Killian nomination approved by committee

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday approved the nomination of William C. Killian to be U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee. The nomination was forwarded to the full Senate by a voice vote. Killian, a sole practioner from Jasper, would succeed James R. Dedrick, who stepped down as U.S. Attorney this past summer. Main Justice, a blog on politics, policy and the law, reported the news.
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Court: TCA


Eric Beasley, Goodlettsville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Sheila Brown.

David J. White, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company.


The matters at issue pertain to the rights and responsibilities of the parties under the underinsured motorist provisions of Plaintiff's automobile insurance. Plaintiff, who was involved in a vehicular accident with another motorist, commenced this personal injury action to recover an amount "under $25,000." The only named defendant is the tortfeasor, however, State Farm is an unnamed party. This is due to the fact that Plaintiff served timely and proper notice on State Farm of the commencement of this action and that she was asserting an underinsured coverage claim pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. section 56-7-1206. Plaintiff subsequently entered into a settlement agreement with the tortfeasor for the tortfeasor's policy limits of $25,000, at which time she properly served notice on State Farm of the proposed settlement and her willingness to enter into binding arbitration with State Farm to settle her claim for underinsured motorist benefits. Thereafter, State Farm filed a motion to dismiss the underinsured claim against it claiming Plaintiff was made whole when she agreed to a settlement with the tortfeasor in an amount in excess of her ad damnum and therefore there was no claim to arbitrate. The court granted the motion to dismiss and Plaintiff appealed. We have determined the trial court did not err in granting State Farm's motion to dismiss the claim against it because Plaintiff sought to recover a judgment in an amount under $25,000 from the tortfeasor and/or State Farm, and Plaintiff settled her claim against the tortfeasor for an amount in excess of the ad damnum. Accordingly, we affirm the dismissal of State Farm.


Court: TCA


Jere N. McCulloch and T. Price Thompson, III, Lebanon, Tennessee, and James S. Hereford, Jr., Fayetteville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Albert M. Morris, Jr., and Judith L. Morris.

M. Andrew Hoover, Pulaski, Tennessee, for the appellee, City of Pulaski.


In a condemnation proceeding, landowners objected to the admission of expert testimony that was based in part on an appraisal of the land 14 months prior to the condemnation. They also objected to the admission of an affiliate broker's opinion of value. The trial court allowed the testimony, the jury returned a verdict, and a motion for new trial filed by landowners was denied. On appeal, landowners assert that both experts' opinions of value were inadmissible, that the trial court failed to properly review the motion for new trial, and that the jury's verdict was not supported by any material evidence. Finding no error, we affirm.


Court: TCCA


William K. Lane, III, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellants, Katayoun Mohammadi Jaffarian and Nader Karshenas.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; Kim R. Helper, District Attorney General; and Derek Smith, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


After a joint jury trial, the Defendant, Katayoun Mohammadi Jaffarian, was convicted of theft of property valued at $500 or less, and the Defendant, Nader Karshenas, was convicted of theft of merchandise valued at $500 or less (collectively "the Defendants"). The Defendants were each sentenced to eleven months and twenty-nine days in the Williamson County Jail. The trial court denied the Defendants' motion for a new trial. Nonetheless, the Defendants thereafter sought to amend their motion for new trial based upon newly discovered evidence. In this direct appeal, the Defendants argue that the evidence is insufficient as a matter of law to support their convictions and that the trial court erred by denying their amended motion for new trial. Following our review of the record, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Gregory D. Smith, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Wilson Palacio.

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


The Defendant, Wilson Palacio, challenges the sentencing decision of the Bedford County Circuit Court. Following his guilty pleas to one count of aggravated burglary and three counts of aggravated robbery, the trial court imposed an effective twenty-five-year sentence to be served in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant asserts that his sentence is excessive and that the trial court erred in ordering consecutive sentences. After a review of the record, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Thomas T. Overton, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Roger Stephen Riner.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Mark S. Fulks, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, District Attorney General, Kathy Morante and Jan Norman, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Appellant, Roger Stephen Riner, was convicted by a Davidson County Jury of first degree murder, felony murder, and aggravated robbery. The trial court merged the felony murder conviction with the first degree murder conviction. Appellant was sentenced to life for the first degree murder conviction and ten years for the aggravated robbery conviction, to be served consecutively to the life sentence. On appeal, the following issues are presented for our review: (1) whether the trial court erred in denying the motion for judgment of acquittal; (2) whether the trial court erred by allowing certain photographs of the victim's injuries to be admitted as exhibits; (3) whether the trial court erred by allowing the jury to view Appellant's multiple tattoos; and (4) whether the trial court improperly ordered consecutive sentencing. After a thorough review of the record, we determine that the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions and that the trial court properly ordered consecutive sentencing. Further, Appellant waived the remaining issues for failure to include the motion for new trial and/or transcript of the motion for new trial in the record on appeal and failed to establish plain error by the trial court with respect to these issues. Accordingly, the judgments of the trial court are affirmed.


Court: TCCA


Andrew Jackson Dearing, III, Shelbyville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Shawn Simmons.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lindsay Paduch Stempel, Assistant Attorney General; Charles Crawford, District Attorney General, and Ann L. Filer and Hollyn Eubanks, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Appellant, Shawn Simmons, appeals from his conviction for first degree murder in Lincoln County. Appellant argues that: (1) the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction; (2) the trial court erred by instructing the jury on flight; and (3) the trial court improperly ruled that the State could use prior convictions to impeach Appellant's testimony in violation of Tennessee Rule of Evidence 609. After a thorough review of the record, we determine that the evidence was sufficient to support the conviction. Further, we determine that the trial court properly instructed the jury on flight where the evidence supported such an instruction and that the trial court properly ruled that the State could use Appellant's prior convictions for impeachment if he chose to testify. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.


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Access photos here
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Get this and other filings in the case on the AOC website
Madisonville lawyer dies
Kendred Alan White of Madisonville died Sept. 20. A 1964 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law, White practiced law in his hometown from 1964 to 1993. He also served as assistant district attorney general and as county attorney. He was active in the Monroe County Bar Association, serving in all official capacities for the organization over the years. A funeral was held yesterday with internment today in the Sunset Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 6701 Baum Drive, Bldg. B, Suite 240, Knoxville, TN 37919 or Madisonville Public Library, 4023 Hwy. 411 N., Unit C, Madisonville, TN 37354.
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