Seminar tackles construction law issues, A-Z

Transactional/real estate lawyers, litigators and attorneys who focus on construction law will all find value in the upcoming TBA seminar Tennessee Construction Law: A-Z. This Jan. 23 seminar will start off with sessions on drafting construction contracts, licensing, bidding and mechanics liens, and then tackle specific laws in Tennessee that impact construction, as well as litigation, mediation and arbitration. Many of the nation's best construction lawyers are in Tennessee and many have already agreed to speak at this Nashville program.

Find out more or register now

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.

00 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
01 - TN Court of Appeals
05 - 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.

KIMBERLY POWELL v. COMMUNITY HEALTH SYSTEMS, INC.,
CORRECTION


Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Cynthia D. Hall, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for appellant, National Health Care of Cleveland, Inc.

Timothy L. Warnock and John R. Jacobson, Nashville, Tennessee, for appellant, Community Health Systems, Inc.

Grace E. Daniell, P.C., Chattanooga, Tennessee, for appellee, Kimberly Powell.

Judge: FRANKS

We granted an appeal pursuant to Rule 9, Tenn. R. App. P., to determine the extent of discovery that would be allowed of an infection control nurse who had investigated the infectious rates at the hospital, because the investigation was prompted by the hospital's Quality Control Committee. Defendants argued that the investigation was confidential and privileged, pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. 63-6-219. The Trial Court allowed discovery and we affirm, setting forth parameters of the discovery.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/powellk_corr_010609.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DARRELL FRANKLIN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Robert Jones, Shelby County Public Defender; Phyllis Aluko, Assistant Public Defender, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Darrell Franklin.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Matthew Bryant Haskell, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Pamela Fleming, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

The Defendant, Darrell Franklin, was convicted of one count of robbery, a Class C felony, and sentenced as a Range III, persistent offender to twelve years in the Department of Correction. In this direct appeal, he argues that (1) the trial court erred in admitting certain testimony over his hearsay objection and in violation of his rights under the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution; (2) the State presented evidence insufficient to support the Defendant's conviction; (3) he received an excessive sentence; and (4) the cumulative effect of the trial court's errors deprived him of his constitutional rights to due process and trial by jury. We conclude that the State presented evidence sufficient to support the Defendant's conviction and that the trial court did not err in sentencing him. We also conclude, however, that the trial committed plain error by admitting certain testimony in violation of the Defendant's right to confront the witnesses against him. We accordingly vacate his conviction and remand this case for a new trial.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/franklind_010609.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. EDDRICK DEVON PEWITTE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Harold R. Gunn, Humboldt, Tennessee, for the appellant, Eddrick Devon Pewitte.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; and Garry Brown, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

The Defendant, Eddrick Devon Pewitte, was convicted by a Gibson County jury of one count ofaggravated robbery, a Class B felony. He was sentenced as a Range I, standard offender to twelve years in the Department of Correction. In this direct appeal, he argues that (1) the State presented evidence insufficient to convict him; (2) the trial court erred by allowing the admission of certain statements he made to police; (3) the State violated a discovery order; and (4) the trial court misapplied enhancement factors in sentencing him. We conclude that the Defendant's first three points of error lack merit. We also conclude, however, that the trial court erred in the application of certain enhancement factors. We remand for resentencing.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/pewittee_010609.pdf


TABITHA ANN TRICE v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Catherine Hatcher Hickerson, Assistant Public Defender, Shelbyville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tabatha Ann Trice..

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Mike McCown, District Attorney General and Michael D. Randles, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Petitioner, Tabitha Ann Trice, appeals the habeas corpus court's dismissal of her petition for writ of habeas corpus in which she alleged that the underlying indictment failed to state an offense. Petitioner argued that Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-15-402 does not permit criminal prosecution where the victim is a fetus. The habeas corpus court determined that the indictment was not void on its face and that the trial court had jurisdiction over the subject matter and the person. Further, the habeas corpus court determined that Petitioner's sentence had not expired. We conclude that the habeas corpus court properly dismissed the petition for writ of habeas corpus where the judgment is merely voidable, not void.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/tricet_010609.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. KIMBERLY LOUISE VINEYARD

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

J. Liddell Kirk, Knoxville, Tennessee, (on appeal); Mack Garner, District Public Defender, Maryville, Tennessee, (at trial), for the appellant, Kimberly Louise Vineyard.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; Mike Flynn, District Attorney General; and Kathy Aslinger, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Following a guilty plea on April 2, 2007 to five counts of prescription fraud, two counts of forgery, and one count of theft of property, Defendant was sentenced to fours years to serve at 30 percent, with 30 days of service incarcerated, and the balance of the sentence to be served on supervised probation. A probation violation warrant was issued on May 30, 2007 after Defendant was arrested for domestic assault on May 28, 2007. The trial court revoked Defendant's probation on July 9, 2007, and ordered her to serve the remainder of her sentence incarcerated. On appeal, Defendant argues that the trial court erred in revoking her probation. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/vineyardk_010609.pdf


R. L. WILLIAMS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Patrick G. Frogge, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, R. L. Williams.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson III, District Attorney General; and Brian Holmgren and Katherine Scarminach, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The petitioner, R. L. Williams, appeals from the denial of his 2007 petition for post-conviction relief, which challenged his 2003 rape convictions. He asserts that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel at trial because trial counsel failed to effectively challenge the DNA evidence, which he posits was the only convicting evidence because the testimony of the victim was unreliable. Holding that he has failed to establish that his counsel was ineffective, we affirm the judgment of the post- conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/williamsr_010609.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Politics
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Nashville attorney thought murdered, found in Montana
Nashville attorney Bill Grothe, who was reported missing Nov. 19, has been found in a hotel in Montana, having checked in using his wife's maiden name. The Cumberland River was searched for weeks at the end of last year when some of his belongings were found on the riverbank. Groethe, a 62-year-old consultant for SESAC who had a long career on Music Row, allegedly faked his own death, Metro Police said in a release this afternoon.
The Nashville City Paper has the story
Workers' comp laws may be focus this year
Pro-business activists say they will introduce legislation in 2009 to tighten up the state's workers' compensation laws, especially in fuzzy areas that challenge the actual bricks-and mortar definition of a workspace, The Nashville Business Journal reports. In addition, some would like to loosen the limits on communication between an employer and an employee's doctor regarding workers' comp claims.
Read the story [registration required]
Warrantless electronic surveillance suit can go forward, judge says
A federal judge on Monday cleared the way for a groundbreaking suit that would let lawyers peek behind the curtain of the Bush administration's warrantless electronic surveillance program. Northern District of California Chief Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that lawyers for Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation can access material long held secret by the government.
Law.com has the story
Skilling to be resentenced
Former Enron Corp. Chief Executive Jeffrey Skilling's convictions for his role in the energy giant's collapse were upheld today by a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. The panel vacated his 24-year prison term and ordered that he be resentenced. Skilling argued his conviction was invalid because of what his lawyers argued were incorrect legal theory, faulty jury instructions, a biased jury and prosecutorial misconduct, including accusations of witness intimidation and withholding evidence.
The Houston Chronicle carried this AP story
Politics
Haslam starts campaigning, Horne and Cammack consider
This morning Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam declared his intent to run for Tennessee governor in 2010. Haslam, a Republican, named longtime friend and Knoxville lawyer Herbert Slatery as his campaign treasurer. And two Democrats confirmed today to NashvillePost.com today that they are considering running: Knoxville-based businessman Doug Horne, a former chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party, and Ward Cammack, a prominent member of Nashville's financial services industry.
The Commercial Appeal looks at those who are considering running
Constitutional claim? Burris not seated in Senate
Former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris was turned away from the U.S. Senate this morning, setting up the possibility of a constitutional showdown. The former Illinois attorney general said he would take legal action. Burris was appointed by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had vowed to deny the post to Burris, citing the refusal of the Illinois secretary of state to sign Burris' appointment papers. "As I read the U.S. Constitution," Burris said, it says the "governor shall fill a vacancy, and as a former attorney general of my state, I have no knowledge of where a secretary of state has veto power over a governor carrying out his constitutional duties."
ABAJournal.com connects you to the story
TBA Member Services
Free online legal research is hot TBA benefit
Online legal research is available free to all Tennessee Bar Association members through an agreement with Fastcase, a leading online legal research firm. The new TBA member benefit is national in scope and offers TBA members unlimited usage, unlimited customer service and unlimited printing -- all at no cost.
Log in now to try it out

 
 
Discontinue your TBA Today subscription? ... Surely not!
But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at:
http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/unsub_tbatoday.php

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 2009 Tennessee Bar Association