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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.

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Court: TWCA


Kevin Millen, Memphis, Tennessee, pro se.

J. Brent Moore, Nashville, Tennessee for the appellee, Management Cleaning Controls.

Judge: COLE

Employee was a passenger in an automobile, which was involved in a collision. It is undisputed that the accident arose from and occurred in the course of his employment. The trial court awarded future medical benefits but declined to award permanent disability benefits. We affirm the judgment.



Court: TWCA


Steve Taylor, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Karen Shotwell.

William H. Haltom, Jr. and Erika D. Roberts, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, Serenity Day Spa and State Farm Insurance.


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. Employee alleged that she developed carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of her work as an aesthetician. She was referred to an orthopaedic surgeon, who concluded that her condition was not related to her employment. She had surgery on both arms. An evaluating physician testified that her condition was caused by her employment. The trial court ruled that she failed to sustain her burden of proof with regards to causation. On appeal, she contends that the evidence preponderates against that finding. We affirm the judgment.



Court: TCA


Stacie Odeneal, Loretto, Tennessee, for the appellant, J.D.M.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Jill Z. Grim, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee, Department of Children's Services.


Father appeals termination of his parental rights under Tenn. Code Ann. section 36-1-113(g)(6) and argues that an order terminating such rights must be entered prior to expiration of a 10-year criminal sentence. The department also appeals and claims the trial court erred in failing to find by clear and convincing evidence that Father abandoned his child by exhibiting a wanton disregard for his welfare under Tenn. Code Ann. section 36-1-102(1)(A)(iv). We find Tenn. Code Ann. section 36-1-113(g)(6) does not require that the order to terminate be filed during a 10-year criminal sentence. We also find clear and convincing evidence in the record that Father exhibited a wanton disregard for his child prior to incarceration and, consequently, the ground of abandonment under Tenn. Code Ann. section 36-1-102(1)(A)(iv) was also established.



Court: TCCA


Kenneth R. McKnight, Assistant Public Defender, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ryan Lee Grayson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; William Whitesell, District Attorney General; and David L. Puckett, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Ryan Lee Grayson, pleaded guilty in the Cannon County Circuit Court to simple possession of marijuana and driving on a suspended license. He received an effective sentence of eleven months and twenty-nine days. The trial court denied his request for a suspended sentence and ordered him to serve his sentence in the county jail. On appeal, the Defendant challenges the trial court's denial of his motion for suspension of his sentence. Upon our review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the sentencing decision of the trial court.


CORRECTION: file date corrected to be August 11, 2009 rather than 2008

Court: TCCA


B.F. "Jack" Lowery and G. Jeff Cherry, Lebanon, Tennessee, for the Appellant Samuel Ryan Hawkins.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Bill Gibson, District Attorney General; and Anthony Craighead, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

In May of 2006, a three-month-old baby was admitted to Vanderbilt Hospital with retinal hemorrhaging and subdural hematomas. After an investigation, Appellant, Samuel Ryan Hawkins, confessed to shaking the baby. As a result, a Putnam County Grand Jury indicted Appellant for aggravated child abuse. Appellant was convicted as charged by a jury and subsequently sentenced to eighteen years to serve at one hundred percent incarceration. On appeal, Appellant argues that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction. After a thorough review of the record, we conclude that the evidence was sufficient. Therefore, we affirm Appellant's conviction.



Court: TCCA


Jimmy Heard, Pro Se.

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


The Petitioner, Jimmy Heard, appeals from the trial court's dismissal of his petition seeking habeas corpus relief. The State has filed a motion requesting that this court affirm the habeas corpus court's dismissal of the petition pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The State's motion is granted. The judgment of the habeas corpus court is affirmed.



Court: TCCA


Gerald Stanley Green, Memphis, Tennessee, for the petitioner-appellant, Jordan Hill.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Nicole Germain, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


After a trial by jury, the Petitioner, Jordan Hill, was convicted of criminal attempt: aggravated robbery and convicted felon in possession of a handgun by a Shelby County jury. He now appeals the denial of post-conviction relief claiming "[t]he post-conviction court erred when it denied the Appellant's Petition for Post-Conviction Relief and effectively placed its imprimatur on trial counsel's performance as effective although the proof irrefutably showed that trial counsel had not meaningfully conferred with the Defendant prior to trial[.]" Upon our review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.



Court: TCCA


Andrew Jackson Dearing, III, Assistant Public Defender, Shelbyville, Tennessee, for the appellant, George Scott Mason.

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

Judge: MCLIN

The petitioner, George Scott Mason, appeals the judgment of the Bedford County Circuit Court denying post-conviction relief. In this appeal, the petitioner argues that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel which caused him to enter an unknowing and involuntary guilty plea. After review, the judgment of the court denying post-conviction relief is affirmed.



Court: TCCA


Daniel J. Ripper (at trial and on appeal) and Mike A. Little (at suppression hearing), Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Charles Nash.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Senior Counsel; Matthew Bryant Haskell, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, III, District Attorney General; and Neal Pinkston, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


A Hamilton County jury convicted the defendant, Charles Nash, of first degree murder and especially aggravated robbery. The defendant appeals, arguing that the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress his statement to police. The defendant asserts that he unequivocally invoked his right to counsel before the statement began, thus rendering the statement violative of his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination. Discerning no error, we affirm the trial court, but we remand the case for correction of the judgments.



Court: TCCA


Jerome Sawyers, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Lacy Elaine Wilber, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

This matter is before the Court upon the State's motion to affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court by memorandum opinion pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Petitioner has appealed the post-conviction court's order summarily dismissing the petition for post-conviction relief. In that petition, Petitioner alleges that he was afforded ineffective assistance of counsel and his plea was not made intelligently, voluntarily and knowingly. Upon a review of the record in this case we are persuaded that the post-conviction court was correct in summarily dismissing the petition for post-conviction relief and that this case meets the criteria for affirmance pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Accordingly, the State's motion is granted, and the judgment of the post-conviction court is affirmed.



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Legal News
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Knox ethics committee refers intimidation case to DA
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Justice O'Connor among medal of freedom recipients
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WSMV-TV News 4 reports
Law firms try to tap into stimulus for clients
Tennessee's legal community is attempting to attract new clients and better serve current clients with promises of aid from the federal economic stimulus bill. In an article by BusinessTN Weekly, representatives from Bass, Berry & Sims; Burch, Porter & Johnson; Miller & Martin; and Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis talk about efforts they have undertaken to generate business for new and existing clients.
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Disciplinary Actions
Nebraska lawyer reinstated
Jack Louis Mayfield of Omaha, Neb., has been reinstated to the practice of law in Tennessee after paying the annual BPR fee and required fines.
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Napier Looby foundation to hold reception
The Napier-Looby Bar Foundation will hold a summer reception on Aug. 26 at the Country Music Hall of Fame. The event, which will honor the organization's inaugural class of fellows and new scholarship recipients, will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. For more details about the foundation or the event contact foundation president William J. "Paz" Haynes III at (615) 238-6300 or whaynes@bonelaw.com.org.
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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.
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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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