Court says yes to suspension of rulemaking

As recommended by the Tennessee Bar Association, the Board of Professional Responsibility and state student loan authorities, the Tennessee Supreme Court continues to wait for legislative and administrative action before adopting rules to allow the BPR to revoke law licenses for lawyers who are believed to be in default on student loan obligations. The "recommending parties" suggested to the court that a change in state law was needed to place the program on a sound constitutional footing. Legislation to adopt the necessary authorization died at the end of the legislative session in June. To read more about the issue, download the amendment and read a Tennessee Bar Journal article on the subject.
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Court: TSC


Court: TSC


Larry R. McElhaney and J. Nicholas Harris, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Don Nichols.

Richard C. Mangelsdorf, Jr. and J. Paul Brewer, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Jack Cooper Transport, Inc. and Liberty Mutual Insurance.

Judge: WADE

The employee, who suffered two separate injuries during the course of his employment as a truck driver for the employer, settled his first claim for workers' compensation and filed suit on the second. Shortly after being laid off because of an unexpected work shortage, the employee elected to retire in order to maintain medical insurance coverage rather than face an indefinite furlough without pay or benefits coverage. When the trial court reconsidered the settlement and awarded benefits in excess of the lower statutory cap on the second claim, resolving the issues in favor of the employee, the employer appealed, and the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel reversed. Because we have concluded that the employment relationship terminated when the employee was laid off, rather than when he subsequently retired, the employee was not meaningfully returned to work, and, therefore, qualifies for reconsideration of his first injury and is not subject to the lower cap on the second. The judgment of the Panel is reversed, and that of the trial court is reinstated.


Court: TWCA


William B. Walk, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Hartford Insurance Company of the Midwest.

Ricky L. Boren, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellee, Lee Meeks.


The employee sustained two compensable injuries on the same day. Before he reached maximum medical improvement, all of the stock in his employer was sold to another corporation. The trial court held that this transaction caused a loss of employment for purposes of Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-241(d) and awarded 33% permanent partial disability to the left arm, an amount in excess of one and one-half times the anatomical impairment. On appeal, the employer contends that the trial court erred in finding that a loss of employment occurred as a result of the change of ownership and that the award is excessive. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TWCA


William B. Walk, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Zurich American Insurance.

Ricky L. Boren, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellee, Susie Tomlinson.


The sole issue presented in this workers' compensation claim is whether a corporate transaction involving the sale of the employer amounted to a loss of employment for purposes of Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-241(d). The trial court found that it did and awarded permanent disability benefits in excess of one and one-half times the anatomical impairment. On appeal, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TCA


Carol Ann Barron, Dayton, Tennessee, for the appellant, Steven Brent Massengale, Individually, and d/b/a Massengale Bonding Company.

Michael E. Richardson, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellees, Debbie Bakir and Mostafa Bakir.


The plaintiffs advanced monies for the creation and operation of a bonding company, in which plaintiffs were to be partners with the defendant. A dispute arose between them about the bonding operation, and plaintiff sued defendant for a percentage of the profits of the bonding company and defendant counter-sued for a monetary judgment as well. The Trial Court ruled that no partnership existed, but plaintiffs were entitled to recover $15,000.00 from defendant. Defendant's counter-action was dismissed. On appeal, we affirm.


Court: TCCA


Robert L. Vogel, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Dennis B. Reece.

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

Judge: MCLIN

The petitioner, Dennis B. Reece, pled guilty to second degree murder in October 2005. In September 2008, he filed a petition for post-conviction relief in the convicting court. The post-conviction court dismissed the petition as untimely. On appeal, the petitioner argues that the Tennessee Supreme Court's opinion in State v. Gomez, 239 S.W.3d 733 (Tenn. 2007) ("Gomez II"), created a new constitutional rule entitled to retrospective application and that this court should deem the one-year statute of limitations period to extend from the publication of Gomez II. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Local Employee Running for Elective Office

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2010-08-30

Opinion Number: 10-94

Retroactive Effect of Amendment to Sheriff's Civil Service Law

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2010-08-30

Opinion Number: 10-95


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Legal News
Commerce Secretary Locke discusses intellectual property piracy in Nashville
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NewsChannel 5 reports
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Read more in the Commercial Appeal
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Read the editorial
UT Law IL class 27 percent 'students of color'
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Learn more about the class from UT
Assistant D.A. fired amid sex allegations
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WMC-TV has this update
Don't post on Facebook until trial is over, please
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Sevier County clerk resigns while comptroller investigates
Sevier County Clerk Joe Keener announced his resignation today, less than a week after saying he was taking a leave of absence amid a state audit of his office. Deputy Clerk Karen Cotter has taken over day-to-day operations. The state comptroller's office began its routine survey of the clerk's office books about a month and a half ago and found "something interesting" that prompted it to move into a more detailed investigation, officials said.
The News Sentinel has the details
Election 2010
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The News Sentinel has more
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Black, Zelenik and Aegis ordered to mediation
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Read more in the Tennessean
Atherton, Fields to be sworn in Wednesday
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An item in TBA Today on Aug. 25 omitted a new member of the Legal Aid Society's Community Advisory Council. Mary Ruth Shell, a community volunteer, joins the council along with Sumita Banerjee, Julie Boehm, Mahalia Howard and Sylvia Rapoport.

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