Commission recommends retention of appellate judges

The Judicial Evaluation Commission has recommended the retention of all five state appellate court judges who will appear on the August 2008 ballot for retention election. The judges are: Supreme Court Justice Gary R. Wade, Supreme Court Justice William C. Koch Jr., Court of Appeals Judge Andy D. Bennett, Court of Appeals Judge Richard H. Dinkins, and Court of Criminal Appeals Judge D. Kelly Thomas Jr. Read the commission's full report.
TODAY'S OPINIONS
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CHATTANOOGA-HAMILTON COUNTY HOSPITAL AUTHORITY d/b/a ERLANGER HEALTH SYSTEM v. BRADLEY COUNTY, TENNESSEE ET AL.

Court: TSC

Attorneys:

James F. Logan, Jr. and Robert S. Thompson, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellant, Bradley County, Tennessee.

Stacy Lynn Archer and Ronald D. Wells, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the defendant, City of Cleveland, Tennessee.

Fred Moore, C. Eugene Shiles, and Joseph R. White, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Hospital Authority.

Judge: WADE

Chattanooga-Hamilton County Hospital Authority, conducting its operations as Erlanger Health System, filed suit against Bradley County for the medical expenses of a suspect injured in a shooting at a bar in Cleveland. The trial court awarded judgment for a part of the claim, and the Court of Appeals, in a divided opinion, affirmed. We granted review under Rule 11 of Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure in order to construe the statute governing the obligation of counties to pay the medical expenses of a prisoner confined in a jail or otherwise in police custody. Because the statute does not extend the obligation of the county to these circumstances, the judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed and the complaint is dismissed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2008/chatthosp_031008.pdf


BELLSOUTH ADVERTISING AND PUBLISHING CORPORATION v. PRIMARY RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE, INC.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Kevin C. Baltz, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc.

Mark B. Reagan, Phillip D. Patterson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, BellSouth Advertising and Publishing Corporation.

Judge: COTTRELL

The trial court held that a mortgage company's branch manager had apparent authority to bind the company to local advertising contracts although there was a limitation on the branch manager's authority which prohibited execution of contracts without the company's approval. Since the mortgage company established the branch manager as a general agent, it was incumbent on the company to notify third parties of any limitations on the agent's authority. Since it did not do so, the third party had a good faith belief in the agent's apparent authority, and the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/bellsouthadv_031008.pdf


JOHN S. BRIGHT v. CRYSTAL L. GUE, M.D., ET AL.
CORRECTION


Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Douglas E. Taylor, Sevierville, Tennessee, for the appellant, John S. Bright.

Stephen C. Daves and Jeffrey R. Thompson, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, University of Tennessee Medical Center.

Heidi A. Barcus and Hillary B. Jones, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Russell J. Smith, M.D.

Judge: LEE

In this medical malpractice case, the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the hospital and a treating physician. Subsequently, the trial court denied the plaintiff’s motion to set aside the summary judgment in favor of the physician. We vacate the trial court's judgment denying the motion to set aside its summary judgment in favor of the physician upon our finding that the plaintiff was denied adequate notice of the hearing on the motion for summary judgment. We vacate the summary judgment in favor of the hospital upon our determination that the hospital did not negate the claimed basis of the plaintiff's suit or demonstrate that the plaintiff's complaint was time barred under the applicable statutes of limitation.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/brightj_CORR_031008.pdf


MICHAEL L. ANDERSON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE, CHERYL LINDAMOOD, WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Michael L. Anderson, Clifton, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; and Michael Bottoms, District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Petitioner appeals the trial court's dismissal of his petition for habeas corpus relief. Petitioner contends the trial court erred because the indictments on which his convictions are based are void, thereby denying the trial court the subject matter jurisdiction to convict him. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/andersonm_031008.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RANDY BRAY

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Paul D. Cross (on appeal), Monteagle, Tennessee, Robert Morgan and Francis W. Pryor (at trial), Jasper, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Randy Bray.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; J. Michael Taylor, District Attorney General; Steven H. Strain, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

A Grundy County jury convicted the Defendant, Randy Bray, of two counts of first-degree murder, and he was sentenced to two life sentences. On appeal, the Defendant alleges that: (1) the evidence is insufficient to sustain his convictions; and (2) the trial court erred when it instructed the jury on flight. After a thorough review of the applicable record and law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/brayr_031008.pdf


ELLIS JUNIOR BURNETT v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Darwin C. Colston, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the Petitioner, Ellis Junior Burnett.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; William Whitesell, District Attorney General; and David Puckett, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

In 2001, a Cannon County jury convicted the Petitioner, Ellis Junior Burnett, of aggravated arson,and he received a twenty-three-year sentence. The conviction was affirmed by this Court on direct appeal. Subsequently, the Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief, which was heard by the post-conviction court and denied. The Petitioner now appeals, claiming the post-conviction erred when it: (1) failed to give him a full and fair post-conviction evidentiary hearing; (2) denied his claim of ineffective assistance of counsel; (3) denied his claim that the trial court failed to properly instruct the jury as to lesser included offenses; and (4) denied his claim that the trial court failed to properly instruct the jury on circumstantial evidence. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/burnette_031008.pdf

TIPTON concurring
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/burnetter_CON_031008.pdf


DENNIS R. GILLILAND v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Dennis R. Gilliland, Whiteville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

The Petitioner, Dennis R. Gilliland, convicted of felony murder, petitioned for DNA analysis under the Post-Conviction DNA Analysis Act of 2001. The Dickson County Circuit Court summarily dismissed the petition based upon the State's response that the requested DNA comparison occurred prior to the Petitioner's trial and the results were used as evidence of his guilt. The Petitioner now appeals, asserting that further DNA testing of the unidentified sample discovered in the victim's truck may exonerate him and reveal the identity of the actual perpetrator. Because the DNA specimens gathered at the time of the offense have already been compared to the Petitioner's and the victim's blood samples, we affirm the order of summary dismissal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/gillilandd_031008.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ALISHA J. GLISSON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

David M. Hopkins, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Alisha J. Glisson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Dan Hamm, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

The Defendant, Alisha J. Glisson, was convicted of felony murder, aggravated robbery, and three counts of attempted aggravated robbery. She was sentenced to an effective sentence of life imprisonment. On appeal, the Defendant presents a single issue for our review: whether the proof is sufficient to support her conviction for felony murder. She argues that the State failed to show that she was criminally responsible for the death of the victim and, alternatively, failed to sufficiently corroborate the testimony of the accomplices. After a review of the evidence in the record, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/glissona_031008.pdf


QUINTELL HARDY v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Charles G. Ward, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Quintell Hardy.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; and William C. Whitesell, Jr., District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The petitioner, Quintell Hardy, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his conviction for second degree murder, arguing that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel and that his guilty plea was unknowing and involuntary. Following our review, we affirm the denial of the petition.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/hardyq_031008.pdf


ROBERT HOFFMAN, JR. v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Robert Hoffman, Jr., Tiptonville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; and Mike Bottoms, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The pro se petitioner, Robert Hoffman, Jr., appeals the summary dismissal of his petition for post- conviction relief, arguing that his motion for reduction or correction of sentence should have tolled the one-year statute of limitations for filing the petition. Following our review, we affirm the post- conviction court's dismissal of the petition as untimely.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/hoffmanr_031008.pdf


THOMAS L. JACKSON v. CHERRY LINDAMOOD, WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Thomas L. Jackson, Clifton, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

This matter is before the Court upon the State's motion to affirm the judgment of the habeas court by memorandum opinion pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The Petitioner has appealed the habeas court's order dismissing the petition for writ of habeas corpus. Upon a review of the record in this case, we are persuaded that the habeas court was correct in dismissing the habeas corpus petition and that this case meets the criteria for affirmance pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Accordingly, the State's motion is granted and the judgment of the habeas corpus court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/jacksont_031008.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JAMSHID MAGHAMI

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Dan. R. Alexander, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jamshid Maghami.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Dan M. Alsobrooks, District Attorney General; and Robert S. Wilson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

After a bench trial, the Defendant, Jamshid Maghami, was convicted of three counts of unlawfully maintaining an automobile graveyard. The trial court subsequently conducted a sentencing hearing and ordered consecutive terms of thirty days on each count. Five days were ordered to be served in the local jail, with the balance of the sentences to be served on probation. In this direct appeal, the Defendant argues that the evidence is insufficient as a matter of law to support his convictions and that the trial court erred by ordering consecutive sentences. Following a review of the sparse record, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/maghamij_031008.pdf


MARCUS ODOM v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Adam T. Dodd, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Marcus Odom.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; William Whitesell, District Attorney General; and David L. Puckett, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

The Petitioner, Marcus Odom, appeals from the Cannon County Circuit Court's order dismissing his petition for post-conviction relief. He argues that the dismissal was erroneous because he did not receive the effective assistance of counsel prior to and at the time of the entry of his guilty pleas. Following our review, we conclude that the Petitioner has not demonstrated that his trial counsel was constitutionally ineffective. Consequently, we affirm the post-conviction court's order of dismissal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/odomm_031008.pdf


JERRY WAYNE POINTER v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Charles Walker, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jerry Wayne Pointer.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Bret Gunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The petitioner, Jerry Wayne Pointer, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. On appeal, he argues that he received ineffective assistance of counsel and specifically contends that counsel failed to: request funds for an expert witness, fully investigate in preparation for trial, challenge evidence, move for a mistrial, develop and request a jury instruction for an alibi defense, and conduct an effective cross-examination of the detective's statement. After careful review, we affirm the judgment from the post-conviction court and conclude that counsel was not ineffective in his representation of the petitioner.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/pointerj_031008.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. NOAH CHRIS RUSS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Noah C. Russ, Pro Se, Clifton, Tennessee.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Lacy Wilbur, Assistant Attorney General; and Mike Bottoms, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Appellant, Noah C. Russ, pled guilty in Lawrence County to nineteen counts of TennCare Fraud and twenty counts of Obtaining Drugs by Fraud. The trial court placed Appellant on probation. His probation was subsequently revoked and reinstated with the condition that Appellant attend the drug court program. Appellant failed to meet the drug court program requirements and was terminated from the program. The trial court revoked Appellant's probation and ordered him to serve his original six-year sentence in incarceration. Two years later, Appellant filed a motion requesting that the trial court give him sentencing credits for the time he spent in the drug court program. The trial court denied the request. On appeal, Appellant argues that the trial court erred in denying his request. Because the denial of a request for sentencing credits is not a proper ground for appeal under Rule 3(b) of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure, we dismiss the appeal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/russn_031008.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. GREGORY L. SAIN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

David Bragg, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, (on appeal); Gerald L. Melton, District Public Defender; and J.D. Driver, Assistant Public Defender, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, (at trial), for the Appellant, Gregory L. Sain.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; William C. Whitesell, Jr., District Attorney General; and Jude Santana, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: HAYES

Following a jury trial, Defendant, Gregory L. Sain, was found guilty of one count of delivery of a Schedule II drug to a minor, a Class B felony, one count of possession of a Schedule II drug with the intent to deliver, a Class B felony, one count of introduction of contraband into a penal facility, a Class C felony, one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a Class A misdemeanor, and one count of simple possession of marijuana, a Class A misdemeanor. Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced Defendant as a Range III, persistent offender, to twenty years for each Class B felony conviction, ten years for his Class C felony conviction, and eleven months, twenty-nine days for each misdemeanor conviction. The trial court ordered Defendant to serve his sentences concurrently, for an effective sentence of twenty years. On appeal, Defendant argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress, and that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Defendant does not challenge the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his other convictions. The State appeals the trial court's Range III, persistent offender, classification, arguing that Defendant's prior history of criminal convictions mandates that he be classified as a career offender for sentencing purposes. After a thorough review, we conclude that the trial court did not err in denying Defendant's motion to suppress and that there was sufficient evidence to sustain Defendant's conviction of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. We also conclude that Defendant is a career offender for sentencing purposes and modify his two Class B felony sentences from twenty years to thirty years, and his Class C felony conviction from ten years to fifteen years, to be served concurrently, for an effective sentence of thirty years.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/saing_031008.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CHARLES SANDERSON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Hershell D. Koger, Pulaski, Tennessee (at trial and on appeal); William Eledge, Lawrenceburg, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, Charles Sanderson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; Mike Bottoms, District Attorney General; and Robert C. Sanders, Joseph L. Penrod, and Joel Douglas Dicus, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Charles Sanderson, was convicted of first degree premeditated murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. On appeal, he challenges the trial court's rulings on several evidentiary issues and argues that there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/sandersonc_031008.pdf


ROBERT J. SKILLEN v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

David A. Collins, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Robert J. Skillen.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Hugh Edward Garrett, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The petitioner, Robert J. Skillen, appeals from the Davidson County Criminal Court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his multiple convictions for rape of a child and sexual battery by an authority figure. He claims that the trial court erred in denying his claims that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel and that his guilty pleas were not knowing and voluntary. We disagree, and we affirm the trial court's denial of his petition.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/skillenr_031008.pdf


WALTER RAY SMITH, JR. v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jeremy W. Parham, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Walter Ray Smith, Jr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Bill Whitesell, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Petitioner, Walter Ray Smith, Jr., was convicted by a Rutherford County jury of five counts of child rape. The trial court sentenced Petitioner to an effective sentence of forty years. Petitioner was unsuccessful on appeal. State v. Walter Ray Smith, Jr., No. M2003-01291-CCA-R3-CD, 2004 WL 112879, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Nashville, Jan. 23, 2004), perm. app. denied, (Tenn. June 21, 2004). Petitioner subsequently filed a petition for post-conviction relief in which he alleged he did not receive the effective assistance of counsel. The post-conviction court dismissed the petition following a hearing. Petitioner has appealed the dismissal. Petitioner argues that his trial counsel was ineffective in several ways. He argues that trial counsel failed to properly pursue the victim's allegedly contradictory testimony and to contact two potential witnesses. He also argues that trial counsel failed to interview and prepare a third witness to testify. Petitioner also argues that trial counsel failed to preserve his right to speedy trial and to effectively communicate with Petitioner. In addition, Petitioner argues that the cumulative effect of these errors entitles him to a new trial. We have thoroughly reviewed the record on appeal and conclude that Petitioner has not met his burden establishing that trial counsel's representation of Petitioner was in any way deficient. For this reason, we affirm the decision of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/smithw_031008.pdf


PATRICK SMOTHERMAN v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

John H. Baker, III (on appeal) and Ben Hall McFarlin, III (at hearing), Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the Petitioner, Patrick Smotherman.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; William C. Whitesell Jr., District Attorney General; Chad Jackson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

The Petitioner, Patrick Smotherman, pled guilty to selling more than .5 grams of cocaine. He petitioned the court for post-conviction relief, claiming that he did not receive the effective assistance of counsel and that his guilty plea was not voluntarily, knowingly, or intelligently entered. The post-conviction court denied relief, and it is from this judgment that the Petitioner now appeals. After reviewing the evidence and applicable law, we conclude that the post-conviction court did not err, and we affirm the judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/smothermanp_031008.pdf


YOUNG BOK SONG v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Dwight E. Scott, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Young Bok Song.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Brian K. Holmgren, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The petitioner, Young Bok Song, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, arguing that the post-conviction court erred in finding that he received effective assistance of trial counsel. Following our review, we affirm the denial of the petition.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/songy_031008.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RICHARD C. TAYLOR

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Cassandra Stubbs, Durham, North Carolina; Kelly A. Gleason, Nashville, Tennessee; and E. Covington Johnston, Jr., Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Richard C. Taylor.

Robert E. Cooper, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Elizabeth Ryan and C. Daniel Lins, Assistant Attorneys General; Ronald L. Davis, District Attorney General; and Derek K. Smith, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

The Defendant, Richard C. Taylor, was convicted by a Williamson County jury of one count of first degree murder, and he was sentenced to death. On appeal, he alleges twenty-three errors. Upon review, we conclude the trial court failed to consider the full panoply of evidence relevant to whether the Defendant knowingly and voluntarily waived his right to counsel. The Defendant is, thus, entitled to a new trial. Additional errors that also require reversal are as follows: the Defendant's constitutional right to counsel was denied at a competency hearing; the trial court erred when it failed to hold a competency hearing during trial; and the trial court erred in failing to appoint advisory counsel. We also conclude that the trial court erred when it instructed the jury at the sentencing phase, which requires that the Defendant be given a new sentencing hearing. As such, we reverse the conviction and the sentence, and we remand the case for a new trial.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/taylorr_031008.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JEREMY C. WATKISS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Michael R. Giaimo, Livingston, Tennessee, and Thomas H. Bilbrey, Assistant Public Defenders, Lafayette, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jeremy C. Watkiss.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; Tom P. Thompson, Jr., District Attorney General; and Howard Lee Chambers, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The defendant, Jeremy C. Watkiss, was convicted of passing a forged instrument in an amount greater than $10,000 but less than $60,000, a Class C felony. He was sentenced as a Range I standard offender to three years and ordered to serve ninety days in jail and six years on supervised probation. On appeal, the defendant argues that the trial court erred by admitting an affidavit of forgery into evidence in violation of the Confrontation Clauses of the Tennessee and United States Constitutions, and in violation of the Tennessee Rules of Evidence pertaining to admission of hearsay statements. Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we dismiss the defendant's appeal for failure to file a timely notice of appeal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/watkissj_031008.pdf


WILLIAM EARL WILSON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Ryan C. Caldwell, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, William Earl Wilson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Deborah Housel, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The petitioner, William Earl Wilson, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief and argues that his guilty plea was not entered into knowingly and voluntarily and that he did not receive effective assistance of counsel. On December 8, 2005, the petitioner entered a plea of guilty to aggravated robbery, a Class B felony, and was sentenced to twenty years as a career offender. Specifically, the petitioner argues that his level of education and history of mental illness should invalidate his guilty plea and that counsel should have had him evaluated for competency prior to entering the guilty plea. After careful review, we affirm the judgment from the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/wilsonw_031008.pdf


State Nursing Practice Act

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2008-03-10

Opinion Number: 08-45

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2008/ag_08_45.pdf

Constitutionality of Senate Bill 2849, which would permit employers to require that English be spoken by employees while working

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2008-03-10

Opinion Number: 08-46

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2008/ag_08_46.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

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Services planned for Newton Allen Sr. in Memphis
Distinguished Memphis lawyer Newton Allen died Sunday at his home. Services will be held at Calvary Episcopal Church on March 11 at 4 p.m. with a reception following at the church. Allen practiced law in Memphis for 61 years, spending most of his career at Armstrong, Allen, the firm his father James Seddon Allen helped found. After he retired from Armstrong, Allen, he founded the Newton P. Allen Law Firm with his wife Malinda Crutchfield Allen. Allen was past-president of the American Bar Association Senior Lawyers Division, past president of the Memphis Symphony, and a recent honoree of the Tennessee Bar Foundation Legal History Project. He was an alumnus of Princeton University and the University of Virginia School of Law. He was an Eagle Scout and Army veteran of World War II. Both his late father and his late brother Richard were past TBA Presidents. He leaves his wife Malinda, children John, Cannon, Newton Jr., Malinda Lewis (wife of TBA President-elect Buck Lewis), John and Lillian Crutchfield, and eight grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be sent to Calvary Episcopal Church.
The Commercial Appeal has more
Bill McHugh, 83, dies
William Thomas "Bill" McHugh died March 7. He was 83. He graduated in 1947 from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford and began private practice the same year. The interment will be a private Masonic Graveside service at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. A memorial funeral service will be at 10 a.m. March 15 at Woodmont Christian Church, with visitation to follow service. Memorial contributions may be made to the William Thomas McHugh Scholarship Fund at the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, 3833 Cleghorn Ave. Suite 400, Nashville, TN 37215-2519.
Read the obituary in the Tennessean
Legal News
Suit filed against White House
The House Judiciary Committee filed a lawsuit today to enforce subpoenas against President Bush's chief of staff and his former counsel in a probe of suspected White House involvement in the controversial firings of nine federal prosecutors in 2006. The House panel filed the suit in federal court in Washington, D.C., against Joshua B. Bolten, who has been White House chief of staff since April 2006, and Harriet E. Miers, who resigned as White House counsel in January 2007. The committee's action marked the first time in U.S. history that either chamber of Congress has sued the Executive Branch to enforce a subpoena, according to a spokesman for the Judiciary Committee.
Read the Washington Post story
Fansler will not hear Knox ouster case
Chancellor Daryl R. Fansler will step aside in the ouster case against two Knox County commissioners. A jury found commissioners violated the state's Sunshine Law when they appointed 12 new officeholders in January 2007. Attorney Herb Moncier filed a lawsuit on behalf of 10 Knox county citizens, calling for the immediate suspension and eventual ouster of Commissioners Scott Moore and Paul Pinkston. Moore had requested that Fansler not be the one who decides this case. Fansler will ask the state Supreme Court to assign a judge with no ties to the Sunshine Trial to hear the case. That judge is expected to come from outside the 6th Judicial District.
WATE-TV has more on this story
Newspaper wins 1st Amendment award for Knox open meetings coverage
The News Sentinel won the Edward Willis Scripps award for "distinguished service to the First Amendment ... for exposing an abuse of Tennessee's Open Meetings Act and successfully challenging that violation in the courts," according to a foundation press release. The award comes with a $10,000 prize that will be divided among staff central to the newspaper's coverage.
Read more in the News Sentinel
Job opening for recruiter at UT's career center
The University of Tennessee College of Law Bettye B. Lewis Career Center seeks an employment/recruiting coordinator. This position advances strategic relationships with employers, secures and promotes employment opportunities for students and alumni, and coordinates the college's on-campus interview programs.
Read UT's Informant for details (scroll down)
Court rail-crashing suspect bound to grand jury
A man who court officers say fought them in Circuit Court and knocked down a railing in Judge Jackie Schulten Bolton's courtroom had his case bound to the Grand Jury on Monday. Michael Tyrone Hawkins appeared before Criminal Court Judge Bob Moon on the charge of assaulting officers in the incident a week ago.
Chattanoogan.com reports
Your Practice
Learn what the justices like and don't like before your next appearance
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. reveals in a video interview that he hates lengthy citations to websites and even lengthier briefs. "I have yet to put down a brief and say, 'I wish that had been longer,'" he says. This is one of many insights to the Supreme Court justices, as they are interviewed by Bryan Garner, editor-in-chief of the last two editions of Black's Law Dictionary. Lawyers who specialize in Supreme Court advocacy are scouring the videos, posted at LawProse.org.
The ABA Journal connects you to the 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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About this publication: Today's News is a compilation of digests of news reports of interest to Tennessee lawyers compiled by TBA staff, links to digested press releases, and occasional stories about the TBA and other activities written by the TBA staff or members. Statements or opinions herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Tennessee Bar Association, its officers, board or staff.

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