Opinion FlashJuly 28, 2003
Volume 9 Number 134
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
SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS Court:TSC - Rules http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_Rules/certlist_0728.wpd
IN RE: ESTATE OF DONALD LEE (D.J.) KEITH, JR. Court:TCA Attorneys: Howard L. Upchurch, Pikeville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Freddie A. Johnson and wife, Marie Johnson. Landon Colvard, Jr., Crossville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Alexis Keith. Lynne Swafford, Pikeville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Kassce Mae-Kyle Keith. Judge: SUSANO First Paragraph: This is a will contest. Freddie A. Johnson and wife, Marie Johnson ("the grandparents"), filed a petition to probate the holographic will of their grandson, Donald Lee (D.J.) Keith, Jr. ("the decedent"). The decedent's widow, Alexis Keith ("the wife"), and his minor daughter, Kassce Mae- Kyle Keith ("the minor child"), contested the alleged will, arguing that it did not constitute a valid holographic will. The trial court granted the motion for summary judgment filed by the wife and the minor child, holding that the document under contest was not a last will and testament. The grandparents appeal, contending that summary judgment is not appropriate. We vacate the trial court's judgment and remand for further proceedings. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/keithdl.wpd
EDWARD RISHER v. CHEROKEE BUICK-PONTIAC-OLDSMOBILE- GMC TRUCK, LLC, ET AL. Court:TCA Attorneys: Jill R. Rayburn, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the Appellants, Cherokee Buick-Pontiac-Oldsmobile- GMC Truck, LLC and Cherokee New Car Alternative, LLC. Rick J. Bearfield and Jason W. Blackburn, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Edward Risher. Judge: SWINEY First Paragraph: Edward Risher ("Plaintiff") accepted employment with Cherokee Buick-Pontiac-Oldsmobile-GMC Truck, LLC, and Cherokee New Car Alternative, LLC ("Defendants"). There was no written contract between Plaintiff and Defendants. Plaintiff claims he was offered a salary of $75,000 annually plus commissions, and that he accepted this offer. Defendants never paid Plaintiff this amount. Plaintiff was fired after several months of work. Plaintiff sued for breach of contract, detrimental reliance, and violation of Tenn. Code Ann. S 50-1-102. The jury returned a verdict in Plaintiff's favor, and judgment was entered on this verdict. Defendants appeal. We affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/rishere.wpd
ALPHA M. SHERIFF v. PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE TENNESSEE, INC. Court:TCA Attorneys: Elizabeth H. Foss and James Campbell Bradshaw, Nashville, Tennessee for the Appellant, Perferred Alternative Tennessee, Inc. Lucien Dale, Nashville, Tennessee for Appellee, Alpha M. Sheriff Judge: LEE First Paragraph: This matter originated in the General Sessions Court of Davidson County. A judgment against the Appellant in the amount of fifteen hundred dollars ($1500.00) was awarded to the Appellee. An appeal was made to the Circuit Court of Davidson County and the matter tried de novo. The Circuit Court of Davidson County apparently applied theories founded in the law of negligence and also entered judgment against the Appellant in the amount of fifteen hundred ($1500.00) dollars . We find the learned trial judge erred in applying negligence theory to the facts of this case but nevertheless affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/sherrif2.wpd
CAROLYN MARIE LEASURE WHITE, ET AL. v. TIMOTHY WADE MOODY Court:TCA Attorneys: Wende J. Rutherford, Nashville Tennessee, and Charlotte A. Fleming, Springfield Tennessee for Appellant, Timothy Wade Moody Clark Lee Shaw and Frank Mondelli, Nashville, Tennessee for Appellees, Carolyn Marie Leasure White and Robert Wayne White Judge: LEE First Paragraph: After the first appeal and remand in this case, the trial judge rendered another judgment based on her review of the record without hearing additional proof. While we do not find error, we find our mandate was not clear as to what proceedings we envisioned on remand. Accordingly, we clarify our mandate and remand the matter to the trial court to conduct a full hearing on the best interests of the child which would include the taking of additional proof relevant to this issue. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/white.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MELVIN COFER Court:TCCA Attorneys: Harriet S. Thompson, Bolivar, Tennessee, for the appellant, Melvin Cofer. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; and James Walter Freeland and Ryan Brown, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee. Judge: WADE First Paragraph: The defendant, Melvin Cofer, was convicted of aggravated vehicular homicide, see Tenn. Code Ann. SS 39-13-213, -218, and vehicular assault, see Tenn. Code Ann. S 39-13-106. The trial court imposed Range I, concurrent sentences of twenty-one years and three years, respectively. In this appeal, the defendant asserts (1) that the trial court erred by refusing to suppress the results of the blood alcohol test; (2) that the trial court erred by limiting defense counsel's questioning of potential jurors; (3) that the evidence is insufficient to support the aggravated vehicular homicide conviction; (4) that the trial court erred by refusing to qualify a defense witness as an expert; (5) that the state failed to establish a proper chain of custody prior to the admission of the results of the blood alcohol test; and (6) that the trial court erred by denying his request for special jury instructions. The judgments of the trial court are affirmed. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/cofer.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ANTONIO HUNTSMAN Court:TCCA Attorneys: Leslie I. Ballin, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Antonio Huntsman. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Braden H. Boucek, Assistant Attorney General; and Lee Coffee and Jerry Harris, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WADE First Paragraph: The defendant, Antonio Huntsman, was convicted of reckless homicide and the trial court ordered a sentence of three years and six months. In this appeal of right, the defendant asserts (1) that the trial court erroneously limited cross-examination of an eyewitness; (2) that the trial court allowed the admission of irrelevant evidence; (3) that the sentence was excessive; and (4) that he was erroneously denied some form of alternative sentencing. The judgment is affirmed. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/huntsm.wpd
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