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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.

02 - TN Supreme Court
01 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
00 - TN Court of Appeals
03 - 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.

SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS Grants & Denials List

Court: TSC

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2008/certlist_112408.pdf


SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS Grants & Denials List

Court: TSC

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2008/certlist_120108.pdf


McKEE FOODS CORPORATION ET AL. v. JAMES M. BUMPUS

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

Richard A. Schulman, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, James M. Bumpus.

J. Bartlett Quinn and Charles D. Lawson, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, McKee Foods Corporation.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, and Juan G. Villasenor, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, Second Injury Fund.

Judge: KURTZ

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) for a hearing and a report of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The employee, James Bumpus, appeals the trial court's ruling that his sternal non-union following open-heart surgery was a non- compensable injury because it was caused by over fifty years of heavy smoking and a chronic cough rather than work-related activities. Mr. Bumpus also appeals the trial court's ruling that work-related activities did not cause an actual advancement or progression of his pre-existing condition. We find that the evidence does not preponderate against the trial court's ruling, and affirm the judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2008/mckeefoods_120108.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOHNNY LYNN HEITZ

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

C. Brad Sproles, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellant, Johnny Lynn Heitz.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Preston Shipp, Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; and Barry Staubus and Amber Massengill, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant, Johnny Lynn Heitz, was convicted by a Sullivan County jury of aggravated kidnapping, a Class B felony, and sentenced as a Range III offender to thirty years in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the defendant raises two issues for our review: (1) whether the evidence is sufficient to support the conviction; and (2) whether the trial court's application of enhancement factors not found by a jury violates the holding in Gomez v. State, 239 S.W.3d 733 (Tenn. 2007) ("Gomez II"). Following review of the record, we conclude that the evidence is sufficient to support the conviction and that Gomez II is inapplicable to the defendant's case, as he was correctly sentenced under the amended sentencing act. Thus, the judgment of conviction and sentence are affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/heitzj_120108.pdf


KEITH SALTER v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

R. Andrew Hutchinson, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Keith Salter.

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

Judge: OGLE

The petitioner, Keith Salter, appeals the Shelby County Criminal Court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his convictions for Class C felony theft, Class D felony theft, and evading arrest and resulting effective twenty-seven-year sentence. On appeal, he contends that he received the ineffective assistance of trial counsel. Based upon the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/salterk_120108.pdf


KENNETH WILLIAMS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

David Christensen, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kenneth Williams.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Rachel Newton, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The petitioner, Kenneth Williams, pled guilty in the Shelby County Criminal Court to second degree murder and received a sentence of thirty years incarceration in the Tennessee Department of Correction. Thereafter, he filed a petition for post-conviction relief. The post-conviction court denied the petition, and the petitioner timely appealed. The sole issue for review on appeal is whether the post-conviction court erred in finding that the plea was knowingly and voluntarily entered. Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/williamsk_120108.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Legislative News
Your Practice
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Security team announced, Holder first African American to head Justice Department
President-elect Barack Obama formally announced this morning a national security team that is led by his one-time chief Democratic rival and includes a top member of President Bush's current Cabinet. Obama introduced Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) as secretary of state and Bush's defense secretary, Robert M. Gates. Three other Cabinet selections were announced Monday: Eric H. Holder Jr. as attorney general, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano as secretary of homeland security and Susan Rice as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Find out more about Holder, the pick for the country's top law-enforcement official, on Law.com.
The Washington Post has more on the national security team
Fowler named Legal Aid managing attorney
Attorney Kevin Fowler will serve as managing attorney of the Legal Aid Society's Clarksville office. "Kevin has demonstrated not only great leadership skills, but a real passion for the important work we do for our clients," said Gary Housepian, executive director for the Legal Aid Society. "It would be difficult to find a more dedicated advocate for equal justice in Tennessee."
Find out more in the Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle
Editorial: Relatives not always the best option for kids
Commercial Appeal Editor Chris Peck comments on the news that Anna Mae He, the girl at the center of the Memphis He-Baker seven-year custody battle, is living in less-than-ideal conditions in China. The father, Jack He, has left the family and Anna Mae goes to a boarding school, the AP reports.
Read the editorial
Sheriff's office offers 'Citizens Academy'
Members of the community recently graduated from the Blount County Sheriff's Citizens Academy after an 11-week program to learn more about the sheriff's office.
The Daily Times reports
Drug court graduates 'get their lives back'
Martha Ballard is thankful for the 29th Judicial District's drug court. Ballard, 34, of Dyersburg, was one of four who graduated from the program recently. She described her drug court experience as "a big accomplishment. It's given me my life back, my family back." The graduates began the program Dec. 12, 2006, and have worked their way through three phases of counseling, court appearances and house arrest. They gradually earned freedom and responsibilities, ultimately becoming productive citizens.
Learn more from the Dyersburg State Gazette
Judge yelled at Mukasey before fainting spell
A video of U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey's speech to the Federalist Society -- the one in which he fainted -- includes a voice clearly heard yelling: "Tyrant! You are a tyrant!" a few minutes before Mukasey collapsed. The outburst came after Mukasey talked about what he said was the "casual assumption among many in media, political and legal circles that the administration's counterterrorism policies have come at the expense of the rule of law." Shortly after that point, the shouting can be heard. Then Mukasey can be seen briefly stopping and looking up from his speech. A few minutes later, Mukasey began shaking and slurring his words. The outburst has been attributed to Justice Richard Sanders, a member of the Washington State Supreme Court, who said he "passionately" disagrees with those policies and felt compelled to say so. Sanders, who is a Federalist Society member, said that he wasn't heckling Mukasey.
Law.com reports
Legislative News
Mumpower elected majority leader
House Republicans made Jason Mumpower of Bristol majority leader today, also electing Rep. Steve McDaniel, a former minority leader from Parkers Crossroads, to be caucus chairman.
The Tennessean reported the story
Wilder reflects on life in the Senate, life now
Former Tennessee Lt. Gov. and state Sen. John Wilder of Somerville officially retired Nov. 4, but he keeps himself busy with his business interests, including a law practice; the Longtown Supply Co., a family firm founded in 1887; Cumberland Savings Bank and its several branch banks; and farming and cotton ginning. He says he misses the Senate already though. "I would like to be a senator if it was the Senate [as I knew it]," he said. "But I don't like [it] to be divided and split, trying to destroy another [political] party. I miss it."
Read the AP interview in the Jackson Sun
Your Practice
Survey: Fewer new associates will be hired
There is not a lot of optimism about their firms' prospects next year, leaders of large law firms told American Lawyer recently. In fact, 43 percent of the leaders surveyed say they expect to hire fewer new associates. A majority -- 53 percent -- told the publication they were uncertain about the next year. That uncertainty appears to be affecting hiring decisions for new associates -- but not for lawyers with more experience.
ABAJournal.com connects you to the story
TBA Member Services
Save at FedEx Kinkos
Through your membership in the TBA, your business can enjoy FedEx reliability and special savings on a variety of FedEx services, including savings on FedEx Kinkos services. All you have to do is sign up. Opening an account is free and there is no minimum shipping requirement.
Find out more

 
 
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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.

© Copyright 2008 Tennessee Bar Association