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TODAY'S OPINIONS
Click on the category of your choice to view summaries of today’s opinions from that court, or other body. A link at the end of each case summary will let you download the full opinion in PDF format. To search all opinions in the TBALink database, go to our OpinionSearch page. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on TBALink at http://www.tba.org/getpassword.mgi.

00 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
03 - TN Court of Appeals
09 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
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00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR

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

BARRY BASS v. LARRY D. BILLEAUDEAUX, JR., ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Barry Bass, Pro Se.

Robert M Fargarson, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, Larry D. Billeaudeaux, Jr., Kathy Rutledge and Larry Billeaudeaux.

Judge: FARMER

This is a personal injury action. The trial court awarded summary judgment to Defendants based on the statute of limitations. We reverse and remand for further proceedings.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/bassb_092706.pdf


PAUL L. REED v. CSX TRANSPORTATION, INC.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Nina H. Parsley, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Paul L. Reed.

Christopher W. Cardwell and Mary Taylor Gallagher, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, CSX Transportation, Inc.

Judge: COTTRELL

A railroad employee appeals the trial court's grant of summary judgment to his employer in this Federal Employer's Liability Act case. Because the employer was not negligent, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/reedp_092706.pdf


SHANNON WALKER, ET AL. v. RANDE LAZAR, M.D., ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

T. Edgar Davison, III, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellants, Shannon Walker and Danna Walker, Individually and as Next Friends and Parents of Macye Walker and Eli Walker.

J. Kimbrough Johnson, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, Rande Lazar, M.D. and Otolaryngology Consultants of Memphis.

William L. Bomar and J. Mark Griffee, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Methodist Healthcare-Memphis Hospitals, d/b/a Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center.

Judge: FARMER

The trial court granted Defendants' motions to dismiss based on the statute of repose applicable to medical malpractice actions. Plaintiffs appeal, asserting the statute of repose was tolled where the action was brought on behalf of their minor children and commenced before December 9, 2005. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/walkers_092706.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TIAWO DAVIS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Dana C. McLendon, III, Franklin, Tennessee (on appeal), and Diane G. Livingston, Franklin, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, Tiawo Davis.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Blind Akrawi, Assistant Attorney General; Ronald L. Davis, District Attorney General; and Derek K. Smith, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant, Tiawo Davis, appeals his jury convictions for aggravated robbery (Class B felony), aggravated burglary (Class C felony), and aggravated assault (Class C felony). The defendant's sole issue on appeal is the sufficiency of the evidence to support the convictions. After review, we conclude that the convictions were sufficiently supported by the evidence, and we affirm the convictions.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/davist_092706.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TRACIE ANN HINSON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Emma Rae Tennent (on appeal) and Kyle Mothershead (at trial), Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tracie Ann Hinson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Blind Akrawi, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Amy Eisenbeck and Rachel Sobrero, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The appellant, Tracie Ann Hinson, pled guilty in the Davidson County Criminal Court to theft of property valued ten thousand dollars or more but less than sixty thousand dollars, a Class C felony, and agreed to a six-year sentence as a Range II offender with the manner of service to be determined by the trial court. After a sentencing hearing, the trial court ordered that she serve her sentence in confinement and consecutively to other sentences in Michigan. On appeal, the appellant claims that she should have received an alternative sentence of split confinement and concurrent sentencing. Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/hinsont_092706.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RANDY SHUMATE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

William C. Barnes, Jr., Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellant, Randy Shumate.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; T. Michel Bottoms, District Attorney General; and Christi L. Thompson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The appellant, Randy Shumate, pled guilty in the Maury County Circuit Court to one count of rape, and the trial court sentenced him to eight years incarceration in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the appellant challenges the trial court's denial of alternative sentencing. Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/shumater_092706.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JENNIFER SILISKI

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Preston Shipp, Assistant Attorney General; Ronald L. Davis, District Attorney General; Braden H. Boucek, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

John E. Herbison, Nashville, Tennessee (on appeal), and Rebecca E. Byrd, Franklin, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellee, Jennifer Siliski.

Judge: TIPTON

The defendant, Jennifer Siliski, is charged with possession of ketamine hydrochloride, a Schedule III controlled substance. The trial judge suppressed evidence of the ketamine hydrochloride, ruling that its seizure exceeded the scope of the search warrant. The state appeals, arguing that the evidence was seized pursuant to the defendant's consent. We conclude that the trial court properly suppressed the evidence, and we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/siliskij_092706.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DONALD BRADFORD SLAGLE, JR.

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Steven B. Ward, Madisonville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Donald Bradford Slagle, Jr.

Steven B. Ward, Madisonville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Donald Bradford Slagle, Jr. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David Edward Coenen, Assistant Attorney General; J. Scott McCluen, District Attorney General; and Frank Harvey, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: HAYES

Following a bench trial in the Loudon County Criminal Court, the Appellant, Donald Bradford Slagle, Jr., was convicted of the felony offense of driving under the influence (DUI), fourth offense, in addition to five other driving violations. As a result of his Class E felony conviction for DUI, Slagle received a one-year community corrections sentence with one hundred fifty days to be served in confinement. On appeal, Slagle argues that the evidence is insufficient to establish that he was voluntarily operating his vehicle when stopped by the arresting officer. After review, we conclude that the convicting evidence was legally sufficient. Accordingly, the judgment of conviction for fourth offense DUI is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/slagled_092706.pdf


THOMAS STUDDARD v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Clifford K. McGown, Jr., Waverly, Tennessee, on appeal; Jim W. Horner, District Public Defender and H. Tod Taylor, Assistant Public Defender, at trial, for the appellant, Thomas Studdard.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; and Phillip Bivens, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

The petitioner, Thomas Studdard, was indicted by the Dyer County Grand Jury on three counts of rape of a child in 2002. The petitioner subsequently pled guilty to one count of incest and was sentenced to eight years as a Range II multiple offender. The petitioner sought a reduction of his sentence in the trial court. The trial court denied the relief sought and the petitioner appealed. On direct appeal, this Court, without reaching the merits of the petitioner's sentencing issues, vacated the judgment of conviction on the grounds that incest was not a lesser-included offense of rape. Thomas Poston Studdard v. State, No. W2003-01210-CCA-R3-PC, 2004 WL 370259 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Jackson, Feb. 27, 2004), perm. app. granted, (Tenn. Sept. 7, 2004). Having granted the petitioner's application for permission to appeal, our supreme court concluded that the trial court had jurisdiction to accept the petitioner's guilty plea and remanded the case to this Court for consideration of the sentencing issues. Studdard v. State, 182 S.W.3d 283 (Tenn. 2005). On remand, this Court determined that the trial court did not err in denying the petitioner's motion to reduce his sentence and that the certification requirement of Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-35-503(c) did not violate the petitionerís equal protection rights. Thomas Poston Studdard v. State, No. W2005-02707-CCA-RM-PC, 2006 WL 287427 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Jackson, Feb. 6, 2006), perm. app. denied, (Tenn. May 30, 2006). While the petitioner's direct appeal was still pending, the petitioner sought post-conviction relief on the basis of ineffective assistance of counsel. The post-conviction court denied the petition and the petitioner sought relief in this Court. After a review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/studdardt_092706.pdf


WILLIAM D. TERRY v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Michael A. Colavecchio, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, William D. Terry.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Amy Hunter Eisenbeck and Pamela Sue Anderson, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The petitioner, William D. Terry, pled guilty to possession of one-half gram or more of cocaine with the intent to sell, a Class B felony. He received a ten-year sentence of incarceration, to be served at thirty percent. The petitioner appeals the Davidson County Criminal Court's dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief and contends that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/terryw_092706.pdf


XAVIER TODD v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Xavier Todd, Pro Se, Memphis, Tennessee.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; C. Daniel Lins, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Dean Decandia, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

The appellant appeals from the trial court's denial of a motion for nunc pro tunc order. Because such an order is not subject to an appeal as of right under Rule 3 of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure, we dismiss the appellantís appeal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/toddx_092706.pdf


JANALEE WILSON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Mike Mosier, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Janalee Wilson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Jerry Woodall, District Attorney General; and Al Earls, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

The Petitioner, Janalee Wilson, appeals as of right from the judgment of the Madison County Circuit Court denying her petition for post-conviction relief. On appeal, the Defendant argues that she received the ineffective assistance of counsel and that her constitutional rights were violated by the involvement of the federal prosecutor in the state proceedings. After review of the record, as to the ineffective assistance of counsel claim, the Petitioner's brief fails to set forth any specific contentions in support of the issue and, therefore, the issue is waived. As to her challenge to the federal prosecutor's involvement, this issue is waived due to the Petitioner's failure to raise it in her direct appeal and, additionally, the argument is without merit. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court denying post-conviction relief.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/wilsonj_092706.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Upcoming
Passages

Legal News
UT law dean discusses diversity in a post-Geier environment
With the conclusion of the Geier lawsuit last week, Tennessee colleges and universities are faced with a decision on how aggressively to reach out to African-American students. At the UT College of Law, nearly 15 percent of this year's incoming class is black. Dean John Sobieski talks about what the college has done in the past to recruit minority candidates and what he hopes the future holds.
The Daily Beacon has the story
Letters reveal more about suspended DA
New documents paint a clearer picture of how Cookeville District Attorney Bill Gibson may have undermined his own office by helping a man accused of murder. Letters obtained by Channel 4 News show that Gibson offered legal advice to the accused that ran counter to his office's strategy on the case.
Read these new details
Voter ID bill finding both friends, foes in Tennessee
The U.S. Senate may act this week on a House-passed bill that would require both a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license, and proof of U.S. citizenship to vote. The Tennessee House delegation split along party lines on the bill last week, with Republicans favoring and Democrats opposing.
Read about the issue in the News Journal
ABA accepting nominations for Franck Award
The ABA's Center for Professional Responsibility is now accepting applications for the 2007 Michael Franck Professional Responsibility Award, which honors those who inspire public confidence in the legal profession. The award will be presented during the 33rd National Conference on Professional Responsibility May 31 in Chicago. The deadline for nominations is Dec.15.
Visit the ABA Website for more information
Upcoming
Nashville dinner to honor Tenn. Supreme Court justices
On Oct. 5, the Tennessee Supreme Court Historical Society will host a dinner at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville to honor recently retired justices E. Riley Anderson, Adolpho A. Birch Jr. and Frank F. Drowota III as well as recently appointed justices Cornelia A. Clark and Gary R. Wade. The dinner program also will recognize the dedicated service Chief Justice William M. Barker and Justice Janice M. Holder.
View the dinner invitation here
Passages
Judge Asbury dies
Wesley Lee Asbury, a former 8th Judicial District judge who tried and defended high-profile cases around East Tennessee for more than 25 years, died Tuesday at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. Asbury served from 1974 to 1998 as criminal court judge for the district, which includes Campbell, Claiborne, Fentress, Scott and Union counties. He continued practicing law into his 70s after leaving the bench. He earned his law degree from the University of Tennessee in 1957. Funeral arrangements were incomplete as of press time.
The News Sentinel has a profile of his career

 
 
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