Opinion Flash

July 25, 2002
Volume 8 — Number 128

Following this index are summaries of each case, including its name, first paragraph, author's name, and the names of attorneys for the parties of each opinion.

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
10 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
02 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


MICHAEL JOSEPH CASBY v. THERESA JEAN (CASBY) HAZLERIG

Court:TCA

Attorneys: 

Stuart B. Breakstone, Memphis, for Appellant

William C. Cole, Millington, for Appellee                         

Judge: HIGHERS

First Paragraph:

This appeal involves a custody and visitation dispute brought by
divorced parents having joint custody of their two children. 
Following the submission of numerous filings by the parties, the court
held a hearing to determine whether or not to alter the custody
arrangement set out in the court's final decree.  As a result of the
hearing, the court issued an opinion and permanent parenting plan
which altered the previous visitation agreement by naming the father
primary custodial parent and granting the mother limited visitation
rights.  The court further ordered the mother to pay child support in
accordance with the guidelines.  The mother appealed and, for the
following reasons, we affirm the decision of the trial court.

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

DAVID E. CROCKETT v. RUTHERFORD COUNTY, TENNESSEE, et al.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:

Joseph A. Woodruff, Charles H. Williamson, Nashville, Tennessee, for
the appellant, David E. Crockett

Stephen S. Duggins, Chattanooga,  Tennessee, for the appellee, The
Moody Bible Institute of Chicago; John T. Blankenship, Murfreesboro,
Tennessee, for the appellees, Charles and Glenna R. Williams                       

Judge: WHEATCRAFT

First Paragraph:

The Rutherford County Commission rezoned three (3) acres of Defendant
Williams' property from "Residential R-20" to "Communications - 4899".
 The Chancery Court of Rutherford County found that the rezoning had
"elements" of arbitrariness and capriciousness and amounted to spot
zoning; nonetheless, the Court deferred to the Rutherford County
Commission, upheld the zoning change, and dismissed the Plaintiff's
lawsuit.  The issues presented for appeal are whether the Chancellor
erred as a matter of law by granting deference to the Rutherford
County Commission on the zoning issue in spite of the Court's factual
findings in favor of Plaintiff, and whether the Trial Court erred in
finding that the zoning amendment did not violate the Establishment
Clauses of the United States and Tennessee Constitutions.

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

EAGLE VISION, INC. v. ODYSSEY MEDICAL, INC., et al.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:        

Robert E. Craddock, Jr.; John S. Wilson, III, Memphis, For Appellant,
Eagle Vision, Inc.

Randall D. Noel; Daniel W. Van Horn, Memphis, for Appellees, Odyssey
Medical, Inc., and Gary Tatge                  

Judge: CRAWFORD

First Paragraph:

This is an action for misappropriation of trade secrets in which the
manufacturer of a surgical product allegedly misappropriated the
product design and marketed a competing product after the developer
discontinued its relationship with manufacturer.  Trial court granted
summary judgment in favor of manufacturer on all claims.  We reverse
and remand.

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

BHARAT B. GANDHI v. WILLIAM RUCKER

Court:TCA

Attorneys: 

Charles Galbreath, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, William
Rucker.

William Timothy Hill, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Bharat
B. Gandhi.                         

Judge: CAIN

First Paragraph:

This is an appeal by Defendant from denial by the trial court of a
Rule 60.02 motion to set aside a judgment on the basis of mistake,
inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect.  The trial court denied
the motion, and on consideration of the record, we reverse the
judgment and remand the case for a trial on the merits.

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

BARTON HAWKINS v. TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION

Court:TCA

Attorneys:  

Barton Hawkins, Henning, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore,
Solicitor General; Stephanie R. Reevers, Associate Deputy Attorney
General, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Correction.                        

Judge: COTTRELL

First Paragraph:

Petitioner, a state inmate, filed the underlying pro se petition for
writ of certiorari to challenge the result of a prison disciplinary
proceeding against him.  The trial court dismissed the suit sua sponte
for improper venue.  Because the legislature has localized venue for
actions brought by inmates to the county where the prison facility is
located, we affirm the decision of the trial court, but remand for
transfer to the appropriate trial court.

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

RHEA COUNTY, TENNESSEE, et al. v. THE TOWN OF GRAYSVILLE, TENNESSEE 

Court:TCA

Attorneys:

Gary Neil Fritts, Dayton, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Rhea County,
Tennessee

Carol Barron, Dayton, Tennessee, for the Appellee, The Town of
Graysville, Tennessee

Ruth Ann Wilson, Intervening Petitioner, Pro Se

Judge: GODDARD

First Paragraph:

In this appeal we are called upon to determine whether the Trial Court
erred in its finding that the Appellee Town of Graysville's validly
annexed  certain territory within the boundaries of Appellant Rhea
County.  We affirm the judgment of the Trial Court.

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

CHRISTOPHER SANDLIN v. UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER

Court:TCA

Attorneys:

William C. Moody, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, University
Medical Center.

Richard L. Wommack, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee,
Christopher Sandlin.                          

Judge: ASH

First Paragraph:

This appeal arises from a medical malpractice suit in which
Christopher Sandlin alleged the negligent delay in his medical
treatment by Dr. Herbert Smith, Dr. Scott Giles and the University
Medical Center resulted in residual facial deformity which could have
been prevented.  The jury found Dr. Smith was not guilty of negligence
but found Dr. Giles guilty of negligence.  The jury awarded Mr.
Sandlin compensatory damages of $250,000 from UMC for the negligence
of Dr. Giles.  UMC appeals the qualification of the plaintiff's expert
witnesses in accordance with the locality rule of T.C.A. S 29-26-115,
the sufficiency of the evidence and the application of the appropriate
statute of limitations.  For the reasons below, we reverse the lower
court's decision.

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

DONALD A. TANGWALL v. PATRICK STAPLETON, CRAIG M. REED, DARCY REED,
MARK PLOE, LINDA PLOE and MICHAEL JABLONSKI

Court:TCA

Attorneys:   

Donald A. Tangwall, pro se, Maryville, Tennessee, Appellant.

R. Franklin Norton, and R. David Benner, Knoxville, Tennessee, for
Appellee, Patrick Stapleton.

Linda J.  Hamilton Mowles, Knoxville, for Appellees, Craig M. Reed and
Darcy Reed.

Ronald Attannasio, Knoxville, for Appellees, Mark Ploe and Lynn Ploe. 
                     
Judge: FRANKS

First Paragraph:

Plaintiff filed a Petition in bankruptcy and subsequently filed suit
in Circuit Court, claiming damages against defendants.  The Trial
Court dismissed plaintiff's action.  On appeal, we affirm.

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

MARY TREW, d/b/a TREW'S WRECKER SERVICE v. DAVID B. HAGGARD, SHERIFF

Court:TCA

Attorneys:

Gerald Largen, Kingston, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Mary Trew,
d/b/a Trew's Wrecker Service.

Tom McFarland, Kingston, Tennessee, for the Appellees, David B.
Haggard, Sheriff, and Roane County, Tennessee.                         

Judge: SWINEY

First Paragraph:

Trew's Wrecker Service and the Roane County Sheriff's Department
entered into an oral contract  regarding towing and storage services
for vehicles seized by the Sheriff's Department in drug interdiction
and DUI enforcement matters.  The parties dispute many of the terms of
the oral contract, including how much Trew's Wrecker Service was to be
paid for towing and storage and when the Sheriff's Department was
required to hold a sale of the seized vehicles in order to clear the
wrecker service lot.  Mary Trew, d/b/a Trew's Wrecker Service
("Plaintiff"), sued the Roane County Sheriff's Department and Sheriff
David B. Haggard ("Defendants") for "breach of contract, and benefits
conferred."  The Trial Court awarded damages based upon a $45 per
vehicle towing and storage charge for 83 vehicles.  Plaintiff appeals.
 We affirm.

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

VIVIAN E. WARNER, ADMINISTRATRIX C.T.A.  ESTATE OF MAUDE FRAZIER v.
DEWEY FRAZIER , et al.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:

C. Douglas Fields, Crossville, Tennessee, for the Appellants, Arlene
Scudder; Patricia Flynn, Dorothy Owen, Nannie Mae Rice and Sylvia
Cooke

Joe M. Looney, Crossville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Mary Lou
Underwood.  No briefs were filed by the other Appellees

Judge: GODDARD

First Paragraph:

In this appeal Vivian E. Warner, Administratrix, cum testamento
annexo, seeks a declaration by the Court as to the proper construction
of two clauses in Maude Frazier's will.  We affirm.

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

VIVIAN E. WARNER, ADMINISTRATRIX C.T.A.  ESTATE OF MAUDE FRAZIER v.
DEWEY FRAZIER , et al.

Court:TCA

SUSANO DISSENTING

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MICHAEL SCOTT BROGAN

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

Wesley D. Stone (on appeal) and Ben Pressnell (at trial), Tazewell,
Tennessee, and Michael Hatmaker, Jacksboro, Tennessee (at trial), for
the appellant, Michael Scott Brogan.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; David H. Findley,
Assistant Attorney General; William Paul Phillips, District Attorney
General; and Jared Effler, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the appellee, State of Tennessee.                       

Judge: WADE

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Michael Scott Brogan, entered pleas of guilt to second
degree murder and attempted second degree murder.  The trial court
imposed concurrent sentences of 20 years and 8 years, respectively. 
In this appeal of right, the defendant asserts that his sentence for
second degree murder is excessive.  Because the trial court misapplied
several enhancement factors, the sentence for second degree murder is
modified to 18 years.  Otherwise, the judgments are affirmed.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TRICIA ANN LANDRY

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

Steve McEwen, Mountain City, Tennessee (on appeal), and Mack Garner,
District Public Defender (at trial and on appeal), for the appellant,
Tricia Ann Landry.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Christine M. Lapps,
Assistant Attorney General; and Tammy M. Harrington, Assistant
District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.                    

Judge: WADE

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Tricia Ann Landry, was convicted of theft over $500.00
and theft over $1,000.00.  The trial court imposed concurrent Range I
sentences of two years and three years, respectively.  Later, the
defendant was determined to have violated her probation.  The trial
court ordered service of the sentence in the Department of Correction.
 In this appeal of right, the defendant argues that the trial court
should have granted an alternative sentence.  The judgment is
affirmed.

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

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