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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.

01 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
04 - TN Court of Appeals
00 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
03 - 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.

SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS Grants & Denials List

Court: TSC

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2009/certlist_111609.pdf


IN RE D.L.G.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Lawren B. Lassiter, Gallatin, Tennessee, for the appellant, W.C.

J.G.W., Pro Se.

D.L.W., Pro Se.

Judge: BENNETT

Incarcerated father appeals the trial court's termination of his parental rights, arguing that the termination was not in the best interest of the child. Because the trial court's determination is supported by clear and convincing evidence, we affirm the trial court's decision.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/dlg_111609.pdf


SHIRLEY J. ELLIOT V. LIFE OF THE SOUTH INSURANCE CO. , ET AL.
CORRECTION is pages 3 & 5


Court: TCA

Attorneys:

M.J. Hoover III, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Shirley J. Elliot.

Christopher D. Heagerty, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Life of the South Insurance Company.

Christopher W. Conner, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Amtrust Bank.

Linda J. Hamilton Mowles and Tara L. Dalton, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Cappo Management, Inc. and Dave Lawson.

Judge: LEE

The Plaintiff was issued a credit disability insurance policy based upon an application she executed when she purchased a vehicle from an auto dealership. Thereafter, the Plaintiff was diagnosed with cancer which prevented her from working, and she applied for benefits under the policy. The insurer refused to pay, and the Plaintiff filed suit against the insurer, the bank that financed the vehicle purchase, the auto dealership, and the dealership employee who assisted the Plaintiff in preparing the insurance application. The Plaintiff's suit sought recovery on the policy and asserted various other causes of action, including alleged violations of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act. Upon the Defendants' motions for summary judgment, the trial court dismissed the case. After reviewing the record, we find that none of the Defendants' motions for summary judgment addressed the issue of whether the auto dealership employee engaged in deceptive practices in assisting the Plaintiff in her application for the credit disability insurance. Accordingly, we reverse the trial court's ruling as to the Plaintiff's causes of action against all of the Defendants for violation of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act and as to Life of the South for violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act, and we affirm summary judgment in favor of the Defendants as to all of the Plaintiff's remaining causes of action.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/elliots_CORR_111609.pdf


DONALD RAY MATHIS v. MARSCHELLA JUNE MATHIS

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Stephen W. Pate, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Donald Ray Mathis.

Jeffrey L. Levy, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Marschella June Mathis.

Judge: BENNETT

In this divorce, husband argues that the trial court erred in rejecting two purported postnuptial agreements, in failing to terminate child support and reduce his alimony obligation during the pendency of the divorce litigation, in ordering rehabilitative alimony, and in ordering the sale of the marital estate. We have concluded that the trial court properly found no postnuptial agreement but erred in ordering the sale of the marital assets. On remand, the trial court must value and divide the marital assets. We affirm the trial court's decisions regarding child support and alimony.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/mathisd_111609.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN'S SERVICES v. V.L.S.C. AND M.M.S.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Andrew L. Messick, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant M.M.S.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General, and Joshua Davis Baker, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee Department of Children's Services.

Judge: DINKINS

Father challenges the trial court's termination of his parental rights on the grounds of abandonment by failing to visit and by engaging in conduct exhibiting a wanton disregard for the child's welfare. Finding that the trial court's decision is supported by clear and convincing evidence, the judgment terminating Father's parental rights is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/vlsc_111609.pdf


Use of Birth Name Not Required in Running for Office

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2009-11-16

Opinion Number: 09-176

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2009/ag_09_176.pdf

Licensed Auctioneer Holding a License as an Alcoholic Beverage Collector

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2009-11-16

Opinion Number: 09-177

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2009/ag_09_177.pdf

County Election Commission Vacancy

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2009-11-16

Opinion Number: 09-178

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2009/ag_09_178.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Court of the Judiciary
Legislative News
Supreme Court Report
Politics
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Mental health screenings coming to 10 juvenile courts
The Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts is partnering with the state's Department of Mental Health in a pilot project to address the mental health and substance abuse needs of children and youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system in Tennessee. The program will be funded with a $196,742 grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance.
Learn more from the Administrative Office of the Courts
Addiction can be harder for professionals to overcome
A newspaper editor -- and recovering addict -- writes about how addiction is often harder for professionals to overcome because a person can "be too smart to get help." Many facilities now have impaired professionals programs, "tailored to those who work in positions of status and authority ... It's designed to help the addicted doctor, lawyer or pilot address their addiction and find the coping skills to return to their chosen profession, should they want."
Read this personal story in The Daily Times
TWRA 'judge shopping' case to be decided soon
Criminal Court Judge Don Poole is expected to rule today in a case that accuses the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency of "judge shopping" to get cases assigned certain General Sessions Court judges.
The Times Free Press reports
Readers get review of accuseds' rights
"Bloggers and other posters and pundits have devoted a great deal of effort and ink attacking the defense attorneys involved in the horrific criminal trials," Knoxville lawyer Pam Reeves writes. So in this column, she gives readers of the News Sentinel a brief review of constitutional and due process rights.
Read her column
Ohio solves 3-drug problem by getting rid of 2
Ohio's decision to replace a three-drug lethal injection with a powerful dose of one anesthetic is raising the possibility of a truce in the long-running legal challenges to death penalty injection across the country. Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray said a one-drug method would "render moot" his state's current injection lawsuit, which raises some issues found in other states regarding the potential for pain and suffering.
The Daily News Journal carried this story
Detainees ordered released after judges hear cases
Complying with a Supreme Court ruling last year, 15 federal judges in the U.S. courthouse in Washington are giving detainees their day in court -- some of the detainees even testified on their own behalf by video from the U.S. naval base in Cuba. Today the federal judges found the government's evidence against 30 detainees wanting and ordered their release.
The Times Free Press carried this AP story
Court of the Judiciary
Bell pleads 5th in answer to charges
The Court of the Judiciary has received Judge John Bell's answer to the formal charges that have been filed against him. In the counts, Bell invokes his privilege against self-incrimination.
See the documents
Legislative News
Lundberg: Give 90 percent of damage awards to patients
Tennessee state Rep. Jon Lundberg said he's exploring new legislation that would give 90 percent of a nursing home lawsuit damage award to patients and families winning the suit. "(The legislation) would not pad legal fees," Lundberg, R-Bristol, said of the idea.
The Kingsport Times-News has the story
Supreme Court Report
Graduation speech will not be studied by court
The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from a student who complained that high school officials violated her constitutional rights when they turned off her microphone during her religion-tinged graduation speech.
WRCB-TV carried this AP story
Politics
State Sen. Tracy considering run against Gordon
State Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) confirmed to NashvillePost.com today that he is "testing the waters" and is exploring a bid against Democratic incumbent Congressman Bart Gordon of Murfreesboro. Republicans who have already announced that they will challenge Gordon are former Rutherford County GOP chair Lou Ann Zelenik and retired U.S. Army Reserves Major General Dave Evans of Bedford County.
NashvillePost.com has more [subscription required]
TBA Member Services
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Learn why lawyers trust i365 for online data backup solutions

 
 
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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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