U.S. Supreme Court starts new term today

The Supreme Court begins its fall term today on the verge of significant change -- in its caseload and among the lawyers who argue before it, and possibly even in its membership. The Court's docket for the new term is dominated by business cases and more environmental disputes than usual.

Law.com provides an analysis from Legal Times

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Court: TCA


Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, and Warren Jasper, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, State of Tennessee ex rel. Mary Lott.

Ernest Lott, III, appellee, pro se (no brief filed).

Judge: KIRBY

This appeal involves the payment of child support in a Title IV-D proceeding. The parents of the minor child were divorced, and the father was ordered to pay child support. In a contempt hearing, the father was found to have a substantial arrearage on his support obligation. Two years later, the State filed a petition on behalf of the mother for contempt and for modification of the child support order. The petition alleged that the father's arrearage was unchanged. A child support worksheet submitted at the hearing showed the father's child support obligation. The mother testified, however, that the father had been paying money directly to her for the benefit of the child. Based on the mother's testimony, the trial court reduced the father's monthly child support obligation to zero. Both of the parents testified that the father had paid a significant portion of the arrearage directly to the mother. The trial court credited the father for the amount that he had purportedly paid directly to the mother and reduced the remaining arrearage to a judgment. The State appeals, arguing that the trial court was required by statute to have the father pay his current support obligation through the Department of Human Services, rather than directly to the mother, and that the trial court was prohibited from crediting the father for payments on the arrearage made directly to the mother, rather than through DHS. We agree, and reverse the trial court's order in part and remand the case for further proceedings.



Court: TCA


Dan R. Alexander, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Dhananjaya R. Marpaka

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, and Michael Markham, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, James Hefner and Tennessee State University.

Judge: KIRBY

This appeal involves alleged discrimination based on religion and national origin. The plaintiff is a native of India and a practitioner of Hinduism, and is employed as an associate professor at the defendant university. The plaintiff applied for a promotion to full professor. His application for promotion was denied, based on his lack of achievement in either academic research or public service activities. The plaintiff professor filed a lawsuit alleging that the university discriminated against him on the basis of national origin and religion. The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, proffering the professor's lack of research and public service as a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for denying his application for promotion. The plaintiff conceded his lack of research and public service, but asserted that he was denied release time from his teaching responsibilities to engage in such activities. The trial court granted the university's motion for summary judgment, and the plaintiff professor appeals. We affirm, finding that the plaintiff professor cannot show the denial of his application for promotion was discriminatory because he cannot show that he was qualified for such a promotion. We also find the record insufficient to establish a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the denial of release time from the plaintiff's teaching responsibilities was discriminatory.



Court: TCA


W. Andrew Fox, Knoxville, Tennessee, for appellant.

Craig L. Garrett, Maryville, Tennessee, for appellee.


This is an appeal from a Final Judgment issued by the Chancellor in respect to a Petition for Registration and Modification of Foreign Decree in the Chancery Court of Blount County, Tennessee. The Trial Court ordered the registration of the foreign Judgment, but denied the request for modification. On appeal, we affirm.



Court: TCA


David H. Dunaway, LaFollette, TN, for the Appellant

Elizabeth Washko, Nashville, TN, for the Appellee


Employee/Appellant filed suit against Employer/Appellee after his employment was terminated following the settlement of a workers' compensation claim. Upon remand, the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Employer/Appellees. Employee/Appellant appeals. Finding that Employee/Appellant did not sufficiently rebut the presumption of at-will employment and that, consequently, the one-year statute of limitations codified at Tenn. Code Ann. section 28-3-104 for injuries to the person is applicable, we affirm.



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