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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.

00 - TN Supreme Court
02 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
04 - TN Court of Appeals
00 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR

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Court: TWCA


P. Allen Phillips, Jackson, Tennessee for the appellant, Obion County.

Scott G. Kirk, Jackson, Tennessee for the appellee, Linda Coker.


This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-225(e)(3) for a hearing and a report of findings of fact and conclusions of law. Employee sustained an injury to her shoulder in April 2005 while working for Employer. When she returned to the office, she made a statement in the presence of her supervisor and others that she had injured her shoulder. The supervisor testified that she did not hear the statement. In the following months, Employee received occasional medical treatment for the injury. In March 2006, her doctor recommended surgery. Employee gave written notice of the injury to her supervisor on the next day. Employer denied the claim based upon Employee's failure to give notice of her injury within thirty days. The trial court found that Employee had given sufficient notice and awarded 7.5 percent permanent partial disability. Employer has appealed, asserting that the trial court erred in finding that the claim was not barred by failure to give timely notice. We find that the evidence does not preponderate against the finding of the trial court and affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TWCA


Raymond S. Leathers, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Vanderbilt University.

Stanley A. Davis, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Delores Young.


This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. On appeal, the employer contends that the trial court erred by basing the employee's impairment rating on the testimony of the independent medical examiner instead of on the employee's treating physician. Because the evidence does not preponderate against the trial court's findings, we affirm the trial court's judgment.


Court: TCA


Christopher J. Pittman, Clarksville, TN, for Appellant. B. Nathan Hunt, Clarksville, TN, for Appellant.

Mark A. Rassas, Clarksville, TN, for Appellee.

Julia P. North, Clarksville, TN, for Appellee.


This is a divorce case. Husband/Appellant appeals, alleging that the trial court erred in: (1) denying his request for equal parenting time, (2) awarding rehabilitative alimony to Wife/Appellee, (3) imputing income of $6.00 per hour to Wife/Appellee for purposes of setting child support, and (4) awarding Wife/Appellee's attorney fees as alimony in solido. Wife/Appellee asserts error in the trial court's awarding Husband/Appellant certain property, and seeks attorney's fees for this appeal. We affirm.


Court: TCA


J. Brooks Fox and Elizabeth A. Sanders, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Metropolitan Board of Zoning Appeals.

Eugene N. Bulso, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Moore & Associates, Inc.


Zoning administrator denied a waiver of the Metropolitan Zoning Code's landscape buffer requirement and the Board of Zoning Appeals upheld the administrator's interpretation of the ordinance. Plaintiff contractor appealed to the circuit court, which determined that the zoning administrator's interpretation of the ordinance was incorrect and granted the waiver. The Board of Zoning Appeals appealed. The trial court's interpretation of the ordinance is affirmed, but the decision to grant the waiver is vacated, and the case is remanded to the trial court with instructions to return the matter to the board for further action.


Court: TCA


Thomas F. Bloom, Nashville, TN, Appellant.

L. Johnston Ellis, IV, Nashville, TN, Appellee. John R. Miles, Nashville, TN, Appellee.


This is a partition case between tenants in common. Appellant herein maintained sole possession of the property, although Appellee was not excluded from the property, and did not abandon her interest. Appellee sought partition, reimbursement for rents, and reimbursement for Appellee's use of the property. Appellant counter-claimed for reimbursement for improvements to and maintenance of the property, and for reimbursement for loans that Appellant, in his sole discretion, had made. The trial court granted the partition and ordered that: (1) the remaining mortgage debt be paid out of Appellant's share, (2) Appellant was entitled to $10,000 reimbursement for maintenance and repairs to the property, (3) Appellee was not entitled to rents, (4) Appellee was not entitled to reimbursement for Appellant's sole use of the property, and (5) responsibility for the tax liens on the property and penalties thereon should be equally divided between the parties. Finding no error, we affirm.


Court: TCA


Doug Aaron, Manchester, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jessica Stacey.

Michelle M. Benjamin, Winchester, Tennessee, for the appellee, Floyd Clifford Archer, Jr.


Mother appeals award of joint custody on the basis that the court applied a presumption in favor of joint custody. While the trial court may have applied an erroneous presumption favoring joint custody, we conclude that use of the presumption was harmless as the evidence does not preponderate against the trial court's award of joint custody.


Legal News
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Costs rising for state judicial campaigns
Spending by judicial candidates for the nation's highest state courts has gone up from $62 million between 1993 and 1998 to $165 million between 1999 and 2007, according to a report by the Midwest Democracy Network and Justice at Stake Campaign. That level of fund-raising and spending is raising questions about whether justices can remain impartial when so much money is spent to elect them. Read about how these concerns are playing out in two states: Michigan and Wisconsin. has this story from the AP
Cookeville man posing as lawyer arrested
Joseph Wayne Denton, 33, has been arrested for allegedly practicing law in Cookeville for several months even though he is not a lawyer. Denton is charged with forgery of an attorney identification card, three counts of practicing law without a license, and theft over $1,000. The case was launched after several local lawyers, suspicious of Denton's credentials, brought their concerns to the district attorney.
Get the full story in the Herald-Citizen
Former TBA president Vogel honored at NY reception
Attorneys from across the state and the nation recently gathered to honor former TBA President Howard Vogel for his selection to the American Bar Association Board of Governors. The reception honoring Vogel was held during the ABA Annual Meeting in New York and was hosted jointly by the TBA, the University of Tennessee College of Law, the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and the Vanderbilt University Law School.
See photos from the event
Blount commission rejects special appointment process
A resolution offering a detailed selection process for a new general sessions judge was defeated Thursday night by the Blount County Commission. The commission is seeking to fill a vacancy created by the election of Judge David Duggan to the circuit court. The proposal spelled out a specific procedure for the selection and provided an opportunity for citizen input. Opponents of the proposal argued that state law already provides a process for mid-term appointments that has worked well in the past.
Read more in the News Sentinel
Child support collections up around the state
According to the Tennessee Department of Human Services, child support collections are up around the state primarily because of stimulus payments provided by the federal government this summer. In Shelby County, collections hit a new high last month also in part to enhanced collections efforts. The good news there may be blunted, though, by a shortage of staff in the court clerk's office, which could cause processing delays. The Tennessean reports on the increase statewide. The Commercial Appeal covers the situation in Shelby County.

Greene County considers justice center options
The Greene County Commission will meet Thursday at 6 p.m. in the upstairs courtroom of the county courthouse to discuss "any and all issues concerning construction of a new jail or detention center" and funding for it. Several commission committees have been considering a $40 million land acquisition for a new justice and detention center, reports The Greeneville Sun.

MLGW to pay Lee's legal fees
The board of Memphis Light, Gas and Water has voted to reimburse former president and CEO Joseph Lee almost $490,000 in legal and related expenses incurred during a federal investigation in 2007. While he was indicted as a result of that investigation, Lee was not found guilty of any crime. In related action, the board turned down Lee's request for compensation of lost wages and medical benefits, but the Memphis City Council may still approve that payment. The Memphis Business Journal reported the news.

TBA Member Services
TBA members asked to take part in survey
Tennessee Bar Association members are being asked to take part in a Membership Survey conducted for the TBA by the Yacoubian Research firm. If you have already responded to the survey, thank you. If not, we encourage you to do so. The information you provide will help the TBA increase the value of your membership. If you did not receive a survey through your email account, please check your spam filters to see if it was blocked. If you need the survey to be re-sent, please contact Yacoubian Research. Thank you for taking part in the survey.

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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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