Opinion Flash

January 29, 2002
Volume 8 — Number 017

What follows is the case style or name, first paragraph, author's name, and the names of attorneys for the parties of each opinion released eletronically today to TBALink.

This Issue (IN THIS ORDER):
 
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court Workers' Compensation Panel
00 New Document(s) or Proposed Rule(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
02 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
05 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Attorney General (PDF format)
00 New Judicial Ethics Opinion(s)
00 New Formal Ethics Opinion(s) from the Board of Professional Responsibility
 

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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink


DEE ANN CURTIS GALLAHER v. CURTIS J. ELAM
WITH DISSENTING OPINION

Court:TCA

Attorneys:

Wayne Decatur Wykoff, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Dee Ann
Curtis Gallaher

L. Caesar Stair, III, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Curtis
J. Elam

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter, and Stuart F.
Wilson-Patton, Senior Counsel, Office of the Attorney General,
Nashville, Tennessee, for the Intervening Petitioner, State of
Tennessee                          

Judge: GODDARD

First Paragraph:

This is an appeal by the State of Tennessee from a determination of
the Juvenile Court of Knox County which held Tenn. Comp. R & Regs.
1240-2-4-.03(4), issued pursuant to T.C.A. 36-5-101, unconstitutional
as violative of Section 1 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of
the United States.  Dee Ann Curtis Gallaher also appeals, contending
that the Trial Court was in error in setting child support. We affirm
the Trial Court in its finding the Regulation in question
unconstitutional and vacate the judgment as to child support.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/gallaherd_opn.wpd

DISSENTING OPINION
http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/gallaherd_dis.wpd

TOM LOCKETT, et al. v. CHARLES BLALOCK & SONS, INC., et al.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:  

Thomas Kenan Smith, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellants, Charles
Blalock & Sons, Inc., and Austin Powder Company

James Charles Wright, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellees, Tom
Lockett and wife, Betty Lockett                         

Judge: GODDARD

First Paragraph:

In this appeal from the Knox County Circuit Court the
Defendants/Appellants, Charles Blalock & Sons, Inc., and Austin Powder
Company, contest the Trial Court's award of prejudgment interest to
the Plaintiffs/Appellees, Tom Lockett and his wife, Betty Lockett. In
addition, both the Plaintiffs and the Defendants appeal the Trial
Court's denial of their requests for discretionary costs. We affirm
the order of the Trial Court as to  both its award of prejudgment
interest to the Plaintiffs and its denial of discretionary costs to
the Defendants. However, we vacate the Trial Court's order as to its
denial of the Plaintiffs' request for discretionary costs and remand
for consideration in accord with this opinion.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/locketttom.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CONNIE LEE ARNOLD

Court:TCCA

Attorneys: 

Connie Lee Arnold, Only, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Kathy D. Aslinger,
Assistant Attorney General; Joe C. Crumley, Jr., District Attorney
General; and Lisa Rice, Assistant District Attorney General, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.                         

Judge: TIPTON

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Connie Lee Arnold, appeals from the Carter County
Criminal Court's denial of his motion for return of property by the
state in its prosecution of him and for return of property and files
in the possession of his former trial attorney.  The trial court
concluded that it had no jurisdiction to rule in the matter.  The
state agrees with the defendant that the trial court has jurisdiction
to act on the motion relative to evidence used in the case and
otherwise seized and possessed by the state, but it asserts that
property and files possessed by the defendant's former attorney should
be addressed by the Board of Professional Responsibility or a civil
court. Although we hold that the trial court had jurisdiction relative
to evidence presented in the case, we affirm the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/arnoldconnielee.wpd

DONALD BLAIR, JR. v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:  

Albert J. Newman, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Donald
Blair, Jr.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Kathy D. Aslinger,
Assistant Attorney General; Randall Eugene Nichols, District Attorney
General; and Robert L. Jolley, Jr., Assistant District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.                        

Judge: WILLIAMS

First Paragraph:

Petitioner failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that he
was denied effective assistance of counsel.  We affirm the trial
court's denial of petitioner's petition for post- conviction relief.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/blairdjr.wpd

ELISA COCHRAN v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys: 

Cynthia M. Fort, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Elisa
Cochran.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer,
Assistant Attorney General; Jerry N. Estes, District Attorney General;
and William A. Reedy, Assistant District Attorney General, for the
Appellee, State of Tennessee.                         

Judge: WEDEMEYER

First Paragraph:

The Petitioner was convicted of felony murder and sentenced to life in
prison.  This Court affirmed the conviction on direct appeal.  The
Petitioner subsequently filed a petition for post-conviction relief,
alleging that her trial attorney was ineffective.  The post-conviction
court denied relief, and this appeal ensued.  Finding no error, we
affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court denying relief.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/cochrane.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. KEENA D. MATHES

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

Steve McEwen, Mountain City, Tennessee (on appeal); David F. Bautista,
District Public Defender; and Deborah Black Huskins, Assistant
District Public Defender, Johnson City, Tennessee (at trial), for the
appellant, Keena D. Mathes.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Christine M. Lapps,
Assistant Attorney General; Joe C. Crumley, Jr., District Attorney
General; and Steven R. Finney, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellee, State of Tennessee.                          

Judge: GLENN

First Paragraph:

The defendant was convicted by a jury of reckless aggravated assault,
a Class D felony, for cutting the victim's face with a razor blade. 
The trial court granted her judicial diversion, sentencing her as a
Range I, standard offender to two years incarceration, but suspending
the sentence and placing her on three years of probation under the
supervision of the Department of Correction, including among the
conditions that she pay restitution for the victim's medical bills and
lost wages.  Following extensive testimony as to the defendant's
limited financial resources, the trial court ordered as a condition of
probation that she legitimate her nine-month-old daughter to ensure
that she could meet her financial obligations, including payment of
restitution to the victim.  In a timely appeal to this court, the
defendant raises the sole issue of whether the trial court erred by
requiring her to legitimate the younger of her two illegitimate
children and seek child support payments for that child.  We conclude
that the legitimation requirement is a valid condition of probation. 
However, since a judgment of conviction, although not to be entered
following judicial diversion, was entered in this matter, we remand
for withdrawal of the judgment, the trial court to then clarify
whether the defendant is to be sentenced with the sentence suspended
or to be granted judicial diversion.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/matheskeenad.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. HAROLD LEONARD WHITE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys: 

Mark E. Stephens, District Public Defender; Paula R. Voss (on appeal),
Assistant Public Defender; and Jim D. Owen (at trial), Assistant
Public Defender, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Harold
Leonard White.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Peter M. Coughlan,
Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney
General; and Marsha Selecman, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the Appellant, State of Tennessee.                         

Judge: WEDEMEYER

First Paragraph:

The Defendant was arrested in September 1996 for aggravated assault,
being a felon in possession of a firearm, and fleeing.  His case was
not set for trial until July 2000.  The Defendant moved for dismissal
of the charges on the ground that he had been denied his
constitutional right to a speedy trial.  The trial court granted the
Defendant's motion, and the State now appeals as of right.  Concluding
that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding that the
Defendant was prejudiced by the delay, we affirm the judgment of the
trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/whitehl.wpd

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