Ceremonies welcome new Tennessee lawyers

The Tennessee Supreme Court welcomed the latest class of attorneys into the practice of law during admission ceremonies today at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville. The Tennessee Bar Association hosted many of the new attorneys and their families at an Open House luncheon in the Tennessee Bar Center after the swearing in. See photos from the events

http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/news/2008/admission_060308.html

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.

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

SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS Grants & Denials List

Court: TSC

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2008/certlist_060208.pdf


ANDREW H. BLACKBURN v. CSX TRANSPORTATION, INC.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

James G. Thomas, William T. Ramsey, Nashville, Tennessee; Andrew Lampros, Atlanta, Georgia, for the appellant, Andrew H. Blackburn.

Christopher W. Cardwell, Mary Taylor Gallagher, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, CSX Transportation, Inc.

Judge: COTTRELL

We granted an application for extraordinary appeal to determine whether the trial court erred when it granted a new trial in this case. The trial court granted the railroad a new trial based on insufficiency of the evidence, thereby setting aside an almost three million dollar verdict for plaintiff in this case under the Federal Employers' Liability Act ("FELA"). Since we find that the federal standard requiring the verdict to be against the "clear weight" of the evidence governs and that the trial court erroneously applied the Tennessee standard, we vacate the judgment granting a new trial and remand the case for consideration of the motion for new trial in accordance with this opinion.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/blackburna_060308.pdf


MIKE PARSONS v. JEFF HUFFMAN, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Mike Parsons, Arlington, TN, pro se

Duke H. Brasfield, Covington, TN; Robert V. Redding, Kate R. Armes, Jackson, TN, for Appellees

Judge: HIGHERS

This appeal involves an election contest filed by a losing candidate for county executive. According to the plaintiff’s complaint, the county election commission provided the minimum number of voting machines required by state law. However, the plaintiff alleged that the commission should have provided more voting machines because long lines at some voting locations caused many people to leave without voting. The trial court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim, among other things. The plaintiff appealed. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/parsonsm_060308.pdf


JAMES G. THOMAS, JR., EX REL. KAREN G. THOMAS v. ELIZABETH OLDFIELD, M.D., ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

William D. Leader, Jr., and John B. Carlson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, James G. Thomas, Jr., brother and next of kin of Karen G. Thomas, deceased.

C. J. Gideon, Jr., and Margaret Moore, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Crockett Hospital, LLC.

Judge: CLEMENT

The issue on appeal in this medical malpractice action is whether the hospital is vicariously liable for the acts or omissions of an emergency room physician. The trial court summarily dismissed all claims against the hospital finding that it was not vicariously liable for the conduct of the emergency room physician because he was neither its actual or apparent agent. We find the trial court correctly granted summary judgment to the hospital on the issue of actual agency because there are no material facts in dispute and the hospital is entitled to summary judgment on the issue of actual agency as a matter of law. We, however, find that material facts are in dispute concerning whether the hospital held itself out to the public as providing medical services; whether the plaintiff looked to the hospital rather than to the individual physician to perform those services; whether the patient accepted those services in the reasonable belief that the services were provided by the hospital or a hospital employee; and, if so, whether the hospital provided meaningful notice to the plaintiff at the time of admission that the emergency room physician was not its agent. Accordingly, we have determined the hospital was not entitled to summary judgment on the issue of apparent agency. Therefore, we remand to the trial court the issue of apparent agency for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/thomasj_060308.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. KHALFANI MARION

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Rebecca G. Coffee, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Khalfani Marion.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Stacy McEndree, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Khalfani Marion, was convicted of four counts of aggravated robbery, a Class B felony, and one count of especially aggravated kidnapping, a Class A felony. The trial court merged the four aggravated robbery counts into two convictions and sentenced the defendant to twenty years for the especially aggravated kidnapping conviction and nine years for each aggravated robbery conviction, ordering all sentences to be served consecutively on the basis that the defendant was a dangerous offender. On appeal, the defendant argues that the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions and alleges numerous sentencing errors by the trial court. We conclude that the evidence was sufficient to support the defendant's convictions and that the trial court did not err in imposing consecutive sentences. Accordingly, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/marionk_060308.pdf


ROBERT L. MOORE v. JIM WORTHINGTON, ACTING WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Walter B. Johnson, II (at trial and on appeal), and Joe H. Walker (on appeal), Harriman, Tennessee, for the appellee, Robert L. Moore.

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

Judge: OGLE

The petitioner, Robert L. Moore, filed in the Morgan County Criminal Court a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The habeas corpus court dismissed the petition, and, on appeal, the petitioner challenges the dismissal. In response, the State filed a motion requesting that this Court affirm the trial court's ruling pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we conclude that the petition was properly dismissed. Accordingly, the State's motion is granted and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/moorer_060308.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Disciplinary Actions
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Kentucky judge says Moncier can't practice there either
A U.S. District Judge in Kentucky says the seven-year suspension handed to Knoxville attorney Herbert S. Moncier by a Tennessee judge is enough to keep him from practicing in federal courts in that state.
Follow the story in the News Sentinel
It's free speech to use real players' names in Web league
Major League Baseball struck out in the Supreme Court on Monday as the justices let stand a ruling that gives for-profit "fantasy" leagues on the Web a free-speech right to use the names of real players without paying a licensing fee.
The Tennessean carried the Los Angeles Times story
How many is too many law schools?
As many as 10 new law schools are at least on the drawing board, if not in more advanced stages, most of them in the eastern United States, the National Law Journal reports. The plans are questioned by some who say that there is already a glut of lawyers unable to find well-paid -- or even any -- legal jobs in a challenging market.
Find out more through the ABAJournal.com
Vann to get new trial, forensic experts should have been used
A McMinn County death row inmate convicted of raping and murdering his 8-year-old daughter will receive a new murder trial, Senior Judge Donald P. Harris has ordered. Harris wrote in an opinion that defense attorneys for Gussie Vann failed to hire forensic experts to dispute the state's claims of sexual abuse.
The News Sentinel carried this AP story
Mattel sues Bratz doll maker, IP questions at issue
Two corporations are in court fighting over who owns the wildly popular Bratz dolls, which have cut into Barbie's profits. MGA, the maker of Bratz, and Mattell, Barbie's maker and former employer of the creator of Bratz, are arguing over the exact moment that the designer came up with the idea for Bratz. It's an intellectual property showdown involving ink analysts on the artist's sketch pad and the question of timing: Exactly when did the creator have the light blub over his head? It's shaping up to be a $500 million question.
National Public Radio talks about the trial with Nicholas Casey of the Wall Street Journal
Disciplinary Actions
Memphis attorney disbarred
Drayton Beecher Smith of Memphis was disbarred by the Tennessee Supreme Court on May 20, and was further ordered to comply with the requirements and obligations of disbarred attorneys as established in Rule 9, Section 18 of the Rules of the Supreme Court. The discipline against Smith followed his indictment on six counts of possession and receipt of illegal materials transported in interstate commerce by means of a computer.
Read the BPR release
TBA Member Services
Have you activated your FedEx shipping discounts?
TBA members are entitled to discounts on FedEx shipping. Did you know that TBA members are saving an average of $83 per quarter by utilizing their FedEx Association Advantage program discounts? Here's what some members have to say about their FedEx savings:

"Our firm took advantage of the Tennessee Bar Association FedEx discounts and saved over $200 on FedEx Express shipments last quarter alone. It's the best $200 we've ever saved," says member Bill Cameron of Cameron & Young in Cookeville. Start saving on your shipments today! For more information on how to enroll, call 1-800-923-7089 or
visit 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