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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
02 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
02 - TN Court of Appeals
02 - 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.

SUSAN RANDOLPH v. FLEETGUARD, INC.

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

Frederick R. Baker, Cookeville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Fleetguard, Inc.

Edward M. Graves, III, Cookeville, Tennessee, and Edward M. Graves, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Susan Randolph.

Judge: WALLACE

This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The parties stipulated that appellee Susan Randolph ("Employee") suffered bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome as a workplace injury during her employment with appellant Fleetguard, Inc. ("Employer"). The parties also stipulated as to her rate of compensation, impairment, and vocational disability. At trial, the only disputed issue was whether Employee gave Employer actual notice of her injury prior to July 1, 2004. The trial court held that Employee did and Employer has appealed. We reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand this matter for further proceedings.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2008/randolphs_040308.pdf


WILLADEAN RICHARDSON v. COFFEE COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION ET AL.

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

James H. Tucker, Jr. and Colin M. McCaffrey, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Coffee County Board of Education.

Eric J. Burch, Manchester, Tennessee for the appellee, Willadean Richardson.

Judge: WALLACE

This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-225(e)(3) for a hearing and a report of findings of fact and conclusions of law. Employee slipped and fell in the course of her employment as a cafeteria worker. She was subsequently diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The trial court found that condition was caused by the work injury, and awarded benefits for permanent total disability. Employer has appealed, contending that the evidence preponderates against the trial court's findings as to causation and also as to the extent of Employee's permanent disability. Employer further contends that the trial court erred in ordering accrued benefits to be paid in a lump sum. Employee contends that the trial court incorrectly based her average weekly wage upon a calendar year rather than a school year. We affirm the judgment in all respects.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2008/richardsonw_040308.pdf


MIKE PARSONS, ET AL. v. JAMES WELLS, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Mike Parsons and Pat Parsons, Pro se.

T.D. Forrester, Covington, Tennessee, for the appellees, James Wells and Sara Wells.

Judge: FARMER

Following a hearing, the trial court granted Defendants' motion for summary judgment where Plaintiffs failed to respond to Defendants' motion prior to the hearing. Plaintiffs filed a motion to alter or amend, asserting that they had received notice of the hearing but did not receive a copy of Defendants' motion itself. The trial court found the motion had been mailed with the notice of hearing, and that Plaintiffs failed to respond timely. Plaintiffs appeal; we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/parsonsm_040308.pdf


MARK A. SKIDMORE v. DARLEAN McDOUGAL ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Cheryl J. Skidmore, Gallatin, Tennessee, and John E. Herbison, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Mark A. Skidmore.

Arthur E. McClellan, Gallatin, Tennessee, for the appellee, Darlean McDougal et al.

Judge: BENNETT

The November 7, 2006 Hendersonville election for alderman in Ward 3 is the subject of this litigation. The margin of victory was a mere 18 votes. The losing candidate, Mr. Skidmore, challenged the election results. The chancellor held against him. Mr. Skidmore appeals, maintaining that a sufficient number of illegal votes were cast to require that the election be voided. We affirm the chancellor.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/skidmorem_040308.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WILLIAM FLOYD CARTWRIGHT

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Edwin G. Sadler (at trial and on appeal), and E.J. Mackie (at trial), Cookeville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, William Floyd Cartwright.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Alice B. Lustre, Assistant Attorney General; William Gibson, District Attorney General; Anthony Craighead and David Patterson, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

A Putnam County jury convicted Appellant, William Floyd Cartwright, of first degree premeditated murder. He was sentenced to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole. On appeal, Appellant contends that the evidence is insufficient to sustain his conviction because the State did not prove that he acted with premeditation. We affirm the judgment of the trial court because the evidence sufficiently supports the conviction.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/cartwrightw_040308.pdf


CHRISTOPHER JAMES DODSON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Correction on dissenting opinion originally published March 31, 2008.


Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Samuel B. Dreiling, Franklin, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Christopher James Dodson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; Ronald L. Davis, District Attorney General; Derek K. Smith, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

The Petitioner, Christopher James Dodson, pled guilty to facilitation of robbery, a class D felony. The trial court sentenced the Petitioner, a Range I offender, to four years to be served at thirty percent. The Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief in which he alleged that the parties and the trial court agreed at sentencing that the Petitioner should receive thirteen months of jail credit, which he was not given by the Tennessee Department of Correction. Because he was not given this jail credit, the Petitioner alleged he was entitled to post-conviction relief because his guilty plea was not voluntarily entered, and he had received the ineffective assistance of counsel. The post-conviction court dismissed the petition after a hearing. The Petitioner appeals that dismissal, and we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/dodsonc_040108.pdf

TIPTON DISSENTING: Correction eliminates comma in second page, second paragraph, 7th line down.
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/dodson_dis_CORR_040308.pdf


Legality of Privilege Tax On Entry of Customers into Adult-Oriented Establishments

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2008-04-03

Opinion Number: 08-78

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2008/ag_08_78.pdf

Proposed Amendment of Chapters 3, 4 and 7 of Title 13 of the Tennessee Code

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2008-04-03

Opinion Number: 08-79

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2008/ag_08_79.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Legislative News
Politics
Disciplinary Actions
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Sadler jailed for criminal contempt
In a medical malpractice case last week, plaintiff's attorney R. Sadler Bailey repeatedly called defense attorneys liars and told the judge her rulings could "set a world record for error," the Commercial Appeal reports. Yesterday, Bailey was led from the courtroom in handcuffs after Circuit Court Judge Karen Williams held him in direct criminal contempt of court for those and other "unprofessional and inappropriate" remarks he has made over the two-year course of the case. Williams sentenced Bailey to 10 days in jail, but promised to suspend nine days if he participates in the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program.
The Commercial Appeal reports the story
Did Hagen lose job because of lesbian rumors?
The Justice Department's inspector general is investigating whether attorney Leslie Hagen was dismissed from her job because of rumors that she is a lesbian. The case grew out of a larger inquiry into the firings of U.S. attorneys and politicization at Justice under former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
National Public Radio has details
'Animal law' coming up in the world
Just eight years ago, only nine ABA-accredited law schools offered courses in the fledgling field of animal law. Now more than 90 of the 196 accredited schools are on the list. No longer are animals simply considered property, especially as they are being named as beneficiaries, become subjects of lawsuits and identified as victims of abuse.
The Winston Salem Journal has more
Wexler to lead labor and employment lawyer group
Memphis lawyer Maurice Wexler didn't deal much with employment law when he started practicing law in 1964 because it didn't exist. Now he concentrates his practice on labor and employment law, and recently was named president-elect of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.
Read about him in the Memphis Daily News
Legislative News
No boundary talks with Georgia, legislators say
Tennessee senators say they don't want to participate in a boundary commission proposed by Georgia legislators to consider moving the states' border. Members of the Senate State and Local Government Committee voted unanimously Tuesday for a resolution that formally rejects any participation in such a commission. The measure unanimously passed the House earlier this month.
The News Sentinel has the story
Politics
Deadline for legislative seats today
Those wanting to run for a seat in the Tennessee State legislature needed to have their paperwork in to the election commission at noon today. While there will be no official candidate roster until it is issued by the Secretary of State's office, NashvillePost.com is following progress with its own list.
Check NashvillePost.com for updates [subscription required]
Binkley and Perkins given nod by county Democrats
The Davidson County Democratic Executive Committee voted last night on who will be its nominees for two local judicial slots. Nashville attorney Joseph Pitts Binkley Jr., who was appointed to the Circuit Court bench last month by Gov. Phil Bredesen, was named the Democratic nominee without a contest. In the race for the local party's nod for the Chancery Court seat, Russell Perkins, appointed chancellor last month by Bredesen, faced off against former judge and attorney Matt Sweeney. Sweeney had applied for appointment to the bench, but was passed over by the Tennessee Judicial Selection Commission and not recommended to to governor. He then announced that he would seek the spot in the August elections. Last night, Sweeney failed in his bid to secure the Democratic nomination by a vote of 25 to 10 in favor of Perkins.
NashvillePost.com has more [subscription required]
McCall to run for House seat
Albert McCall II of Carthage announced that he will be a candidate for the Tennessee House of Representatives, District 46, which includes Cannon and Trousdale counties and the Eastern part of Wilson County. McCall practiced law before joining the family-owned furniture and appliance business that was founded by his grandfather, D.T. McCall. He received his law degree from St. Mary's and was admitted to practice in Tennessee in 1987.
The Daily News Journal has more
Camp to seek Wilder seat
Randy Camp, the former chief of Tennessee's Administrative Office of the Courts, has reversed course and will be running for the State Senate seat being vacated by former Lt. Governor John Wilder, the Nashville Post reports
Read more in the Nashville Post
Petitions invalid; James off ballot
Chattanooga attorney Stuart James will not be running against Rep. JoAnne Favors for House District 29 as planned. Filing petitions turned in by James Thursday morning were ruled invalid by the election office because the campaign had used a photocopy of a petition to gather names.
Read a wrap up of election filings in the Chattanoogan.com
Disciplinary Actions
Loudon County attorney placed on inactive status
On March 17, the law license of Craig J. Donaldson was transferred to disability inactive status. Donaldson requested the transfer saying he is incapacitated from practicing law. To be reinstated to active status, he must petition the court and prove his disability is no longer an issue.
Download the BPR notice
TBA Member Services
UPL enforcement resources available
The TBA Standing Committee on the Protection of the Public from the Unauthorized Practice of Law encourages all lawyers in Tennessee to be alert to the unauthorized practice of law (UPL), which harms Tennessee consumers. Resources now are available to help lawyers report UPL to local bar associations and the state attorney general. Local bars that do not already have a process in place for handling UPL complaints, may want to check out a sample protocol on TBALink.
Visit the UPL webpage for more information

 
 
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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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