Opinion FlashJanuary 9, 2003
Volume 9 Number 006
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):
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Howard H. Vogel
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOHN HILL FERGUSON Court:TCA Attorneys: Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Christine M. Lapps, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee. J. Daniel Freemon, Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, for the appellee, John Hill Ferguson. Judge: CANTRELL First Paragraph: The trial court restored the citizenship rights of a convicted felon, including the right to obtain a handgun permit. The district attorney filed a motion for the court to reconsider its decision in regard to gun rights, in light of statutes that disqualify individuals convicted of drug offenses from obtaining or carrying handguns. The trial court denied the motion. We reverse. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/fergusonjh.wpd
CARLTON FLATT v. TENNESSEE SECONDARY SCHOOLS ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION, et al. Court:TCA Attorneys: G. Thomas Nebel, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Carlton Flatt. Richard L. Colbert, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association and Ronnie Carter. Mac E. Robinson, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Scott Brunette. Judge: CANTRELL First Paragraph: A high-profile high school football coach and athletic director filed a defamation and false light invasion of privacy claim against the athletic association his school belonged to and other defendants. The Circuit Court of Davidson County granted summary judgment to the defendants because it found no evidence from which a jury could infer malice. We affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/flattc.wpd
SARAH MASSIE JOHNSON (NEELEY) v. KEITH ROBERT JOHNSON Court:TCA Attorneys: Jon S. Jablonski, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Sarah Massie Johnson Neeley. Joe Binkley, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Keith Robert Johnson. Judge: CANTRELL First Paragraph: The trial court granted the father's petition to suspend the mother's impending visitation with the parties'13-year-old daughter. The mother then moved the trial judge to recuse herself from any further involvement in proceedings relating to custody of the child or to visitation. She claimed that an ex parte communication between the father's attorney and the judge prior to the hearing on the father's petition created the appearance of partiality or bias. The judge denied the mother's motion to recuse. We affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/neeleysmj.wpd
WALTER E. PRESTON v. W.G. LUTCHE, et al. Court:TCA Attorneys: Walter E. Preston, Henning, Tennessee, Pro Se. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Michael Moore, Solicitor General and Pamela S. Lorch, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellees, W.G. Lutche. Judge: CAIN First Paragraph: Appellant filed, pro se, a Petition for Writ of Certiorari. He was convicted of a Class X felony in 1982 and now seeks to rescind his April 9, 1986 waiver executed pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 41-21-236. The trial court dismissed the Petition for failure of Appellant to respond to an Order requiring him to submit a copy of his inmate trust account showing all activity in the account for the six months immediately prior to the filing of the action. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing the Petition on such basis. We hold, on the merits, that Appellant is not entitled to the relief sought. We affirm the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/prestonwe.wpd
LAURA C. TOTTY, et al. v. JOHN THOMPSON, M.D., et al. Court:TCA Attorneys: E.Covington Johnston,Jr., Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellants, Laura C. and Alvin Mitchel Totty. Michael A. Geracioti and Dale A. Tipps, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, John Thompson, M.D. and Nolensville Family Care Center. Michael A. Geracioti and Dale A. Tipps, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, John Thompson, M.D., and Nolensville Family Care Center. Judge: CAIN First Paragraph: In this medical malpractice case, Plaintiff appeals summary judgment based upon the failure of Plaintiff's medical expert to establish the requisite familiarity with the standard of care in the community in which Defendant practices or in a similar community. We affirm the action of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/tottylc.wpd
STEVEN L. HASSELL v. STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TCCA Attorneys: John S. Colley, III, Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellant, Steven L. Hassell. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Ronald L. Davis, District Attorney General; and Michael Joseph (Jay) Fahey, II, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: RILEY First Paragraph: The petitioner was originally convicted of first degree murder and attempted second degree murder and sentenced to an effective life term. He now appeals the denial of post-conviction relief, arguing trial counsel denied him the right to testify and ineffectively failed to present closing argument. We affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/hassellsteven.wpd
DONALD RAY MIDDLEBROOKS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TCCA Attorneys: Hershell D. Koger, Pulaski, Tennessee (at hearing and on appeal), and John E. Herbison, Nashville, Tennessee (at hearing), for the appellant, Donald Ray Middlebrooks. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Jennifer L. Smith, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and John C. Zimmerman and Roger D. Moore, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: RILEY First Paragraph: The petitioner has been sentenced to death and now appeals as of right the judgment of the Davidson County Criminal Court denying his petition for post-conviction relief. The petitioner argues: (1) the post-conviction court erred in denying his ex parte request for funds for expert services; (2) the post- conviction court erred in denying his request for a continuance; and (3) he did not receive effective assistance of counsel during his resentencing hearing. We affirm the judgment of the post- conviction court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/middlebrooksdonald.wpd
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