TBA tour brings history to life in France

Join your colleagues in the Tennessee bar on an exciting history tour of France, June 19-25, 2010. You will stay in charming three-star hotels as the group travels from Paris to Giverny, Caen, Bayeux, Honfleur and other Normandy locations, sampling French cuisine, culture and architecture. Highlights of the trip include the Normandy D-Day landing beaches, the Memorial Peace Museum in Caen, the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach, the Chateau of William the Conqueror, the famous Bayeux Tapestry, the island monastery Mont Saint-Michel, and the home and gardens of Claude Monet. Learn more about the trip or register now on TBALink, or watch a webcast about the trip to get detailed highlights and ask questions from tour leaders.
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Court: TWCA


Reginald G. Peck, Chattanooga, Tennessee, appellant pro se.

John T. Rice, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellees, Hochman Family Partners, L. P. and Builders Mutual Insurance Company.


The employee, Reginald G. Peck, sought benefits for an alleged work-related injury to his lower back. The trial court found for the employer, Hochman Family Partners, L.P., and dismissed the complaint. Mr. Peck has appealed, contending that the trial court erred by entering judgment for the employer, and by denying his motion to alter or amend the judgment. We affirm the judgment.



Court: TWCA


Jennifer W. Arnold, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Bi-Lo, LLC.

Rodney H. Bennett, Rossville, Georgia, for the appellee, James R. Shipley.


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 suffered a compensable injury to his lower back, which resulted in two surgical procedures and a 12% anatomical impairment. Subsequently, his treating physician recommended an additional surgical procedure. Employer declined to pay for the procedure, contending that intervening events caused the need for surgery. The trial court awarded Employee 18% permanent partial disability to the body as a whole. The trial court also found that the additional procedure was related to the original work injury, and ordered Employer to pay for it. On appeal, Employer contends that the evidence preponderates against the trial court's ruling. We disagree, and affirm the judgment.


CORRECTION appears on first page of opinion, trial judge has been changed to Walter C. Kurtz

Court: TCA


Bob Lynch, Nashville, Tennessee, and Bradley J. Shafer, Lansing, Michigan, for the appellants, Deja Vu of Nashville, Inc., d/b/a Deja Vu, Meroney Entertainment, Inc., d/b/a Ken's Gold Club, D.F. Group, Inc. d/b/a Anthony's Showplace, and Stephanie's Cabaret of Tennessee, LLC d/b/a Stephanie's Cabaret, Jane Doe I and Jane Doe II.

Francis H. Young, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, et al.


Appeal from the dismissal of Plaintiffs' claims on a Tenn. R. Civ. P. 12.02(6) Motion to Dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Plaintiffs, several sexually oriented businesses and two exotic dance entertainers, filed suit against the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County and the Metropolitan Sexually Oriented Business Licensing Board challenging Chapter 6.54 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws, which governs the licensing and regulation of sexually oriented businesses. Plaintiffs alleged that the Ordinance was unconstitutional, both facially and as applied, under the Tennessee Constitution for, inter alia, violations of their rights to free speech, expression, privacy, association, equal protection, and due process. Two years after their first Motion to Dismiss was denied, Defendants filed a Renewed Motion to Dismiss, which the trial court granted. This appeal followed. We affirm the dismissal of Plaintiffs' claims as Plaintiffs have asserted no factual allegations which support an "as applied" constitutional challenge to the Ordinance, nor have they alleged any basis for a facial challenge to the Ordinance other than vague, conclusory legal statements.



Court: TCA


Tusca R.S. Alexis, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kimberly Christine Groce.

Lee Bussart Bowles, Lewisburg, Tennessee, for the appellee, Marty Bruce Groce.


This appeal involves several post-divorce petitions. Mother appeals the trial court's finding of a material change in circumstances and modification of custody, and also the assessment of the costs of the sale of the marital home against her. Finding no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.



Court: TCA


Timothy Morton, Gallatin, Tennessee, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Mary M. Bers, Senior Counsel, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.


Claimant filed this claim for damages seeking return of bond money he had posted. He alleged a violation of his constitutional rights resulted when the State charged him for the same two crimes in two different counties. The State responded with a motion to dismiss contending that the Claims Commission lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the claim. The Claims Commissioner granted the motion. Claimant appeals. We affirm.


EVELYN NYE, individually and as surviving spouse and next-of-kin of HUGH TODD NYE, v. BAYER CROPSCIENCE, INC., et al.

Court: TCA


Jimmy F. Rodgers, Jr., Chattanooga, Tennessee, and John E. ("Rett") Guerry, III and Benjamin D. Cunningham, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, for appellant, Evelyn Nye.

Hugh B. Bright, Jr., Michael J. King, and Robert L. Vance, Knoxville, Tennessee, for appellees, Bayer Cropscience, Inc., et al.


Defendants sold materials containing asbestos to the deceased's employer, where he was exposed to asbestos and contracted mesothelioma from which he died. Plaintiff's widow brought this action against the supplier, a jury trial resulted and the jury returned a verdict for the defendant, which the Trial Court approved. On appeal, we hold that certain jury instructions were error and we reverse and remand for a new trial.



Court: TCA


John R. Meldorf, III., Hixson, Tennessee, for appellant, Darla Carden Steadham.

Andrew L. Berke, and Megan England Demastus, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for appellee, Michael D. Reed.


The father left his salaried employment and began his own construction business, which resulted in a substantial decrease in his annual income. As a result the father reduced his child support payments to the mother, who then asked the Trial Court to find the father was voluntarily under employed and the Court should impute additional income, based upon his true earning capacity. After an evidentiary hearing, the Trial Court found the father was not willfully unemployed and adjusted the child support amount in accordance with the guidelines based on his then income. The mother has appealed. On appeal, we affirm the Judgment of the Trial Court and remand.



Court: TCCA


William C. Brothers, Henning, Tennessee, pro se.

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


The petitioner, William C. Brothers, pled nolo contendere to two counts of aggravated sexual battery and received an effective sentence of nine years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. He filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus relief in the Circuit Court of Lauderdale County which was dismissed. On appeal, the petitioner argues: (1) the indictment was defective; (2) he was not protected from double jeopardy; (3) he received ineffective assistance of counsel; and (4) the State failed to identify any evidence to prove its allegations. Upon our review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the denial of relief.



Court: TCCA


Guy T. Wilkinson, Camden, Tennessee, for the Defendant, Joseph Wayne Graves.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; Hansel McCadams, District Attorney General; Jerry W. Wallace and Jennifer A. Hedge, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.


Following a jury trial, Defendant, Joseph Wayne Graves, was found guilty of aggravated assault, aggravated robbery, aggravated kidnapping, and theft of property valued at more than $500 but less than $1000. The trial court imposed an effective sentence of sixty-three years. On appeal, Defendant alleges: (1) the trial court erred when it denied his motion to suppress evidence; (2) the evidence presented does not support his convictions; and (3) the trial court erred when it sentenced him. After a careful review of the record and the applicable law, we affirm Graves' convictions; however, we conclude that double jeopardy protections require that the convictions for aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, and theft be merged. Accordingly, we remand to the trial court for purposes of merger and for entry of corrected judgments of conviction.



Legal News
Legislative News
Supreme Court Report
Disciplinary Actions
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Commission to appeal second juvenile judgeship
The Shelby County Commission voted this week to appeal a ruling by the Tennessee Court of Appeals finding unconstitutional a private act authorizing the commission to appoint a second Juvenile Court judge. There was no discussion on the issue and the vote was 8-2 with two members abstaining and one member absent.
The Commercial Appeal has more
Paper: Time to move on from judgeship issue
Calling the appointment of a second juvenile judge a "wrong-headed decision," the editorial board of the Memphis Commercial Appeal writes in today's paper that it is time for the county commission to accept its loss and "move on."
Read the opinion piece
Do protective orders cover Facebook pokes?
When Shannon Jackson was told she couldn't contact another woman in Tennessee, she may not have realized that the court order included a virtual "poke" on Facebook. She does now. Jackson has been arrested and charged with violating a protective order for using a feature unique to Facebook that conveys no other message but informing a user they have been "poked" by another.
The ABA Journal reports on news coverage of the incident
Anderson County bar elects officers
The Anderson County Bar Association has elected new leaders. They are: President Mart S. Cizek with Magill, Crye & Cizek in Clinton, Vice President Janet E. Erb Mynatt with the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee & the Cumberlands in Oak Ridge, and Secretary/Treasurer John A. Willis with Fox & Farley in Clinton.

Drug court celebrates 10 years
The 23rd Judicial District Drug Court, which serves Cheatham, Dickson, Houston, Humphreys and Stewart counties, recently celebrated its 10th anniversary and the graduation of its 55th participant. The court, overseen by Judge Robert E. Burch, requires in-patient treatment for at least 28 days and strict reporting to the court. National studies indicate that drug courts save money, reduce recidivism and improve family and other relationships.
Learn more about the court in the Clarksville Leaf Chronicle
State: TBI needs better record keeping
A state audit has found that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation does not know the disposition of more than 40 percent of arrests reported to it, and therefore is unable to keep its criminal background check system up to date. Under the current procedure, court clerks are required to send disposition information monthly to the Administrative Office of the Courts, which then passes it to TBI. The TBI hopes that a plan to automate the system will improve the problem.
WSMV-TV reports
Kingsport bar elects new officers
The Kingsport Bar Association has elected new leadership for the bar year. Leaders are President Steven C. Huret with Wilson, Worley, Moore, Gamble & Stout PC; President-elect Steven C. Rose with West & Rose; Vice President Matthew H. Wimberley with Hunter, Smith & Davis LLP; and Secretary Andrew T. Wampler with Wilson, Worley, Moore, Gamble & Stout PC.

Legal Aid Society names new board members
The Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands has named two new lawyers to its board of directors. They are: Robert Sullivan, a partner at Loeb & Loeb LLP, and Cumberland County Bar Association President Caroline Knight. Sullivan's practice focuses on entertainment transactions primarily in the music field, as well as litigation and mediation in entertainment and intellectual property areas. Knight recently opened a general practice law office in downtown a Crossville.
The Nashville Post has more
Legislative News
State House special election expands GOP control
Republican Pat Marsh prevailed over Democrat Ty Cobb yesterday in a special election to replace Rep. Curt Cobb in southern Middle Tennessee's House District 62. The win will add a seat to the GOP majority in the state House -- moving it from 50-49 to 51-48. Marsh, a trucking company owner, beat Cobb's brother, Ty, by a vote of 4,931 to 3,663.
Read the Nashville Scene's take on the election result
Supreme Court Report
Court considers claims of ineffective counsel
U.S. Supreme Court justices on Tuesday questioned whether defendants should expect their lawyers to correctly advise them on all the possible consequences of a guilty plea. The discussion came in a case involving a drug defendant who was advised by his lawyer that a guilty plea on the drug charge would not affect his immigration status when in reality such a plea would have meant his deportation. The bad advice, the appeal claims, violates the constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel. The opposition, however, argues that defense attorneys only have a duty to advise clients on guilt, innocence and sentencing when it comes to pleas, not what may happen in the future because of the plea.
Nashville News Channel 5 reports
Disciplinary Actions
Former Nashville lawyer suspended
On Sept. 30, former Nashville lawyer David Alan Gold was suspended for four years and nine months retroactive to a temporary suspension imposed on Jan. 7, 2005. The court imposed the suspension after Gold pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact of an especially aggravated robbery. Gold agreed to a conditional guilty plea, to submit to a Tennessee Lawyer's Assistance Program evaluation, and to complete required CLE hours.
Read the BPR news release
Chattanooga lawyer suspended
On Sept. 30, Chattanooga lawyer Jeffrey A. Stinnett was suspended for nine months, retroactive to a temporary suspension imposed on Jan. 29. The Supreme Court found that his neglect and failure to communicate with clients violated the Rules of Professional Conduct.
Download the BPR's notice
Nashville lawyer suspended
Nashville lawyer David S. Weed was suspended by the Tennessee Supreme Court on Sept. 30 for three years. Weed agreed to a conditional guilty plea that as director of the Tennessee Receiver's Office, he commingled receivership funds and failed to maintain adequate accounting records.
Read the BPR release
Two lawyers reinstated after paying BPR fee
John Bernard Bartels of Memphis and Garry Christopher Forsythe of Hendersonville have been reinstated to the practice of law after paying the 2009 BPR fee and required fines.
View all attorneys suspended and reinstated for 2009 fee violations
TBA Member Services
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.
Click here to learn 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.

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