Senate approves 11 percent increase for LSC

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved $390 million for the Legal Services Corporation's (LSC) FY 2009 budget last week, a $40 million -- or 11 percent -- increase over current funding levels, and the same amount recommended by a House subcommittee. Read more from the Legal Services Corporation.

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Court: TSC


Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, III, District Attorney General; and Boyd Patterson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, the State of Tennessee.

Brandon Raulson, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, Richard Adam Hannah.
Myrlene R. Marsa, Chattanooga, Tennessee for the appellee, Larry Darnell Penn.
David R. Barrow, Chattanooga, Tennessee for the appellee, Tracy Lee Ray.


We granted the State's application for permission to appeal in order to construe Tennessee Code Annotated section 55-8-154(a) (2004), the impeding traffic statute. The trial court held that the driver of a slow-moving vehicle does not impede traffic, unless other traffic is made to come to a stop. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed. Upon review, we hold that the trial court based its decision on an erroneous interpretation of the statute. Therefore, we reverse the trial court and remand for a new suppression hearing.


Court: TCA


Theodore Kern, Knoxville, Tennessee for the Appellants, D.S.M. and S.L.H.M.

Robert M. Cohen, Maryville, Tennessee for the Appellee, J.L.P.


S.L.H.M. ("Mother") and D.S.M. ("Husband") filed a Petition to Terminate Parental Rights and For Adoption of Minor Child ("Petition") seeking, in part, to terminate J.L.P.'s ("Father") parental rights to the minor child D.B.S.M. ("the Child"). After a trial, the Trial Court entered an order finding and holding, inter alia, that clear and convincing evidence of grounds for termination of Father's parental rights to the Child had not been proven, and that there was no clear and convincing evidence that it was in the best interest of the Child for Father's parental rights to be terminated. Mother and Husband appeal to this Court. We hold that although clear and convincing evidence exists of grounds for the termination of Father's parental rights, the record does not contain clear and convincing evidence that it is in the best interest of the Child for Father's parental rights to be terminated. We, therefore, affirm the dismissal of the Petition.


Court: TCA


H. Wayne Grant and Scott H. Grant, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Gibby Gilbertís Driving Range, LLC.

N. Darrell Bridges, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, L.B. Austin IV, individually, and L.B. Austin IV, Trustee.

Judge: LEE

Lessor leased Lessee a portion of a tract of land for the operation of a golf driving range. The parties' agreement provided that if Lessor received a bona fide offer to purchase the tract, Lessee would have a right of first refusal. Later, Lessor received an offer of purchase and notified Lessee of the amount offered, as required by the lease. Lessee declined the offer. Subsequently, the property was sold, but for an amount less than the amount originally offered. Before Lessee discovered that it had not been offered the right of first refusal as to the actual sale amount, Lessee executed an agreement terminating the lease in consideration of monies received from the Lessor. After learning of the actual sale price, Lessee filed suit against Lessor for breach of contract upon the ground, inter alia, that Lessor had failed to offer Lessee the right of first refusal as required under the lease. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the Lessor upon determining that the undisputed facts established that the execution of the lease termination agreement and Lessee's acceptance of consideration under such agreement constituted an accord and satisfaction and that Lessee was thereby estopped from enforcing its previous rights under the lease, all such rights having been waived. Upon careful review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TCA


Bernard E. Bernstein, W. Tyler Chastain, and Margo J. Maxwell, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellants William C. Kitchens and Choice Medical, Inc.

Paul E. Prather, John W. Simmons, and R. Alex Boals, Memphis, Tennessee, and Richard L. Hollow, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellee Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics East, Inc.


This appeal involves the validity of a covenant not to compete. The employee, William C. Kitchens ("Kitchens"), became a certified orthotist after entering into the covenant with his employer Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics East, Inc. ("Hanger"). After the employee quit his job and began providing orthotic services for a competitor, Hanger filed suit. Following a trial, the Trial Court determined that the covenant not to compete was enforceable and that Kitchens had breached the covenant. The Trial Court also determined that Kitchens' new employer, defendant Choice Medical, Inc. ("Choice Medical"), had induced Kitchens to breach the contract in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 47-50-109, and that an award of treble damages was appropriate. Judgment was entered against Kitchens and Choice Medical jointly for $240,182.00, and against Choice Medical for an additional $480,364.00. Defendants appeal raising numerous issues. We affirm.


This is a corrected opinion.

Court: TCCA


Barbara Hobock and Cynthia Chandler-Snell, Humboldt, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Gerry Lynn Hensley.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Senior Counsel, Attorney General's Office; and Garry Brown, District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: HAYES

The Appellant, Gerry Lynn Hensley, appeals the sentencing decision of the Humboldt Law Court of Gibson County. Hensley pled guilty to two counts of Class B vehicular homicide by reason of intoxication and was subsequently sentenced by the trial court to concurrent eight-year sentences as a Range I standard offender. On appeal, Hensley raises the following challenges to the imposed sentences: (1) whether the trial court erred in considering an enhancement factor when no notice was provided by the State of its intent to rely upon such factor as required by local rules; (2) whether the court erred in considering dismissed charges in applying the enhancement factor of a prior criminal history; (3) whether the court erred in failing to specifically identify the mitigating and enhancing factors found and in failing to apply other certain mitigating factors which Hensley argues are applicable; (4) whether the court erred in not sentencing Hensley as an especially mitigated offender; and (5) whether the court erred in denying an alternative sentence. Following review of the record, we affirm.


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