Tennessee Plan may get 'Hail Mary pass' on last day of General Assembly session

As one of the last acts of Former Lt. Governor John Wilder's 44-year career in the Tennessee General Assembly, he will try a rarely used parliamentary maneuver to get consideration of his bill to extend the termination date of the Judicial Selection Commission and the Judicial Evaluation Commission to the Senate floor. Observers say that the move is much like the "Hail Mary pass" in football, which has a very slim chance of success.

The move, technically called a recall petition, is permitted under Senate rules and takes a simple 17-vote majority of the Senate to be successful. Wilder filed notice, as required by the rule, that he would attempt the maneuver after it was reported that talks between Speakers Ron Ramsey and Jimmy Naifeh and Gov. Phil Bredesen reached no consensus. Wilder is the Senate sponsor on SB3098, which is the companion to HB2769 by Lois DeBerry. DeBerry's bill was adopted on Tuesday in the House. The bills, as originally written, simply extend the commissions as presently constituted and under current rules until June 30, 2012. It is the only proposal with any sign of life that could be acted on.

The recall procedure is rarely used because lawmakers rely on the committee system to work through compromises on pieces of legislation before they reach the floor for action. Without Senate action, the commissions, which are key elements of the Tennessee Plan, will begin a path to expire on June 30, 2009.
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Court: TCA


Betty Stafford Scott, Mary Jo Middlebrooks, Jackson, TN, for Appellant

Magan White, Jackson, TN, for Appellee


This is an appeal from the trial court's modification of a child's custody due to a material change in circumstances. Mother/Appellant appeals the trial court's change of custody of her minor child to Father/Appellee. Specifically, Mother/Appellant asserts that the evidence does not support the finding of a material change in circumstances and also raises issues concerning trial court's reliance on certain evidence. Finding no error by the trial court, we affirm.



Court: TCA


Brian J. Hunt, Clinton, Tennessee, for the appellants, Todd Jones, Terry Jones, and Jerry Jones.

Robert W. Wilkinson, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, for the appellees, Catherine Smith Bowling, Beverly K. Anderson, Lynn Curtis Anderson, and Kimberly K. Anderson.

Judge: LEE

Plaintiff homeowners sued defendant residential building contractors for breach of a home construction contract upon allegations of defective workmanship and abandonment of contract. The trial court entered judgment in favor of plaintiffs and awarded actual damages in an amount based upon the finding that the house was of no value. The trial court also awarded damages under the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act upon a finding that the defendants violated the Act by willfully and knowingly misrepresenting that they were bonded. Upon appeal, we find no error in the judgment of the trial court, and accordingly, the judgment is affirmed in all respects.



Court: TCA


Dudley W. Taylor and Jonathan S. Taylor, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Gary L. Carroll.

John W. Dupree, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Burl F. Henderson.


Gary L. Carroll ("Plaintiff") was a managing agent for Yucatan Resorts, S.A. de C.V., Yucatan Resorts, Inc., Yucatan Investment Corp., and/or Resort Holdings International, Inc. (collectively referred to as the "Yucatan Defendants"). As a managing agent, Plaintiff sold investment opportunities to various clients, including defendant Burl Henderson and his wife, Ruth Henderson. With Plaintiff’s assistance and unbeknownst to Mr. Henderson, Ruth Henderson changed the beneficiary on her investments from Mr. Henderson to the Hendersons' only child. Plaintiff claims that after Ruth Henderson died and Mr. Henderson learned that his wife had changed beneficiaries with Plaintiff's assistance, Mr. Henderson contacted various representatives of the Yucatan Defendants with the goal of getting Plaintiff fired. After Plaintiff's contractual relationship with the Yucatan Defendants was terminated, Plaintiff sued Henderson and the Yucatan Defendants. The Trial Court dismissed Plaintiff's claims against Yucatan Resorts, S.A. de C.V. on the basis of ineffective service of process and later entered a monetary judgment against the remaining Yucatan Defendants. The Trial Court also granted Mr. Henderson's motion for summary on Plaintiff's claims for intentional interference with a business relationship and inducement to breach of contract in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. section 47- 50-109. Plaintiff appeals. We affirm the dismissal of the lawsuit against Yucatan Resorts, S.A. de C.V., and vacate the grant of summary judgment to Henderson.



Court: TCA


Danny R. Meeks, Only, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Joshua D. Baker, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Correction.


An inmate at the Turney Center Industrial Prison filed this Petition for Common Law Writ of Certiorari in the Chancery Court of Hickman County. The inmate alleges in the petition, inter alia, that the Prison Disciplinary Board deviated from the Uniform Disciplinary Procedures and, as a result, he was erroneously found guilty of refusing to submit to a drug screening. After reviewing the administrative record and the penalties imposed by the Prison Disciplinary Board, the trial court granted the Department of Correction's motion for judgment on the record, thereby dismissing the inmate's claim. We affirm.



Court: TCA


Michael A. Anderson, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Lori Schmank.

Robert L. Lockaby, Jr., Chattanooga, Tennessee, and J. Andrew Keyes, Washington, D.C., for the Appellees, Town & Country Ford of Cleveland, LLC, and Sonic Automotive, Inc.

Steven D. Lipsey, Knoxville, Tennessee, Brian C. Anderson and Andrew J. Trask, Washington, D.C., for the Appellee, Automobile Protection Corporation.

The plaintiff brought this claim under the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA") against an automobile dealer, its owner, and Automobile Protection Corporation ("APCO"), alleging that the sale of an anti-theft product called "Easy Care ETCH," which she purchased with vehicles from the dealer, violated the TCPA. We affirm the trial court's ruling that this action, filed over four years after the plaintiff's first purchase and nearly three years after her second purchase, was not timely brought under the applicable one-year statute of limitations. Accepting the plaintiff's allegations in her complaint as true, we do not agree with her argument that the application of the discovery rule operates to toll the limitations period under the facts presented, and therefore, we affirm the trial court's dismissal of the complaint on the pleadings pursuant to Tenn. R. Civ. P. 12.02(6) and 12.03.



Court: TCCA


Donna Orr Hargrove, District Public Defender, and Andrew Jackson Dearing, III, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, William Anthony Hayworth.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; Charles F. Crawford, Jr., District Attorney General; and Michael D. Randles, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The petitioner, William Anthony Hayworth, appeals from the denial of his petition for post- conviction relief. The petitioner pled guilty to one count of aggravated robbery, a Class B felony, and one count of aggravated burglary, a Class C felony. He received a sentence of twenty years for the Class B felony and ten years for the Class C felony as a Range III, persistent offender, with the sentences to be served concurrently. He later filed a petition for post-conviction relief, alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. After careful review, we affirm the judgment from the post- conviction court.



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Legal News
Dickson judge reprimanded
A formal letter of reprimand has been filed against Dickson County General Sessions Judge A. Andrew Jackson for his actions as the Dickson County Juvenile Court Judge in hearing cases involving children who were illegal aliens, children of illegal aliens, or perceived as illegal aliens. The Tennessee Court of the Judiciary found Jackson's treatment of these children violated Supreme Court Canons, deprived them of rights guaranteed under the U.S. and Tennessee constitutions and detrimentally affected the integrity of the Tennessee judiciary and the public confidence in the administration of justice.
Read the full letter of reprimand
A new look for DOJ in 2009?
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Judge Todd honored in Jackson
Judge James D. Todd was honored in Jackson today for his 23 years of service as U.S. District Judge. The ceremony, including the unveiling of his portrait, was held in the U.S. Courthouse in Jackson, with a reception following hosted by the Jackson-Madison County Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association and the Lawyers' Association for Women, Anne Schneider Chapter. Judge Todd will enter senior status this month.

Vandy grads secure 30 judicial clerkships
Thirty members of the Vanderbilt Law's Class of 2008 will serve as judicial clerks with judges on the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fourth, Eighth, Tenth, Eleventh and D.C. Circuits; with U.S. District Court judges in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas; on the state Supreme Courts of Indiana, Minnesota and Tennessee, and with judges on other federal and state courts.
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Notification dropped from open records law
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The Memphis Daily News has more
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Webcasts offer next generation of online education
The TBA's new TennBarU Webcasting program gives you easy access to the next generation of online education. When you join in a TennBarU Webcast, you'll be in the middle of the classroom, whether you are at home, in your office or on the road. These programs let you watch programs as they occur or at your convenience, take part in polls, follow along with Powerpoint presentations and ask questions or raise issues for speakers to address. The next webcast will be on May 23 featuring Clarksville attorney Roland Lenard outlining immigration issues for the general practitioner.
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'Body farm' founder speaking in Newport
Dr. Bill Bass, the internationally recognized University of Tennessee forensic anthropologist and founder of the "body farm" will be at the Holiday Inn of Newport on Tuesday for a program to benefit Safe Harbor Child Advocacy Center. Joining Bass will be Arthur M. Bohanan, a nationally recognized forensic expert and a founding board member of Safe Harbor CAC. Admission to the 6 p.m. event is a donation of $10 per adult and $5 per child to Safe Harbor CAC.

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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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