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.

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Court: TCA


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.


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.


Court: TCCA


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.


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.


Court: TCCA


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.


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.


Court: TCCA


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.


Court: TCCA


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.


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.


Court: TCCA


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.


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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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