Opinion Flash

January 15, 2004
Volume 10 — Number 010

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
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
03 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
02 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
06 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


JAMES ROBERT ELROD v. DEBORAH M. ELROD

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Adam M. Priest, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant Deborah M.
Elrod.

Jerrold L. Becker and Lori F. Fleishman, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the
Appellee James Robert Elrod.

Judge: SWINEY

First Paragraph:

James Robert Elrod ("Husband"), sued for a divorce from Deborah M.
Elrod ("Wife").  Husband was granted a divorce based on Wife's
inappropriate marital conduct.  Husband was designated the primary
residential parent for the parties' minor son.  The Trial Court then
divided the marital assets and awarded Wife unclassified alimony in
the amount of $1,000 per month for twelve months.  Wife appeals,
claiming the distribution of the marital assets was inequitable and
that she was entitled to permanent alimony or, at a minimum, alimony
for a longer period of time.  We affirm the distribution of the
marital assets as modified herein and further conclude that Wife is
entitled to rehabilitative alimony in the amount of $1,000 per month
for a period of sixty months.

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

IN RE S.M. 
WITH CONCURRING OPINION

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Joanie L. Abernathy, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant.

Lisa L. Collins, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, The
Association for Guidance, Aid, Placement and Empathy.

Susie Piper McGowan, Nunnelly, Tennessee, Guardian Ad Litem.

Judge: KOCH

First Paragraph:

This appeal involves the termination of the parental rights of a
biological father whose daughter was surrendered to a licensed
child-placing agency without his knowledge.  Soon after notifying the
biological father that it had custody of the child, the agency filed a
petition in the Davidson County Juvenile Court seeking to terminate
the father's parental rights.  Following a bench trial, the juvenile
court concluded that the biological father had abandoned his daughter
and that the child's best interests required terminating her
biological father's parental rights.  We have determined that the
agency has failed to present clear and convincing evidence that the
biological father has abandoned his daughter.

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

CONCURRING OPINION
http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/inresm_con.wpd

JERRY MCGEEHEE, ET AL. v. MICHAEL W. DAVIS

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Larry D. Ashworth, Nashville, TN, for Appellant

J. Russell Parkes, Wesley Mack Bryant, Columbia, TN, for Appellee

Judge: HIGHERS

First Paragraph:

This case is an appeal from a wrongful death claim in which the
Defendant was found only fifty percent at fault.  The Plaintiffs
appeal to this Court for review of two procedural issues.  For the
following reasons, we affirm the trial court.

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

HARRY DAVID JOHNSON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

W. Thomas Dillard and Charles W. B. Fels (on appeal and at trial); and
Jeanne Wiggins (at trial), Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant,
Harry David Johnson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe,
Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney
General; and Joseph Eugene Perrin and Teresa Murray- Smith, Assistant
District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

First Paragraph:

The petitioner, Harry David Johnson, was convicted in the Sullivan
County Criminal Court of the first degree murder of his wife,
Katherine Trotter Johnson, and he received a sentence of life
imprisonment.  Subsequently, the petitioner filed for post-conviction
relief, alleging that he did not receive effective assistance of
counsel during his trial.  The post-conviction court held an
evidentiary hearing, ultimately determining that the petitioner had
failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that trial counsel
was ineffective.  The petitioner timely appealed this ruling.  Upon
review of the record and the parties' briefs, we reverse the judgment
of the post-conviction court and remand for a new trial.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. EVERET L. MCNEIL

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

William D. Massey, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Everet L.
McNeil.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael Moore,
Solicitor General; Thomas E. Williams, III, Assistant Attorney
General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Lee V.
Coffee, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State
of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

First Paragraph:

The Defendant, Everet L. McNeil, entered guilty pleas to possession
with intent to sell less than .5 grams of cocaine, simple possession
of marijuana, and simple possession of cocaine.  The Shelby County
trial court ordered the Defendant to serve an effective three-year
sentence in confinement.  On appeal, the Defendant contends the trial
court erred in denying alternative sentencing.  We affirm the
judgments of the trial court.

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

Pharmacy Benefits under State and Local Government Health Plans

Date: January 6, 2004

Opinion Number: 04-001                         

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2004/op1.pdf

Conflict of Interest: Lottery Advertising

Date: January 6, 2004

Opinion Number: 04-002                         

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2004/op2.pdf

Regulation of Fishing Activities on Interstate Waters Bordering
Tennessee

Date: January 7, 2004

Opinion Number: 04-003                         

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2004/op3.pdf

Termination of teachers in "corrective action" schools under the
federal No Child Left Behind Act

Date: January 12, 2004

Opinion Number: 04-004                         

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2004/op4.pdf

Illegal registration under Tenn. Code Ann. S2-19-107 constitutes voter
fraud for the purposes of Tenn. Code Ann. S40-29-105

Date: January 12, 2004

Opinion Number: 04-005                         

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2004/op5.pdf

Authority of Security Officers

Date: January 12, 2004

Opinion Number: 04-006                         

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2004/op6.pdf

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