Supreme Court admissions highlights TBA Academy

A limited number of Tennessee attorneys this year will experience the honor of being admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court as part of the 26th Annual TBA Academy. The Tennessee Bar Association has arranged a private Swearing-In Ceremony at the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, Dec. 14, 2009. In addition to the Swearing-In Ceremony, participants in the TBA Academy will be invited to a Welcome Reception and Dinner on Sunday, Dec. 13 -- hosted by TBA President Gail Vaughn Ashworth. On Monday, Dec. 14, there will be a breakfast, a tour of the Supreme Court, and a Celebration Luncheon at a Capitol Hill landmark after the Swearing-In Ceremony.

Register or find out more about TBA Academy 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
01 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
03 - TN Court of Appeals
06 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
01 - 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.

LORI ANN PATTON v. HARTCO FLOORING COMPANY, A DIVISION OF ARMSTRONG PRODUCTS, INC., et al.

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

Linda J. Hamilton Mowles, Knoxville, Tennessee for the appellant, Hartco Flooring Company, Inc.

David H. Dunaway, LaFollette, Tennessee for the appellee, Lori Ann Patton.

Judge: ANDERSON

This 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 issue raised on appeal is whether the Employee, who suffered a neck, arm and shoulder injury in the course and scope of her employment, made a meaningful return to work after her injury. The trial court ruled that the Employee did not make a meaningful return to work, and that, therefore, the cap on benefits of one and one-half times the impairment rating provided for in Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-241(a)(1) did not apply. The trial court applied a multiplier of four times the impairment rating. The Employer appealed. We agree with the trial court that the Employee did not have a meaningful return to work, and thus the benefits cap does not apply. Moreover, the multiplier of four times the impairment rating was not excessive. We affirm the judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2009/pattonl_100209.pdf


WENDELL P. BAUGH, III, ET AL. v. HERMAN NOVAK, ET AL.
Dissenting opinion correction appears within the second sentence of the second paragraph wherein the word "argument" has been changed to "agreement".


Court: TCA

Judge: HIGHERS

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/baughw_DISS_CORR_100209.pdf


LAFOLLETTE MEDICAL CENTER, et al., v. CITY OF LAFOLLETTE, et al.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Johnny v. Dunaway, LaFollette, Tennessee, for appellants.

Arthur G. Seymour, Jr., and Michael W. Ewell, Knoxville, Tennessee, for appellees.

Judge: FRANKS

In this second appeal of this case, the Trial Court had entered an Agreed Order for disbursement of the funds which stated the parties had determined that the purpose of the constructive trust would best be shared out by transferring the funds to a newly created non-profit corporation known as the Lafollette Medical Foundation (the funds had been held by the Clerk of the Court). The Court directed that the trust fund would be placed in the foundation with the monies retained for potential liabilities, and the charter of the LaFollette Medical Foundation, Inc., was filed with the Court, as well as its by-laws. The City of LaFollette filed a Motion to Set Aside the Order pursuant to Rule 60, Tenn. R. Civ. P., along with affidavits. The Court conducted a hearing and filed a Memorandum Opinion finding that its order was not void because the City had been found to have no interest in the fund and the City had actual knowledge of the Foundation and its rules, and transferring the money to the Foundation best served the interest of the public rather than the money being held by the Court. The City of LaFollette appealed to this Court. We affirm the Judgment of the Trial Court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/lafollette_100209.pdf


DENNIS G. LOHMANN v. RONALD D. LOHMANN, et al.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Richard L. Holcomb, Knoxville, Tennessee, for appellants, Ronald D. Lohmann, et al.

Jennifer E. Raby, Rockwood, Tennessee, for appellee, Dennis G. Lohmann.

Judge: FRANKS

This is a suit between siblings over their mother's Estate. Plaintiff sued his brother, defendant, alleging the defendant had a confidential relationship with the parties' mother and sought a judgment declaring that certain transactions made by the defendant on behalf of the mother were void. Upon hearing the evidence, the Trial Court held the evidence established a presumption of undue influence and the defendant did not rebut the presumption. The Court ruled that the plaintiff is entitled to one-half of the proceeds of the annuity contracts and bank contracts, that the defendant had caused the plaintiff's name to be deleted as a beneficiary of those contracts, and the Court entered Judgment for the plaintiff in the amount of $211,830.86 against defendant and placed a lien upon the defendants' real property until the Judgment is paid. Defendant has appealed and on appeal we affirm the Judgment of the Trial Court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/lohmannd_100209.pdf


CALVIN R. CANNON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Calvin R. Cannon, Atlanta, Georgia, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; John Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; and Charles Crawford, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Petitioner, Calvin R. Cannon, appeals the trial court's dismissal of his four petitions 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 judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/cannonc_100209.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JENNIFER H. TROUT CHANDLER

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

J. Daniel Freemon, Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jennifer H. Trout Chandler.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Deshea Dulany, Assistant Attorney General; Michel Bottoms, District Attorney General; and Christi Thompson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Following a guilty plea on August 14, 2006, to two counts of theft over $10,000, Defendant was sentenced to three years at 30 percent on each count, which were ordered to run concurrently on supervised probation. Defendant agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $13,903.75 on count one and $16,384.49 on count two. Defendant was also permitted to transfer her probation to Kentucky as a condition of the plea agreement. A probation violation warrant was issued on January 10, 2007, alleging that Defendant had violated the terms of her probation by failing to pay restitution and court costs. The trial court revoked Defendant's probation on May 18, 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/chandlerj_100209.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WILLIAM J. JOHNSON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Donna Orr Hargrove, District Public Defender, and Michael J. Collins, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, William J. Johnson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; Charles Frank Crawford, Jr., District Attorney General; and Weakley E. Barnard, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant, William J. Johnson, appeals his convictions and sentences for violation of habitual motor vehicle offender status, driving under the influence fifth offense, and driving while license revoked fourth offense. The defendant claims that the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions and that his effective twelve-year sentence was excessive. We affirm the convictions and sentences imposed by the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/johnsonw_100209.pdf


BYRON J. PICKETT v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Paul Cross, Monteagle, Tennessee (at trial) and Jerry B. Bible, Jasper, Tennessee (on appeal) for the appellant, Byron J. Pickett.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Deshea Dulany Faughn, Assistant Attorney General; J. Michael Taylor, District Attorney General; and Sherry Shelton, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

The Petitioner, Byron J. Pickett, appeals as of right the Marion County Circuit Court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. He argues that the denial was error because, prior to pleading guilty to aggravated rape and aggravated kidnapping, he did not receive the effective assistance of counsel and, therefore, his pleas were entered involuntarily. Furthermore, the Petitioner contends that he was incompetent at the time he entered his pleas. All of his arguments center around his mental health. After the appointment of counsel and a full evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court found that the Petitioner failed to prove his allegations by clear and convincing evidence and denied the petition. Following our review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/pickettb_100209.pdf


DENNIS J. ROUNTREE, JR. v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

David L. Raybin and Sarah S. Richter, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Dennis J. Rountree, Jr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Dan Hamm, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

The Petitioner, Dennis J. Rountree, Jr., appeals from the summary dismissal of his petition for post- conviction relief. The post-conviction court dismissed the petition because it found the petition to be barred by the statute of limitations. Following our review, we reverse the order of dismissal and remand this case to the post-conviction court for a hearing on the merits of the petition.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/roundtreed_100209.pdf


LATONYA YVONNE TAYLOR v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Barry Tidwell, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the Petitioner, Latonya Yvonne Taylor.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; William Whitesell, District Attorney General for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

A Rutherford County jury convicted the Petitioner of three counts of premeditated first degree murder, especially aggravated robbery, and two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, and the trial court sentenced the Petitioner to life without parole plus twenty years. The Petitioner then timely filed a petition for post-conviction relief claiming she received the ineffective assistance of counsel. The post-conviction court denied relief after a hearing and the Petitioner now appeals. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the post- conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/taylorl_100209.pdf


State Board of Equalization's Authority to Review Actions of Local Assessors

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2009-10-02

Opinion Number: 09-162

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2009/ag_09_162.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
TBA in the News
Politics
Upcoming
Section Spotlight
Disciplinary Actions
Clarification
TennBarU CLE
TBA Member Services

Legal News
TBA House adds support to section proposals
The TBA House of Delegates meeting today in Nashville reviewed and recommended that the TBA's Board of Governors support a series of legislative positions from the Immigration Law Section. Presented by TBA Immigration Law Section Chair Terry Olson, the recommendations will be voted on by the Board of Governors at its upcoming fall meeting. In other action, the House heard reports from TBA President Gail Vaughn Ashworth, Executive Director Allan F. Ramsaur and legislative counsel Steve Cobb. Tennessee Access to Justice Commission Chair Margaret Behm also reported to the group on the commission's efforts to expand access to justice to those in need.

TBA in the News
Celebrate Pro Bono events widely reported
Television, radio and print media outlets across the state carried stories this week proclaiming October as Celebrate Pro Bono Month. The reports highlight the great need for legal services in the state and the efforts of Tennessee attorneys helping those in need. In addition to noting the nearly $600,000 in free legal services provided to 1,300 people during the TBA's 4ALL public service day last spring, the reports promoted the more than 30 events planned for this month across the state.
Learn more about Celebrate Pro Bono Month activities
Politics
Dates set for Memphis House elections
Gov. Phil Bredesen has set election dates to fill the state House seat vacated by Rep. Brian Kelsey, who resigned from the chamber last month to focus on his run for an open state Senate seat. WREG reports that the Dec. 1 primary is scheduled to coincide with the Senate election in suburban Memphis. The general election for the House District 83 seat has been scheduled for Jan. 12. The legislative session begins a day later.

Upcoming
Memphis law school to hold diversity admissions forum
The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law will host a diversity admissions forum for college students on Oct. 13, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. The outreach program will be held in the Room 252 of the School of Law, located at 3715 Central Ave. There is no charge to attend, but reservations are required by Oct. 9.
Make your reservation online now
Section Spotlight
Immigration Law Section offers wide breath of resources
Immigration issues are increasingly coming up in law offices across the state and the TBA's Immigration Law Section has been compiling resources for both attorneys who deal with these issues on a regular basis and those who only occasionally encounter such cases. The section's web site has listings of useful resources, including a directory of contacts and web sites dealing with immigration issues. In addition, the section's current newsletter carries an article providing an overview of immigration law and other pieces on issues related to employment, layoffs and corporate downsizing.
Visit the Immigration Law Section web site now
Disciplinary Actions
Sumner County lawyer suspended
William P. Jones of Sumner County was suspended from the practice of law for five years by the Tennessee Supreme Court on Sept. 28. Jones was found to have violated disciplinary rules by misappropriating funds, misrepresenting the priority of liens and mortgages on real estate, wrongfully executing releases, wrongfully notarizing documents and wrongfully retaining funds belonging to other lien holders in connection with his mortgage brokering business.
Read the full BPR release
Clarification
An item in Thursday's TBA Today suggested that the Memphis Flyer newspaper was taking a position encouraging Shelby County officials to appeal a Tennessee Court of Appeals decision regarding creation of a second Juvenile Court judgeship. The opinion piece advocating the appeal was actually a column written for the paper by Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy.

TennBarU CLE
Law of Technology CLE tackles hot topics
Learn about the latest hot topics in business technology law at the upcoming Law of Technology CLE seminar in Nashville. Scheduled for Oct. 9 at the Tennessee Bar Center, the three-hour program will feature sessions on Facebook and Twitter, Apple iPhone application licensing and development, electronic contracting, intellectual property, privacy and security and venture capital in technology deals.
Find out more or register now
TBA Member Services
Avis benefits 'try harder'
TBA members are offered a rental car discount through Avis. Enroll in the Avis Preferred Service at www.avisawards.com to bypass the rental counter and go directly to your car for a faster, easier rental experience. Enter code AWD# A570100.


 
 
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