Larry Dean Wilks Member Services Center to be dedicated

The Tennessee Legal Community Foundation will dedicate the Larry Dean Wilks Member Services Center a week from Friday at the Tennessee Bar Center during the TBA's Annual Leadership Conference. Following the untimely death of the former president of the TBA, colleagues who served with Wilks gave more than $10,000 to refurbish, enhance and dedicate the space. Wilks' theme when he was president was "Serving Every Lawyer, Every Day." The dedication will take place at 5:15 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 13, on the second floor of the Tennessee Bar Center. All are welcome.
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Court: TSC


Court: TCA


Kevin D. Poore, Crossville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jerus H. N.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michelle N. Safer, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


Mother's parental rights to her son were terminated on grounds that she was mentally incompetent to provide for the child and that the conditions which led to the child's removal from Mother's custody persisted. She appeals, contending that the grounds are not supported by the evidence and that termination of her rights was not in the best interest of the child. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TCA


Michael G. Hoskins, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, John D. Tate.

Paul T. Housch, for the appellee, David E. Tate.


This is the second appeal arising from a disputed "temporary" conservatorship. Three issues are presented: whether the evidence clearly and convincingly established that the respondent was a disabled person in need of the protection and supervision of the court; which party is responsible for the costs of the proceedings under Tennessee Code Annotated section 34-1-114(a); and which party is responsible for discretionary costs under Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 54.04(2). The petitioner was appointed "Temporary Conservator" and served in this fiduciary capacity for thirty-one months until June of 2010, at which time the trial court terminated the conservatorship upon the finding that the respondent was no longer a "disabled person" as that term is defined in Tennessee Code Annotated section 34-1-101(7). Over the objection of the ward, the trial court assessed the costs of the conservatorship against the respondent pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 34-1-114(a) because a "fiduciary" was appointed, and discretionary costs pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 54.04(2) upon the finding that the petitioner was the "prevailing party." The respondent contends this was error because the conservator was merely appointed the "temporary conservator" and the petition to create the conservatorship was ultimately dismissed. We find the evidence presented to the trial court on November 14, 2007, clearly and convincingly established that the respondent was a disabled person in need of a conservator of his person and property; we find no error with the trial court's conclusion that the petitioner was entitled to recover the costs of the proceedings pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 34-1-114(a) because a conservator was appointed; and we find the trial court did not abuse its discretion in assessing discretionary costs against the respondent under Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 54.04(2). Thus, we affirm.

CORRECTIONS on page one (1) of opinion, within the case style, spelling of "CASUALTY" has been corrected; the first name of counsel for appellee has been corrected to "Alan" Sowell.

Court: TCA


Robert L. Whitaker, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the appellant, James Watry.

Alan Sowell, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Allstate Property and Casualty Company, an Illinois Corporation.


Insured was injured by an automobile driven by an uninsured motorist. Insured filed a claim with Insurer seeking uninsured motorist coverage benefits and settled for an amount that was less than his actual damages. Insured then sued Insurer seeking damages for fraudulent misrepresentation, breach of contract, and violation of the Tennessee Consumer Act. Insurer filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings which the trial court granted. We affirm the trial court's judgment because Insured failed to allege sufficient facts to support any of his causes of action.


Court: TCCA


Tom Perry Bell, Whiteville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; and William H. Cox, III, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Petitioner, Tom Perry Bell, appeals the Hamilton County Criminal Court's summary dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief from his 1979 convictions for two counts of second degree criminal sexual conduct and petition for post-conviction relief from his 1984 conviction for attempt to commit a felony. The trial court summarily dismissed both petitions as untimely. The Petitioner contends that the trial court erred by dismissing his petitions without an evidentiary hearing and the appointment of counsel. The Petitioner also contends that the original trial court erred by failing to advise him of his constitutional right against self-incrimination. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


J. Liddell Kirk, Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal); and Mack Garner, District Public Defender (at hearing), for the appellant, Sherri A. Elliott.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; Michael L. Flynn, District Attorney General; and Matthew Dunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Sherri A. Elliott, appeals the trial court's revocation of her probation. On appeal, she argues that the trial court abused its discretion in ordering her to serve eight months of split confinement. After review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

With Dissenting Opinion

Court: TCCA


Jeffery S. Schaarschmidt, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Jereme Dannuel Little.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, III, District Attorney General; and Boyd M. Patterson, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

A Hamilton County grand jury charged the defendant, Jereme Dannuel Little, in case number 253372, with two counts of aggravated robbery, see T.C.A. section 39-13-402 (2006), and, in case number 253374, with one count of especially aggravated kidnapping, see id. section 39-13-305. At the close of proof at trial, the trial court granted the defendant's motion for judgments of acquittal on the two aggravated robbery counts. The jury, however, convicted the defendant of especially aggravated kidnapping, and the trial court imposed a sentence of 18 years' incarceration in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the defendant contends that the trial court erred by (1) failing to inform the jury regarding the judgments of acquittal of the aggravated robberies; (2) failing to instruct the jury regarding corroboration of accomplice testimony; (3) instructing the jury regarding criminal responsibility for the conduct of another; (4) prohibiting counsel from "putting into evidence or mentioning" during closing argument that the defendant had been acquitted of the two counts of aggravated robbery; and (5) allowing the district attorney to argue at closing that the defendant had committed the aggravated robbery offenses, as relevant to motive for the especially aggravated kidnapping charge. Additionally, the defendant contends that the cumulative effect of the trial court's errors denied him a fair trial. Discerning no reversible error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

MCMULLEN dissenting


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