Stafford, McMullen appointed to appeals court seats

Gov. Phil Bredesen today announced that Chancellor Steve Stafford of Dyersburg has been appointed to the Tennessee Court of Appeals, Western Section, and Camille R. McMullen of Millington has been appointed to the Court of Criminal Appeals, Western Section. Stafford will fill the vacancy created by the death of Judge W. Frank Crawford in April. McMullen's appointment will fill the vacancy created by Judge David G. Hayes' retirement from the appellate bench at the end of June to become a Senior Judge. Read more details about the newly appointed judges here

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Court: TCA


Thomas I. Bottorff, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the appellant, James E. McLendon

Paul A. Gontarek, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Raymond G. Grass

Judge: SCOTT

This appeal involves the probate of a will. On appeal, the appellant claims that the Probate Court did not have jurisdiction to extend the statute of limitations to elect against the will and that the Agreed Order extending the statute of limitations was not effective. The appellant also claims that the surviving spouse cannot elect against the will because he waived his right to elect by signing a waiver and accepting the benefits of the bequests to him under the will. Finally, the appellant claims that the Probate Court erred in calculating the award of exempt property, year's support, homestead exemption, and elective share. Finding that the Probate Court did not err in extending the statute of limitations, that the surviving spouse did not waive his right to elect against the will and that the Probate Court correctly awarded the homestead exemption, but finding that the Probate Court erred in calculating the award of exempt property, year's support, and the surviving spouse's elective share, we affirm in part, reverse in part and remand to the Probate Court to make recalculations.

CORRECTED OPINION: Sentence added to second paragraph on page 6

Court: TCA


Joe Costner, Maryville, Tennessee, for the Appellants, Kathy Huber, individually and on behalf of Elizabeth Chenoweth as her surviving child and next of kin, and Barbara Pendergrass, individually and on behalf of Elizabeth Chenoweth as her surviving child and next of kin.

Wynne C. Hall, John W. Elder, and Daniel C. Headrick, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Internists of Knoxville, PLLC.

Judge: LEE

In this interlocutory appeal of a medical malpractice case, the issue presented is whether the trial court erred in granting partial summary judgment to the employer because it could not be held vicariously liable for the actions of its nonparty employee when the statute of repose had run as to the nonparty employee before the plaintiffs amended their complaint to include allegations based on the nonparty employee's actions. We hold that because the statute of repose extinguished the plaintiffs' cause of action against the nonparty employee, the employer cannot be held liable for allegations of medical negligence based solely on the actions of the nonparty employee. The trial court's partial summary judgment is affirmed.


Court: TCA


Tony L. Maples, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Dana L. Lovvorn.

Susan C. Lovvorn, Statesboro, Georgia, Pro Se.


Ex-husband was incarcerated for criminal contempt based upon his failure to pay child support as ordered by the court. He appeals the trial court's determination that he is not entitled to good time credit pursuant to Tenn. Code. Ann. Section 41-2-111(b). We affirm the decision of the trial court that Tenn. Code Ann. Section 41-2-111(b) does not apply to criminal contempt convictions arising from a civil matter.


Court: TCA


Jennifer Davis Roberts, Dickson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Julie Linn Smith.

Clifford K. McGown, Jr., Waverly, Tennessee, for the appellee, Kenneth Ray Smith.


In this divorce action, Wife appeals the Trial Court's division of marital assets and allocation of the income tax deduction for the parties' three children to the Husband, the non-custodial parent. Finding no error, we affirm the judgment of the Trial Court.


Court: TCCA


Stephen Wallace, District Public Defender; and Joseph F. Harrison, Assistant District Public Defender, attorney for appellant, Robert Lee Johnson, Jr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; and Joseph Eugene Perrin, Assistant District Attorney General, attorneys for appellee, State of Tennessee.


The defendant, Robert Lee Johnson, Jr., appeals as of right the Sullivan County Criminal Court's denial of his request for alternative sentencing. The defendant pled guilty to seven counts of automobile burglary, six counts of theft of property valued at less than $500, one count of theft of property valued at over $500, and one count of public intoxication.1 By agreement, he received an effective sentence of four and one-half years with the last eighteen months to be served on probation and a determination regarding full probation to be made by the trial court. After a hearing regarding the defendant's suitability for probation, the trial court denied any further alternative sentencing. On appeal, the defendant asserts that the trial court erred in denying him full probation. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


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