Court adds new specializations, denies name change request
The Tennessee Supreme Court today issued a pair of orders regarding proposals from the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization. The court agreed with comments from the Tennessee Bar Association that it should grant the request that attorneys no longer be required to sign and return an Annual Report Statement (ARS) if their ARS reflects sufficient hours to meet all requirements and no fee is due. The court also agreed with TBA comments and decided not to allow the creation of the name "Tennessee Board of Legal Specialization" for use by the CLE Commission.
The court also granted the CLE Commission's request that it be allowed to certify attorney-specialists in Social Security Disability Law; Juvenile - Child Welfare Law; and Driving Under the Influence Defense.
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Howard H. Vogel
| JAMES K. CANNON v. LOUDON COUNTY, TENNESSEE, ET AL.
With concurring and dissenting opinions
Patrick T. Phillips, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, James K. Cannon.
Hanson R. Tipton, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellees, Loudon County, Tennessee and Sheriff
The issue presented in this slip-and-fall case is whether the trial court erred in ruling that the Plaintiff
and Defendants were each 50% at fault and dismissing the Plaintiff’s lawsuit. While incarcerated
in the Loudon County jail, James K. Cannon slipped on a floor wet from rainwater leaking through
the ceiling and window frame of his cell. Because we find that (1) Defendants were responsible for
creating the hazardous condition, and had prior notice of the hazardous condition and opportunity
to remedy it but did not, and (2) Mr. Cannon had little, if any, opportunity to avoid the known risk
of walking to the bathroom on a wet floor in rubber “flip-flop” type sandals, we reverse the trial
court’s finding that Mr. Cannon was 50% at fault. We hold the evidence preponderates in favor of
a finding that Defendants were 100% at fault in the accident causing Mr. Cannon’s injury, and
remand the case for a determination and award of damages.
CLUB SYSTEMS OF TENNESSEE, INC. v. YMCA OF MIDDLE TENNESSEE, ET AL.
Charles W. Welch and timothy A. Glut of Nashville for Appellant, Club Systems of Tennessee, Inc.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Mary Ellen Knack, Assistant Attorney General for Appellee, State Board of Equalization
Michael D. Sontag and Christopher L. Haley of Nashville for Appellee, YMCA of Middle Tennessee
Appellants, a group of for-profit health club owners challenge the constitutionality and
application of T.C.A. §67-5-225, which provides for a real and personal property tax exemption for
family wellness centers. Specifically the Appellants assert that the statute violates both Tenn. Const.
art. II, § 28 and Tenn. Const. art. XI, § 8. The Tennessee State Board of Equalization and the trial
court upheld the statute’s constitutionality, and we affirm that portion of the trial court’s holding.
Appellants also challenge the trial court’s determination that Appellee, the YMCA of Middle
Tennessee, satisfies the requirements set forth in T.C.A. §67-5-225 so as to qualify for tax exempt
status thereunder. Finding that there is insufficient evidence to support the trial court’s conclusion
that the Uptown YMCA location satisfies the requirements of the statute, we reverse and remand on
that issue. The order of the trial court is otherwise affirmed.
CANDICE D. DUNN v. DAVID L. SILVERS
Clark Lee Shaw, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, David L. Silvers.
Robert S. Thompson, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Candice D. Dunn.
This appeal arises from a paternity action. The trial court, inter alia, established paternity, awarded
custody of the parties’ six month old child to Mother, established Father’s co-parenting time, ordered
Father to pay the birth expenses, and a portion of Mother’s lost wages incurred as a result of giving
birth to the child. Father appeals. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.
REGINALD D. HUGHES v. TENNESSEE BOARD OF PAROLE
Reginald D. Hughes, pro se, Henning, TN.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Bradley W.
Flippin, Assistant Attorney General, for Appellee.
The Appellant, an inmate in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Correction, filed a
handwritten pro se petition seeking review by common law writ of certiorari following a denial of
parole by the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole. The board filed a motion to dismiss the
petition, citing several defects with the Appellant’s petition. The trial court granted the Appellant
time to cure the defects. The Appellant subsequently filed a motion to amend his petition in an effort
to comply with the trial court’s directives, however, the trial court subsequently entered an order
dismissing the Appellant’s petition. Thereafter, the Appellant filed a post-trial “Motion to Rehear.”
When the trial court did not address the motion, the Appellant filed a notice of appeal to this Court.
We hold that the Appellant’s post-trial motion is, in actuality, a motion to alter or amend the
judgment, therefore, we remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings on the motion.
CYNTHIA ROSE McPHERSON v. CRAIG JOHN McPHERSON
David A. Collins, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Craig John McPherson.
Pat M. Fraley, Fayetteville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Cynthia Rose McPherson (Palazzolo).
This appeal involves a continuing post-divorce dispute regarding child support and related issues.
Seven years after the divorce, the former husband filed a petition in the Chancery Court for Marshall
County requesting the court to recalculate his child support obligation and to re-establish visitation
that had been suspended earlier because of non-payment of child support and failure to abide by the
court’s orders. The former wife responded by requesting that her former husband be held in
contempt for failing to comply with the earlier court orders. Following a bench trial, the court
entered an order finding the former husband in “civil” contempt. The court sentenced the former
husband to a mandatory ten-day jail sentence and ordered that he remain incarcerated until he paid
a portion of his child support arrearage and other financial obligations. The court also recalculated
the former husband’s child support obligation and ordered the resumption of visitation. On this
appeal, the former husband takes issue with the contempt judgment, the earlier suspension of his
visitation, and the denial of his request to claim the children as dependents for income tax purposes.
While we have determined that the judgment of contempt cannot stand because it is procedurally
defective, we find that the remainder of the trial court’s August 22, 2003 order is legally and
ROBERT MICHAEL WINTERS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE
Robert Winters, Clifton, Tennessee, pro se.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; and Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney
General for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
The petitioner, Robert Michael Winters, appeals the summary dismissal of his petition for post-
conviction relief. The single issue on appeal is whether the petition was timely filed. The
judgment is affirmed.
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