TBA YLD Presents 19th Annual Trial Practice Seminar
March 1 - Memphis
March 2 - Jackson
March 3 - Nashville
March 4 - Knoxville
March 4 - Kingsport

The TBA's Young Lawyers Division is again offering its basic program
covering key areas in state and federal litigation. This seminar
provides practical information on all aspects of jury and bench trials
from voir dire to closing arguments. Learn from experienced trial
practitioners from the local area as they share their insights
valuable to attorneys preparing for their first or their thousandth
trial.

Today's Opinions: February 25, 2005
Volume 11 — Number 037
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.
01 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
02 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
00 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 or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on-line at http://www.tba.org/getpassword.mgi.

Here's how you can obtain full-text version. We recommend you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. • Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This should give you the option to download the original document. If not, you may need to right-click on the URL to get the option to save the file to your computer. • 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. • Browse the Opinion List area of TBALink. This option will allow you to download the original version of the opinion.

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


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CHARLES SAWYER

Court:TSC

Attorneys:                          

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore,
Solicitor General; Elizabeth T. Ryan, Senior Counsel; Mike McCowen,
District Attorney General; and Weakley E. Barnard, Assistant District
Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

F. Shayne Brasfield, Franklin, Tennessee, and Michael Eugene Gilmer,
Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellee, Charles Sawyer.

Judge: HOLDER

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Charles Sawyer, was arrested by the police for
aggravated sexual battery.  Following his arrest, Sawyer made an oral
statement to the police after an officer read to Sawyer an affidavit
supporting the arrest warrant but before the officer advised Sawyer of
his Fifth Amendment rights pursuant to Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S.
436 (1966). Sawyer filed a motion to suppress his oral statement. 
Based upon the nature of the facts contained in the affidavit
supporting the issuance of the arrest warrant and the circumstances
surrounding his arrest and detention, we conclude the statement
resulted from an unconstitutional custodial interrogation and
therefore should be suppressed.  Accordingly, we affirm the judgment
of the Court of Criminal Appeals and remand the case to the trial
court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

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

CARMON G. PHILLIPS V.  NISSAN MOTOR MANUFACTURING CORPORATION, U.S.A.
and ROYAL SUNALLIANCE INSURANCE COMPANY

Court:TSC - Workers Comp Panel

Attorneys:                          

Kenneth M. Switzer and Katherine Dent Boyte, Ruth, Howard, Tate &
Sowell, Nashville, TN, for the appellant, Nissan Motor Manufacturing
Corporation, U.S.A.

Michael L. Underhill and William L. Underhill, Underhill, Blackwell,
Underhill & Givens, Madison, TN, for the appellee, Carmon G. Phillips.

Judge: STAFFORD

First Paragraph:

This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special
Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance
with Tennessee Code Annotated 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 determined that the employee retained a 28%
permanent disability to both arms.  The employer asserts that the
evidence presented at trial shows that the employee suffered no injury
to his left arm in 2001.  Additionally, the employee asserts that the
amount of vocational disability awarded is inadequate.  For the
reasons set forth below, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

RHONDA SIMMONS v. JOHN DOE INSURANCE COMPANY and FINDLAY
INDUSTRIES/GARDNER MANUFACTURING DIVISION

Court:TSC - Workers Comp Panel

Attorneys:                          

Bruce Timothy Pirtle, McMinnville, TN, for the appellant, Findlay
Industries/Gardner Manufacturing Division.

Barry H. Medley, Farrar, Holliman & Medley, McMinnville, TN, for the
appellee, Rhonda Simmons.

Judge: STAFFORD

First Paragraph:

This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special
Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance
with Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-225(e)(3) (2003) for
hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and
conclusions of law.  The trial court determined that the
plaintiff-employee suffered a 60% vocational disability to her right
upper extremity and a 30% vocational disability to her left.  From
these determinations, the trial court awarded a 45% disability to both
hands.  The defendant-employer asserts that the trial court award was
excessive under the facts and applicable law.  For the reasons set
forth below, we affirm the judgment of the trial court

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

GLENDA EMMIT v. RICHARD EMMIT, ET AL.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

M. Keith Davis, Dunlap, Tennessee, for the appellant, Glenda Emmit.

Howard L. Upchurch, Pikeville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Helen
Medley and Omie Ray Medley, co-administrators of the Estate of James
Randall Medley.

No appearance on behalf of Richard Emmit.

Judge: SUSANO

First Paragraph:

Glenda Emmit ("the plaintiff") brought a petition seeking to annul her
marriage to Richard Emmit.  She alleged that, unbeknownst to her, her
prior marriage to James Randall Medley had not been dissolved at the
time of her attempted marriage to Mr. Emmit.  She claims that this
prior marriage prevented her from contracting a valid marriage with
Mr. Emmit.  The trial court held that the co-administrators of Mr.
Medley's estate (collectively "the co-administrators") were
indispensable parties and ordered the plaintiff to amend her complaint
to add them.  Following a bench trial, the court below entered a
judgment denying the plaintiff's petition for annulment on the ground
that she had "unclean hands" and was therefore estopped from averring
either that her marriage to Mr. Emmit was invalid or that her marriage
to Mr. Medley was not dissolved.  The plaintiff appeals.  We reverse
the judgment of the trial court.

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

DEBORAH SHORTER v. THE TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN'S SERVICES, ET
AL.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Adrian H. Altshuler, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the appellant, Deborah
Shorter.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth C. Driver,
Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, The Tennessee Department
of Children's Services, et al.

Judge: COTRELL

First Paragraph:

A grandmother, who lost custody of her grandchildren in Juvenile Court
proceedings, sued the Department of Children's Services ("DCS") and
its employee in Circuit Court alleging defamation.  The trial court
dismissed the suit based upon immunity.  We affirm the dismissal of
DCS and affirm the employee's dismissal on alternative grounds.

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

DENISE WASSOM v. STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE CO.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

George Todd East, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the Appellant Denise
Wassom.

Leslie T. Ridings, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the Appellee State Farm
Mutual Automobile Insurance Company.

Judge: SWINEY

First Paragraph:

Denise Wassom ("Plaintiff") loaned her car to her ex-boyfriend who
then had a single-car accident while making a beer run.  Plaintiff's
vehicle was a total loss.  Fearing that her ex-boyfriend might be
arrested for DUI, Plaintiff reported to the police that her car had
been stolen.  Plaintiff's vehicle was insured through State Farm
Mutual Automobile Insurance Company ("State Farm").  Plaintiff also
reported to State Farm that her car had been stolen.  Approximately
two weeks into State Farm's investigation, an adjustor for State Farm
interviewed the witnesses whom Plaintiff claimed to have been with at
the time her vehicle was stolen.  Immediately after these interviews,
Plaintiff "came clean" and told State Farm the truth.  State Farm
denied Plaintiff's claim and Plaintiff filed suit claiming State Farm
was in breach of contract.  State Farm filed a motion for summary
judgment claiming the undisputed material facts demonstrated that
Plaintiff had made material misrepresentations with the intent to
deceive.  The Trial Court granted State Farm's motion for summary
judgment, and Plaintiff appeals.  We affirm.

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

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