Emotionally Intelligent Lawyering and Leadership

In every situation involving "lawyering," attorneys must perceive how others think and feel, know how others want to think and feel, and determine the differences between the current situation and the desired situation. Whether trying to generate trust, fear or something in between, feelings often are a mainstay of the legal profession. Law school, however, rarely trains lawyers to use feelings to create desired changes. Now, Tennessee attorneys have the opportunity to hear from Charles J. Wolfe, an internationally recognized trainer and author in the field of emotional intelligence. This unique CLE, presented in conjunction with the Tennessee Commission on Legal Education, will be held in Nashville on May 21. For more information or to register visit:

https://www.tnbaru.com/CLE/catalog_course_details.php?course=5718

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
05 - TN Court of Appeals
10 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - 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.

O'RANE M. CORNISH, SR. v. HARRAH'S ENTERTAINMENT, INC.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

O'Rane M. Cornish, Sr., Memphis,TN, pro se.

Robert L. Moore, Memphis, TN, for Appellee.

Judge: HIGHERS

This appeal involves the lower court's dismissal of a case on the basis of forum non conveniens. The plaintiff, a resident of Shelby County, brought suit in circuit court in Shelby County. The plaintiff alleged that he drank a glass of cranberry juice that contained a dead fly at one of the defendant's restaurants, located in Tunica County, Mississippi. From that incident, the plaintiff alleges that he suffered emotional and physical harm. The defendant's answer requested that the court dismiss on the basis of forum non conveniens, contending that the more appropriate forum was a circuit court in Tunica County, Mississippi. After a hearing, the trial court dismissed the claim on the basis of forum non conveniens. After the plaintiff filed a motion to reconsider, the trial court entered an order denying the motion and setting out its findings concerning its decision to decline jurisdiction. The plaintiff appeals, and we reverse and remand the case for further proceedings.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/cornisho_050608.pdf


IN THE MATTER OF E. B. H., JR.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Laura A. Stewart, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, E. B. H.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, and Amy T. McConnell, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Children's Services.

Nick Perenich, Nashville, Tennessee, Guardian ad litem.

Judge: CLEMENT

Father appeals the termination of his parental rights to his seventeen-year-old child. The trial court found that his rights should be terminated pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. section 36-1-113(g)(6) due to the fact that Father was confined in prison as a result of a criminal act under a sentence of more than ten years imposed when the child was under eight years of age. The trial court also found that termination was in the child's best interests. Finding no error, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/ebh_051408.pdf


HAROLD WAYNE HARRIS v. SHERRY EDWARDS, ULYSES EDWARDS and CARL VANCE HARRIS

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

M. Keith Davis, Dunlap, Tennessee, for appellant, Harold Wayne Harris.

Rebecca L. Hicks, Dayton, Tennessee, for appellees, Sherry Edwards, Ulyses Edwards and Carl Vance Harris.

Judge: FRANKS

Plaintiff brought this action to void two deeds executed by the deceased shortly before he died. Plaintiff sought to void the deeds on the grounds that the grantees of the deed exerted undue influence on deceased in obtaining the deeds and that deceased was not competent to make the deeds. In a bench trial, the Chancellor held that plaintiff did not prove undue influence and that the deceased was fully competent to contract and execute the deeds. On appeal, we affirm the Judgment of the Trial Court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/harrish_051408.pdf


AUDREY L. LINKOUS, on her own behalf, and on behalf of and as surviving spouse of CHARLES G. LINKOUS, deceased, and by next friend on behalf of her minor children, JUSTIN L. LINKOUS, and HEATHER M. LINKOUS, v. HAWKINS COUNTY DEPUTY DANIEL LANE, HAWKINS COUNTY DEPUTY BRIAN BOGGS, HAWKINS COUNTY JAILER KIMBERLY GIBSON a/k/a KIMBERLY COOK, HAWKINS COUNTY JAILER NATHAN SIMPSON, HAWKINS COUNTY JAIL SUPERVISOR SCOTT ALLEY, HAWKINS COUNTY SHERIFF WARREN D. RIMER, and HAWKINS COUNTY, TENNESSEE
With Concurring/Dissenting Opinion


Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Richard A. Spivey, Kingsport, Tennessee, for appellants.

Russell W. Adkins and Steven C. Uret, Kingsport, Tennessee, for appellee, Hawkins County, Tennessee.

Judge: FRANKS

This wrongful death action was brought by the widow of deceased, who committed suicide in the county jail. The Trial Court granted summary judgment to defendant County on the grounds that the undisputed evidence established that the defendantís suicide was not foreseeable. On appeal, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/linkousa_051408.pdf

LEE concurring in part and dissenting in part
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/linkousa_dis_051408.pdf


CRYSTYNA BROOKE SAUNDERS v. JEREMY STEPHEN SAUNDERS, SR., v. STEPHEN JEFFREY SAUNDERS, and wife MARY THERESE SAUNDERS, v. LEONARD HENLEY, and wife JEANNIE HENLEY, v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

John R. Meldorf, III, Hixson, Tennessee, for the lst Intervening Petitioners, Stephen Jeffrey Saunders, and wife Mary Therese Saunders.

No attorney on record

Judge: FRANKS

The paternal grandparents have appealed the ruling of the Trial Court denying them visitation, on the grounds that the Court had previously ordered visitation for these grandparents, and that order was res judicata and could not be altered by the Trial Court. On appeal, we affirm the Trial Court's ruling.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/saunders_051408.pdf


JOHN E. CARTER v. HOWARD CARLTON, WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

John E. Carter, appellant, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Attorney General & Reporter; and Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The petitioner, John E. Carter, appeals from the Johnson County Circuit Court's summary dismissal of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus, and the State of Tennessee moves this court, pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals, to summarily affirm the circuit court's order. We agree that such motion is well taken, and we affirm the denial of habeas corpus relief.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/carterj_051408.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JAMES BERNARD COX

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Ross E. Alderman, District Public Defender, Jeffrey A. DeVasher (on appeal) and Laura Dykes (at trial), Assistant Public Defenders, for the appellant, James Bernard Cox.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Deborah M. Housel, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The defendant, James Bernard Cox, pled guilty to rape, a Class B felony, and received an eight-year sentence of split confinement as a Range I offender, with seven years to be served on probation. He appeals the Davidson County Criminal Court's sentencing determination, arguing that the court did not give him pretrial credits, thus making his service in confinement greater than the statutory maximum of twelve months. The state agrees that the trial court erred in not granting pretrial jail credits. We also agree and reverse the trial court and remand the case for an amended judgment that includes pretrial jail credits.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/coxb_051408.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. LARRY DAVIS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Phyllis Aluko, Assistant Public Defender, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Larry Davis.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General, and Greg Gilbert, Assistant DistricAttorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Appellant, Larry Davis, was convicted by a Shelby County jury of attempted aggravated kidnapping. As a result, he was sentenced as a Range III persistent offender to a fourteen-year sentence. Appellant appeals, arguing that the evidence is insufficient to support the conviction and that the trial court imposed an excessive sentence. Following our review of the record and the applicable authorities, we determine that the evidence was sufficient to support a conviction for attempted aggravated kidnapping and that the trial court properly sentenced Appellant.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/davisl_051408.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. PIERRE JACKSON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Robert Brooks (on appeal), Charles Gilchrist and Tyrone Paylor (at trial), Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Pierre Jackson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Dennis Johnson and Stephanie Johnson, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

In 2003 the defendant, Pierre Jackson, was convicted by a Shelby County jury of two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, two counts of leaving the scene of an accident, and one count of driving on a revoked license, third offense, receiving an effective sentence of fifty-two years, five months, and twenty-nine days. On appeal, he argues that the State's proof as to prior DUI convictions was deficient, the indictments and jury instructions were deficient, and the trial court erred in sentencing. Following our review, we affirm the defendant's convictions but remand for resentencing as to the convictions for aggravated vehicular homicide upon finding that the trial court's application of one sentencing enhancement factor violated the Sixth Amendment. We also direct the entry of judgments reflecting the convictions for leaving the scene of an accident.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/jacksonp_051408.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MARCELLUS JEFFRIES

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Marcellus Jeffries, Pro Se, Henning, Tennessee.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Preston Shipp, Assistant Attorney General; Elizabeth Rice, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Petitioner, Marcellus Jeffries, appeals the trial court's order dismissing his petition for writ of habeas corpus. We are persuaded that the trial court was correct in summarily dismissing the habeas corpus petition because Petitioner did not demonstrate that his convictions were void. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/jeffriesm_051408.pdf


TERRY E. JUSTUS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Ronald C. Newcomb, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Terry E. Justus.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; James B. Dunn, District Attorney General; Steven R. Hawkins, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

The Petitioner, Terry E. Justus, pled guilty to two counts of second degree murder, and the trial court sentenced him to an agreed sentence of thirty-five years to be served at 100 percent. The Petitioner filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief, which was amended by appointed counsel, alleging that he did not receive the effective assistance of counsel and that his plea was not knowingly and voluntarily entered. The post-conviction court dismissed the petition after a hearing. On appeal, the Petitioner contends that his guilty plea was not knowingly and voluntarily entered because his trial counsel was ineffective for allowing him to enter the plea without the benefit of information relevant to his guilty plea, namely: (1) the outcome of his motion to suppress; and (2) the results of a DNA report. After reviewing the issues and applicable authorities, we affirm the post-conviction court's judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/justust_051408.pdf


VINCENT TRACY MORTON V. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Eugene J. Honea, Franklin, Tennessee, attorney for appellant, Vincent Tracy Morton.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Jennifer Smith and Andrew Hamilton Smith, Assistant Attorneys General; Ronald L. Davis, District Attorney General; Christina Goodson and Sean B. Duddy, Assistant District Attorneys General, attorneys for appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: THOMAS

The defendant, Vincent Tracy Morton, entered guilty pleas to three counts of delivery of more than .5 gram of cocaine for resale, Class B felonies, and was sentenced to consecutive eleven year Range I sentences for a total effective sentence of thirty-three years. The defendant did not appeal the sentencing determination. Thereafter, the defendant filed a timely petition for post-conviction relief and the court, by agreement of the parties, granted a delayed appeal pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-30-113. In this appeal as of right, the defendant asserts that the trial court imposed sentences that are excessive in both length and manner of service. The state contends that the trial court imposed appropriate sentences. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/mortonv_051408.pdf


SAMUEL PEGUES v. GIL MATHIS, ACTING WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Samuel Pegues, pro se, Nashville, Tennessee.

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

Judge: HAYES

The Appellant, Samuel Pegues, appeals the Davidson County Circuit Courtís summary dismissal of his petition for the writ of habeas corpus. Pegues, currently incarcerated in DeBerry Special Needs Facility in Nashville, was convicted of second degree murder in Madison County Circuit Court and was sentenced to twenty-one and one-half years in confinement. He filed the instant habeas corpus petition alleging: (1) that the convicting court lacked jurisdiction to adjudicate his case because the indictment was insufficient; and (2) that the jury instructions were unconstitutional in that they shifted the burden of proof with regard to voluntary manslaughter. The habeas corpus court summarily dismissed the petition without the appointment of counsel, finding that the judgment of conviction was not void. An order was entered to this effect on May 29, 2007. On July 9, 2007, Pegues filed notice of appeal. On appeal, Pegues first argues that the habeas corpus court erred in finding that the indictment was not defective. With regard to his second issue, Pegues alters his argument on appeal and now contends that he was deprived of a constitutionally complete jury charge by the trial court's omission of the "knowing" element of the crime of second degree murder. Although not raised by either party, we are constrained to note that the notice of appeal in this case was not timely filed. Moreover, "the interest of justice" does not require that the timeliness requirement be waived, as Pegues issues do not warrant relief. Accordingly, the appeal is dismissed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/peguess_051408.pdf


BARRY W. RITCHIE v. HOWARD CARLTON, WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Barry W. Ritchie, Mountain City, Tennessee, Pro Se.

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

Judge: WITT

The petitioner appeals the Johnson County Criminal Court's summary dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus, alleging that the court abused its discretion in dismissing his petition. The petitioner specifically alleges that his judgments are void because the judge did not sign them and that the language of the aggravated rape statute used to convict him was unconstitutionally vague. Because neither of the petitioner's arguments would render his convictions void, we affirm the dismissal of the writ of habeas corpus.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/ritchieb_051408.pdf


ANTONIO SANDERS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

R. Andrew Hutchinson, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Antonio Sanders.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Nicole Germain, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

The Petitioner, Antonio Sanders, appeals from the order of the Shelby County Criminal Court denying post-conviction relief. On appeal, he argues that he did not receive the effective assistance of counsel at trial, and therefore, that the post-conviction court erred by denying relief. Following our review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the post-conviction court's order dismissing the petition.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/sandersa_051408.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Legislative News
Supreme Court Report
Upcoming
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Judge faces range of misconduct charges
Cocke County General Sessions Court Judge John A. Bell has been charged with several counts of judicial misconduct by the Tennessee Court of the Judiciary. He has recused himself from pending cases until the allegations are resolved. Senior Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood of Townsend will temporarily assume his duties. The charges against Bell resulted from an investigation into his relationship with East Tennessee Probation Inc., a private probation company incorporated by his brother-in-law.
The News Sentinel has more
DA calls for more courthouse security
Securing an employee parking lot at the Sullivan County Justice Center in Blountville may be the next step to improve courthouse security, says District Attorney General Greeley Wells. Appearing before a county committee, Wells asked officials to look into building a fence with an electronic gate around the parking lot. The recommendation comes on the heels of an incident in which a female employee was accosted in the lot. Committee members also will be looking at adding panic buttons in offices and placing security cameras in courtrooms and hallways.
The Bristol Herald Courier reports
Outlook for summer associates unclear
This year's biglaw summer associates may be worried whether they'll get an offer in this economic climate. One thing is for certain, though: they will face a shortage of client work during their clerkship. Although summer law-firm programs are typically heavy on the play side of the work/play equation, summer associates are expected to do some billable work for paying clients. This year, with the slowdown in transactions, some firms expect to have less to assign, particularly in the area of corporate work.
The Wall Street Journal law blog explores the issue
Legislative News
TBI could make traffic stops under bill
A proposal allowing Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents to make traffic stops passed the House this week. Companion legislation passed the Senate last month. The bill would allow TBI agents to bypass current requirements to gain permission from prosecutors to make traffic stops in emergency situations. Some lawmakers, however, expressed concern that the proposal moves the agency away from its traditional investigatory role to a more direct enforcement one, reports the Memphis Daily 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
Supreme Court Report
Souter rumored to consider retiring
U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter is probably the court's most reclusive member, but he is not shy about saying his position is not necessarily a lifetime job. Those comments, combined with frustrations over recent cases, have led court watchers to predict he is disenchanted with life at the court and may retire after a new president is elected.
Bloomberg News has the story
Is Stevens moving to the center?
U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens was appointed by a Republican but is regarded as one of the court's liberals. Some have even gone so far as to call him the leader of the liberal wing. In three recent cases, however, he has joined with conservatives. Some are now asking whether the justice is moving a little toward the center.
The International Herald Tribune takes a look
Upcoming
NSL to honor 3 at annual dinner
The Nashville School of Law will honor the achievements of an outstanding alumna, a distinguished faculty member and a notable community leader at its 15th Annual Recognition Dinner on June 6. Anne L. Russell, class of 1984, will receive the Accomplished Alumni Award; Mark Westlake, an NSL instructor since 1984, will be named recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Award; and Senator Douglas Henry Jr., a lawyer and the nephew of one of NSL's four original founders, Robert Selph Henry, will be honored with the Community Service Award. For more information about the event call (615) 256-3684.

TBA Member Services
First Tennessee is TBA's preferred provider
First Tennessee has crafted a package of discounts to meet the specific needs of Tennessee Bar Association members. Find savings on merchant credit services, checking and savings, financial planning and more
on the TBA Web site

 
 
Discontinue your TBA Today subscription? ... Surely not!
But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at:
http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/unsub_tbatoday.php

Questions, comments: Email us at TBAToday@tnbar.org

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.

© Copyright 2008 Tennessee Bar Association