TBA introduces 'The Complete Lawyer' e-zine for members

TBA members have a new resource at their disposal to help guide their careers, their businesses and their personal lives. Along with regular features on these subjects and more, each issue of "The Complete Lawyer" tackles an important topic facing lawyers. The issue just released today focuses on career transitions and features interviews with Tennessee lawyers who have not followed traditional career paths. Whether you are just starting your law practice, looking to make a mid-career change or interested in how to semi-retire, this issue has information you can use. Explore "The Complete Lawyer" now.

http://tennessee.thecompletelawyer.com/

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

DENNIS COKER, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, v. THE PURDUE PHARMA COMPANY, ET AL.
Corrected Opinion. The first line of the first full paragraph is corrected to read "Plaintiff/Appellant."


Court: TCA

Attorneys:

B.J. Wade, Memphis, Tennessee, and of counsel, William M. Audet, San Francisco, California, Andrew N. Friedman, Phoenix, Arizona, and Robert Shelquist, Minneapolis, Minnesota, for Plaintiff/Appellant Dennis Coker.

W. David Bridgers, Nashville, Tennessee, and Timothy C. Hester, Washington, D.C., for Defendants/Appellees The Purdue Pharma Company, et al.

Judge: KIRBY

This is a class action involving federal preemption. The defendants own a series of patents for the prescription pain medication OxyContin. In prior separate litigation between the defendants and a generic drug manufacturer, a federal district court in New York found that the defendants committed inequitable conduct before the United States Patent Office in procuring the patents. After this order was entered by the federal court in New York, the plaintiff filed the instant class action in Shelby County, Tennessee, on behalf of all consumers of OxyContin, alleging violations of the Tennessee Trade Practices Act, the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act, and common law monopolization. These state law claims were based on the defendants' conduct before the United States Patent Office. The defendants removed the case to the federal district court for the Western District of Tennessee. The district court remanded the case back to the Tennessee trial court, holding that the finding of inequitable conduct against the defendants by the federal court in New York operated as collateral estoppel on the issue regarding the federal patent laws. On remand, the defendants filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings based on federal preemption. The trial court granted the motion. We affirm, finding that the plaintiff's antitrust and unfair competition claims, based on the defendants' conduct before the Patent Office, are preempted by the federal patent laws.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/cokerd_corr_120506.pdf


FLOYD LAYMAN, CHRIS LAYMAN and JEFF LAYMAN v. FRANK T. HAYES and wife, CHRISTINE E. HAYES

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Brian T. Mansfield, Sevierville, Tennessee, for appellants.

William M. Leibrock, Newport, Tennessee, for appellees.

Judge: FRANKS

An action to have an easement established across defendants' property resulted in the Trial Court finding an express easement and also by prescription across defendants' property. We hold plaintiffs established an easement by prescription.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/laymanf_120506.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WILLIAM CLAY BOHANAN, JR.

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Michael A. Colavecchio, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, William Clay Bohanan, Jr.

Michael E. Moore, Acting Attorney General & Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Brian Holmgren and Katrin Miller, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, William Clay Bohanan, Jr., was convicted by a Davidson County jury of two counts of first degree felony murder and one count of aggravated arson. The trial court sentenced the defendant to concurrent life sentences for each felony murder conviction and imposed a consecutive 20-year sentence for the aggravated arson conviction. On appeal, the defendant complains that the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions and that the trial court erred in admitting testimony of domestic violence between the defendant and a woman with whom the defendant was involved. After thoroughly reviewing the record and the applicable authorities, we hold that no error exists and affirm the defendant's convictions.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/bohananw_120506.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WANDA BOOKER

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; T. Michel Bottoms, District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

Claudia S. Jack, District Public Defender, and Robin Farber, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellee, Wanda Booker.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The State appeals the trial court's suppression of the evidence seized from the defendant's home pursuant to a search warrant. We conclude that the deficiencies in the confidential informant's basis of knowledge and proof of veracity were cured by independent police corroboration. We reverse the trial court's suppression of evidence and remand for trial.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/bookerw_120506.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TONEY L. CONN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Richard D. Dumas (on appeal), Nashville, Tennessee, and Paul J. Walwyn (at trial), Madison, Tennessee, for the appellant, Toney L. Conn.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Amy Eisenbeck, Gigi Braun and Nancy H. Kim, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The appellant, Toney L. Conn, was convicted of possession with intent to sell or deliver twenty-six grams or more of a schedule II controlled substance (cocaine), felony possession of a handgun, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a controlled substance (marijuana). Pursuant to the grant of a delayed appeal by the post-conviction court, the appellant seeks a new trial in connection with his convictions. On appeal, he presents three issues for review: (1) whether the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress; (2) whether the trial court erred in hearing the motion to suppress after the trial had begun; and (3) whether the evidence at trial was sufficient to support his convictions. Following our review of the parties' briefs and the applicable law, we affirm the udgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/connt_120506.pdf


ROBBY LYNN DAVIDSON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Michael Savage, Livingston, Tennessee, for the appellant, Robby Lynn Davidson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; William E. Gibson, District Attorney General; and Owen Burnett, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

A Pickett County jury convicted the Petitioner, Robby Lynn Davidson, of two counts of second1 degree murder. The trial judge imposed two twenty-five year sentences to be served consecutively in the Department of Correction. On direct appeal, the Petitioner challenged both his convictions and his sentences, and this Court affirmed both. The Petitioner now requests post-conviction relief, alleging that he received the ineffective assistance of trial counsel and that the State committed prosecutorial misconduct. We conclude that the Petitioner is not entitled to relief based on ineffective assistance of counsel and that the Petitioner's claims of prosecutorial misconduct have been waived by failure to present them on direct appeal. Therefore, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/davidsonr_120506.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. BILLY L. HALL

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Mickey Hall, Winchester, Tennessee, for the appellant, Billy L. Hall.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; J. Michael Taylor, District Attorney General; and Julia Sanders, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The defendant, Billy L. Hall, was convicted of driving under the influence and possessing a handgun while under the influence of alcohol. On appeal, he challenges the sufficiency of the convicting evidence. Upon our review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/hallb_120506.pdf


JAMES A. HAMPTON v. WAYNE BRANDON, Warden

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

James A. Hampton, Only, Tennessee, pro se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Ronald L. Davis, District Attorney General; for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

This matter is before the Court upon the State's motion to affirm the judgment of the habeas court by memorandum opinion pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The Petitioner has appealed the habeas court's order dismissing the petition for writ of habeas corpus. Upon a review of the record in this case, we are persuaded that the habeas court was correct in dismissing the habeas corpus petition and that this case meets the criteria for affirmance pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Accordingly, the State's motion is granted and the judgment of the habeas corpus court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/hamptonj_120506.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE V. AUDRA LYNN JOHNSON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Roger E. Nell, District Public Defender, for the appellant, Audra Lynn Johnson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; John Carney, District Attorney General; and C. Daniel Brollier, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: DANIEL

The Appellant, Audra Lynn Johnson, entered a best interest plea and reserved for appeal a certified question of law: whether the trial court possessed territorial jurisdiction to try the out-of-state defendant. We conclude that the trial court lacked territorial jurisdiction.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/johnsona_120506.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MARY ANN McNEILLY
With Concurring & Dissenting Opinion


Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Norris Arthur Kessler, III, Winchester, Tennessee, for the appellant, Mary Ann McNeilly.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brian Clay Johnson, Assistant Attorney General; James Michael Taylor, District Attorney General; and Steve Blount, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

A Franklin County Circuit Court jury convicted the appellant, Mary Ann McNeilly, of driving under the influence (DUI), a Class A misdemeanor. The trial court sentenced her to eleven months and twenty-nine days, to be suspended after serving ten days in confinement; imposed a three hundred fifty dollar fine; ordered that she perform one hundred hours of public service; and suspended her driver's license for one year. On appeal, the appellant claims (1) that the trial court should have suppressed her statement to a police officer; (2) that the trial court improperly allowed the State to replay a videotape of the appellant’s stop for the jury; (3) that the trial court improperly admitted the appellant's blood test results into evidence because the State failed to establish a proper chain of custody; (4) that the trial court erred by refusing to allow defense witnesses to testify about the appellant’s character; (5) that the evidence is insufficient to support the conviction; (6) that her sentence is excessive; and (7) that these cumulative errors denied the appellant her right to a fair trial. Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the appellant’s conviction but modify her sentence to reflect that she is to serve five days in confinement and remand the case for entry of an amended judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/mcneillym_120506.pdf

HAYES CONCURRING IN PART/DISSENTING IN PART
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/mcneillym_dis_120506.pdf


MAURICE PRUITT v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

J. Colin Morris, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Maurice Pruitt.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; C. Daniel Lins, Assistant Attorney General; Garry G. Brown, District Attorney General; and Elaine Gwinn Todd, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The petitioner, Maurice Pruitt, was convicted of the sale of one-half gram or more of cocaine, a Class B felony, and was sentenced to 18 years in prison. He filed a petition for post-conviction relief, claiming that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel. The trial court dismissed his petition. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/pruittm_120506.pdf


WILLIAM B. ROBINSON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

J. Michael Brown and Aminah M. Collick (on appeal), and Michael A. Colavecchio (on appeal and at trial), Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, William B. Robinson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Katrin Novak Miller and Angelita B. Dalton, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The petitioner, William B. Robinson, appeals the post-conviction court's denial of post-conviction relief. On appeal, he argues that (1) the trial court's giving an instruction on first-degree murder was plain error, and (2) the post-conviction court erred in denying post-conviction relief because he received the ineffective assistance of counsel. Upon our review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/robinsonw_120506.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DWIGHT MORTON SPENCE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Andrew Jackson Dearing, III, Shelbyville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Dwight Morton Spence.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; William Michael McCown, District Attorney General; and Weakley E. Barnard, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The appellant, Dwight Morton Spence, pled guilty in the Marshall County Circuit Court to two counts of manufacturing a Schedule VI controlled substance and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and received an effective five-year sentence. On appeal, he claims that the trial court should have ordered him to serve his sentences on community corrections. Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/spenced_120506.pdf


TERRANCE TURNER v. RICKY BELL, Warden

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; Lisa Naylor, Assistant District Attorney General; for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Terrance Turner, Nashville, Tennessee, pro se.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

This matter is before the Court upon the State's motion to affirm the judgment of the habeas court by memorandum opinion pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The Petitioner has appealed the habeas court's order dismissing the petition for writ of habeas corpus. Upon a review of the record in this case, we are persuaded that the habeas court was correct in dismissing the habeas corpus petition and that this case meets the criteria for affirmance pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Accordingly, the State's motion is granted and the judgment of the habeas corpus court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/turnert_120506.pdf


ANTONIO RICO WALLS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Debra A. Wall, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Antonio Rico Walls.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; John Carney, District Attorney General, and Arthur Bivens, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

The petitioner pled guilty to three counts of selling cocaine over .5 grams within 1000 feet of a school. He was also convicted in a jury trial of a fourth count for the same offense. The trial court sentenced the petitioner to fifteen years for each conviction to run concurrently. The petitioner was unsuccessful on his direct appeal and appeal of a certified question. The petitioner timely filed a petition for post-conviction relief arguing that his rights of equal protection were violated. The post-conviction court denied the petition. We affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/wallsa_120506.pdf


ALONZO C. WILLIAMS V. STATE OF TENNESSEE and CHERRY LINDAMOOD, WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Alonzo Williams, pro se, Clifton, Tennessee.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

This matter is before the Court upon the State's motion to affirm the judgment of the trial court by memorandum opinion pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The petitioner, Alonzo Williams, has appealed the trial court's order summarily dismissing his petition for the writ of habeas corpus. In that petition, the petitioner sought a writ of habeas corpus to release him from his sentence. We are persuaded that the trial court was correct in summarily dismissing the habeas corpus petition and that this case meets the criteria for affirmance pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Accordingly, the State's motion is granted, and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/williamsa_120506.pdf


NATHANIEL T. WILLIAMS v. CHERRY LINDAMOOD, Warden

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Nathaniel T. Williams, Clifton, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; Pam Anderson, Assistant District Attorney General; for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

This matter is before the Court upon the State's motion to affirm the judgment of the habeas court by memorandum opinion pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The Petitioner has appealed the habeas court's order dismissing the petition for writ of habeas corpus. Upon a review of the record in this case, we are persuaded that the habeas court was correct in dismissing the habeas corpus petition and that this case meets the criteria for affirmance pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Accordingly, the State's motion is granted and the judgment of the habeas corpus court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/williamsn_120506.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WALTER EDWARD YOUNG

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Sara Willingham, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Walter Edward Young.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brian Clay Johnson, Assistant Attorney General; John Carney, District Attorney General; and Arthur Bieber, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

This matter is before the Court upon the Defendant's appeal from an order of the trial court denying the Defendant's motion to withdraw his guilty plea. The State argues that the appeal should be dismissed because the Defendant, Walter Edward Young, did not timely file his notice of appeal. We agree that the notice of appeal was not timely filed. We also conclude that the interest of justice does not require that the timely filing of the notice of appeal be waived. Accordingly, this appeal is dismissed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/youngw_120506.pdf


Consideration of Attempted Felony Conviction for Purpose of Police Officer Certification by Tennessee Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-12-04

Opinion Number: 06-173

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2006/ag_06-173.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Upcoming
BPR Actions

Legal News
Former official says corporate guidelines overreach
Former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson, who helped write the government's policy to crack down on corporate lawbreaking, said that prosecutors appear to have overreached when targeting some businesses. In a speech last week, he defended the overall goal of the law but suggested that prosecutors may be too aggressive in pressuring businesses to cooperate with the government. The department currently is debating whether to roll back some of the harsher guidelines developed after the law's enactment, according to the Associated Press.
Read more on WSMV.com
Clarksville city attorney announces resignation
Clarksville's first full-time attorney, David Haines, announced his resignation this week effective Jan. 1. Haines said he was resigning to take the position of general counsel with the state Administrative Office of the Courts.
The Leaf-Chronicle has more
Is race a factor in corruption charges?
A Memphis Commercial Appeal reporter explores this question in the wake of new arrests of African American politicians in Memphis.
Read his report
In related news, the Memphis City Council this morning defeated a resolution calling on Edmund Ford and Rickey Peete to resign their elected positions. The vote was 6-6.
The Commercial Appeal reports on the debate
Davidson County schools cited at high court
A U.S. Supreme Court case involving the racial composition of schools is causing educators and policy-makers to look at the Davidson County school district to see how colorblind enrollment affects education. Because of the work of a Vanderbilt professor, they will have solid social science research to evaluate. The Tennessean reports that the Vanderbilt data was submitted to the high court in briefs this week.
Read the story
Paying for city legal services in Jackson
Among Tennessee's 10 most populated cities, Jackson is the only one that does not have an in-house attorney. An article in the Jackson Sun explores whether this decision has hurt the city's bottom line or not.
Read it here
TBI probing Claiborne sheriff
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is probing an allegation that Claiborne County Sheriff David Ray engaged in "inappropriate sexual contact" with a 17-year-old girl. The investigation was launched at the request of C. Berkeley Bell, district attorney general for the 3rd Judicial District.
The News Sentinel has the story
Upcoming
Knoxville Bar annual meeting this Friday
The Knoxville Bar Association's Annual Membership Meeting will be Dec. 8 at 8:30 a.m. at the Main Assembly Room of the City County Building. The president-elect, treasurer, secretary and four positions on the Board of Governors will be decided.
For details visit the KBA Web site
Luncheon for Judge Thomas
A luncheon will be held in honor of Blount County Circuit Court Judge D. Kelly Thomas' recent appointment to the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals, Eastern Division, reports Blount Today. The event, which will feature Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Gary Wade as guest speaker, will be held at noon on Dec. 8 at Sullivan's Downtown in Maryville. For information, call Joe Gallagher at 983-4557.

Retired Justice Anderson to speak at dinner
Former Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Riley Anderson will be the guest speaker at a Dec. 12 holiday dinner sponsored by the Oak Ridge League of Women voters. The 7 p.m. dinner, which is open to the public, will be held at the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church. For more information, contact Janis Williams at (865) 483-1219 or Mary Uziel at (865) 483-1043. Tickets are $25 and reservations must be made by Dec. 6, reports the Oak Ridger.

BPR Actions
Dresden attorney suspended
On Nov. 30, the Supreme Court issued an order summarily suspending Harry Max Speight from the practice of law after finding that he had misappropriated funds to his own use.
Read the BPR release

 
 
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