Opinion Flash

December 10, 2003
Volume 9 — Number 225

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
01 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court Workers' Compensation Panel
00 New Document(s) or Proposed Rule(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
01 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


CLAUDE E. HELTON, JR. v. TOWN OF ROGERSVILLE

Court:TSC - Workers Comp Panel

Attorneys:                          

K. Erickson Herrin, of Johnson City, Tennessee, for Appellant, Town of
Rogersville.

James M. Davis, of Morristown, Tennessee, for Appellee, Claude E.
Helton, Jr.

Judge: THAYER

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.   The trial
court awarded the employee 40 percent permanent partial disability to
the left leg.  The employer has appealed contending the evidence
preponderates against the court's finding the City had actual notice
of the injury and that the award is excessive.  The judgment is
affirmed.

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

JUDY CAROLYN LAWSON, NEXT OF KIN AND ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF
MILDRED T. LAWSON, DECEASED v. CYNTHIA GALE RINES, ET AL.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Christopher D. Heagerty, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant,
Service Radio Cab Co., Inc.

Herbert S. Moncier, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Judy
Carolyn Lawson.

Judge: SWINEY

First Paragraph:

This is a wrongful death action.  The Trial Court excluded proof of
the deceased's Social Security benefits at trial.  Judy Carolyn Lawson
("Plaintiff") made an offer of proof showing only the amount of
monthly Social Security benefits received.  The jury returned a
verdict in Plaintiff's favor, and the Trial Court granted Plaintiff's
motion for prejudgment interest.  Service Radio Cab Co., Inc.
("Defendant") appeals the award of prejudgment interest.  Plaintiff
appeals regarding the exclusion of proof of Social Security benefits. 
We affirm, in part, and reverse, in part.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. KENNETH E. COFFEY

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Steve McEwen, Mountain City, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kenneth E.
Coffey.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael Moore,
Solicitor General; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; H.
Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; and William Harper,
Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of
Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

First Paragraph:

The Johnson County Grand Jury indicted the Defendant, Kenneth E.
Coffey, for possession with intent to sell and deliver 241.1 grams of
marijuana, in violation of Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-17-417
(Supp. 2000).  Following the trial court's denial of the Defendant's
motion to suppress evidence, the Defendant pled guilty to Possession
of Marijuana for Purpose of Sale.  The trial court sentenced the
Defendant to one year in prison and imposed a $2,000.00 fine.  The
Defendant reserved the right to appeal a certified question of law
regarding the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress.  Finding
no error, we affirm the trial court's judgment.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CLIFFORD LEON FARRA

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

John D. Parker, Jr., Kingsport, Tennessee (at trial), and Timothy R. Wilkerson, Kingsport, Tennessee (on appeal), for the Appellant, Clifford Leon Farra. 

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Angele M. Gregory, Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; and Joseph Eugene Perrin, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Clifford L. Farra, appeals from his Sullivan County
Circuit Court convictions of possession of more than 300 grams of
cocaine for resale, a Class A felony; sale of more than 300 grams of
cocaine, a Class A felony,  merged with the possession conviction;
conspiracy to sell or deliver 300 grams or more of cocaine, a Class A
felony; possession of more than ten pounds of marijuana for resale, a
Class D felony; sale of more than ten pounds of marijuana, a Class D
felony, merged with the possession conviction; and conspiracy to sell
ten pounds or more of marijuana, a Class E felony.  See Tenn. Code
Ann. SS 39-17-417 (Supp. 2002) (possession and sales of marijuana and
cocaine); 39-12-103 (1997) (conspiracy). After being convicted by a
jury, the defendant was sentenced by the trial court as a Range I
standard offender to 22 years for possession of more than 300 grams of
cocaine, 22 years for conspiracy to possess more than 300 grams of
cocaine, three years for possession of more than ten pounds of
marijuana, and eighteen months for conspiracy to possess more than ten
pounds of marijuana.  The two 22-year incarcerative sentences run
consecutively, and the other sentences run concurrently for an
effective sentence of 44 years.  In this appeal, the defendant makes
the following allegations:

I.      The evidence was insufficient to support the convictions.
II.     The trial court erred in failing to properly instruct the
jury.
III.    The trial court erred in entering convictions on both
conspiracies.
IV. The trial court erred in various evidentiary rulings.
V.  The trial court erred in proceeding with a juror who testified
that the defendant had taken the juror's photo during a trial recess.
VI. The state's proof fatally varied from the allegations of the
indictment.
VII.    The trial court erred in sentencing.
    
We reverse and vacate the conviction for conspiracy to sell marijuana
but otherwise affirm the lower court's judgment.

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

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