CLE webcast features Japanese Consulate-General

Japan's Consulate-General in Nashville, Hiroshi Sato, will join experienced international law attorneys in an upcoming webcast series designed to help you guide your clients involved in international business transactions. Co-produced by the Tennessee Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the series will help you understand the legal issues that arise when foreign companies seek to do business in the United States, with a particular focus on companies from Japan. This course will help both those representing Japanese interests and those representing their American clients seeking to do business with them. The programs will air Sept. 29 and Oct. 11.

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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.

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MARYAM GHORASHI-BAJESTANI v. MASOUD BAJESTANI

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

John R. Meldorf, Hixson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Masoud Bajestani.

Selma Cash Paty, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, Maryam Ghorashi-Bajestani.

Judge: SWINEY

After seven years of marriage, Maryam Ghorashi-Bajestani ("Wife") sued Masoud Bajestani ("Husband") for divorce. After a trial, the Trial Court entered its order, inter alia, awarding Wife a divorce, dividing the marital property, setting Husband's child support obligation, awarding Wife transitional alimony for nine years, awarding Wife alimony in futuro to begin after the termination of the transitional alimony, and awarding Wife attorney's fees. Husband appeals to this Court raising issues regarding the classification and distribution of marital property and the awards of alimony, among others. Wife raises issues regarding child support, and also requests that this Court take notice of a post-judicial fact, and award her attorney's fees on appeal. We modify as to the award of transitional alimony, vacate the award of alimony in futuro, affirm as to the child support and division of property, decline to award attorney's fees on appeal, and decline to take notice of the post-judicial fact.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/bajestanim_082410.pdf


PATRICIA HENDERSON v. SAIA, INC. ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Jonathan R. Bunn, Tullahoma, Tennessee, for the appellant, Patricia Henderson.

Colin M. McCaffrey, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, SAIA, Inc. and Discover RE.

Judge: CLARK

This workers' compensation appeal was initially referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel for a hearing and a report of findings of fact and conclusions of law in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-225(e)(3). After oral argument was conducted before the Panel, but before the Panel filed its opinion, the case was transferred to the full Court in order to consider a request under Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 60.02 to set aside a judgment approving a settlement. The trial court found no basis for setting aside the settlement under Rule 60.02. Neither do we. The judgment of the trial court upholding the parties' settlement is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/hendersonp_082410.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOEL ADAM ALEXANDER

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Donna Orr Hargrove, District Public Defender; and Andrew Jackson Dearing, Assistant Public Defender, Shelbyville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Joel Adam Alexander.

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

Judge: WOODALL

Defendant, Joel Adam Alexander, was indicted for possession of more than .5 grams of a Schedule II substance containing a cocaine base with the intent to sell, possession of more than .5 grams of a Schedule II substance containing a cocaine base with intent to deliver, possession of more than .5 ounces of marijuana with the intent to sell, possession of more than .5 ounces of marijuana with the intent to deliver, and possession of drug paraphernalia. On June 16, 2008, Defendant entered a plea of guilty to possession of more than .5 grams of a Schedule II substance containing a cocaine base with intent to sell, with an agreed sentence of ten years as a Range I, standard offender. The manner of service of the sentence was left to the trial court's determination. Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court ordered the sentence to be served by incarceration. On appeal, Defendant challenges the trial court's denial of alternative sentencing. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/alexanderj_082410.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. KENNETH GREGORY ALLEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

S. Jason Whatley, Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kenneth Gregory Allen.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; Charles Frank Crawford, Jr., District Attorney General; and Weakley E. Barnard and Todd Shugart, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant, Kenneth Gregory Allen, was convicted of two counts of the sale of less than .5 grams of cocaine base and two counts of delivery of less than .5 grams of cocaine base, both Class C felonies; and sale of more than .5 grams of cocaine base, delivery of more than .5 grams of cocaine base, possession of more than .5 grams of cocaine with the intent to sell, and possession of more than .5 grams of cocaine with the intent to deliver, all Class B felonies. The trial court merged the delivery convictions with the convictions for the sale of cocaine. The defendant was sentenced to serve thirty years at sixty percent for the conviction for sale of more than .5 grams of cocaine and for the possession with the intent to sell. He was sentenced to serve fifteen years at sixty percent for the two convictions for the sale of less than .5 grams of cocaine. The sentences were ordered to run concurrently with each other but to run consecutively to case 16510, also a drug conviction, and "any unexpired sentence." This resulted in an aggregate forty-year sentence. On appeal, the defendant argues that the trial court imposed an improper sentence. After careful review, we affirm the judgments from the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/allenk_082410.pdg


DALLAS R. MYERS, JR. v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Dallas R. Myers, Jr., Clifton, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie Price, Assistant Attorney General; and T. Michel Bottoms, District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Petitioner, Dallas R. Myers, Jr., appeals the trial court's summary dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus. He alleges that his sentence is illegal because the trial court sentenced him above the presumptive minimum sentence absent a finding of enhancement factors. After a thorough review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/myersd_082410.pdf


RAYMOND DOUGLAS MYERS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Rebecca Brady, Cookeville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Raymond Douglas Myers.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; Bill Gibson, District Attorney General, Lisa Zavogiannis and William Locke, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Petitioner, Raymond Douglas Myers, was convicted of three counts of first degree murder, two counts of felony murder, one count of aggravated arson, and one count of conspiracy to commit murder. See State v. Raymond Douglas Myers, Sr., No. M2003-01099-CCA-R3-CD, 2004 WL 911280, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Nashville, Apr. 20, 2004), perm. app. denied, (Tenn. Nov. 8, 2004). The trial court merged the felony murder convictions and the conspiracy to commit murder conviction with the three convictions for first degree murder. Id. Petitioner was sentenced to consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole for the murder convictions, and a consecutive twenty-four year sentence for the aggravated arson conviction. On direct appeal, this Court affirmed the judgments of the trial court. Id. at *7. Petitioner sought post-conviction relief in a lengthy pro se petition. Counsel was appointed. After a hearing on the petition for relief, the post-conviction court denied the petition. Petitioner has appealed the denial of post- conviction relief, arguing that the post-conviction court should have determined that Petitioner received ineffective assistance of counsel at trial. After a thorough review of the record, we determine that Petitioner has failed to show that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. Accordingly, the judgment of the post-conviction court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/myersr_082410.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JERMAINE SMITH

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Gregory D. Smith, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jermaine Smith.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; John W. Carney, District Attorney General; and Helen Young, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Defendant, Jermaine Smith, appeals the trial court's order revoking Defendant's probation in various sentences and ordering Defendant to serve his sentences in confinement. It appears from the record that as of the probation violation hearing on February 9, 2009, a "fourth amended" probation violation warrant was pending against Defendant. This warrant alleged that Defendant had violated various terms and conditions of his probation in Montgomery County cases numbered 40300037, 40600256, and 40601232. In this appeal, Defendant acknowledges that the evidence showed he violated the terms of his probation. However, he argues that the trial court should have reinstated probation rather than order service of the sentence by incarceration. After full review we affirm the orders of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/smithj_082410.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. FRANK DEANGELO TAYLOR

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Robert W. Jones, District Public Defender; Phyllis Aluko (on appeal), Tim Albers and Michelle Lynn (at trial), Assistant Public Defenders, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Defendant-Appellant, Frank Deangelo Taylor.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Senior Counsel; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; David Pritchard and Dean Decandia, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCMULLEN

The Defendant-Appellant, Frank Deangelo Taylor, was convicted by a Shelby County jury of first degree felony murder and criminal attempt to commit especially aggravated robbery. He received a life sentence for the first degree felony murder and a concurrent term of eight years imprisonment for the attempted especially aggravated robbery. On appeal, Taylor claims: (1) the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress, and (2) the insufficiency of the evidence. Upon review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/taylorf_082410.pdf


JAVONTE DEMONTEZ TERRELL v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Ashley Preston, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Javonte Demontez Terrell.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Brian Clay Johnson, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, District Attorney General, and Roger Moore, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Petitioner, Javonte Demontez Terrell, was indicted for first degree murder. He entered a best interest plea to second degree murder in exchange for a twenty-year sentence. Petitioner then filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief. After an amended petition was filed, the post-conviction court held a hearing. The petition was dismissed by the post-conviction court. Petitioner filed an untimely notice of appeal. This Court waived the timely filing of the notice of appeal. Petitioner challenges the dismissal of the petition. After a review of the record on appeal, we conclude that Petitioner has failed to prove that his guilty plea was involuntary or that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/terrellj_082410.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Election 2010
Legal News
Flood Impact
Upcoming
TBA Member Services

Election 2010
After official recount, Sen. Henry edges Yarbro by 17
A recount of the primary vote in Nashville's District 21 state Senate race still shows veteran Sen. Douglas Henry winning -- this time by 17 votes. Democratic candidate Jeff Yarbro requested a recount of the vote, which had Henry leading by 11 votes at last count with almost 11,300 votes cast. Read the text of Yarbro's concession here. The recount by the Davidson County Election Commission took about three hours.
WSMV-TV reports
Legal News
Lawyers agree, ask judge for unitary status for schools
After Monday's hearings, U.S. District Judge Samuel H. Mays Jr. said he would issue a ruling after Aug. 30 on whether the Jackson-Madison County Schools system will get unitary status. A joint motion for unitary status was filed Aug. 16 by all of the attorneys in the case. Mays said his ruling would focus on student assignment, the last remaining issue monitored by the court under the desegregation agreement. He granted partial unitary status on the issues of faculty assignment, facilities, transportation and extracurricular activities in August 2009.
The Jackson Sun has more
Waller named managing attorney at Legal Aid
The Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands has named DarKenya Waller managing attorney for its Nashville office. Waller replaces Lucinda Smith as the head of the nonprofit firm's office, which has about 10 lawyers. She joined the firm in 2008 and has worked primarily in housing and family law in Williamson County. Smith continues on at LASMTC, focusing her work on the Nashville Pro Bono Program.
NashvillePost.com has more
Lockett gets 1-year probation on tax charge
Former Knox County law director Bill Lockett received a one-year sentence of probation today on a federal misdemeanor charge of failing to file tax returns on income earned in 2006 and 2007. He also faces a six-month term of home confinement.
Find out why from the News Sentinel
Chattanooga leadership group honors senator, bar leader
Chattanooga Bar Association Executive Director Lynda Minks Hood joined U. S. Sen. Bob Corker and councilwoman Sally Robinson as finalists for Leadership Chattanooga's first Lifetime Achievement Award. Sen. Corker was presented the award for his personal and professional contributions to the improvement of the Chattanooga area at the organization's recent 25th Anniversary Celebration event. The former mayor had been a member of the first Leadership Chattanooga class in 1985.

Montgomery County Teen Court ready to start year
Officials in Montgomery County explain how beneficial a Teen Court is for students to learn about the local judicial system. Participants serve as prosecutors, defense attorneys, bailiffs, court clerks and jurors who hear actual Juvenile Court cases carefully selected by a juvenile judge. Montgomery County Bar Association members serve as judges and coaches, assisting teen prosecutors and defense attorneys.
Read more from the Leaf-Chronicle
Pro-tem DA appointed for city attorney case
District Attorney General Russell Johnson of Kingston has been appointed district attorney pro-tem in the matter involving Chattanooga City Attorney Michael McMahan. It was alleged in a recent audit that McMahan was using city dollars for the upkeep of his personal law office. On Friday, Johnson and Assistant District Attorney General Bill Reedy met with McMahan and his attorney, Sam Elliott, to get his side of the story,
WRCB-TV reports.
ACLU suit challenges open records citizenship requisite
The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee (ACLU-TN) today filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of a citizenship requirement in Tennessee's Public Records Act. The suit was filed on behalf of Richard Jones, Midwest director of Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network, who was denied access to public records regarding the granting of a government contract in Memphis because he is not a citizen of Tennessee.
Read more from ACLU-TN
Flood Impact
Court records stored in flood plain: Why?
A Nashville TV investigator is asking a simple question about many state government records -- including from the Supreme Court -- that were destroyed in the May floods: Why were they stored in a flood plain just 120 feet from the Cumberland River? Insurance adjusters initially estimated the total cost of the damage to the Records Center was $7 million, which includes the cost of restoring damaged documents.
NewsChannel5 has the story
Upcoming
Get your golf team ready for tourney benefit
The Upper Cumberland Young Lawyers Association invites you to form a four-person team and play in the 35th Annual Anne Cameron Golf Classic on Sept. 18, at Ironwood Golf Course in Cookeville. The tournament is sponsored and organized this year by the Upper Cumberland Young Lawyers Association and all proceeds go directly to the Cookeville Regional Medical Center Foundation Cancer Fund.
Get more information and a registration form
TBA Member Services
Program offers savings on auto insurance
See how being a member of the TBA could help you save 8 percent on car insurance. GEICO offers 24-hour sales, service and claims. Call GEICO at (800) 368-2734
or get an online rate quote

 
 
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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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