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Court: TSC


Ron L. Quigley, Davis, Matthews & Quigley, P.C., and Stephen H. Price, Stites & Harbison, PLLC, for the appellee, Colonial Pipeline Company.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Mary Ellen Knack, Senior Counsel, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WADE

Colonial Pipeline Company filed suit for declaratory judgment, challenging the constitutionality of specified portions of the state tax code and seeking an injunction as to the enforcement of those provisions. The Chancery Court dismissed the action, holding that the company had failed to exhaust its administrative remedies. The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded. We granted an application for permission to appeal and, after consideration of the issues, hold that (1) a party making a constitutional challenge to the facial validity of a statute need not exhaust its administrative remedies, and that (2) the doctrine of sovereign immunity does not bar a suit for declaratory judgment asking state officers to be enjoined from enforcing such a statute so long as the action does not seek money damages. We, therefore, affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals.



Court: TSC


John A. Lucas and John T. Winemiller, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Alcoa, Inc.

Gregory F. Coleman, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Doug Satterfield.

Martin B. Bailey and John L. Miller, Knoxville, Tennessee, and Mark A. Behrens, Washington, DC, for the Amici Curiae, Coalition for Litigation Justice, Inc., Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, National Association of Manufacturers, National Federation of Independent Business Legal Foundation, American Chemistry Council, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, and National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies.

Timothy D. Patterson, Memphis, Tennessee, and Deborah J. LaFetra and Timothy Sandefur, Sacramento, California, for the Amicus Curiae, Pacific Legal Foundation.

Judge: KOCH

This appeal involves the efforts of the estate of a twenty-five-year-old woman who contracted mesothelioma to recover damages for her death. While she was alive, the woman filed a negligence action against her father's employer, alleging that the employer had negligently permitted her father to wear his asbestos-contaminated work clothes home from work, thereby regularly and repeatedly exposing her to asbestos fibers over an extended period of time. After the woman died, the Circuit Court for Blount County permitted her father to be substituted as the personal representative of her estate. The employer moved for a judgment on the pleadings on the narrow ground that it owed no duty to its employee's daughter. The trial court granted the motion. The deceased woman's father appealed the dismissal of his daughter's wrongful death claim. The Tennessee Court of Appeals reversed the trial court. Satterfield v. Breeding Insulation Co., No. E2006-00903-COA-R3-CV, 2007 WL 1159416 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 19, 2007). We granted the employer's application for permission to appeal to determine whether the deceased woman's complaint can withstand a motion for judgment on the pleadings. We have determined that it does because, under the facts alleged in the complaint, the employer owed a duty to those who regularly and for extended periods of time came into close contact with the asbestos-contaminated work clothes of its employees to prevent them from being exposed to a foreseeable and unreasonable risk of harm.


HOLDER concurring and dissenting


Court: TWCA


John D. Burleson, Michael L. Mansfield, and Todd D. Siroky, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Dyer Nursing Home.

John S. Little, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellee, State Farm Insurance Company.


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) (Supp. 2007) for a hearing and a report of findings of fact and conclusions of law. In a previous appeal, the Supreme Court of Tennessee affirmed an order requiring the employer to reimburse a third-party insurer for payments made for medical care. The judgment was paid. The insurer sought post-judgment interest on the amount, and the trial court awarded that interest. The employer has appealed, arguing that the trial court erred by awarding post-judgment interest for medical expenses. We agree and reverse the judgment.



Court: TCA


Jeffery L. Stimpson, Munford, Tennessee, for the appellant, David P. Lout.

Bradley C. Ball, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Vickie F. (Lout) Hudson.


This domestic relations action requires us to construe a provision of the parties' 1993 divorce decree with respect to the division of Defendant/Appellant David P. Lout's (Mr. Lout's) military retirement pay. The trial court construed the 1993 decree as requiring Mr. Lout to pay to Plaintiff/Appellee Vickie F. Lout Hudson (Ms. Hudson), Mr. Lout's former wife, an amount equivalent to 28 percent of his military retirement pay. The trial court calculated this amount as one- half the retirement pay received by Mr. Lout, multiplied by a fraction representing the number of years the parties were married divided by the number of years Mr. Lout served in the military. The trial court also ordered Mr. Lout to pay arrearages and awarded Wife her attorney's fees as damages predicated on a finding of contempt. Mr. Lout appeals; we affirm the trial court's construction of the parties' 1993 decree of divorce, vacate the finding of contempt and award of attorney's fees, and remand.



Court: TCCA


Worth Lovett, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jason Clinard.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Mark A. Fulks, Assistant Attorney General; Dan Mitchum Alsobrooks, District Attorney General; and Carey J. Thompson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

A Stewart County Circuit Court jury convicted the defendant, Jason Clinard, of first degree premeditated murder and imposed a sentence of life imprisonment. See T.C.A. sections 39-13-202(a)(1); -204 (2006). In this appeal, the defendant asserts that the trial court erred by (1) not suppressing photographs of the victim, (2) allowing the State an independent psychological examination of the defendant, (3) failing to disqualify the District Attorney General's Office, and (4) following the statutory sentencing scheme that resulted in the defendant's life sentence. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.



Court: TCCA


Robert Wilson Jones, District Public Defender, and Garland Erguden and Rusty White, Assistant Public Defenders, for the appellant, Clarence Dodson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Pamela Fleming, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The defendant, Clarence Dodson, was convicted by a Shelby County jury of aggravated burglary, a Class C felony, and theft of property under $500, a Class A misdemeanor. He was subsequently sentenced to concurrent sentences of fifteen years and eleven months, twenty-nine days for the respective convictions. On appeal, he raises two issues for our review: (1) whether the evidence is sufficient to support the aggravated burglary conviction; and (2) whether the trial court erred in allowing prior convictions for aggravated burglary and misdemeanor theft of services to be used for impeachment purposes. Following review of the record, we find no error and affirm the judgments of convictions.



Court: TCCA


Lance R. Chism, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Shawn Hatcher.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General, and Tom Hoover, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Appellant, Shawn Hatcher, was involved in a shooting which resulted in the death of one victim and the serious injury of two other victims. As a result of the incident, Appellant was convicted by a Shelby County jury of first degree felony murder, first degree premeditated murder and two counts of attempted first degree murder. The trial court sentenced Appellant immediately to a mandatory life sentence for the first degree murder convictions. Appellant filed a motion for new trial. The trial court held a joint sentencing hearing and hearing on the motion for new trial. The trial court merged the two convictions for first degree murder and sentenced Appellant to fifteen years for each attempted murder conviction to be served concurrently with each other. The trial court ordered the life sentence to be served consecutively to the fifteen-year sentence. The trial court also denied the motion for new trial and appointed new counsel at the conclusion of the hearing for sentencing and the motion for new trial. Newly-appointed counsel filed an amended motion for new trial more than thirty days after the trial court denied the original motion for new trial. The trial court held a hearing on the amended motion for new trial and denied the motion. Appellant appealed. On appeal, the State argues that this appeal is not properly before this Court. We have determined that the issues presented in the amended motion for new trial are not properly before this Court because it was not filed with thirty days from the trial court's denial of the original motion for new trial. We have waived the timely-filing of the notice of appeal with regard to the original motion for new trial and address those issues on appeal. Therefore, the issues presented on appeal are that the evidence was insufficient to support the Appellant's convictions, the trial court erred in allowing in photographs of the murder victim into evidence, the trial court erred in not allowing Appellant to present medical evidence of his injuries to support his theory of defense, and the trial court erred in instructing the jury on the special instructions Appellant presented. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.



Court: TCCA


Bobby Lee Jeffries, Henning, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, and Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The petitioner, Bobby Lee Jeffries, appeals the judgment of the trial court finding him to be a habitual criminal offender. The underlying petition, which is his fourth petition for post- conviction relief, was summarily dismissed by the post-conviction court because he had filed numerous petitions for post-conviction relief and because his claims were without merit. The State has requested that this court affirm the trial court's denial of relief pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. We grant the State's motion and affirm the judgment of the trial court.



Court: TCCA


Billy Wayne Price, Henning, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The petitioner, Billy Wayne Price, pro se appeals the trial court's denial of his petition to withdraw his guilty plea. He pled guilty in 2003 for selling a Schedule II controlled substance and received a ten-year sentence to be served on probation. His probation was subsequently revoked, and the petitioner later filed his motion to withdraw his plea. After careful review, we conclude that the petitioner has failed to provide a complete record on appeal by omitting a transcript of the guilty plea hearing; therefore, the petitioner's appeal is dismissed.



Court: TCCA


Barry L. Price, Pro Se, Memphis, Tennessee.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; and John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

This matter is before the court upon the state's motion to affirm the judgment of the post- conviction court by memorandum opinion pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The petitioner, Barry L. Price, appeals the post-conviction court's dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief and argues that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel. Upon review of the entire record, including petitioner's Traverse To Appellee's Answers filed on July 29, 2008, we are persuaded that the post-conviction court did not err in dismissing the petitioner's post-conviction petition. This case meets the criteria for affirmance pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Therefore, we grant the state's motion, and the judgment of the post-conviction court is affirmed.



Court: TCCA


Ross E. Alderman, District Public Defender, and Emma Rae Tennent (on appeal) and J. Michael Engle and Willow Fort (at trial), Assistant Public Defenders, for the appellant, James H. Saint, Jr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Senior Counsel; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Brian Keith Holmgren, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The defendant, James H. Saint, Jr., appeals his convictions of six counts of aggravated sexual battery, a Class B felony. He was sentenced to eleven years for each conviction, to be served consecutively, for an effective sentence of sixty-six years. On appeal, he claims (1) that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress, and (2) that the trial court erred in determining the length of his individual sentences and in imposing consecutive sentences. We affirm the defendant's convictions but reverse the sentences and remand the case for a new sentencing hearing.



Court: TCCA


Robert Jones, District Public Defender; Phyllis Aluko and Donna Armstard, Assistant District Public Defenders, Memphis, Tennessee, attorneys for appellant.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Walter C. Scruggs, Assistant District Attorney General, attorneys for appellee, State of Tennessee.


The defendant, McKinley Wright, appeals as of right his Shelby County jury conviction for unlawful possession with the intent to sell or deliver more than 15 grams of heroin, a Class B felony.1 The trial court sentenced the defendant to eleven years as a Range I, standard offender to be served consecutively to a previously imposed sentence. On appeal, the defendant contends that the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction, that the trial court improperly admitted evidence without establishing the chain of custody, that the trial court improperly admitted testimony regarding the timing of testing controlled substances recovered by Shelby County authorities, that the trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury regarding facilitation, that the trial court imposed an excessive sentence, and that all of the cumulative errors deprived the defendant of his right to a fair trial. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.



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Disciplinary Actions
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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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