Learn key tools for successfully handling juvenile cases

If you're new to the practice of juvenile law or only occasionally venture into Juvenile Court, this upcoming program from the TBAís TennBarU is for you. This "nuts and bolts" presentation on April 9 at the Tennessee Bar Center in Nashville will provide you an overview of the types of cases juvenile courts handle, who some of the 'players' are in those courts, and how statutes and evidentiary rules make them different from other courts.

https://www.tba2.org/tennbaru/juvenile_040907.html

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
05 - TN Court of Appeals
05 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
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

JULIE BARNES ANDERSON v. EARL JAY ANDERSON

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

John D. Kitch, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Earl Jay Anderson.

C. LeAnn Smith, Nashville, for the appellee, Julie Barnes Anderson.

Judge: COTTRELL

The trial court granted both parties a divorce pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. Section 36-4-129 and awarded custody of their two minor children to the wife by stipulation. The court ordered the husband to pay child support in accordance with the current guidelines, as well as both rehabilitative alimony and alimony in futuro. The husband argues on appeal that the trial court erred because our Supreme Court has barred concurrent awards of both types of alimony. However, a recent legislative enactment has specifically authorized such awards, thereby rendering husbandís argument moot. The husband also argues that the total amount of alimony ordered was excessive and was beyond his ability to pay, and that the trial court erred in decreeing an automatic increase in alimony in futuro when the children reach the age of maturity. We agree with both contentions and we modify the trial court's alimony award accordingly. In all other respects we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/andersonjb_033007.pdf


LAUREN EUGENE LESLIE v. GENE LESLIE

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Peter Alliman, Madisonville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lauren Eugene Leslie.

Clifford E. Wilson, Madisonville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Gene Leslie.

Judge: SUSANO

The plaintiff, Lauren Eugene Leslie, fell down steps at his parents' home as he was carrying a toilet that he had removed from their "powder room." The plaintiff filed this suit against his father, Gene Leslie, alleging negligence. Both the plaintiff and his father testified at trial that the plaintiff fell because he tripped over a bowl of dog food that had been left on the steps by the defendant. This version of how the accident happened was at odds with a statement given by the defendant to an insurance adjuster one month after the accident. Following a bench trial, the court concluded that the plaintiff had failed to prove that his fall was caused by the bowl of dog food. The plaintiff appeals, challenging the trial court's credibility determinations and conclusion that causation had not been proven. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/lesliele_033007.pdf


F.E. MOON v. LEE BUFF, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

John C. Cavett, Jr., Chattanooga, Tennessee for the Appellant, F.E. Moon.

David H. Rotroff, Chattanooga, Tennessee for the Appellee, Lee Buff.

Judge: SWINEY

F.E. Moon ("Plaintiff") sued Lee Buff ("Defendant") claiming, in part, that Plaintiff had acquired real property known as Courthouse Street by virtue of adverse possession. The case was tried without a jury. After trial, the Trial Court entered an order finding and holding, inter alia, that Plaintiff had not proven adverse possession and that Defendant, and any other adjoining property owners whose deeds refer to Courthouse Street and other unopened roads shown in the plat of record, had the right to use Courthouse Street and those other roads as a means of ingress and egress. Plaintiff appeals to this Court. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/moonf_033007.pdf


LINDA ALEXANDER OWENS v. JAMES EMERY OWENS

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Robert A. Anderson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Linda Alexander Owens.

Roger A. Maness, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellee, James Emery Owens.

Judge: KOCH

This appeal involves the financial aspects of the dissolution of a marriage that lasted approximately twenty-five years. Both parties sought a divorce in the Circuit Court for Davidson County. Following a bench trial, the trial court declared the parties divorced, divided the parties' marital estate, and awarded the wife rehabilitative alimony for six years. On this appeal, the wife takes issue with the trial courtís valuation and division of the marital estate and with the amount and duration of the spousal support award. She also takes issue with the trial court's refusal to award her attorney's fees and discretionary costs. We have determined that the evidence does not support the trial court's valuation of one marital property interest and that a more equitable division of the marital estate is required. We have also determined that the amount and length of the wife's spousal support should be increased. Finally, we have determined that the trial court erred by denying the wife's request for payment of her attorney's fees but did not err by declining to award her discretionary costs.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/owensl_033007.pdf


IN RE R.F., N.F., J.F., & Z.F.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

D. Mitchell Bryant, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellant, W.F.

Eric S. Armstrong, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellant, T.F.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Douglas Earl Diamond, Senior Counsel, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, State of Tennessee, Department of Childrenís Services.

Judge: LEE

This is an appeal of the trial court's termination of the parental rights of W.F. and T.F. to their four minor children upon finding by clear and convincing evidence that grounds for termination existed and that termination was in the children's best interest. On appeal, the parents argue that there was insufficient proof of the statutory grounds for termination. Upon our determination that there was clear and convincing evidence both of the parents' substantial noncompliance with the permanency plan entered into in this case and of T.F.'s mental incompetence, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/rf_033007.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ROY ALBERT IVEY

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

J. Liddell Kirk, Knoxville, Tennessee; Raymond Mack Garner, District Public Defender; and Shawn G. Graham, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Roy Albert Ivey.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Preston Shipp, Assistant Attorney General; Michael L. Flynn, District Attorney General; and Mike Gallegos, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant, Roy Albert Ivy, pled guilty to the offense of theft of property greater than $10,000 (a Class C felony) and agreed to be sentenced as a Range I offender, with the length and manner of service of the sentence to be determined by the trial court. After a sentencing hearing, the court sentenced the defendant to serve five years in the Department of Correction. The trial court found that confinement was necessary to protect society, to avoid depreciation of the seriousness of the offense, and to provide an effective deterrence to others. The trial court also found that the defendant's criminal history and failure at past efforts for rehabilitation made it necessary to order a sentence of confinement. The trial court did mitigate the defendantís sentence downward in the range from a sentence of six years to five years, based on his compliance with an alternative sentence in another county. After careful review, we conclude the trial court properly sentenced the defendant and find no error. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/iveyra_033007.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JACOB ALLEN REYNOLDS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Kristi M. Davis, Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal), and Charles A. Carpenter, Maryville, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, Jacob Allen Reynolds.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David E. Coenen, Assistant Attorney General; Michael L. Flynn, District Attorney General; and Rocky H. Young, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, Jacob Allen Reynolds.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant, Jacob Allen Reynolds, pled guilty to one count of vandalism (Class C felony) and, after a sentencing hearing, was ordered to serve four years of confinement in the Department of Correction as a Range I, standard offender. Additionally, he was ordered to pay restitution to the victims in the amount of $11,407.75. On appeal, the defendant contends that the trial court erred in sentencing him to four years of confinement. After careful review, we hold that no error exists and affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/reynoldsja_033007.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JEREMIAH LEON WRIGHT

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Raymond Mack Garner, District Public Defender, for the appellant, Jeremiah Leon Wright.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; Michael L. Flynn, District Attorney General; and Tammy M. Harrington, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant, Jeremiah Leon Wright, after pleading guilty to rape, a Class B felony, was sentenced to the maximum of twelve years as a Range I, violent offender. The defendant appeals, contending that the trial court erred in failing to consider the defendant's mental health when mitigating the length of his sentence. We conclude that the new sentencing statute places greater discretion with the trial court in fashioning a sentence and that the trial court did not abuse its discretion. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/wrightjl_033007.pdf


JEFFERY YATES v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jeffery Yates, Pro se.

Michael E. Moore, Acting Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley Assistant Attorney General; D. Michael Dunavant, District Attorney General; and James Pentecost, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCGEE OGLE

The petitioner, Jeffery Yates, appeals the Hardeman County Circuit Court's denial of his petition for habeas corpus relief from his convictions for especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping, and attempted aggravated robbery. He contends that his sentences are illegal and, therefore, that his judgments of conviction are void. Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the trial court's denial of the petition for habeas corpus relief.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/yatesj_033007.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TRAVIS YOUNG

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Phyllis Aluko and Robert Jones (on appeal), and Timothy Albers (at trial), Memphis, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Travis Young.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Brian Clay Johnson, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; Paul Goodman, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

The Defendant, Travis Young, was convicted of two counts of aggravated robbery, three counts of aggravated assault, two counts of reckless aggravated assault, and one count of intentionally evading arrest. The trial court sentenced the Defendant to an effective sixteen-year sentence. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred when it: (1) classified him as a Range II offender; (2) enhanced the Defendant's sentences; and (3) imposed consecutive sentences. We affirm the judgments of the trial court as modified, and we remand the case for entry of judgments consistent with this opinion.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/youngt_033007.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Legislative News
TennBarU CLE
TBA Member Services

Legal News
BPR panel hears testimony in DA suspension
A hearing on whether 13th Judicial District Attorney General William "Bill" Gibson should have the suspension of his law license lifted ended Tuesday after 16 hours of testimony before a Board of Professional Responsibility panel. The suspension was issued after ethics complaints were filed against Gibson for a two-year letter correspondence with self-confessed killer Christopher Adams.
Read more in the Crossville Chronicle
Nashville attorney Moss earns Athena Award
Nashville attorney Barbara Moss, a former TBA board member, and fervent advocate for women, minority lawyers, the poor and the law, was honored Thursday night by the women's networking organization CABLE, which presented her its 2007 Athena Award.
Learn more in the Tennessean
UT College of Law moves up in magazine rankings
The University of Tennessee College of Law moved up four notches -- to number 26 -- in the U.S. News and World Report's 2008 rankings of public law schools. Among all 195 accredited public and private law schools, UT ranks 53rd, tied with Baylor University, Case Western Reserve University, and Florida State University. Last year, UT ranked 60th among public and private law schools.
Read more
Ethics director weathers criticism
Bruce Androphy has made plenty of enemies during his first months leading the newly created Tennessee Ethics Commission. Legislators, lobbyists and others have grumbled about new disclosure forms, higher fees, a lack of openness and new restrictions that are changing the way the General Assembly does business. Androphy tells the Tennessean it's just part of the job.
Read more in the Tennessean
New member on Judicial Evaluation Commission to be named
The Tennessee Bar Association is accepting applications from members interested in being nominees to the Judicial Evaluation Commission. The seat for which the TBA will nominate is currently being held by Sarah Sheppeard of Knoxville, who is not eligible for reappointment.

The TBA nominates three people for the commission and the Speaker of the House of Representatives will choose the commission member from those nominees. If you are interested, contact TBA Executive Director Allan F. Ramsaur by mail at 221 Fourth Ave. North, Suite 400, Nashville, TN 37219. Include a letter of interest and a resume. Applications must be received by April 13. The Board of Governors will choose the TBA's nominees at its April 28 meeting. Complete details about the procedure the board will employ may be found
on the TBA web site
The First Amendment: Read all about it
Interested in the topic of free speech? Where did it begin, where does it end? And why? And what does history teach us ... from Milton to Madison to Mill to Meiklejohn and beyond? First Amendment scholar Ronald K.L. Collins gives a preview of several new books coming out on the subject.
Learn more
UT Law gets gift from settlement fund
The James L. Clayton Center for Entrepreneurial Law at the University of Tennessee has received a charitable gift from the Settlement Fund of recent litigation involving the Dollar General corporation and will use it to support a Visiting Professor of Corporate Governance and Investor Rights.
Learn more
Legislative News
Deal on cigarette tax may be close
Gov. Phil Bredesen and Republican legislative leaders are reportedly near a compromise on increasing the state's cigarette tax. The deal may include a reduction in the state's sales tax on groceries.
Read more in the Knoxville News Sentinel
Caldwell out of 12th District Senate race
Roane County native and real estate broker Joe Caldwell says he will not enter the race to fill the 12th District State Senate seat being vacated by Tommy Kilby. Caldwell says he has recently been presented with business opportunities that would make it difficult for him to pursue the seat.
Read more on the Chattanoogan.com
TennBarU CLE
Getting paid a problem? TennBarU online ethics course can help
Collecting fees is not directly addressed in the Rules of Professional Conduct, however both the rules and malpractice carriers have something to say on the issue. A new online course from TennBarU explores practice management strategies to help reduce the number of non-paying clients and discusses ethical obligations for collecting fees from such clients.
Register or learn more
TBA Member Services
Student loans at low rates through SunTrust
The TBA and SunTrust Bank now have a Partnership Program to help alleviate the burden of student loans. Members and their families can consolidate their federal student loans at a special low fixed rate - right now as low as 5.375%. In addition, those with consolidation loans greater than $10,000 are eligible to reduce their interest rate by another 1.5% for on-time payments and automatic debit payments.
Learn more

 
 
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