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

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.

01 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
05 - TN Court of Appeals
03 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR

You can obtain full-text versions of the opinions two ways. We recommend that you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. 1) Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This should give you the option to download the original document. If not, you may need to right-click on the URL to get the option to save the file to your computer. 2) Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion.

DEBRA M. BARKES ET AL. v. RIVER PARK HOSPITAL, INC.
OPINION ON THE PETITION FOR REHEARING- Filed November 30, 2010


Court: TSC

Attorneys:







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.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2010/barkesd_120710.pdf


MELVIN CHRISTMAS v. THE TOWN OF SMYRNA

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

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

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

Judge: DINKINS

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.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/christmasm_120710.pdf


TAMMY L. HAGGARD v. SANTOS AGUILAR, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

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.

Judge: MCCLARTY

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.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/haggardt_120710.pdf


RAYNARD HILL, SR. v. SOUTHWEST TENNESSEE COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

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

Judge: HIGHERS

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.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/hillr_120710.pdf


DOYLE SWEENEY, ET AL. v. CHARLES KOEHLER, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

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.

Judge: MCCLARTY

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.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/sweeneyd_120710.pdf


CHARLES TRUAX v. MEMPHIS LIGHT GAS & WATER DIVISION

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

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.

Judge: FARMER

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.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/truaxc_120710.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DAR ES SALAAM COLE AND THOMAS LOPEZ

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

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.

Judge: MCMULLEN

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.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/coled_120710.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. EDWARD L. HOOD, JR.

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

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.

Judge: MCMULLEN

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.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/hoode_120710.pdf


ERIC MAXIE v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

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.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/maxiee_120710.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Politics
Passages
Upcoming
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Vote exempts lawyers from 'Red Flags Rule'
A House of Representatives vote today means that lawyers will be exempted from the so-called Red Flags Rule. The U.S. Senate had voted last month to protect attorneys and other professionals from having to comply with record-keeping and safeguarding requirements that are a part of new consumer-protection legislation.
Read more from the ABA Journal
9th Circuit panel asks if issue is just for California or federal
The panel of judges on the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals considered the constitutionality of Prop 8 on Monday, with the court focusing on the question of whether voters took away a right that previously existed in California -- or if that is the issue at all. "Must the court," Judge Stephen Reinhardt asked, "find a federal right to gay marriage, or could it simply find Prop 8 was unconstitutional because it took an existing right away from Californians?"
Law.com has this story from The Recorder
Personality test shows lawyers react to stress differently
When big-firm lawyers are under stress, they tend to shy away from others, while managers and highly educated professionals in other fields are more likely to become confrontational, according to the results of personality tests of more than 1,800 lawyers from four large law firms. Lawyers under stress also generally become tense and overly critical, reluctant to take risks and make decisions, and become emotionally distant,
Read more about the findings from ABAJournal.com
School choirs entertain at courthouse this week
Members of the Soddy Elementary School chorus opened the 26th annual Christmas at the Courthouse celebration Monday at the City-County Courts Building in Chattanooga. Performances, which each day honor various court personnel, are scheduled at noon each day this week, ending Friday.
Listen to the 'Soddy Singers' courtesy the Times Free Press
Politics
Farm Bureau chief named ag commissioner
Republican Governor-elect Bill Haslam on Monday named Julius Johnson as his agriculture commissioner. Johnson, 62, of Forbus in Fentress County, currently serves as chief administration officer of the Tennessee Farm Bureau.
The Tennessean has the story
Passages
Long-time U of M law professor Murrell dies
Dan Stewart Murrell, who taught at the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis for more than 30 years, died Dec. 5. He was 77. After receiving his law degree in 1968 from Ole Miss he joined the General Crimes Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and entered George Washington University School of Law where he earned a master of law degree. He joined the Memphis law school faculty in 1970 and taught there until 2001. He also served two years as university legal counsel. A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Dec. 11, at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Memphis, and the family will receive visitors afterward at the church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to St. Luke's United Methodist Church, the Trezevant Manor Foundation, the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis, or a charity of the donor's choosing.
Read more from the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law
Upcoming
'Commodore Classic' needs volunteer judges for mock trial competition
The third annual Commodore Classic is set for Jan. 22-23, and volunteer judges are needed. The Vanderbilt Mock Trial Organization will host more than 20 of the top undergraduate mock trial teams in the country. Volunteer judges will evaluate student competitors on their knowledge of the law and courtroom procedure. Each trial is approximately a 3-hour commitment, but you can sign up for as many trials as you would like. Previous mock trial judging experience is not required.
Learn more about it from Vanderbilt
TBA Member Services
Think FedEx first
If you've been shipping with other carriers, it's time to switch to FedEx. Not only will you get peace of mind from reliable FedEx shipping, but you can also take advantage of great savings on FedEx shipping as well as FedEx Office services by enrolling in the FedEx member benefits program.
Take advantage of your member discounts on select FedEx shipping services and FedEx Office business services

 
 
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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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