurance Company.

Judge: CLEMENT

In this declaratory judgment action, the insured contests the trial court's ruling that a Commercial Property Policy provided no coverage for a theft loss and imposed no duty on the insurer to provide a defense for a claim arising out of that loss. The trial court found that the policy's Attended Vehicle Protective Provision was applicable and unambiguous, and thereby excluded the theft loss from coverage under the policy. Because there was no coverage for the theft loss, the trial court found that the insurer had no duty to defend the insured for claims arising out of that loss. The insured contends that the provisions of the insurance contract were ambiguous, that coverage was not clearly excluded for this loss, and that regardless, the insurer was obligated to provide a defense per a mandatory federal endorsement. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/westernexpress_022108.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DAVID HAROLD HAMMOND

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Gregory D. Gookin, Assistant Public Defender, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, David Harold Hammond.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth T. Ryan, Assistant Attorney General; Jerry Woodall, District Attorney General, and Shaun Brown, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Appellant, David Harold Hammond, was convicted by a Madison County jury of one count of rape. As a result, the trial court sentenced Appellant as a Range II multiple offender to twelve years incarceration. Because Appellant was on probation at the time the rape was committed, the trial court ordered Appellant's sentence to run consecutively to two existing felony sentences. Appellant complains on appeal that the evidence was insufficient to support the rape conviction and that the trial court improperly ordered him to serve his sentence for rape consecutively to his existing sentences. Because the evidence was sufficient to support the conviction and the trial court properly sentenced Appellant, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/hammondd_022108.pdf


Notice to Bureau of TennCare re: Medicaid/Medicare Benefits Due to Separation Asset Division

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2008-02-21

Opinion Number: 08-31

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2008/ag_08_31.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Legislative News
Supreme Court Report
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Knox Commission seats filled in orderly meeting
The Knox County Commission filled 12 vacant government positions Wednesday in a meeting that was the exact opposite to the way the process was handled in January 2007, when back-room meetings, recesses and off-the-floor lobbying were the norm. Commissioners had to make appointments last January after the state Supreme Court upheld the county charter and its term-limits provision, forcing out 12 officeholders who had served more than two terms. Chancellor Daryl R. Fansler threw out those January appointees after a jury found the appointments violated the law.
The News Sentinel has the story
Duke Lacross team to sue school
Members of the 2006 Duke University Lacrosse team plan to sue Duke for "emotional distress when school officials failed to support them during a rape investigation." The suit was expected to be filed today in U.S. District Court in North Carolina.
Bloomberg.com has more
Thomson approved to buy Reuters
The U.S. Justice Department and antitrust regulators in Europe have approved legal publisher Thomson Corp.'s $17 billion acquisition of Reuters, provided that the company sells certain financial databases, The Deal reports. The combination of Toronto-based Thomson and London-based Reuters will create the world's leading financial information company and eclipse Bloomberg LP as the top provider.
Law.com carried the story
Bradley DA responds to commission criticism
Tenth District Attorney General Steve Bebb responded to a Bradley County Commission vote requesting a district attorney pro tempore to investigate complaints by saying "no investigation will ever be initiated on the basis of a public statement to the media." The request came from Commissioner Lisa Stanbery about issues involving the sheriff's office that "have left a cloud over Bradley County law enforcement." In a release, Bebb said, "The latest public statement criticizing this office came from Commissioner Stanbery who does not know the procedure we follow before initiating a TBI investigation."
The Cleveland Daily Banner reports
Panel wants repeal of felony voting laws
A panel at MTSU yesterday advocated repealing Tennessee laws that bar some 98,000 residents from voting because of a felony conviction. A defense attorney, voting rights expert and convicted felon said the state's felony disenfranchisement laws disproportionately affect blacks and work to keep people from the democratic process.
The Daily News Journal has the story
High school shooter to be tried as adult
A 16-year-old Hamilton High School student who shot and wounded a fellow student earlier this month will be tried as an adult in Criminal Court. Deangelo Key is charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment with a weapon and carrying a weapon on school property. He is being held in Shelby County Jail on $50,000 bond.
The Commercial Appeal has more
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
Senate approves bill to punish those who don't report some crimes
The state Senate passed a bill today that would punish people who fail to report crimes that result in injury or death. The Senate voted 27-0 to approve the bill from Sen. Randy McNally, an Oak Ridge Republican, that would make it a misdemeanor for failing to report a crime in which another person is seriously injured or killed.
The Tennessean reports
Supreme Court Report
High court rules for medical manufacturer
The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday made it harder for consumers to sue manufacturers of federally approved medical devices, the Associated Press reports. In an 8-1 decision, the court ruled against the estate of a patient who suffered serious injuries when a catheter burst during a medical procedure.
The Kingsport Times-News carried the story
401(k) investors can sue, Supreme Court says
Individual participants in the most common type of retirement plan -- 401(k)s -- can sue under a pension protection law to recover their losses, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled yesterday. The unanimous decision has implications for 50 million workers with $2.7 trillion invested in 401(k) retirement plans.
The Tennessean carried this AP story
TBA Member Services
Guide to pro bono assistance
The TBA YLD has released a new resource to help volunteer attorneys provide meaningful legal services to victims of natural disasters. The 83-page document addresses a wide range of legal and social service issues disaster victims most frequently face. And unlike other resources that have been used in the past, this manual is Tennessee specific.
Download a copy today

 
 
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