Bredesen names 5 new commissioners

Three attorneys were among five Tennesseans named today by Governor Phil Bredesen as the next commissioners of the state departments of Commerce and Insurance, Financial Institutions, Health, Revenue and Safety. Today’s appointees will take their oath of office during Bredesen’s second inauguration on Jan. 20.

http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/news/2007/govappoints_010807.html

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

SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS Grants & Denials List

Court: TSC

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2007/certlist_010807.pdf


CHRISTOPHER HARVILLE v. OLIVE HILL LUMBER COMPANY

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

Jeffrey P. Boyd, Jackson, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Christopher Harville.

Lee Anne Murray, Byron K. Lindberg, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Olive Hill Lumber Company.

Judge: HARRIS

This workers’ compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers’ Compensation Appeals Panel in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. At trial, the Appellant, Christopher Harville, was awarded benefits for total loss of his left arm. He has appealed alleging that the trial court erred in limiting benefits to those provided for a scheduled member under the Workers’ Compensation Law and in not finding him permanently and totally disabled. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2007/harvillec_010807.pdf


TRAVELERS PROPERTY CASUALTY COMPANY OF AMERICA v. WILLIAM WESLEY TERRY

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Donald Capparella, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Travelers Property Casualty Company of America.

William B. Jakes, III, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, William Wesley Terry.

Judge: CLEMENT

Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, which paid in excess of $1,200,000 for a fire loss at the insured’s condominium complex, filed this subrogation action against the tenant of the owner of one of the condominium units who allegedly caused the fire. Travelers’ insured is the owner of the building and common area of the condominium complex. The defendant is a tenant of one of the units within the condominium complex. The lease was silent on the issue of insurance coverage, and it provided that the tenant would be liable for damage caused by his negligence. The trial court summarily dismissed the action against the tenant, finding it was barred by the so-called Sutton coinsured anti-subrogation rule adopted by this Court in Allstate Ins. Co. v. Watson, No. M2003- 01574-COA-R3, 2005 WL 457846 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 22, 2005), aff’d on other grounds, 195 S.W.3d 609 (Tenn. 2006). We, however, find Watson and the Sutton anti-subrogation rule inapplicable to the matters at issue because the defendant tenant is not in privity of contract with Travelers. Accordingly, we vacate the trial court’s summary dismissal of this action and remand for further proceedings.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/travelersproperty_010807.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ERNEST BANKS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Robert Wilson Jones, District Public Defender; Garland Ergüden, Assistant Public Defender; and Harry Sayle, Assistant Public Defender, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Earnest Banks.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; William Gibbons, District Attorney General; Theresa McCusker, Assistant District Attorney General, and Scott Bearup, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Defendant, Earnest Banks, pled guilty to burglarizing a motor vehicle. The trial court held a separate sentencing hearing. At the conclusion of the hearing, the trial court sentenced Defendant to three years as a Range II, multiple offender, to be served consecutively to a previous conviction. The trial court also denied Defendant’s request for alternative sentencing. Defendant appeals on the grounds that the trial court erred in setting his sentence above the minimum and in denying his request for probation. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/bankse_010807.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DERRELL E. BENDER

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Dwight E. Scott, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Derrell E. Bender.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Blind Akrawi, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Pamela Sue Anderson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Derrell E. Bender, appeals from the Davidson County Criminal Court’s denial of his motion for a reduction of his ten-year, guilty-pleaded sentence for voluntary manslaughter. We affirm the criminal court’s order of dismissal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/benderd_010807.pdf


MICHAEL ANTHONY BUSH v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

David Hopkins, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael Anthony Bush.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Blind Akrawi, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Bret Gunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

The Petitioner, Michael Anthony Bush, was indicted by a Davidson County grand jury for eight counts of aggravated burglary and two counts of burglary. He was tried on one count of aggravated burglary and was convicted and sentenced to nine years in the Department of Correction. Subsequently, the Petitioner pled guilty to four additional counts of aggravated burglary, and he received an effective sentence of twenty-seven years in the Department of Correction. In his petition for post-conviction relief, the Petitioner alleges several claims of ineffective assistance of counsel: (1) trial counsel did not adequately investigate the facts of the case by failing to present expert testimony to challenge the State’s fingerprint evidence; (2) trial counsel did not adequately inform him of the State’s fingerprint evidence during the plea-bargaining stage; (3) trial counsel did not allow him to testify at trial; (4) trial counsel did not inform him that, if he did not testify, he would not receive a jury instruction on aggravated criminal trespass; (5) trial counsel did not seek a psychological examination, “despite his having been committed to two state institutions in his past,” thereby foregoing a possible insanity defense; and (6) trial counsel failed to “force” the State to try all the Petitioner’s charges in one trial. The Petitioner also alleges prosecutorial misconduct, stating that the prosecutor retaliated against him because he had filed a federal lawsuit against the district attorney’s office. Specifically, the Petitioner states that the prosecutors withdrew a six-year plea offer in retaliation over the lawsuit and refused to allow the defense access to the fingerprint evidence for the same reason. We conclude that the trial court properly denied post-conviction relief. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/bushm_010807.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RONNIE R. CHARLESTON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jeffrey A. DeVasher (on appeal), J. Michael Engle and Katie Weiss (at trial), Assistant Public Defenders, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ronnie R. Charleston.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Amy Eisenbeck, Rachel Sobrero and Pamela Sue Anderson, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The defendant, Ronnie R. Charleston, was convicted of felony murder, especially aggravated robbery, and second degree murder. He was sentenced as a Range III, persistent offender to a total effective sentence of life imprisonment plus fifty-five years. On appeal, he presents two issues for our review: (1) whether the evidence was sufficient to support his convictions; and (2) whether the trial court erred in determining the length and the manner of service of his sentences. Upon review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/charlestonr_010807.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. LORNE JAMES CLABOUGH

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

James F. Logan, Jr., Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lorne James Clabough.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Jerry N. Estes, District Attorney General; and Kristie L. Luffman and Shari T. Young, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

Lorne James Clabough, the defendant, appeals his convictions and sentences of especially aggravated kidnapping (Class A felony), aggravated assault (Class C felony), two counts of aggravated assault by recklessness (Class D felonies), and evading arrest (Class E felony). The defendant was sentenced to an effective twenty years of incarceration as a Range I, violent offender. The defendant presents three issues for review: (1) The trial court erred in the method utilized for jury selection; (2) The trial court erred in refusing to admit the defendant’s recorded statement into evidence; and (3) The trial court erred in sentencing. After review, we conclude that no reversible error is present and affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/claboughlj_010807.pdf


BRIAN LARICE CURETON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jeremy Parham, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Brian Larice Cureton.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Preston Shipp, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Bret Gunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

The Petitioner, Brian Larice Cureton, appeals as of right from the judgment of the Davidson County Criminal Court denying post-conviction relief. In 2002, a jury convicted the Petitioner of felony murder and aggravated child abuse, and he received sentences of life with the possibility of parole and twenty-five years respectively. This Court affirmed his convictions and sentence on direct appeal. Subsequently, the Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief and, following an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court denied relief. He now appeals to this Court, arguing that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel due to trial counsels’ failure (1) to file a motion 1 to suppress his statements made to the police and (2) to investigate and introduce prior acts of abuse by the State’s key witness, Ms. Kianoltra Ewing, against the victim. After a review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/curetonb_010807.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MELVIN B. DOBBINS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Richard Tennent, Nashville, Tennessee (on appeal); and Mike Fox, Nashville, Tennessee (at trial), for the Appellant, Melvin B. Dobbins.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and David Vorhaus, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

Aggrieved of his conviction of driving under the influence (DUI) following a bench trial in the Davidson County Criminal Court, the defendant, Melvin B. Dobbins, appeals and presents the issues: (1) whether, after hours, a public park was an area “generally frequented by the public” for purposes of the DUI statute; and (2) whether the evidence supported a finding that the defendant also drove his vehicle on a public street. Following our review, we affirm the DUI conviction.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/dobbinsm_010807.pdf


ANTONIUS HARRIS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Harold R. Gunn, Humboldt, Tennessee, for the appellant, Antonius Harris.

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, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Petitioner, Antonius Harris, appeals the dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief which alleged that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance of counsel. Specifically, Petitioner contends that trial counsel’s assistance was ineffective for failure to call certain witnesses at trial. Petitioner also contends that the trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury on self-defense as an affirmative defense and in imposing consecutive sentencing. After a thorough review of the record, we conclude that Petitioner has failed to show any deficiencies in his counsel’s assistance or prejudice for failing to call Petitioner’s suggested witnesses. Petitioner’s challenges to the trial court’s jury instructions and the imposition of consecutive sentencing were raised in Petitioner’s direct appeal and thus have been previously determined. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/harrisa_010807.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. EFREM IRA McCORY,aka EFREM HAMPTON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

George Morton Googe, District Public Defender; and Gregory D. Gookin, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Efrem Ira McCory, aka Efrem Hampton.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Blind Akrawi, Assistant Attorney General; James G. (Jerry) Woodall, District Attorney General; and Shaun A. Brown, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Following a revocation hearing, the trial court revoked the probation of Defendant, Efrem Ira McCory, and ordered him to serve his two-year sentence in confinement. In his appeal, Defendant argues that the trial court abused its discretion in revoking his probation. After a review of this matter, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/mccorye_010807.pdf


TRAVIS PARSON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

John B. Curtis, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Travis Parson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Anita Spinetta, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Petitioner, Travis Parson, was convicted of two counts of especially aggravated robbery and one count of criminally negligent homicide. He was sentenced to consecutive sentences of twenty years for each robbery conviction, and a concurrent sentence of two years for his homicide conviction, for a total effective sentence of forty years. On direct appeal, this Court ruled that the record did not support consecutive sentencing, and that dual convictions for especially aggravated robbery violated principles of double jeopardy. We therefore modified one of the convictions to aggravated assault and remanded that conviction for sentencing. His total effective sentence was amended and reduced to twenty years. In September 2004, Petitioner filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. Counsel was appointed and an amended petition was filed. The post-conviction court subsequently denied relief. Petitioner now appeals that denial arguing that counsel was ineffective for (1) failing to present a second defense of misidentification, and (2) failing to call Petitioner’s mother to “bolster” his alibi.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/parsont_010807.pdf


CHRISTOPHER NEIL SCHULTZ v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Ryan C. Caldwell, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Christopher Neil Schultz.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; C. Daniel Lins, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson III, District Attorney General; and Kathy Morante, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

On March 3, 2004, Petitioner, Christopher Schultz, pled guilty to two counts of first degree murder. The trial court sentenced Petitioner to serve two concurrent life sentences. On November 30, 2004, Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief which the post-conviction court subsequently denied. In this appeal, Petitioner argues that the post-conviction court erred in denying him postconviction relief because his guilty pleas were not knowingly and voluntarily entered. After a thorough review of the record, the judgment of the post-conviction court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/schultzc_010807.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ROBERT WEAVER

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Robert Wilson Jones, District Public Defender; Trent Hall, Assistant Public Defender; and Sandra R. DiMaggio, Assistant Public Defender, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Robert Weaver.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Michelle Parks, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEAVER

Following a jury trial, Defendant, Robert Weaver was convicted of one count of robbery, a Class C felony. The trial court sentenced Defendant as a Range II, multiple offender, to ten years. Defendant does not appeal the length of his sentence. Defendant argues, however, that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction. After a thorough review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/weaverr_010807.pdf


Development Districts as Regional Tourism Organizations

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-01-04

Opinion Number: 2007-01

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2007/ag_07-01.pdf

Security Guards Issuing Criminal Summons/Citation

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-01-04

Opinion Number: 2007-02

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2007/ag_07-02.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Upcoming

Legal News
Firms cash in on merger mania
A record year for U.S. corporate mergers and acquisitions meant big business for Midstate investment bankers, lawyers and accountants who play a role in such deals. Some $100 billion worth of such transactions that involved Tennessee-based companies were announced during 2006, according to an analysis by Bloomberg LP. The biggest was the purchase of hospital chain HCA for $33 billion, the second largest leveraged buyout in history. Beneficiaries included the law firm Bass, Berry & Sims of Nashville, which offered HCA legal advice and had a share in an estimated $62 million of legal and consulting fees.
The Tennessean has the story
White House says visit logs off-limits
The White House and the Secret Service quietly signed an agreement last spring in the midst of the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal declaring that records identifying visitors to the White House are not open to the public, the Associated Press reports. The Bush administration didn't reveal the existence of the memorandum of understanding until last fall. The White House is using it to deal with a legal problem on a separate front, a ruling by a federal judge ordering the production of Secret Service logs identifying visitors to the office of Vice President Dick Cheney.
Read about it in the Commercial Appeal
Anderson lawyer found in contempt
An Anderson County attorney who repeatedly interrupted a new judge during an angry courtroom exchange with her was found in criminal contempt of court Friday. Special Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood ruled against Victoria Bowling following a three-hour hearing.
The News Sentinel has more
Claiborne sheriff faces federal lawsuit
A federal court lawsuit filed Friday accuses Claiborne County Sheriff David Ray of raping a 17-year-old girl while on a deer hunt in November. Already the subject of a criminal investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Ray also is accused of threatening the girl with his service weapon, holding her against her will in his truck and sexually molesting as well as raping her.
The News Sentinel has more
6th Circuit judge vocal against death penalty
Former 6th Circuit Chief Judge Boyce Martin has turned up the volume in his opposition to the death penalty, drawing increasing attention with his unusually blunt and outspoken opinions. Some experts believe the U.S. Supreme Court is watching what's happening in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and other circuits before it takes another look at the death penalty or, at least, the use of lethal injection, which is increasingly being challenged in lawsuits.
The Tennessean has this Associated Press story
Judge declines to recuse himself in Kingsport double-murder case
A double-murder case against a Kingsport man will remain in Criminal Court Judge Rob Montgomery's court after he denied a defense motion Friday that he recuse himself from presiding over it.
The Kingsport Times News has details
ACLU seeks $50,000 for Ten Commandments lawsuit
County Commissioners may have to pay the American Civil Liberties Union attorneys a $50,000 settlement for the commissioners' decision to post the Ten Commandments April 18, 2002, in the Courthouse. ACLU filed a lawsuit against the county the same day maintaining the posting was unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Robert Echols ordered the Ten Commandments removed on behalf of the ACLU in June 2004, 68 days after it was posted.
The Murfreesboro Post has this story
Inmate found dead, hanged, in Metro jail
A 52-year-old white male inmate was found dead by Metro Sheriff's employees Sunday during a routine check, the Tennessean reports.
Read the story
British lawyers expect a trim on wig-wearing
Will the horsehair wigs of tight, white curls be a thing of the past in British courts?
Find out in this AP story
Should juveniles be tried as adults?
Columnist Terry A. Maroney writes that even if the chance of rehabilitation is slim for minors, they still should not be locked up with adults.
Read the opinion
Upcoming
Legal classic coming to stage
The Patterson Park Ensemble Players and Out Front Productions join forces to bring to the stage Harper Lee's timeless classic "To Kill A Mockingbird." The play runs Feb. 9-11 and 16-18 at Murfreesboro's Theatre at Patterson Park, 521 Mercury Blvd.
For more information, read the Murfreesboro Post

 
 
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