Lawmakers delay judicial selection review

Over the summer, lawmakers engaged in a tedious committee process that keeps government working and prevents dozens of agencies each year from fading out of existence. But one entity that has yet to be reviewed is the Judicial Selection Commission. The Tennessean reports on how the commission's state of limbo puts Tennessee in the middle of a national debate on judicial selection. In a related article, the paper looks at the rising cost of judicial elections and the amount of money pouring into campaigns around the country.
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With Concurring/Dissenting Opinion

Court: TSC


Donald N. Capparella, Charles P. Yezbak, III, and Amy J. Farrar, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Diane Downs.

C. Benton Patton and Christopher M. Jones, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Mark Bush.

W. Bryan Brooks and Alisha M. Toll, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Ryan F. Britt.

R. Kreis White, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the appellee, Jerry Dane Eller.

Barry L. Howard and Melissa Bradford Muller, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee Scott Hurdle.

Samuel R. Anderson, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Amicus Curiae, The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.


We granted the plaintiff's application for permission to appeal in this wrongful death case to determine whether the trial court properly granted summary judgment to each of the defendants. The Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of summary judgment. Although the parties have raised several issues in this appeal, the central issue is the nature of the legal duty, if any, owed by the defendants to the plaintiff's decedent. The decedent was socializing and consuming alcohol with the defendants. While riding in a four-door pick-up truck with the defendants, he became ill. The defendants stopped the truck on the side of an interstate highway so the decedent could vomit. After resuming the trip, the decedent rode in the bed of the truck and, for reasons unknown, exited it. After exiting the truck, he was struck by two vehicles and subsequently died. Upon careful review of the record and applicable authority, we conclude that there are genuine issues of material fact as to whether the defendants placed the decedent in the bed of the truck. Similarly, we conclude that there are genuine issues of material fact as to whether the decedent was helpless and whether the defendants took charge of him. Lastly, we hold that none of the defendants stood in any special relationship with the plaintiff's decedent and consequently they did not assume any affirmative duty to aid or protect him. We therefore reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals and remand this case to the trial court for further proceedings.

HOLDER concurring and dissenting


Court: TCA


Richard Hunter and Roxanne Hunter, Franklin, Tennessee, pro se.

Christian M. Garstin, Nashville, Tennessee, attorney for appellee, Nationwide Insurance Company.


Appellants, Richard and Roxanne Hunter, filed a breach of contract action against Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company, Appellee, in Circuit Court for Williamson County seeking compensation under their insurance policy for damage allegedly caused by hail. Following a trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Nationwide. Finding material evidence in support of the jury's verdict, we affirm.


Court: TCCA


Robert Depew and Jon Tucci, Assistant District Public Defenders, Gallatin, Tennessee, for the appellees, Monica Butler, Jessica Pickett and Sheryl Ann Marshall.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General; Preston Shipp, Assistant Attorney General; Lawrence R. Whitley, District Attorney General; and Thomas Dean, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.


The Defendants, Monica Butler, Jessica Pickett, and Sheryl Ann Marshall, were each charged with one count of theft of services from Gallatin Housing Authority valued between $1,000.00 and $10,000.00. The Defendants underreported their income to obtain public housing at a lower rate. The Defendants moved to dismiss the indictments, arguing that these circumstances were not within the purview of the theft of services statute. See Tenn. Code Ann. section 39-14-104. The trial court granted the motion, concluding that occupancy of a residence pursuant to a lease term was not a service under the plain meaning of the statute. The State appeals. Following our review of the record, the order of the Sumner County Criminal Court dismissing the indictments is affirmed.


Court: TCCA


Matthew T. Colvard (at trial), and Michael T. Fort (on appeal), Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Raymond McNeil.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Andrew Hamilton Smith, Assistant Attorney General; Ronald L. Davis, District Attorney General; and Derek K. Smith, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Raymond McNeil, appeals from his Williamson County Circuit Court conviction of Class D felony evading arrest, alleging that the evidence was insufficient and that the trial court erred in the admission of certain evidence at trial. The defendant challenges neither his conviction of driving on a revoked license nor his 12-year effective sentence. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Jessica Greene, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, James Robars Sartin.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Matthew Bryant Haskell, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; Patricia Cristil, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, James Robars Sartin, pled guilty to one count of observation without consent. Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. section 40-35-313, the trial court granted the Defendant judicial diversion and placed the Defendant on supervised probation for eleven months and twenty-nine days. On the last day of the probationary period, the State filed a motion to revoke the Defendant's judicial diversion. At the subsequent hearing, the court revoked the Defendant's judicial diversion, entered a judgment of conviction, and sentenced him to eleven months, twenty-nine days of unsupervised probation. It is from this judgment that the Defendant now appeals. After reviewing the record, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.


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Lawyer Pamela Samuels Young signs mystery Sept. 13
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