Bob Cooper sworn in with help from father,
former Chief Justice Robert E. Cooper


Robert E. Cooper Jr. was sworn in Wednesday as Tennessee's 26th attorney general. The oath of office was administered by Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice William M. Barker as Cooper's father, former Chief Justice Robert E. Cooper, held the Bible. The new attorney general's father served on the Supreme Court from 1974 until his retirement in 1990. Read more and see pictures on TBALink:

http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/news/2006/cooper_103006.html

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink

STATE OF TENNESSEE, DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN'S SERVICES v. A.C., ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

James F. Taylor, Rogersville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, A.C.

Michael E. Moore, Acting Attorney General and Reporter, and Elizabeth C. Driver, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee, Department of Children's Services.

Judge: SWINEY

The State of Tennessee, Department of Children’s Services (“DCS”) filed a petition to terminate the parental rights of A.C. (“Mother”) to her three children, L.A.L.R., K.M.C., and R.S.C. Following a trial, the Juvenile Court determined that there was clear and convincing evidence that grounds existed to terminate Mother’s parental rights pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 36-1-113(g)(1), (g)(2), and (g)(3). The Juvenile Court also determined that there was clear and convincing evidence that termination of Mother’s parental rights was in the children’s best interests. Mother appeals, claiming DCS failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that grounds existed to terminate her parental rights. Mother also claims DCS failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that termination of her parental rights would be in the best interests of the children. We affirm the Juvenile Court’s judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/ac_110206.pdf


SILVER VIDEO USA, INC., ET AL. v. PAUL G. SUMMERS, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

John E. Herbison, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants Silver Video USA, Inc., et al

Steven A. Hart, special counsel for the appellees, Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter, et al

Judge: COTTRELL

Plaintiffs challenge the trial court’s determination that the Tennessee Adult Oriented Establishment Act is constitutional under Article 1, Section 19 of the Tennessee Constitution. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/silvervideo_110206.pdf


IN RE: THE ESTATE OF JAMES CLIFFORD SMITH

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Timothy L. Takacs, David L. McGuffey, Hendersonville, Tennessee, for the appellant, James G. Smith, Executor

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General, Sue A. Sheldon, Senior Counsel, for the appellee, State of Tennessee, Bureau of TennCare

Judge: COTTRELL

Estate appeals probate court’s determination that subject estate was liable to Bureau of Tennessee for Medicaid nursing home benefits correctly provided to a pre-deceased spouse. We reverse.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/smithj_110206.pdf

WILLIAM C. KOCH, JR., P.J., M.S., concurring.
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/smithj_concur_110206.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ARMANDO RAMIREZ MARTINEZ

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Emma Rae Tennent, Assistant Public Defender, Nashville, Tennessee (on appeal). Dawn Deaner, Nashville, Tennessee (at trial) for the appellant, Armando Ramirez Martinez

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David E. Coenen, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Angelita Dalton, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee

Judge: WELLES

The Defendant, Armando Ramirez Martinez, appeals from the sentencing decision of the Davidson County Criminal Court. The Defendant was indicted for attempted first degree murder. He subsequently pled guilty to aggravated assault. Pursuant to the terms of the plea agreement, he received a six-year and one-month sentence, and the trial court was to determine the manner of service. Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court ordered that the Defendant’s six-year and one-month sentence be served in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant argues that the trial court erred in denying an alternative sentence. Finding no error, we affirm the sentencing decision of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/martineza_110206.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MICHELLE SHOEMAKER

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Edwin G. Sadler, Cookeville, Tennessee (at trial); and Samuel J. Harris, Memphis, Tennessee (at trial and on appeal), for the appellant, Michelle Shoemaker

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brian Clay Johnson, Assistant Attorney General; Tom P. Thompson, Jr., District Attorney General; and Howard Lee Chambers, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee

Judge: TIPTON

The defendant, Michelle Shoemaker, was convicted by a Jackson County Criminal Court jury of first degree murder, conspiracy to commit first degree murder, a Class A felony, solicitation of first degree murder, a Class B felony, and tampering with evidence, a Class C felony. She was sentenced as a Range I, violent offender to life in prison for her first degree murder conviction. She was sentenced as a Range I, standard offender to twenty years for conspiracy to commit first degree murder and to three years for tampering with evidence. The court ordered the sentences to be served concurrently, and it merged her solicitation conviction with the murder conviction. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court prevented her from presenting a defense by excluding evidence that a witness had been told that there was a “contract” on the defendant’s life. We hold that the trial court did not err in excluding the evidence, and we affirm the judgments.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/shoemakerm_110206.PDF


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. EDD STEPP

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Edward C. Miller, Public Defender, Dandridge, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Edd Stepp

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Blind Akrawi, Assistant Attorney General; Al C. Schmutzer, Jr., District Attorney General; and Tracy Stone, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee

Judge: HAYES

The Appellant, Edd Stepp, appeals from the sentencing decision of the Cocke County Circuit Court. In 2005, the trial court accepted Stepp’s pleas of guilty to nine counts of aggravated sexual battery. After a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced Stepp, as a violent offender, to the maximum sentence of twelve years for each of the Class B felony convictions. The court further ordered four of the sentences to be served consecutively, resulting in an effective sentence of forty-eight years in confinement. In this appeal as of right, Stepp argues that the trial court imposed excessive sentences for each conviction and erred by imposing consecutive sentences. Upon de novo review of the record, we find error with regard to: (1) the application of enhancing factors; (2) the non-application of a mitigating factor; and (3) the imposition of consecutive sentences. Accordingly, Stepp’s sentences are modified to reflect sentences of eight years for each count of aggravated sexual battery, with two of the nine counts to be served consecutively for an effective sentence of sixteen-years confinement in the penitentiary. We remand the case to the trial court for entry of amended judgments to reflect these sentencing modifications.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/steppe_110206.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JONATHAN E. WILLIAMS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Julie A. Rice, (on appeal) Knoxville, Tennessee, and (at trial) Mr. Gerald Russell, Maryville, Tennessee and Stacey Nordquist, Assistant District Public Defender, for the appellant, Johnathan E. Williams

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David E. Coenen, Assistant Attorney General; Michael L. Flynn, District Attorney General; and Tammy M. Harrington, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee

Judge: MCLIN

Pursuant to a plea agreement, the defendant, Jonathan E. Williams, pled guilty to theft over $60,000, a Class B felony and agreed to an eight-year sentence with the manner of service to be determined by the circuit court. After a sentencing hearing, the court ordered the defendant to serve his sentence in confinement. On appeal, the defendant challenges the court’s denial of alternative sentencing. Following our review of the parties’ briefs and applicable law, we reverse and remand for entry of a modified sentence.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/williamsj_110206.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DONALD EDWARD LYNCH, IN RE: X-CELL BONDING COMPANY

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Joel H. Moseley, Sr. and Joel H. Moseley, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, and George T. East, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellant, X-Cell Bonding Company

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; and H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee

Judge: WILLIAMS

The appellant, X-Cell Bonding Company, appeals the order of final forfeiture declared upon the minutes of the Sullivan County Circuit Court. Because the record fails to contain a Rule 58 final judgment, the appeal is dismissed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/x-cell_110206.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

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TBA Member Services

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A 2nd Juvenile Court judge for Memphis?
For nearly 40 years, Shelby County has had only one Juvenile Court judge but now a county commissioner proposes creation of a second division, adding a judge to work alongside newly elected judge Curtis Person. Commissioner Deidre Malone said she was prompted in part by complaints from families and attorneys of a backlog of 44,000 child support cases, some of which have a six-month waiting period.
The Commercial Appeal has more
Murder charges against 'Zoo Man' dismissed
Four murder charges against Thomas "Zoo Man" Huskey, Knox County's first and only accused serial killer, were dismissed today, the News Sentinel reports. The state Court of Criminal Appeals ordered the dismissal of the cases after finding fatal flaws in the way detectives secured evidence in the 1992 murders and Huskey's confession.
Follow the story in the News Sentinel
Ex-judges: Detainee law unconstitutional
Seven retired federal judges from both political parties have joined dozens of Guantanamo Bay detainees in urging an appeals court to declare key parts of President Bush's new anti-terrorism law unconstitutional, the Associated Press reports. The judges, in a rare court filing Wednesday, said stripping courts of the right to question how the military handles terrorism suspects "challenges the integrity of our judicial system" and effectively sanctions the use of torture.
Read it at TriCities.com
Clients and colleagues best part of job for Ragland
In an interview with Memphis Law Talk, lawyer Steve Ragland gives his views on his job, living in Memphis and the best memory from law school ("the last day of final exams.").
Read more in the Memphis Daily News
TBA Member Services
Program offers savings on auto insurance
See how being a member of the TBA could help you save 8 percent on car insurance. GEICO offers 24-hour sales, service and claims. Call GEICO at 1-800-368-2734.
Or get an Online Rate Quote

 
 
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