Opinion FlashDecember 31, 2003
Volume 9 Number 237
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
CHARLES F. GALBREATH v. BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY OF THE SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE Court:TSC Attorneys: Charles Galbreath, Nashville, Tennessee, Pro Se. James A. Vick, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Board of Professional Responsibility. Judge: BIRCH First Paragraph: We have this case on direct appeal, pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9, section 1.3, from the judgment of the circuit court approving the order of a hearing committee of the Board of Professional Responsibility that suspended Charles F. Galbreath, the appellant, from the practice of law for a thirty-day period. The circuit court essentially adopted the findings of fact and conclusions of law entered by the hearing committee. Galbreath does not contest those factual findings but argues that the sanction imposed is excessive. Upon review of the record and applicable authority, we conclude that the thirty-day suspension is appropriate. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the circuit court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/galbreathcharlesf.wpd
RONALD E. BROWN v. BALATON POWER, INC. Court:TCA Attorneys: A. Russell Willis, William B. Hawkins, Nashville, Tennessee; John W. Elwick, Vancouver, British Columbia, for the appellant, Balaton Power, Inc. William L. Harbison, L. Webb Campbell, Ryan A. Rafoth, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Ronald E. Brown. Judge: CAIN First Paragraph: This case involves the issue of whether parties contracted for arbitration to be the sole method of dispute resolution with regard to contract disputes. We find the intent of the parties unclear due to an irreconcilable conflict between two sections of the contract dealing with dispute resolution. We, thus, affirm the trial court's ruling that Plaintiff cannot be compelled to arbitrate. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/brownronald.wpd
ALMA D. (MURRAY) NEISWINTER v. MARK K. MURRAY Court:TCA Attorneys: Ernest W. Williams and Anna E. Freeman, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Alma D. (Murray) Neiswinter. P. Edward Schell, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellee, Mark K. Murray. Judge: KIRBY First Paragraph: This appeal involves modification of child custody and child support, and contempt for failure to pay the support. When the mother and the father were divorced, the mother was designated as the primary residential parent. Three years later, custody was changed to the father. Subsequently, the mother filed a petition for change of custody and for modification of her child support obligation. The State later filed a petition on behalf of the father to hold the mother in criminal contempt for failure to pay child support. After a trial on both the mother's petition for change in custody and support and the State's petition for contempt, the trial court denied the mother's petition for custody, reduced the support retroactively because one child no longer lived with the father, and granted the State's petition, holding the mother in contempt. As punishment for the contempt, the trial court sentenced the mother to forty days in prison. From that order, the mother now appeals. We affirm the trial court's determinations regarding child custody and child support. We reverse the trial court's finding of criminal contempt, finding that the mother had in fact paid all of the required child support, based on the trial court's retroactive order reducing the child support obligation. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/neiswinterad.wpd
JAMES KENT PYLANT v. KAREN CARDIN SPIVEY Court:TCA Attorneys: W. Charles Doerflinger, Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, for the appellant, James Kent Pylant. Joe W. Henry, Jr., Pulaski, Tennessee, for the appellee, Karen Cardin Pylant (Spivey). Judge: COTTRELL First Paragraph: This appeal involves a dispute over the extent of a father's obligation, under a provision in a property settlement agreement, to pay for his daughter's college education. The daughter chose to attend an expensive private college. The trial court found that father should pay tuition equivalent to the cost of an out-of-state public university. Both parties appealed. We affirm the trial court's decision that the father is obligated to pay reasonable costs, but vacate the judgment because there is insufficient proof of such costs http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/pylantJ.wpd
EDWARD PAUL SILVA v. ALBERT W. BUCKLEY, JR. WITH DISSENTING OPINION Court:TCA Attorneys: Robert L. DeLaney, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Albert W. Buckley, Jr. P. Edward Schell, Franklin, Tennessee, and John D. Kitch, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Edward Paul Silva. Judge: CANTRELL First Paragraph: This is a dispute between an attorney and his client over the attorney's fee. The trial judge held that the parties agreed that the attorney would be entitled to an enhanced fee if he obtained a good result in the client's divorce. We affirm that interpretation of the agreement and the amount set by the trial judge as reasonable fee. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/silvaep_opn.wpd DISSENTING OPINION http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/silvaep_dis.wpd
SPRING HILL, L.P., et al. v. TENNESSEE STATE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION, et al. Court:TCA Attorneys: Grant C. Glassford, Bryan E. Pieper, Paul D. Krivacka, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Spring Hill, L.P., Greentree Pointe, L.P., and Acorn Hills, L.P. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Margaret M. Huff, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellees, Tennessee State Board of Equalization. Robert O. Binkley, Lewisburg, Tennessee for the appellees Linda Haislip, Marshall County Property Assessor, and Margaret Tyree, Marshall County Trustee. Michael R. Jennings, Lebanon, Tennessee for the appellees Jennifer Bell, Wilson County Property Assessor, and Ernest Lasater, Wilson County Trustee. Judge: COTTRELL First Paragraph: Taxpayers appeal their property tax assessments for the1998 tax year. All of the properties in dispute receive federal income tax credits authorized by S 42 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, under the Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program. Taxpayers complain that the county assessors improperly included the present value of the federal tax credits in the valuations of their low-income housing properties, thereby making the assessments too high. The trial court affirmed the decisions of the State Board of Equalization, finding that the tax credits were properly included in the valuations. In addition, Taxpayer Acorn challenges its reclassification from residential to commercial for property tax purposes. The trial court affirmed Acorn's reclassification. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/springhill.wpd
Rule-making authority of the Tennessee Title VI Compliance Commission Date: December 10, 2003 Opinion Number: 03-161 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2003/op161.pdf
Interpretation of Tenn. Code Ann. S 54-5-804 Date: December 12, 2003 Opinion Number: 03-162 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2003/op162.pdf
Issuance of Emergency License Plates to Trauma Physicians Date: December 23, 2003 Opinion Number: 03-163 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2003/op163.pdf
Jurisdiction of Drug Courts Created Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. S 16-22-101 Date: December 23, 2003 Opinion Number: 03-164 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2003/op164.pdf
Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms Date: December 23, 2003 Opinion Number: 03-165 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2003/op165.pdf
Good-Time Credits Date: December 23, 2003 Opinion Number: 03-166 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2003/op166.pdf
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