Opinion Flash

June 27, 2003
Volume 9 — Number 114

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
02 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
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


RALPH LAVERNE GHOLSTON v. BROWN CHAIN LINK FENCE CONSTRUCTION CO.,
INC., et al.

Court:TSC - Workers Comp Panel

Attorneys:         

Randolph A. Veazey, Glasgow & Veazey, Nashville, Tennessee, for the
appellants, Brown Chain Link Fence Construction Co., Inc. and
Westfield Companies

Edwin Z. Kelly, Jr., Kelly & Kelly, Jasper, Tennessee, for the
appellee, Ralph Laverne Gholston

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter, and E. Blaine Sprouse,
Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee,
Second Injury Fund                 

Judge: LOSER

First Paragraph:

This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special
Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance
with Tenn. Code Ann. S 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the
Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law.  In this
appeal, the employer insists (1) the evidence preponderates against
the trial court's finding of permanent and total disability and (2)
the trial court erred by ordering the non-commuted benefits to be paid
over a shortened period of time.  As discussed below, the panel finds
no reversible error in the record, but modifies the judgment with
respect to the second issue, there being no objection to it.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/gholstonralph.wpd

JAMES DONALD LATTIMORE v. CNA INSURANCE COMPANY, et al.

Court:TSC - Workers Comp Panel

Attorneys: 

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter, and E. Blaine Sprouse,
Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant,
Second Injury Fund

William Joseph Butler and E. Guy Holliman, Farrar, Holliman & Butler,
Lafayette, Tennessee, for the appellee, James Donald Lattimore

Daniel H. Rader, III and Lane Moore, Moore, Rader, Clift &
Fitzpatrick, Cookeville, Tennessee, for the appellees, CNA Insurance
Company and TRW Steering Systems, Inc.                         

Judge: LOSER

First Paragraph:

This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special
Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance
with Tenn. Code Ann. S 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the
Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law.  In this
appeal, the Second Injury Fund insists the trial court erred in
awarding disability benefits in excess of the limitation provided by
law where the injured worker was more than sixty years old at the time
of the injury.  As discussed below, the panel has concluded the Second
Injury Fund is not entitled to credit for overpayment made by the
employer.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/lattimorejames.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE ex rel. STACY RAE ANDERSON v. STEPHEN LYLE TAYLOR

Court:TCA

Attorneys: 

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter and Stuart F.
Wilson-Patton, Senior Counsel, for the appellant, State of Tennessee
ex rel. Stacy Rae Anderson.

Stephen Lyle Taylor, appellee, Pro Se.                           

Judge: KIRBY

First Paragraph:

This case involves retroactive child support payments.  The child was
born in 1990.  A petition to establish paternity was filed in 1998. 
The father's paternity was established and the juvenile court referee
entered a parentage order and set child support.  The mother amended
her petition to seek child support retroactive to the date of birth. 
The juvenile court referee awarded retroactive child support, but
awarded only a portion of it to the mother, with the remainder to be
placed in an educational trust fund for the benefit of the child.  The
juvenile court affirmed the decision of the juvenile court referee. 
The mother appeals.  We affirm in part and reverse in part, finding no
basis for the order that a portion of the retroactive support be paid
into a trust fund.

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

LOUIS FEDERICO v. ALADDIN INDUSTRIES, LLC

Court:TCA

Attorneys:

H. Rowan Leathers, III, Douglas B. Janney, III, Nashville, Tennessee,
for the Appellant Louis J. Federico.

William N. Ozier, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellee Aladdin
Industries, LLC.                          

Judge: SWINEY

First Paragraph:

Louis Federico ("Plaintiff") began working for Aladdin Industries, LLC
("Aladdin") after they agreed in writing to his terms of employment. 
Among other things, they agreed Plaintiff would receive an annual
salary of $180,000, plus a guaranteed bonus in the first year of
$72,000.  They also agreed to a separation package which provided that
should Plaintiff lose his job other than through his own volition, he
would receive "12 months' salary, prorated bonus and outplacement
services."  Plaintiff's position was eliminated before his first year
of employment was completed.  Plaintiff filed this lawsuit claiming
the language in the separation package entitled him to a "separation
bonus" of $72,000 in addition to the guaranteed first year bonus in
the same amount.  Aladdin disagreed, arguing Plaintiff was not
entitled to any additional bonus over and above the guaranteed first
year bonus because he never began working a second year.  The Trial
Court agreed with Aladdin and dismissed Plaintiff's complaint. 
Plaintiff appeals, and we affirm.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. GROVER DONNELL COWART

Court:TCCA

Attorneys: 

Doug Trant, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Grover Donnell
Cowart.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry,
Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney
General; and Marsha Mitchell, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the appellee, State of Tennessee.                         

Judge: WELLES

First Paragraph:

This is an appeal from the trial court's denial of post-conviction
relief.  The Defendant, Grover Donnell Cowart, was originally
convicted by a jury of attempted first degree premeditated murder and
especially aggravated robbery; the jury acquitted the Defendant of
additional charges of aggravated rape.  On direct appeal, this Court
reversed and remanded for retrial the Defendant's conviction of
attempted first degree murder.  See State v. Grover Donnell Cowart,
No. 03C01-9512- CR-00402, 1999 WL 5174, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App.,
Knoxville, Jan. 8, 1999).  The Defendant subsequently filed for
post-conviction relief with respect to the judgment of especially
aggravated robbery, alleging that the State failed to disclose
exculpatory evidence in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83,
83 S.Ct.  1194, 10 L.Ed.2d 215 (1963).  After an evidentiary hearing,
the trial court denied relief.  We affirm the judgment of the trial
court.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. LESLIE DARRELL DEBORD

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

M. Keith Davis, Dunlap, Tennessee, for the appellant, Leslie Darrell
Debord.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Angele M. Gregory,
Assistant Attorney General; William E. Gibson, District Attorney
General; and Anthony J. Craighead, Assistant District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.                          

Judge: OGLE

First Paragraph:

The appellant, Leslie Darrell Debord, pled guilty in the Cumberland
County Criminal Court to two counts theft of property over one
thousand dollars ($1000), Class D felonies, and three counts of theft
of property over ten thousand dollars ($10,000), Class C felonies. 
The trial court sentenced the appellant to an effective sentence of
eight years incarceration in the Tennessee Department of Correction. 
The trial court suspended the appellant's sentence, ordering the
appellant to serve 104 days in the Cumberland County Jail on
consecutive weekends and the remainder in a community corrections
program.  Pursuant to the plea agreement, the appellant reserved the
right to appeal certified questions of law challenging the trial
court's denial of his motion to suppress.  Upon review of the record
and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

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

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