Webcast offers help for nonprofit directors

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TODAY'S OPINIONS
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.

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

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STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TYSON LEE DAY
With Dissenting Opinion


Court: TSC

Attorneys:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Elizabeth B. Marney (on brief), Assistant Attorney General; Mark A. Fulks (on brief and at oral argument), Senior Counsel; Lawrence Ray Whitley, District Attorney General; Thomas Dean, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

David Allen Doyle, District Public Defender; Mike Anderson, Assistant District Public Defender, for the appellee, Tyson Lee Day.

Judge: CLARK

After unsuccessfully moving to suppress evidence resulting from the traffic stop that led to his arrest, the defendant, Tyson Lee Day, pleaded guilty to third offense driving under the influence and driving on a revoked license. The plea agreement provided for reservation of a certified question of law regarding whether the traffic stop was based on reasonable suspicion, supported by specific and articulable facts, that a criminal offense had been or was about to be committed. On appeal, the Court of Criminal Appeals concluded that at the time the officer initiated the traffic stop, he lacked reasonable suspicion. Accordingly, the court reversed the judgment of the trial court and, because the question was dispositive, dismissed the case. We granted the State's application for permission to appeal to consider the question of whether the community caretaking rationale for traffic stops justified the stop in this case. After carefully examining the certified question, however, we conclude that the community caretaking issue was not included within the scope of the question reserved for review. Accordingly, our review extends solely to the issue preserved, i.e., whether the traffic stop was based on reasonable suspicion, supported by specific and articulable facts, that a criminal offense had been or was about to be committed. We conclude that the facts do not support a finding of reasonable suspicion. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2008/dayt_092208.pdf

KOCH dissenting
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2008/dayt_Diss_092208.pdf


J.R. BOLING, ET AL. v. CITY OF PIGEON FORGE, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Benjamin Lauderback and Robert H. Watson, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellants, Tim Trentham and Randy Holbrook.

Rebecca C. McCoy, Sevierville, Tennessee, for the Appellees, J.R. Boling and J.R. Boling Builders, Inc.

Judge: SWINEY

J.R. Boling ("Plaintiff") sued the City of Pigeon Forge, the Pigeon Forge Police Department, Officer Randy Holbrook, and Detective Tim Trentham. Plaintiff claims that his vehicle was illegally searched by Officer Holbrook and illegally impounded by Detective Trentham. Officer Holbrook and Detective Trentham, both of whom were sued in their individual capacities, filed a motion for summary judgment claiming the undisputed material facts established that they were immune and the claims against them should be dismissed. The Trial Court denied the motion for summary judgment as well as Officer Holbrook's and Detective Trentham's request for an interlocutory appeal pursuant to Tenn. R. App. P. 9. Thereafter, Officer Holbrook and Detective Trentham filed a Tenn. R. App. P. 10 request for an extraordinary appeal, which this Court granted. The sole issue on appeal is whether the Trial Court erred when it denied Officer Holbrook's and Detective Trentham's motion for summary judgment based on qualified immunity. We conclude that the undisputed material facts establish that Officer Holbrook and Detective Trentham are entitled to immunity from the claims asserted by Plaintiff. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Trial Court and enter an order dismissing the claims against Officer Holbrook and Detective Trentham.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/bolingj_092208.pdf


ROBERT P. KEENAN, ET AL. v. DENNIS R. DELEMOS, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Jerry W. Hamlin, Ashland City, Tennessee, for the Appellants, Dennis R. DeLemos and Patsy R. DeLemos.

Kristin Fecteau and John A. Beam, III, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellees, Robert P. Keenan and Debra B. Keenan.

Judge: LEE

The issue in this case is whether the trial court correctly granted summary judgment to the buyers of a parcel of land, thus requiring the sellers to execute a warranty deed transferring the property to the buyers on the ground that the sellers failed to timely exercise their option to repurchase the property as provided in the contract. We agree with the trial court that the unambiguous language of the parties' contract provided that the sellers had 18 months from the date that sewer service was made available to the property to exercise their option to repurchase the land. Because it is undisputed that the sellers did not timely exercise the option, it expired, and the sellers are required to comply with the contract and execute and deliver to the buyers a warranty deed for the property. The trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the buyers is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/keenanr_092208.pdf


PACTECH, INC., ET AL. v. AUTO-OWNERS INSURANCE CO., ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Dudley W. Taylor and Jonathan S. Taylor, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, PacTech, Inc.

Charles F. Sterchi III, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Auto-Owners Insurance Company.

Johnny Von Dunaway, Lafollette, Tennessee, for the appellee, Arthur H. Black.

Judge: LEE

Commercial equipment belonging to the insured was destroyed in a fire, and the insured sought to recover proceeds under its insurance policy, submitting a sworn statement in proof of loss to the insurer. A third party, holding a security interest in the destroyed property, also filed a claim with the insurer to recover for the loss of its collateral in the fire as loss payee, pursuant to a mortgage holders clause in the policy. Alleging that the fire was the result of arson by the insured and that the insured materially misrepresented information on the sworn statement with intent to deceive, the insurer denied coverage. The insurer also denied coverage of the lienholder's claim, asserting that the lienholder's right to recover was no greater than that of the insured. The insured filed suit against the insurer, seeking recovery under the policy and requesting damages for violation of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA") and, in the alternative, for assessment of a bad faith penalty against the insured under state statutory law. The lienholder's motion for summary judgment was granted, and the lienholder was awarded recovery in the full amount of the debt owed by the insured. The insured's motion for directed verdict to recover under the policy and the insurer's motion for directed verdict as to the claim for bad faith penalty were both denied. A jury trial resulted in findings that the insurer had not violated the TCPA and that the insured had not committed arson, but had materially misrepresented information on the sworn statement in proof of loss with the intent to deceive. The insured's motion to set aside the jury verdict was denied. On appeal, we vacate the trial court's summary judgment in favor of the lienholder upon the ground that the mortgage holders clause in the policy did not extend to coverage of personal property. We affirm the trial court's denial of the insured's motion for directed verdict and motion to set aside the jury verdict upon the ground that there was material evidence to support the jury's finding that the insured materially misrepresented information on the sworn statement in proof of loss with intent to deceive. We reverse the trial court's denial of the insurer's motion for directed verdict upon the ground that the insured failed to make a formal demand with respect to its claim of bad faith. Finally, we affirm the jury's verdict as to the insured's claim that the insurer violated the TCPA upon the ground that the insured failed to present evidence showing that it suffered an ascertainable loss as a consequence of alleged unfair and deceptive acts of the insurer.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/pactech_092208.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CORDELIA REAM
CORRECTION appears on page 3


Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Mitchell B. Dugan, Dickson, Tennessee, for the appellant Cordelia Ream.

Douglas Earl Dimond, Senior Counsel, Office of the Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the State.

Judge: KURTZ

After the appellant pled guilty to criminal contempt in the juvenile court and received a four-day sentence, she appealed to circuit court, contending that the sentence was excessive. After being unsuccessful in circuit court , she then appealed to this Court. We found that the appeal of a criminal contempt conviction should be directly to this Court and not to the circuit court. Having resolved the appeal process issue, this Court finds that the acceptance of the guilty plea below was in contravention of constitutional standards and was plain error. The criminal contempt conviction is therefore vacated and this case is remanded for further proceedings.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/reamc_Corr_092208.pdf


TIMOTHY SANDERS v. CB RICHARD ELLIS, INC.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Danny R. Ellis, Jackson, TN, for Appellant.

Ashley Yarnell Baskette, Memphis, TN, for Appellee.

Judge: STAFFORD

This is a premises liability case. Appellant sued Appellee for injuries sustained in a fall on an icy parking lot that was maintained by Appellee. The material facts of the case are undisputed and, on principles of comparative fault, the trial court determined that Appellant was at least 50% liable for the injuries he sustained in that Appellant (1) ignored the open and obvious danger when he undertook to walk inside the bank, (2) decided not to use the drive-through window in order to avoid traversing the ice, and (3) undertook a risk that a reasonable person would have avoided. Finding no error, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/sanderst_092208.pdf


Fire and Ambulance Service Fees in Shelby County

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2008-09-22

Opinion Number: 08-148

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2008/ag_08_148.pdf

Effect of Guilty Plea to Board of Professional Responsibility Upon Guardian ad Litem's Immunity

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2008-09-22

Opinion Number: 08-149

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2008/ag_08_149.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Politics
Disciplinary Actions
Upcoming
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Greer named top trial judge
U.S. District Judge J. Ronnie Greer of Greeneville was honored in Knoxville Friday as the 2008 Trial Judge of the Year by the Tennessee Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). Also recognized was Greeneville attorney John T. Milburn Rogers for his service as president of the organization, and retiring Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice William M. Barker of Chattanooga, who was named the 2008 Appellate Judge of the Year.
Read more about the awards in the Greeneville Sun
Roane officials question court recordkeeping
Several Roane County officials are questioning record keeping in the county's Circuit Court, where they contend that criminal cases are being under reported, records aren't being filed in a timely manner, and more than $9 million in court costs and fines hasn't been collected.
The News Sentinel has details
Trial for Cocke County judge underway
Judicial proceedings are to begin today against Cocke County General Sessions Judge John Bell. The actions against Bell by the Tennessee Court of the Judiciary all apparently stem from his use of a private probation service operated by his wife's brother-in-law.
Read more in the Knoxville News Sentinel
Long picked to fill Knox General Sessions post
Knox County commissioners today picked Patricia Hall Long, an assistant Knox County district attorney, to replace Bob McGee as a General Sessions Court judge, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports. McGee was elected to Criminal Court, Division II, on Aug. 7 to replace the late Ray Lee Jenkins.

Politics
Senate candidates battle for conservative voters
A key race in the battle to determine whether Democrats or Republicans will control the state Senate features two candidates who both say they are the true conservative in the race. Learn more about Becky Ruppe and Ken Yager, and their campaigns to capture the 12th District seat.
The News Sentinel has the story
Disciplinary Actions
Attorneys suspended for CLE non-compliance
A number of attorneys were suspended by the Supreme Court on Aug. 27 for failing to comply with Rule 21 of the Rules of the Tennessee Supreme Court, which requires mandatory continuing legal education, for the year 2007. Attorneys who have since complied with the rule are noted as reinstated.
See the list
Kingston attorney reinstated after two suspensions
Kingston attorney Spence R. Bruner was reinstated to the practice of law on Sept. 10 after being suspended on Jan. 29 for failing to comply with a monitoring agreement. The day after being reinstated, he was suspended again, but the court made this 90-day suspension retroactive to the January date, allowing Bruner to immediately resume the practice of law. The second suspension was imposed for neglecting clients' cases and failing to communicate with clients -- actions that also led to suspension from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Bruner submitted a conditional guilty plea and agreed to serve a three-year probation.
Read the reinstatement release
Read the retroactive suspension release
Upcoming
Supreme Court preview coming to Vanderbilt campus
The Nashville Chapter of the American Constitution Society (ACS) will host its annual Supreme Court Preview on Oct. 2 in Vanderbilt University Law School's Flynn Auditorium, 131 21st Ave. South. Speakers at the event -- which will run from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., with a reception to follow -- include Lyle Denniston, a former Supreme Court reporter for the Baltimore Sun and the Boston Globe and currently a writer for SCOTUSblog; David L. Hudson Jr. of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University; The Honorable Penny J. White, former Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court and current Director for the Center for Advocacy and Associate Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee College of Law; and James Blumstein, University Professor of Constitutional Law and Health Law & Policy at Vanderbilt University Law School. The event is free and open to the public.

TBA Member Services
Program offers savings on auto insurance
See how being a member of the TBA could help you save 8 percent on car insurance. GEICO offers 24-hour sales, service and claims. Call GEICO at (800) 368-2734
or get an online rate quote

 
 
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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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