Judges show restraint by not answering campaign questions

TBA President Larry Wilks today applauded the "judicial restraint" that resulted in the low response rate to the questionnaire fostered by the Family Action Council of Tennessee. The "voter guide," which was published last night on Chattanoogan.com, carries responses from only four of the 64 judges and judicial candidates who received the survey. Even judges who are shown as responding to the questions -- which include evolution and other possible controversial issues -- declined to answer most of the questions because they considered them inappropriate. Twenty-four of the judges responded by letter and without responding to the survey.

"It is precisely because we believe that it is inappropriate to respond to such questionnaires that the TBA has been such a strong backer of the formal judicial performance evaluation of appeals judges," said Wilks. The TBA has continued to urge voters to use the evaluation, which is based upon surveys of litigants, jurors, lawyers and the public, because it is a credible and unbiased assessment of each appellate judge's performance.

As to local judicial races, Wilks noted that friends, family, and neighbors often turn to lawyers to help in evaluating how to vote. He urged TBA members to give their careful, professional view on judicial races. "Every member of the public should be as informed as possible in order to avoid being mislead by special interests," said Wilks.

See the chattanoogan.com story. To see the TBA's judicial election resource page go to

http://www.tba.org/judicialcampaign

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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Editor-in-Chief, TBALink

BETTY G. BROWN v. GARY A. HUGO

This is a corrected opinion. The changes are on pages 1 and 5 where the date January 21, 2001, has been changed to January 26, 2001.


Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Michael C. Skouteris, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Betty Brown

Douglas A. McTyier, Germantown, Tennessee, for the appellee, Gary A. Hugo.

Judge: DAVID R. FARMER

Betty Brown (“Plaintiff”) was involved in an automobile accident where her car was struck in the rear by the vehicle driven by Gary Hugo (“Defendant”). Plaintiff subsequently filed suit against Defendant in order to recover medical expenses for injuries Plaintiff claims to have incurred as a result of the accident along with other damages. At trial, the jury found that Plaintiff was not entitled to recover from Defendant. Plaintiff appeals arguing that the jury’s verdict was unsupported by competent and credible material evidence. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/brownb072006.pdf


PAULA KEETON v. ROBERT KLEIN, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

J. Russell Parkes and Wesley Mack Bryant, Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellant, Robert A. Klein.

Stephen Crofford and Mary Parker, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Ronald Keeton and Paula Keeton.

Judge: WILLIAM B. CAIN

In this case a stay order in bankruptcy was lifted so that Plaintiff’s case against the named Defendant could continue limited to insurance proceeds provided by his liability insurance carrier and by Plaintiff’s uninsured/underinsured motorist carrier, with the named Defendant otherwise discharged in bankruptcy. From an adverse jury verdict and post-trial actions by the trial judge, the liability carrier appeals in the name of the named defendant. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed, except as to the award of prejudgment interest which is reversed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/keetonp072006.pdf


JOHN MELTON, R & J OF TENNESSEE, INC., AND STATE OF TENNESSEE, ON THE RELATION OF JOHN MELTON AND R & J OF TENNESSEE, INC. INC. v. CITY OF LEXINGTON, TENNESSEE

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Thomas F. Bloom and Daniel D. Warlick, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, John Melton and R & J of Tennessee, Inc.

John D. Burleson and Latosha Mason Dexter, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellee, City of Lexington, Tennessee.

Judge: HOLLY M. KIRBY

This case involves equitable estoppel against a municipal government. In 1998, a real estate company developed a large residential subdivision just outside the defendant city. The city annexed the property and provided services to the area. The developer later became insolvent and failed to pave one of the roads in the subdivision. Subsequently, the plaintiffs purchased lots in the subdivision fronting the unpaved road and applied to the defendant city for building permits for the lots. The city denied the permits in part because the road in front of the lots was unpaved. The plaintiffs filed this declaratory judgment action against the city, arguing that the city was estopped from denying the building permits on the basis of the unpaved roads, and that city was obligated to pave the road and to issue building permits to the plaintiffs. The trial court concluded that the city was not estopped from enforcing the requirement that the road be paved and was not obligated to pave the road. The plaintiffs now appeal. We affirm, concluding that the evidence does not preponderate against the trial court’s decision not to apply equitable estoppel under the circumstances of this case.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/meltonj072006.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE, EX REL. LELSA L. PARKS v. DENNIS PARKS

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter, and Juan G. Villasenor, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee, ex rel. Lelsa L Parks.

Dennis Parks, appellee, Pro Se (no appellate brief filed).

Judge: HOLLY M. KIRBY

This is an attempt to set aside a child support order. The child in question was born in February 2001. The mother of the child and the respondent signed a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, certifying that respondent was the child’s biological father. The respondent’s sister obtained primary custody of the child and began to collect State benefits for the child. In September 2003, the State, on behalf of the sister, filed a petition against the respondent to set child support payments. An order was entered, setting current and back child support payments. Subsequently, the State filed a petition for contempt against the respondent for failing to make the child support payments required under the order. The respondent appeared at the contempt hearing and signed an order acknowledging being in contempt and agreeing to make support payments as provided. A week later, the respondent filed a petition to set aside the original support order, asserting that he was not served with process and that he is not the biological father of the child. The trial court permitted the respondent to undergo DNA testing, which showed that he was not the father of the child. On that basis, the trial court dismissed the case against the respondent. The State now appeals. We affirm in part and reverse in part, concluding that the respondent is not entitled to retroactive relief from the support order, but that he is entitled to prospective relief because he submitted sufficient evidence on which to rescind his voluntary acknowledgment of paternity.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/parksl072006.pdf


ALEC J. TEMLOCK v. ROBERT M. MCGINNIS, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Lawrence P. Leibowitz and Rebecca G. Bond, Knoxville, Tennessee for the Appellant, Alec J. Temlock.

James S. MacDonald, Knoxville, Tennessee for the Appellee, Robert M. McGinnis.

Judge: D. MICHAEL SWINEY

Alec J. Temlock ("Plaintiff") sued Robert M. McGinnis ("McGinnis") and Pub Ventures of S.C., Inc., d/b/a Barley's Taproom & Pizzeria ("Barley's") for injuries Plaintiff received when he was hit by a vehicle driven by McGinnis. McGinnis filed a motion to dismiss arguing, in part, insufficiency of service of process and insufficiency of process. The Trial Court granted McGinnis' motion to dismiss. Plaintiff appeals. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/temlockaj1-072006.pdf


ALEC J. TEMLOCK v. ROBERT M. MCGINNIS, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Lawrence P. Leibowitz and Rebecca G. Bond, Knoxville, Tennessee for the Appellant, Alec J. Temlock.

Kenneth W. Ward, Knoxville, Tennessee for the Appellee, Pub Ventures of S.C., Inc., d/b/a Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria.

Judge: D. MICHAEL SWINEY

Alec J. Temlock ("Plaintiff") sued Robert M. McGinnis ("McGinnis") and Pub Ventures of S.C., Inc., d/b/a Barley's Taproom & Pizzeria ("Barley's") for injuries Plaintiff received when he was hit by a vehicle driven by McGinnis. Barley’s filed a motion for summary judgment arguing, in part, that at no time on the evening of the accident did it sell alcoholic beverages to McGinnis and, therefore, it could not be held liable for the accident and Plaintiff's injuries. The Trial Court granted Barley's motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff appeals. We vacate the grant of summary judgment to Barley's.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/temlockaj2-072006.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOHN VERNON CAMPBELL

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Robert Y. Oaks, Elizabethton, Tennessee, for the appellant, John Vernon Campbell.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; Joe C. Crumley, Jr., District Attorney General; and Kenneth C. Baldwin, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: ROBERT W. WEDEMEYER

The Defendant, John Vernon Campbell, was convicted of first degree murder, and he received a life sentence in the Tennessee Department of Correction. The Defendant now appeals, contending that: (1) insufficient evidence was presented to support his conviction; (2) the prosecutor engaged in misconduct; (3) the trial court’s failure to accompany the jury to the crime scene prejudiced him; (4) the State was improperly allowed to impeach him with a prior kidnapping conviction; and (5) he is entitled to a new trial due to the cumulative effect of the trial court’s errors. Finding no reversible error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/campbellj072006.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CASEY WATSON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Robert L. Jolley, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Casey Watson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; Jerry N. Estes, District Attorney General; and Chalmers Thompson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: THOMAS T. WOODALL

Defendant, Casey Watson, entered a plea of guilty to one count of possession of 0.5 grams or more of cocaine, with the intent to sell or deliver, a Class B felony; one count of possession of dihydrocodeinone with the intent to sell or deliver, a Class D felony; one count of possession of more than one-half ounce but less than ten pounds of marijuana with the intent to sell or deliver, a Class E felony; one count of unlawful possession of a weapon with intent to employ it in the commission of an offense, a Class E felony; and one count of unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor. Defendant was sentenced to concurrent sentences of eight years for his Class B felony conviction, two years for his Class D felony conviction and for each of his Class E felony convictions, and eleven months, twenty-nine days for his misdemeanor conviction, for an effective sentence of eight years. The trial court ordered Defendant to serve his sentences in split confinement, with probation after serving ninety days in confinement. As a condition of his plea agreement, Defendant reserved a certified question of law regarding the validity of a search warrant. Based on our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/watsonc072006.pdf


City of Goodlettsville Referendum for Liquor by the Drink

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-07-19

Opinion Number: 06-113

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2006/ag_06-113.pdf

Conflict of Interest in a Member of the Tennessee Commission on Fire Fighting Personnel Standards and Education also serving as an Instructor at the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Academy

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-07-19

Opinion Number:

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2006/ag_06-114.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Election 2006
Legal News
TBA Member Services

Election 2006
Five seek Memphis Juvenile Court job
The line of candidates seeking to be the first new Juvenile Court judge in Memphis in nearly 40 years is a long one. Seeking to succeed the court's longtime leader, Kenneth Turner, are City Court judges Jayne Chandler and Earnestine Hunt Dorse, former U.S. attorney Veronica Coleman, retiring state Sen. Curtis Person Jr. and private attorney William Winchester. Read about each candidate in the
Commercial Appeal.
Legal News
House backs 'under God'
The U.S. House of Representatives, citing the nation's religious origins, voted Wednesday to protect the Pledge of Allegiance from federal judges who might try to stop schoolchildren and others from reciting it because of the phrase "under God," the Associated Press reports. The legislation, a priority of social conservatives, passed 260-167. It now goes to the Senate where its future is uncertain. Read the story in the
Commercial Appeal.
ABA: PDs must refuse new cases if they have too many already
Public defenders have an ethical duty to refuse new cases if they believe their workloads are so excessive they cannot competently represent their clients, according to a new ethics opinion issued by the American Bar Association.
Read the ABA opinion.
Date set for AG interviews and hearings
Applications from the 14 lawyers who applied to be the next Tennessee attorney general are now being reviewed by the Supreme Court to determine who will continue in the selection process. Those applicants will be interviewed by the court and asked to participate in a public hearing, scheduled for Sept. 12 and if necessary Sept. 13 at Legislative Plaza, according to Administrative Office of the Courts spokeswoman Sue Allison.
See the full list of applicants
New law firm finds inspiration in quiet community
Three young attorneys have discovered that you don't have to commute to the big city to practice law, and that folks in the rolling hills and along the lazy Harpeth River near Franklin may actually need their legal attention more than the urban dwellers to the north. Caitlin Moon, Kristi Earwood and Cricket Daugherty recently established this new Grassland-area law practice. Read more in the
Williamson Herald
TBA Member Services
2006-2007 TBA Access to Justice Awards
The Tennessee Bar Association is accepting nominations for the 2006-2007 Access to Justice Awards. The awards are presented to individuals in three categories: public service attorneys, members of the private bar and law school students who provide outstanding representation to the state's poor. The winners will be announced during the 2007 TBA Leadership Conference and will be featured in the Tennessee Bar Journal.
For information or to apply

 
 
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