Ethics program begins roadshow this week

Major revisions to the Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct become effective Jan. 1, 2011, and this year's Ethics Roadshow will provide the most comprehensive programming on the changes. Revisions touch upon confidentiality, conflicts, client consent, advance payments of expenses, non-refundable fees, responsibilities of a prosecutor, receipt of inadvertently disclosed confidential information and advertising. All attendees in the six cities will receive a newly updated copy of the Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct at no charge with their registration. The roadshow kicks off with programs in Memphis and Cookeville on Dec. 9, followed by sessions in Nashville and Johnson City on Dec. 10 and programs in Knoxville on Dec. 15 and Chattanooga on Dec. 17.

Find out more or register now

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Court: TSC


Judge: LEE

River Park Hospital has filed a Tenn. R. App. P. 39 petition for rehearing requesting this Court to reconsider its opinion filed on October 20, 2010. We have carefully reviewed the entire record and appellate briefs, from all of which we conclude that our opinion addressed and considered all issues raised by River Park in its appeal.


Court: TCA


George Arthur Dean, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Melvin Christmas.

Douglas Berry, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, the Town of Smyrna.


Property developer applied to the Town of Smyrna for a rezoning request for a planned development. The request was initially approved by the Planning Commission, but the Town Council later voted to deny the request. The developer appealed by writ of certiorari to the Rutherford County Chancery Court, which affirmed the decision. On appeal, the developer asserts that the Town Council's action was arbitrary and capricious. We affirm.


Court: TCA


Dudley W. Taylor, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tammy L. Haggard.

Santos Aguilar, Sevierville, Tennessee, pro se appellee.

Stephen C. Daves, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, John P. Doyle.


This appeal involves the question of whether the trial court properly dismissed Plaintiff's action when another related lawsuit, filed prior to this Hamblen County Chancery Court action, was pending in Knox County Chancery Court. We hold that the trial court properly dismissed Plaintiff's action under the prior suit pending doctrine. Accordingly, we affirm.


Court: TCA


William G. Hardwick, II, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Raynard Hill, Sr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General, Steven B. McCloud, Senior Counsel, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Southwest Tennessee Community College


This is an employee discharge case. Plaintiff was an at-will employee who alleged that his termination violated the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in his employment contract. The Tennessee Claims Commission dismissed his complaint for failure to state a claim. We affirm.


Court: TCA


William S. Nunnally, Greeneville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Doyle Sweeney and Gloria Sweeney.

Kelley Hinsley, Morristown, Tennessee, for the appellees, Charles Koehler and Valerie Koehler.


This appeal involves a boundary line dispute based on competing surveys. The plaintiffs, Doyle and Gloria Sweeney ("the Sweeneys"), and the defendants, Charles and Valerie Koehler ("the Koehlers"), own adjoining real properties. The Sweeneys brought a declaratory judgment action against the Koehlers, seeking to have the boundary line declared between the parties. The Koehlers counterclaimed. The trial court found that the statutory bar codified in Tenn. Code Ann. section 28-2-110 did not apply to the Koehlers and that the Sweeneys were not entitled to a rebuttable presumption of ownership to the disputed land under section 28-2-109 based upon the payment of property taxes on the tract for over 20 years. The trial court determined the common boundary line as contended by the Koehlers. The Sweeneys appealed. We affirm the decision of the trial court.


Court: TCA


Edgar Davison, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Charles Traux.

Bruce A. McMullen, Stacie S. Winkler and Joann Coston-Holloway, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Memphis Light Gas & Water Division.


Plaintiff filed a cause of action asserting breach of contract and violation of the Tennessee Human Rights Acts. The trial court awarded summary judgment to Defendant Memphis Light Gas & Water Division based on the applicable statute of limitations. We affirm.


Court: TCCA


Greg Hays, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Defendant-Appellant, Dar Es Salaam Cole. Jason Poyner, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Defendant-Appellant, Thomas Lopez.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Chris Scruggs, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant-Appellants, Dar Es Salaam Cole and Thomas Lopez, were convicted by a Shelby County Jury of facilitation of the sale of 300 grams or more of cocaine and unlawful possession of 300 grams or more of cocaine with the intent to sell or deliver. After a sentencing hearing, the trial court merged the above convictions and sentenced Cole and Lopez to nineteen years imprisonment in the Tennessee Department of Correction. In this consolidated appeal, Lopez argues that (1) the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress and (2) the evidence was insufficient to sustain his convictions. In addition to these issues, Cole argues that (3) the traffic stop was racially motivated in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause; (4) the jury was "impermissibly influenced" by (a) the presence of the prosecutor and defense counsel in the jury room during deliberations, and (b) comments by the trial court while instructing the jury; and (5) the trial court failed to discharge the jury when there was no probability for agreement and failed to charge "a deadlock (Kersey) instruction." Upon our review, we discern no reversible error and affirm the judgments of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Bradley Glenn Kirk (at trial), Lexington, Tennessee; Jerry M. (Mike) Mosier (on appeal), Jackson, Tennessee, for the Defendant-Appellant, Edward L. Hood, Jr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; James G. (Jerry) Woodall, District Attorney General; and Angela R. Scott, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant-Appellant, Edward L. Hood, Jr., was convicted by a Henderson County Circuit Court jury of two counts of rape of a child, a Class A felony, and two counts of incest, a Class C felony. He received consecutive sentences of twenty-three years and twenty-five years for the rape of a child convictions, and concurrent five-year sentences for each of the incest convictions, for an effective sentence of forty-eight years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, Hood argues: (1) the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions; (2) his right to a fair trial was violated when trial counsel announced that Hood was pleading guilty at the start of trial; (3) the trial court erred in preventing the victim's sister from testifying for the defense at trial; and (4) the trial court erred by failing to grant a new trial on the basis of newly discovered evidence. Upon review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Deena L. Knopf, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Eric Maxie.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Matthew Bryant Haskell, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Lora Fowler, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The petitioner, Eric Maxie, appeals the judgment of the Shelby County Criminal Court denying his petition for post-conviction relief. A jury convicted the petitioner of aggravated sexual battery, a Class B felony. The trial court sentenced him as a Range I violent offender to serve ten years and six months in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On direct appeal, this court affirmed the petitioner's conviction. The petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief alleging the ineffective assistance of counsel, and the post-conviction court denied his petition. On appeal, the petitioner contends that the post-conviction court erred when it denied his petition for post-conviction relief. After reviewing the record, the parties' briefs, and applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.


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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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