House votes to continue Tennessee Plan until 2012

With House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh "in the well" of the House -- indicating that he was in discussions with Lt. Gov. Ramsey to preserve merit selection evaluation and retention -- the House voted 64-34 to adopt the bill (HB2769/SB3098) fostered by the TBA to continue the essential elements of the Tennessee Plan until 2012. There were also hopeful signs that there will be bipartisan support for a compromise if the parties are able to arrive at one. Fifty-two Democrats were joined by 12 Republicans in approving the measure. The same bill stalled but did not crash in the Senate Government Operations Committee this morning. The Nashville City Paper had this report of the earlier Senate action. Extraordinary Senate action will be needed to bring the bill out if a deal is reached.
TODAY'S OPINIONS
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SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS Grants & Denials List

Court: TSC

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2008/certlist_051208.pdf


FRANCES ANGELA DODSON v. VF IMAGEWEAR (WEST), INC.

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

Michael W. Jones, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, VF Imagewear (West), Inc.

J. Daniel Freemon, Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, for the appellee, Frances Angela Dodson.

Judge: SCOTT

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. The employee has been treated for a shoulder injury and a back injury. The shoulder injury occurred on July 1, 2000. The back injury occurred on January 28, 2002. After the shoulder injury, the employee sought treatment from numerous doctors for pain in her shoulder. The doctors were unable to determine the cause of her pain until a SLAP lesion was diagnosed on October 29, 2003. On December 13, 2002, the employee filed a complaint seeking compensation for both injuries. The trial court determined that both injuries were compensable and awarded the employee eighty percent (80%) permanent partial disability to the body as a whole. On appeal, the employer contends that the trial court erred in finding that the shoulder injury was not barred by the statue of limitations and as a result erred in determining the employee's vocational disability by including the shoulder injury. The judgment is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2008/dodsonf_051308.pdf


REBECCA WOODY v. A.W. CHESTERTON COMPANY ET AL.
CORRECTION


Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Dwight E. Tarwater, Thomas A. Bickers, John W. Elder, and Joshua R. Walker, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Bayer CropScience, Inc., Certain Teed Corporation, General Electric Company, Georgia-Pacific LLC, Industrial Holdings Corporation, and Union Carbide Corporation.

Michael J. King and M. Denise Moretz, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellants, National Service Industries, Inc., Mobil Corporation, and CBS Corporation.

Jimmy F. Rodgers, Jr., Chattanooga, Tennessee; John E. "Rett" Guerry, III, and Robert J. Klug, Sr., Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, for the appellee, Rebecca Woody.

Judge: BENNETT

An insulator and his wife sued multiple corporate defendants for damages related to his development of mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos. Most of the defendants filed motions for summary judgment based upon a release agreement signed by the plaintiffs in 1980 in settlement of another lawsuit concerning asbestos exposure. The trial court denied the motions for summary judgment. We have concluded that, except as to any claims arising from post-release asbestos exposure, the trial court erred in denying the motions for summary judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/woodyr_Corr_051308.pdf


KENNETH D. CROSS, JR., V. STATE OF TENNESSEE
CORRECTION


Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Tom Beesley, Crossville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kenneth D. Cross, Jr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; Anthony J. Craighead, Interim District Attorney General; and Gary S. McKenzie, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The petitioner, Kenneth D. Cross, Jr., pled guilty in the Cumberland County Criminal Court to aggravated vehicular homicide and received a sentence of twenty years. Thereafter, the petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief, alleging that his trial counsel was ineffective by failing to pursue a motion to suppress the results of a blood alcohol test that was taken without his consent and that his pleas were not knowingly and voluntarily entered. The post- conviction court denied the petition, and the petitioner now appeals. Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/crossk_CORR_051308.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. GABRIELE GLATT

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Roger E. Nell, District Public Defender and Rebecca F. Stevens, Assistant District Public Defender, for the appellant, Gabriele Glatt.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; John Carney, District Attorney General, and Helen Young, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Appellant, Gabriele Glatt, was convicted in a bench trial in Montgomery County of theft of property over $10,000. At the sentencing hearing, Appellant was sentenced to four years, all but ninety days suspended, and she was ordered to pay restitution in total of $14,610. Appellant appeals arguing that: (1) the evidence was insufficient; (2) the trial court erred in denying judicial diversion; and (3) the trial court erred in ordering restitution without making the requisite findings according to Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-35-304(d). After a thorough review of the record, we reverse the trial court's order of restitution and remand for a hearing during which the trial court must make the requisite findings pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-35-304(d). In all other respects, we affirm the judgment of the trial court. Therefore, we affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand this case to the trial court for further proceedings in accordance with this opinion.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/glattg_051308.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ANTHONY DURAN HINES

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

John T. Maher, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Anthony Duran Hines.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; James E. Gaylord, Assistant Attorney General; John Wesley Carney, Jr., District Attorney General; and John E. Finklea, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant, Anthony Duran Hines, was convicted of burglary, a Class D felony, and was sentenced to twelve years in confinement as a career offender. On appeal, he argues that the trial court abused its discretion by allowing the police officer to testify as an expert regarding observations made about the defendant and crime scene immediately following the defendant's arrest. After careful review, we conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion. We affirm the judgment from the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/hinesa_051308.pdf


CORY O. JOHNSON v. JACK MORGAN, WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Cory O. Johnson, Petros, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon and John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorneys General, attorneys for appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: THOMAS

The petitioner, Cory O. Johnson, appeals the Morgan County Circuit Court's summary dismissal of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The state has filed a motion requesting that this court affirm the trial court's denial of relief pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Following our review, we conclude that the state's motion is well-taken, and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/johnsonc_051308.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MITCHELL RICHARDSON, JOHN TRAVIS RICHARDSON, APRIL C. RICHARDSON, AND AMBER CAMPBELL

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

L. Thomas Austin and Jennifer Austin Mitchell, Dunlap, Tennessee, for the appellants, Mitchell Richardson, April C. Richardson, and Amber Campbell.

Elizabeth Greer Adams, Dunlap, Tennessee, for the appellant, John Travis Richardson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; James Michael Taylor, District Attorney General; and Will Dunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

A Bledsoe County Circuit Court jury convicted the defendants Mitchell Richardson and John Travis Richardson of aggravated assault, a Class C felony, and the defendants April C. Richardson and Amber Campbell of assault, a Class A misdemeanor. Mitchell Richardson and John Travis Richardson were sentenced to serve four years and six months in the Department of Correction, and April C. Richardson and Amber Campbell were sentenced to serve ten months, with ten days to be served in jail and the remainder on probation. In this direct appeal, all defendants raise issues regarding denials of a severance and mistrial regarding admission of evidence of an out-of-court statement of Amber Campbell and sentencing. In addition, Mitchell Richardson, April C. Richardson, and Amber Campbell challenge the sufficiency of the evidence. Upon review, we affirm the convictions but modify the length of the sentences of Mitchell Richardson and John Travis Richardson based upon State v. Gomez, 239 S.W.3d 733 (Tenn. 2007). We affirm the sentences of all defendants with respect to the trial courtís imposition of confinement.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/richardsonm_051308.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. SHERYL SKWARCZEK

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Nathan Moore, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Sheryl Skwarczek.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; Bret Gunn, Assistant District 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 trial court by memorandum opinion pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The Defendant has appealed the trial court's revocation of her probation. Upon a review of the record in this case, we are persuaded that the trial court was correct in revoking the Defendant's probation and ordering her to serve her sentence, and 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 trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/swarczeks_051308.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. SENTORYA L. YOUNG

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Emma Rae Tennent, Assistant Public Defender, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Sentorya L. Young.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Renee Erb, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

The Defendant, Sentorya L. Young, was convicted in the Davidson County Criminal Court of second degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault. He received an effective sentence of life without the possibility of parole as a repeat violent offender. Thereafter, he filed a petition for writ of error coram nobis, alleging that a prejudicial and extraneous piece of paper was sent to the jury room as substantive evidence. The trial court denied the petition. In this consolidated appeal, he raises the following four issues for our review: (1) whether the evidence was sufficient to support his convictions; (2) whether the trial court failed to properly perform its role as thirteenth juror; (3) whether the trial court erred by allowing the prosecutor to express a personal opinion through the admission of a chart; and (4) whether the trial court erred in denying his writ of error coram nobis petition. Finding no error, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/youngs_051308.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

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Legal News
50 state bar presidents urge Congress to up LSC funds
Bar presidents from all 50 states, including Tennessee's Marcia Eason, are asking Congress to increase funding for the Legal Services Corp. to at least $400 million in fiscal 2009. The presidents' letter asks the relevant House and Senate subcommittees "to take an important step forward in closing the current justice gap" by increasing funding. LSC funding was initially set at $377 million for fiscal 2008, but it was reduced to $350.5 million under a year-end consolidated appropriations act, the letter says. It cites a 2005 study that found one out of two people who qualify for and seek help from LSC-funded programs is turned away because of a lack of resources.
Download the letter
NY judges told to stop avoiding cases as protest
Since New York's chief judge sued the state legislature for a pay raise, a number of the state's jurists have been recusing themselves from hearing cases involving state lawmakers and the law firms that many are affiliated with. Now the state Commission on Judicial Conduct has warned judges not to refuse to hear these cases as a way to protest the lack of a raise.
according to the New York Daily News.
Legislative News
Bredesen tells lawmakers to act 'decisively, conservatively'
TennCare spending, higher education and employees' salaries need to be cut to respond to the state's deepening economic downturn, Gov. Phil Bredesen told lawmakers Monday, saying the state must act "decisively and conservatively" to weather its financial crisis. Bredesen presented the General Assembly with a broad outline for $468 million in cuts from the 2008-09 budget plan he presented in January, before revenues began to drop sharply.
The Tennessean has the details
Track legislation of interest to Tennessee attorneys
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Lawyers from across Tennessee will be in the Smoky Mountains this summer as the Tennessee Bar Association convenes its annual convention in Gatlinburg June 11-14. Register now to take part in the Meeting in the Mountains -- a joint event with the Tennessee Judicial Conference, the Tennessee Attorneys for Justice and the Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women. You don't want to miss it.
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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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