Opinion Flash

September 18, 2003
Volume 9 — Number 170

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):
01 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
04 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

TBA members can get the full-text versions of these opinions three ways detailed below. All methods require a TBA username and password. If you have forgotten your password, you can look it up on-line at http://www.tba.org/getpassword.mgi . If you are a TBA member, but do not have a username and password, you can receive one online at http://www.tba.org/signup.mgi. Here's how you can obtain full-text version.
Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This option will allow you to download the original document.

Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion.

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


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. PRESTON CARTER
WITH DISSENTING OPINION

Court:TSC

Attorneys:                          

James A. Simmons and Thomas F. Bloom, Nashville, Tennessee, for the
appellant, Preston Carter.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore,
Solicitor General; and Elizabeth T. Ryan, Assistant Attorney General,
for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: HOLDER

First Paragraph:

The appeal in this capital case arises from the resentencing of
Preston Carter, who originally pleaded guilty and was sentenced to
death in 1995 for the felony murders of Thomas and Tensia Jackson.  On
appeal, this Court reversed the death sentences because the jury had
used an outdated verdict form containing the incorrect burden of
proof.  See State v. Carter, 988 S.W.2d 145 (Tenn. 1999).  Following a
resentencing hearing, the jury again imposed a sentence of death on
both counts, and the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed.  On automatic
appeal under Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-13-206(a)(1), we
designated the following issues for oral argument:   (1) whether the
trial court abused its discretion in admitting photographs of the
victims' bodies; (2) whether the trial court committed reversible
error in excluding certain mitigating evidence; (3) whether the
admission of victim impact evidence violated the constitutional
provisions against ex post facto laws; and (4) all other issues
mandated by Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-13-206(c)(1).  Having
carefully reviewed these issues, we hold that none warrants reversal
of the sentences of death.  Accordingly, we affirm the Court of
Criminal Appeals.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/carterpreston_opn.wpd

DISSENTING OPINION
http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/carterpreston_dis.wpd

CROWDER CONSTRUCTION GROUP, LLC v. DWIGHT HOLLAND, ET AL.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Alan Mark Turk, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the appellants, Dwight
Holland and Betty Klein Holland.

Gary S. Rubenstein, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Crowder
Construction Group, LLC.

Judge: FARMER

First Paragraph:

The trial court determined that a construction contract between the
parties had been modified orally and awarded judgment to plaintiff
contractor.  We affirm in part and remand.

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

SHERYLE A. HYDAS v. HERMAN LEE HYDAS

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Grace E. Daniell, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for Appellant.

Don W. Poole, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for Appellee.

Judge: FRANKS

First Paragraph:

In this divorce action the Trial Court valued marital and non-marital
property and divided marital property.  Husband appealed the Trial
Court's decision on these issues.  We affirm.

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

STEVE W. ROGERS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE 

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Phillip L. Davidson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Steve W.
Rogers.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Michael E. Moore,
Solicitor General, and Dawn Jordan, Assistant Attorney General, for
the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: CAIN

First Paragraph:

Plaintiff appeals dismissal by the Tennessee Claims Commission of his
claim against the State of Tennessee resulting from an alleged assault
and battery by a Tennessee State Trooper in the State Capital
Building.  The Claims Commission dismissed the claim for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction, and we affirm the action of the Claims
Commission.

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

FRED D. SLAUGHTER, and wife, JUDY SLAUGHTER v. LAURA LEIGH SLAUGHTER
and DANIEL BRUCE CROWE

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Keith D. Stewart, Knoxville, Tennessee, for Appellant, Daniel Bruce
Crowe.

Don Arnold, Johnson City, Tennessee, for Appellees, Fred Slaughter and
wife, Judy Slaughter.

Todd Covert, Knoxville, Tennessee, for Appellee, Laura Leigh
Slaughter.

Judge: FRANKS

First Paragraph:

The Trial Court gave Judgments for plaintiffs against defendants and
cross-defendant Slaughter was given Judgments for compensatory and
punitive damages against co-defendant Crowe and her deed to Crowe was
voided.  On appeal, we affirm all Judgments except for the Judgment
for punitive damages which is remanded for trial on damages.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ELMORE LEWIS BAKER, JR. ALIAS LEW BAKER

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Steve McEwen, Mountain City, Tennessee (on appeal), and Raymond Mack
Garner, District Public Defender (at trial), for the appellant, Elmore
Lewis Baker, Jr., alias Lew Baker.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry,
Assistant Attorney General; Michael L. Flynn, District Attorney
General; and Mike Gallegos, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Elmore Lewis Baker, Jr., pled guilty in the Blount
County Circuit Court to eight offenses:  counts one through four,
delivery of a Schedule VI controlled substance, a Class E felony;  
count five, possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor;
count six, possession of a Schedule VI controlled substance with
intent to sell or deliver, a Class E felony; and counts seven and
eight, delivery of drug paraphernalia, a Class E felony.  The
defendant was sentenced as a Range I, standard offender to one year on
counts one through three, two years on count four, eleven months and
twenty-nine days on count five, two years on count six, one year on
count seven, and two years on count eight. The plea agreement
stipulated the sentences were to run concurrently, and the trial court
determined that the sentences should be served as ninety days in jail
and the remainder on probation.  The defendant appeals, claiming that
his sentences are excessive and that he should have received full
probation.  We affirm the judgments of the trial court.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WILLIAM A. PAYNE, JR.
WITH DISSENTING OPINION

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Nancy C. Meyer, Assistant Public Defender, Clinton, Tennessee, for the
appellant, William Payne, Jr.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Kathy D. Aslinger,
Assistant Attorney General; James N. Ramsey, District Attorney
General; and Janice G. Hicks, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

First Paragraph:

The Defendant entered a plea of guilty to the charges of second degree
murder and aggravated arson, reserving a certified question of law
pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 37(b)(2)(i).  The
trial court sentenced him to fifteen years of incarceration on both
counts and ordered that the sentences run concurrently.  In this
appeal, the Defendant presents the following reserved question of law:
"Was [the] Defendant in custody when he gave an incriminating
statement such that said statement should be suppressed for violation
of [the] Defendant's constitutional rights under [the] Fifth and
Fourteenth Amendments?"  We hold that the Defendant was in custody at
the time he made the statements and, thus, that he was entitled to
Miranda warnings.  As such, the incriminating statements that he made
prior to receiving Miranda warnings must be suppressed.  Accordingly,
we reverse the Defendant's conviction.

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

DISSENTING OPINION
http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/paynewajr_dis.wpd

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