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

http://www.tncourts.gov/geninfo/PRESSREL/2008/082pr.htm#Stafford

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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IN RE: ESTATE OF MARY A. GRASS

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

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.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/grasse_060908.pdf


KATHY HUBER, ET AL. v. DOUGLAS MARLOW, ET AL.
CORRECTED OPINION: Sentence added to second paragraph on page 6


Court: TCA

Attorneys:

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.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/huberk_corr_060908.pdf


SUSAN C. LOVVORN (NOW REED) v. DANA L. LOVVORN

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

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

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

Judge: BENNETT

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.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/lovvorns_060909.pdf


KENNETH RAY SMITH v. JULIE LINN SMITH

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

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

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

Judge: DINKINS

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.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/smithj_060908.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE V. ROBERT LEE JOHNSON, JR.

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

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.

Judge: THOMAS

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.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/johnsonj_060908.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Legal employment falls for third month
The U.S. legal service sector reported job losses for the third consecutive month, according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics released Friday. About 1.17 million people -- including lawyers, paralegals, librarians and secretaries -- call themselves legal service employees.
Read more in an American Lawyer story on Law.com
Barrett indicted in Trimble murder, Womack's attorney asks for apology
On Friday, Jerome Barrett was indicted for the 1975 murder of young Marcia Trimble, a crime that rocked Nashville's suburbs and went unsolved for decades. Jeffrey Womack, then 15, was arrested but never charged with the crime and then released. He was never publicly cleared, his attorney John Hollins says. NewsChannel5 reports that he wants an apology for Womack.
Read more about it from the Tennessean
Shelby juvenile court losing $7 million contract
Shelby County's juvenile court is losing a $7 million state contract to hold 350 to 400 young offenders in secure local facilities each year. This is causing authorities to worry that a change in the way violent youths are locked up could cause a spike in juvenile crime.
WMC-TV reported this AP story
Tennesseans recall Bobby Kennedy, 40 years after death
Forty years after the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, Tennesseans recount their connections to the powerful attorney general and presidential candidate. Hear from Nashville lawyer John Jay Hooker, U.S. Rep. John Lewis, Memphis lawyer Bill Henry, Nashville lawyer Jim Neal and John Seigenthaler.
Read it in the Tennessean
Judicial pay raise meets with unlikely roadblock
A move in Bartlett to raise salaries of part-time municipal judges to make the compensation closer to that of other suburban courts has met with an unusual opponent: a judge. Division II Judge George McCrary, who is up for re-election in November, said he doesn't want to earn more than Freeman Marr, who has served in Division I since 1972. "I would feel uncomfortable as Division II judge making more money than the senior judge, who has been on the bench (36) years," said McCrary, who has served since 2000. "That doesn't seem quite right."
The Commercial Appeal has more
Local rules changes at center of Blount hearing
Whether there was adequate public input on changes to the Local Rules governing Blount County courts and the manner in which civil and criminal cases are assigned to judges appear to be at the core of a controversy that has roiled the legal community for the past three weeks. Circuit Court Judge Mike Meares held what he described as an administrative hearing Friday, questioning Blount County Bar Association committee Rob Goddard about updating Local Rules and whether they are compatible with state statutes. In question is how cases are distributed among judges.
Follow this complicated story in the News-Sentinel
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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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