Napier-Looby Bar takes top national honor

The Napier-Looby Bar Association in Nashville was recently named the Outstanding Chapter of the Year by the National Bar Association (NBA). In selecting the Napier-Looby Bar for the award, the NBA recognized the Nashville association's work in participating in and sponsoring a number of events, including a first-year law student mentoring program, a scholarship banquet, several CLE seminars, career fairs at local middle and high schools and a number of other community service oriented projects. William H. Stover is president of the Napier-Looby Bar.

Learn more about the Napier-Looby Bar Association

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With Concurring Opinion

Court: TSC


Jeffrey P. Boyd and Laura Ann Elizabeth Bailey, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Amanda Elliott.

Marty R. Phillips, Michelle Greenway Sellers, and Ashley D. Cleek, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellee, R. Michael Cobb, M.D.

John A. Day, Brandon E. Bass, and Wayne A. Ritchie, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Amicus Curiae, Tennessee Association for Justice.

David L. Steed, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Amicus Curiae, Tennessee Medical Association.

Judge: LEE

The issue presented in this interlocutory appeal is whether a plaintiff in a medical malpractice action is prohibited from arguing or suggesting to the jury any monetary amounts for non-economic damages. We hold that the language of Tennessee Code Annotated section 29-26- 117 (2000) prohibits the plaintiff from disclosing the amount of damages requested in the plaintiff's pleading, but does not preclude the plaintiff from arguing or suggesting monetary amounts for non-economic damages to jurors at trial. The judgment of the trial court is reversed, and this case is remanded for further proceedings.

KOCH concurring


Court: TWCA


Terry L. Hill and Colin M. McCaffrey, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Premier Manufacturing Support Services, Inc. and Travelers Insurance Company.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Joshua Davis Baker, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellant, Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Second Injury Fund.

Larry R. McElhaney II, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Linda Princinsky.


In this workers' compensation action, the employee, Linda Princinsky, sought reconsideration for a compensable injury that she sustained in 2002. Following the injury, she was able to return to work for her pre-injury employer. Her workers' compensation claim was settled for two and one-half times the anatomical impairment in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-241(a). In 2005, she sustained another work-related injury, and was unable to return to her job. She entered into a court-approved settlement of that claim based upon 40.5% permanent partial disability to the body as a whole. She then sought reconsideration, pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-241(a)(2), of the settlement of her 2002 injury. The trial court found that she was permanently and totally disabled as a result of that injury and awarded benefits accordingly. Employer and the Second Injury Fund have appealed. We affirm the trial court's finding that Ms. Princinsky was rendered permanently and totally disabled by her 2002 injury, but conclude that the trial court erred in failing to offset from its award 272 weeks of benefits previously paid by the employer for the 2002 and 2005 injuries. We, therefore, modify the award and remand the case to the trial court for the entry of an appropriate judgment consistent with this opinion.


Court: TWCA


R. Jerome Shepard, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jerome D. Plumley.

Gerard M. Siciliano, , Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, Schering Plough Healthcare Products, Inc.

Judge: KURTZ

Employee was injured when a forklift ran over his foot. This injury also implicated Employee's ankle and lower leg. The issues presented to the trial court were the extent of permanent partial disability benefits and whether the award should be apportioned to the foot or to the leg. The trial court found that the award should be apportioned to the leg and awarded 9% permanent partial disability to the leg. Employee has appealed, contending that the award should have been apportioned to the foot and thus not be subject to the "cap" contained in Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-241(d)(1)(A) (2008). We affirm the judgment.


Court: TCA


Petitioner/Appellant George Campbell, Jr., Clifton, Tennessee, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General, and Kellena Baker, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Respondents/Appellees, Tennessee Department of Correction, et al.

This appeal involves a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a prisoner seeking review of a disciplinary conviction. The respondents did not oppose the issuance of the writ, and a certified copy of the record of the disciplinary proceedings was filed with the trial court. The respondents filed a motion for judgment on the record. After review of the parties' briefs and the administrative record, the trial court granted the respondents' motion for judgment on the record. The petitioner inmate appeals. We affirm.


Court: TCA


John E. Herbison, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Cynthia A. Cheatham.

Roger J. Bean, Tullahoma, Tennessee, for the appellee, Johnny Howard Evans.


Counsel for plaintiff in damage suit appeals award of sanctions imposed pursuant to Tenn. R. Civ. P. 11 against her. Finding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion the award is affirmed.


Court: TCA


Leanne A. Thorne, Lexington, Tennessee; Stuart B. Breakstone, Kathy B. Tennison, Memphis, TN, for the appellant, Lanis Karnes.

Brandon O. Gibson, Melissa K. Van Pelt, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellees, Madison County, et al.


This appeal concerns the liability of a county. The county filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff's complaint for failure to state a claim, arguing that the public duty doctrine barred the plaintiff's claim. The trial court granted the motion to dismiss upon concluding that the public duty doctrine applied and that its special duty exception was inapplicable. After examining the complaint in accordance with the liberal standards required at this stage of the proceedings, we find that Plaintiff's allegations sufficiently state a cause of action to withstand the motion to dismiss.


Court: TCA


Frank Deslauriers, Covington, Tennessee, for the appellant, Phillip Wayne Stagner.

Thomas D. Forrester, Covington, Tennessee, for the appellee, Joanne Alice Brown Stagner.

Judge: KIRBY

This is a divorce case involving the classification and distribution of marital property. The parties purchased three contiguous lots near the husband's parents in Kentucky, intending to move there after the husband's retirement. The husband's parents financed the purchase of the property. Several years before his anticipated retirement, the husband began building a house on one of the lots. After some time, the wife told the husband that she did not want to move to Kentucky. The parties then transferred title on all three lots to the husband's parents in satisfaction of their debt. Subsequently, the husband completed the construction of the house, and his parents sold the house at a profit. The husband's parents then sent the husband a check in the amount of the proceeds from the sale of the house minus the parties' debt to the parents. The husband's parents retained title in the other two lots. Soon after that, the parties filed cross-petitions for divorce. In the divorce decree, the trial court held that the check paid to the husband constituted marital property, and that the other two lots held by the husband's parents were subject to a resulting trust in favor of the husband and the wife. The trial court also awarded the wife rehabilitative alimony and a percentage of the retirement benefits received by the husband after the divorce petitions were filed. The husband now appeals. We reverse the trial court's imposition of a resulting trust over the two lots held by the husband's parents, and affirm the remainder of the trial court's decision.


Court: TCCA


George Todd East, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellant, Bryan Keith Good.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; and Barry Staubus and William Harper, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

A Sullivan County jury convicted the defendant, Bryan Keith Good, of attempted aggravated robbery, a Class C felony, criminally negligent homicide, a Class E felony, and unlawful possession of a deadly weapon, a Class E felony. The trial court sentenced him as a Range III, persistent offender to fifteen years for the Class C felony and six years for each of the Class E felonies. The court ordered the defendant to serve the sentences consecutively in the Tennessee Department of Correction, for an effective sentence of twenty-seven years. On appeal, the defendant (1) challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to support his convictions for attempted aggravated robbery and unlawful possession of a deadly weapon; (2) argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion for judgment of acquittal; and (3) contends that the trial court erred in imposing consecutive sentences and in denying alternative sentencing. Following our review, we conclude that the convictions for both attempted aggravated robbery and unlawful possession of a deadly weapon violate double jeopardy protections. The defendant's convictions for attempted aggravated robbery and unlawful possession of a deadly weapon are hereby merged. The defendant's remaining convictions and sentences are affirmed. We remand solely for the entry of appropriate judgments consistent with this opinion.


Court: TCCA


James F. Logan, Jr., Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellant, Bobby Dale Parris.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; Jerry N. Estes, District Attorney General; and Kristie Luffman, Drew Robinson, and John Williams, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

In 2006, the defendant, Bobby Dale Parris, pled guilty to the second degree murder of his wife, who died on September 16, 2004. The trial court sentenced him, under the 2005 amendments to the 1989 Sentencing Act, as a violent offender to twenty years at 100% in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On direct appeal, this court vacated the defendant's sentence and remanded for resentencing under the 1989 Sentencing Act after concluding that the trial court erred in sentencing the defendant under the 2005 amendments because the defendant had not waived his ex post facto rights. Upon remand, the trial court again sentenced him to twenty years, opining that the defendant's sentence was the same under either the pre-2005 or post-2005 sentencing statutes. The defendant appeals his sentence, arguing that the trial court did not consider mitigating factors as required by Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-35-210. Following our review of the parties' briefs, the record on appeal, and the applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Legal News
Supreme Court Report
Election 2010
Disciplinary Actions
TBA Member Services
TennBarU CLE

Legal News
Bredesen rallies business support for education reforms
Governor Phil Bredesen told a group of 200 business and civic leaders today that education reform efforts are entering an "especially critical period" in Tennessee. Speaking in Nashville, he noted that more and more jobs are located where human capital exists, not at transportation intersections, making the state's Race To The Top effort especially important. The state's business and civic community must take responsibility for maintaining that direction of change, Bredesen said, especially in the face of pressure expected to follow the elevation of educational standards.
Read more about the event
Newspaper investigates federal prosecutors
Prosecutorial misconduct on the federal level is a widespread problem, USA Today reports in an investigative article presented today. The newspaper says it found prosecutors who repeatedly have violated their duty to seek justice in courtrooms across the nation. The abuses have put innocent people in prison, set guilty people free and cost taxpayers millions of dollars in legal fees and sanctions, the newspaper says.
Read more from USA Today
Committee approval moves nomination fight to Senate
One of President Barack Obama's most controversial nominees won Senate Judiciary Committee approval today, likely signaling a protracted fight in the full Senate. Republicans have not ruled out a filibuster to stop appointment of law professor Goodwin Liu to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Senate fights are also likely ahead for three federal district court nominees: Louis Butler Jr., a former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice, for the Western District of Wisconsin; Edward Chen, a U.S. magistrate judge, for the Northern District of California; and John McConnell Jr., a Motley Rice partner, for Rhode Island.
Read more in the Blog of Legal Times
AOC adds Rule 13 compliance officer
The Administrative Office of the Courts has named Carla Arevalo as its Supreme Court Rule 13 Compliance Officer. In this newly created position, Arevalo's chief function will be to educate, interpret and enforce Supreme Court Rule 13, which governs the appointment and compensation of attorneys representing indigent defendants.
Read more about Arevalo on the court's website
Supreme Court Report
Decision may bring shift in discrimination cases
A Tennessee Supreme Court decision issued this week will make it easier for Tennessee workers to bring discrimination and retaliation lawsuits against their employers, the Tennessean reports. Read the decision in the Gary M. Gossett v Tractor Supply Company, Inc. case and the dissenting opinion from Justice Connie Clark.
Read more from the Tennessean
Court sets execution for Schmeiderer
The Tennessee Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence of Joel Richard Schmeiderer and set his execution for Sept. 13, 2011.
WREG has more on the case
Election 2010
Judge may allow recount in Anderson County race
Anderson County Chancellor Bill Lantrip this morning said he is leaning toward allowing a recount of paper ballots in the recent juvenile judge's election. In that race, Republican Zach Farrar and Democrat Brandon Fisher each received 6,442 votes.
Read more in the Knoxville New Sentinel
Annual Red Mass scheduled in Memphis
The St. Thomas More Catholic Lawyers Guild of West Tennessee will celebrate its annual Red Mass on Oct. 1 at 12 noon. The mass, which requests spiritual guidance for judges, attorneys, law school professors, students, government officials and all who seek justice, will be held at St. Peter's Catholic Church at 190 Adams. A luncheon will be held in the Parish Hall immediately following the service. Please RSVP for lunch to

Disciplinary Actions
Knoxville lawyer suspended
The Tennessee Supreme Court on Wednesday issued an order summarily and temporarily suspending Bruce E. Poston from the practice of law. The court found that Poston had failed to respond to a complaint of misconduct.
Read the full BPR release
TBA Member Services
Secure, compliant data backup service now available
The TBA's official data protection, backup and recovery vendor of choice, i365, offers secure online backup solutions. i365 minimizes downtime by backing up files quickly and easily, and helps lawyers remain compliant by maintaining file integrity. Get i365 and be confident your data is securely stored and protected. TBA members enjoy a 10 percent savings on all services. For more information on this member benefit Denise Lucas at (407) 523-9774.
Learn why lawyers trust i365 for online data backup solutions
TennBarU CLE
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.
Find out more or register now

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