Election yields two additional lawyer-lawmakers

Yesterday's legislative election results show that the state Senate will see a net gain of two lawyer members and the state House will be populated by the same number of lawyers. Several of these lawyer-legislators will be new faces.

In the Senate, the 4th District seat was taken by lawyer Mike Faulk, R-Church Hill, and the District 12 seat will be held by Ken Yager, R-Harriman. Clarksville lawyer Tim Barnes, D-Clarksville, held off a write-in challenge by incumbent Rosalind Kurita. Former House member Doug Overbey, R-Maryville, handily took the seat in Senate District 8. This gives the Senate a total of 13 lawyer-legislators, up from 11 during the last legislative session.

In the House, lawyers Vance Dennis, R-Savannah, and Judy Barker, D-Dyersburg, prevailed in their bids for open seats. Republican lawyer-lawmaker Tom DuBois, R-Columbia, was defeated in his bid for a third term in District 64. During the last legislative session, the number of lawyers in the House was reduced to nine with the retirement of Rep. Frank Buck, D-Dowelltown, and the replacement of lawyer-legislator Rob Briley by lawyer Mike Stewart, D-Nashville.
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
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
03 - TN Court of Appeals
06 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR

You can obtain full-text versions of the opinions two ways. We recommend that you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. 1) Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This should give you the option to download the original document. If not, you may need to right-click on the URL to get the option to save the file to your computer. 2) Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion.

Opinion Withdrawn

Court: TCA


The opinion and judgment in this case released and entered on October 30, 2008, are hereby withdrawn and held for naught. The Court will release a new opinion and judgment in due course.



Court: TCA


James C. Bradshaw, III, Nashville, TN, for the Appellant.
Michael D. Hornback, Nashville, TN, for the Appellant.

Gregory L. Cashion, Nashville, TN, for the Appellee.
Kenneth S. Schrupp, Nashville, TN, for the Appellee.


This appeal involves a dispute about the poor construction of a modular home. The purchasers brought a lawsuit alleging, among other things, that the manufacturer violated the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act. After a bench trial, the trial court found that certain representations made by the manufacturer were "unfair and deceptive" under the Act. Because the trial court found that these violations were made knowingly and willfully, it awarded the purchasers treble damages. The manufacturer appeals. We find that the trial court did not err in determining that the manufacturer's representations were unfair and deceptive. We also find that the trial court did not err in assessing treble damages. Therefore, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.



Court: TCA


Toby R. Carpenter, Knoxville, Tennessee, for appellant, Johnny C. Patterson.

John Carson, III., Madisonville, Tennessee, for appellees, Barbara Stricklan and husband, Reed Stricklan.


In this action for damages for personal injuries sustained in an automobile accident, the jury returned verdicts for the plaintiffs. Defendant has appealed and on appeal raises the issues of whether there was sufficient and competent proof to support plaintiff's claim for medical expenses; whether the Court erred in allowing plaintiff's treating physician to offer an opinion on permanent impairment, and he questioned whether the jury verdict was contrary to the "weight of evidence." On appeal, we affirm the Judgment of the Trial Court.



Court: TCCA


James Adams, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Bret Gunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


Petitioner, James Adams, appeals the trial court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. The State has filed a motion pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, for this Court to affirm the judgment of the trial court by memorandum opinion. We grant the motion and affirm the judgment of the trial court.



Court: TCCA


Jeffrey W. Haithcote, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; Charles Crawford, District Attorney General; and Michael D. Randles, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Petitioner, Jeffrey W. Haithcote, filed a motion to reopen his post-conviction petition, arguing that (1) he received ineffective assistance of counsel; (2) the State failed to keep a record of his preliminary hearing; (3) the State breached the plea bargain to which the Defendant agreed; (4) newly discovered evidence is available in the form of tapes, witness statements, and transcripts; (5) his motion to withdraw his guilty plea was not heard; (6) the State improperly used his prior convictions to impeach him and enhance his sentence; (7) his convictions violated the Double Jeopardy and Ex Post Facto Clauses of the United States Constitution; and (8) the State failed to make certain transcripts available to him. The trial court summarily denied the motion. Following our review, we dismiss the appeal.



Court: TCCA


John G. Mitchell, III, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Reginald C. Malone.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Preston Shipp, Assistant District Attorney General; William Whitesell, District Attorney General; and Thomas Parkerson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Reginald C. Malone, was convicted of one count of the sale of .5 grams or more of cocaine, a Class B felony. The trial court sentenced him as a Range I, standard offender to eight years in the Department of Correction. Because the trial court found that the Defendant was on probation at the time the crime occurred, this eight-year sentence was ordered to be served consecutively to the Defendant's sentence on a prior conviction. In this direct appeal, the Defendant argues that: (1) evidence of prior charges against him was admitted at trial, in violation of Tennessee Rule of Evidence 404(b); (2) the prosecution engaged in misconduct during closing argument; (3) the evidence at trial was insufficient to convict him; and (4) his sentence should be concurrent rather than consecutive because he was not on probation at the time of the offense. Following our review of the record and the parties' briefs, we conclude that the Defendant's first two issues are waived due to an untimely motion for a new trial. We also hold that the Defendant's insufficient evidence argument lacks merit and that the record fails to support the trial court's finding that the Defendant was on probation at the time he committed the offense at issue. We therefore order that the judgment be modified to reflect that the Defendant's sentence be served concurrently with the previous sentence. Finally, the Defendant seeks coram nobis relief on the basis of newly discovered evidence, citing to discrepancies about the weight of cocaine he sold. We affirm the trial court's denial of relief.



Court: TCCA


David A. Collins, Nashville, Tennessee (at trial and on appeal); Jonathan Wing, Assistant Public Defender (at hearing on motion to suppress), for the appellant, Emmanuel Odom.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson III, District Attorney General; and Sharon Reddick and Dan Hamm, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

Originally charged with first degree felony murder, first degree premeditated murder, and two counts of attempted aggravated robbery, the defendant, Emmanuel Odom, received Davidson County Criminal Court jury convictions of two counts of second degree murder and two counts of attempted aggravated robbery. The trial court imposed an effective sentence of 24 years' incarceration. In this appeal, the defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence and contends that the trial court erred by failing to suppress the pretrial identification of the defendant by State witness David Bush. Discerning no reversible error, we affirm the judgments of the trial court. The case must be remanded to the trial court, however, for the entry of corrected judgments reflecting that the convictions of second degree murder are merged into a single conviction.



Court: TCCA


Sharon D. Aizer, Assistant Public Defender, Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellant, William C. "Bunky" Osborne, Jr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; and Mike Bottoms, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, William C. "Bunky" Osborne, Jr., appeals from the order of Lawrence County Circuit Court revoking his probation. In March 2006, the Defendant pled guilty to attempted second degree murder, Class D felony theft, and Class C felony vandalism and received an effective fifteen-year sentence. He was placed on intensive probation. Following the Defendant testing positive for cocaine, the trial court revoked the Defendant's probationary sentence and ordered that his original fifteen-year sentence to the Department of Correction be reinstated. On appeal, the Defendant argues (1) that the evidence does not support full revocation of his probation, (2) that it was improper for a different judge from the original sentencing judge to preside over the revocation hearing, and (3) that he was denied equal protection under the law because, unlike other probationers, he was not offered alternative methods to deal with his drug problem. After a review of the record, we conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by revoking the Defendant's probation and that the Defendant's remaining issues are waived. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.



Court: TCCA


J. David Wicker, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Monqueze Summers.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Lisa Naylor, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Petitioner, Monqueze Summers, appeals from the Davidson County Criminal Court's order denying his petition for post-conviction relief. He argues that the denial was error because he did not receive the effective assistance of counsel at trial. In the alternative, he asks us to remand his case to the post-conviction court for consideration of allegedly exculpatory evidence discovered after his post-conviction hearing. Following our review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the post-conviction court's denial of the Petitioner's request for relief and deny the Petitioner's motion to remand.



Legal News
Election 2008
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Suits filed against housing organization
Memphis Area Legal Services and Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper Jr. have both filed lawsuits in Shelby County Chancery Court against the Tennessee Housing Protection Agency, claiming the foreclosure counseling and housing services organization exploited seven of its clients. MALS filed seven individual lawsuits, while the attorney general filed one suit on behalf of the state.
Read about the cases in the Memphis Daily News
Hamilton Co. names magistrates
The Hamilton County Commission today named Larry Ables, Bob Davis, Marty Lasley and Yolanda Mitchell as new magistrates, with Ables designated as chief magistrate. General Sessions Judge Bob Moon, who administered the oath of office to two of the magistrates, told the commission that the county's General Sessions judges will select one of their own to serve as a liaison between the magistrates and the commission to keep lines of communication open.
Chattanoogan.com has the story
Diversity event targets high school students
Brainerd High School students on a criminal justice career track joined attorneys and other legal professionals today at a Chattanooga workshop aimed at increasing diversity in the legal profession. The event was hosted by BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel PC, and included workshop sessions, a tour of the law firm and a career fair. The program is part of Streetlaw's Corporate Diversity Pipeline Program.
Learn more on Chattanoogan.com
Election 2008
Republicans capture General Assembly
For the first time since Reconstruction, Tennessee Republicans will take control of the General Assembly when the state Senate and House convene in January. Senate Republicans held on to control and expanded their margin, giving them a 19-14 majority. In the House, Republicans captured four seats resulting in a narrow 50-49 majority. The first item on the agenda according to Republican leaders will be replacing the state's constitutional officers.
The News Sentinel reports
Kurita loses write-in bid
In a bitter intra-party battle, Clarksville attorney Tim Barnes defeated incumbent state Sen. Rosalind Kurita 83 to 17 percent to represent District 22. Kurita, whose 19-vote primary win was overturned by the Democrat Party, attempted to win the general election with a write-in campaign.
The Tennessean has the story
3 Miss. justices voted out
Voters shook up the Mississippi Supreme Court last night, ousting the sitting chief justice and two other judges in a campaign that saw accusations of business favoritism, liberalism and "baby-killing."
The ABA Journal reports
GOP loses judicial posts in Texas
Texas also saw big changes from judicial elections. While McCain carried the state, Obama coattails swept out a number of GOP judges in urban areas. The Wall Street Journal's Law Blawg details the change in Houston, where 22 Democratic judges swept into office, replacing all but four of Harris County's district judges. Critics had said the courts had been too favorably disposed towards corporate defendants in civil cases and prosecutors in criminal cases.
Read more in the WSJ Law Blawg
TBA Member Services
TBA, Bank of America team up for no-fee credit card
The TBA World Points Rewards MasterCard from Bank of America places a new world of rewards, privileges, and service at your command -- with no annual fee.
Click here to learn more

Discontinue your TBA Today subscription? ... Surely not!
But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at:

Questions, comments: Email us at TBAToday@tnbar.org

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.

© Copyright 2008 Tennessee Bar Association