Court to announce access to justice initiative

The Tennessee Supreme Court will publicly announce a new court initiative relating to access to justice at 2 p.m. on Dec. 5 in the Old Supreme Court Chambers in the Tennessee State Capitol. The court will outline general and specific measures to be undertaken in the coming year to improve access to justice in Tennessee. The event is open to the public and media, and will be followed by a reception.
TODAY'S OPINIONS
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01 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
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TENNIE MARTIN ET AL. v. NORFOLK SOUTHERN RAILWAY COMPANY ET AL.
With Concurring Opinion


Court: TSC

Attorneys:

Amy J. Farrar and Donald N. Capparella, Nashville, Tennessee, and J.D. Lee, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellants, Tennie Martin and Roya Mitchell.

Emily L. Herman-Thompson and John William Baker, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellees, Norfolk Southern Railway Company and Anthony D. Worley.

Judge: HOLDER

This case comes before us on an appeal of the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants. Because the plaintiffs have established the existence of several genuine issues of material fact, we conclude that summary judgment is inappropriate. We further conclude that the trial court did not err in excluding evidence of a defendant's subsequent remedial measures. We therefore reverse the trial court's judgment and remand for further proceedings.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2008/martint_111408.pdf

KOCH concurring
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2008/martint_Concur_111408.pdf


ANDERSON PROPERTIES v. INTERNATIONAL KNIFE & SAW, INC. and SIMONDS INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Alan C. Housholder, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Anderson Properties.

John H. Rowland, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, International Knife & Saw, Inc. and Simonds International Corporation.

Judge: BENNETT

This is an appeal from summary judgment granted in favor of defendant-lessee on an action to collect back rent and other expenses pursuant to a long-term commercial lease agreement with plaintiff-landlord. Lessee filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy prior to the filing of the instant action. We have concluded that the commercial lease upon which landlord relies was deemed rejected by operation of law in the bankruptcy proceedings and that landlord is therefore barred from recovering the damages it seeks. Judgment of the chancery court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/andersonproperties_111408.pdf


VENITA DECOSTA GILLIAM v. ROLLIE GILLIAM, JR.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

R. Lance Miller, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Rollie Gilliam, Jr.

Gary J. Hodges, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Venita Decosta Gilliam.

Judge: BENNETT

When the trial court entered its divorce decree, husband, who was in prison in another state, was representing himself. Husband asserts that the trial court erred because it lacked personal jurisdiction over him and lacked subject matter jurisdiction in this matter. We have concluded that husband waived the personal jurisdiction issue. However, because the trial court failed to rule on husband's pending motions before adjudicating the divorce, we vacate and remand.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/gilliamv_111408.pdf


ANGIE L. GLEAVES v. GARY W. GLEAVES

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Paula Ogle Blair, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Angie L. Gleaves.

Robert Todd Jackson, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the appellee, Gary W. Gleaves.

Judge: DINKINS

In this divorce action, Wife contends that the trial court erred in ordering the marital home sold; finding Husband's down payment on the marital home to be separate property; failing to award her alimony; and failing to award her counsel fees. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/gleavesa_111408.pdf


MANUFACTURERS ACCEPTANCE CORPORATION v. U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

George W. Morton, Jr., and J. Myers Morton, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Manufacturers Acceptance Corporation.

Michael S. Kelley and Edward C. Meade, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, U.S. Bank.

Judge: FRANKS

In this declaratory judgment action, the Trial Court granted defendant summary judgment on the issue of priority of liens on real property. On the Petition to Set Up a Lost Instrument, the Trial Court following an evidentiary hearing, held that defendant was entitled to set up the lost instrument by a copy of its original. On appeal, we affirm the Trial Court's decision in establishing the lost instrument, but vacate the summary judgment on the issue of the priority of liens and remand for trial on that issue.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/manufacturerscorp_111408.pdf


IN RE: B. T.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Joe R. (Jay) Johnson, II, Springfield, Tennessee, for the appellant, B. T.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Preston Shipp, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, Department of Children's Services.

Judge: CLEMENT

Mother appeals the termination of her parental rights. Her rights were terminated on the grounds of abandonment for failure to support and failure to provide a suitable home, substantial noncompliance with the permanent parenting plan, and persistence of conditions; additionally, the trial court determined that termination was in the best interests of the child. Mother appeals arguing that the Department did not make reasonable efforts towards reunification and that termination was not in the child's best interests. As an additional issue, Mother contends the trial court erred in granting the Department of Children's Services' Tenn. R. Civ. P. 60.02(2) Motion to Set Aside the dismissal of the termination petition. We find that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in setting aside the dismissal because the dismissal was granted based upon misrepresentations of the father of the child's half-sibling. We affirm the trial court's finding that the Department made reasonable efforts towards reunification and that Mother's parental rights should be terminated on the grounds of abandonment, substantial noncompliance with the permanent parenting plan, and persistence of conditions. We also find that termination was in the best interests of the child.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/rebt_111408.pdf


HAROLD V. SMITH v. TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Harold V. Smith, pro se Appellant.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, Michael Moore, Solicitor General, and Jennifer Brenner, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellees, Tennessee Department of Correction and Warden Howard Carlton.

Judge: SWINEY

Harold V. Smith ("Petitioner") is a prisoner at the correctional facility in Pikeville, Tennessee. During a search of Petitioner's cell, Correctional Officer Jeremy McCracken found a pill concealed inside a sugar packet in Petitioner's pants. The pill was identified later as a morphine pill. Following an administrative hearing, Petitioner was found guilty of possessing an illegal drug. Both of Petitioner's administrative appeals were unsuccessful. Thereafter, Petitioner filed a petition for common law writ of certiorari against the Department of Correction and Warden Howard Carlton. The Trial Court granted the writ after the defendants filed a response stating they did not oppose issuance of the writ. The defendants then filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings, which the Trial Court granted. Petitioner appeals claiming there were various errors at the initial hearing which he claims mandate a dismissal of the charges against him. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/smithh_111408.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. BONNIE K. GODFREY

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Robert E. Cooper, Attorney General & Reporter; and Robert Headrick, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Damon Wooten, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Bonnie K. Godfrey.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Bonnie K. Godfrey, has appealed the Blount County Circuit Court's order revoking her probation and confining her to serve her effective four-year sentence for forgery and theft. The State of Tennessee has moved pursuant to Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals Rule 20 for an order summarily affirming the circuit court's order. The motion is well taken, and we affirm the order of the circuit court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/godfreyb_111408.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Politics
TennBarU CLE
TBA Member Services

Legal News
New pro bono program offers help on advance directives
A new Advance Directives Initiative sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers, Memphis Area Legal Services and the Memphis Bar Association will provide free legal assistance to patients at Memphis area hospitals. Under the program, lawyers volunteer to be on call at any hour of the day to discuss advance directive forms with patients, regardless of their financial need. Lawyers can choose one or more hospitals they would like to serve based on location or other criteria.
Learn more about the program or sign up as a volunteer now
MALS/MBA pro bono clinics recognized
The Advance Directives Initiative follows a number of successful pro bono efforts put in place by the Memphis Bar Association and Memphis Area Legal Services. Viewers of Fox 13 in Memphis recently learned of the MBA/MALS Attorney of the Day and Saturday Legal Clinic programs in a segment featuring Linda Warren Seely of MALS, General Sessions Judge Phyllis Gardner and others. This Saturday, the free legal clinic will be held at the Benjamin J. Hooks Central Library at 3030 Poplar Avenue from 9 a.m. to noon. Last year that event drew nearly 200 clients.
Learn more from the MBA
Appointments: Who will Obama name to Middle District posts?
An appointment to the U.S. District Court for Middle Tennessee and to the positions of U.S. Attorney and U.S. Marshall for the same region likely will be coming out of the new Obama administration next year. The Nashville City Paper takes a look at the situation and offers several likely contenders.
Read more in the City Paper
Memphis law school reports high bar passage rate
The Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law in Memphis reports that its grads taking the Tennessee bar exam for the first time last summer scored a 94.1 percent passage rate, far surpassing the state average of 85.6 percent. Of the 102 UM grads taking the exam, 96 passed.

Access to evidence is key, Innocence Project lawyer says
Working to ensure that evidence is preserved in a consistent manner is a top priority for Craig Cooley, a staff attorney for the Innocence Project who spoke at the Memphis Bar Foundation's annual Benjamin L. Hooks luncheon this week. Cooley told the Memphis Daily News that "Each locale, each agency has different procedures. And it's hit or miss. One agency might have good preservation issues or protocols. And another agency might not have any."
The Memphis Daily News has more
New process streamlines bookings in Knox
A new booking process for minor offenders in Knox County should streamline the judicial system and save taxpayers money. The new procedure means offenders cited for charges such as underage drinking, vandalism, shoplifting, disorderly conduct or driving on a suspended license no longer must trek to the Knox County Detention Facility on Maloneyville Road in East Knox County to be booked.
The News Sentinel reports
Law students get look at domestic violence issues
Knox County's Fourth Circuit Court left its downtown quarters and heard its entire order-of-protection docket on the University of Tennessee campus yesterday, raising awareness about domestic violence and giving law students an up-close look at real proceedings.
Learn about Order of Protection Day in the Knoxville News Sentinel
Knox group files suit over charter amendment
A group of Knox County residents has filed suit against the Election Commission and the county over a voter-approved charter amendment that will reduce the number of county commissioners from 19 to 11, establish an anti-nepotism policy and a conflict-of-interest policy and ban county employees from serving on the County Commission.
Read about it in the News Sentinel
Politics
No appointment for Kurita?
The Nashville Post is reporting that Republican sentiment against former Sen. Rosalind Kurita has stymied her efforts to be appointed as secretary of state. "Rosalind Kurita voted for me for lieutenant governor," Sen. Ron Ramsey, told the Post. "I owed her at least a consideration there. That obviously is not going to happen, and I have no problem with that."

TennBarU CLE
CLE for new lawyers offers intro to law practice
The TBA Young Lawyers Division will present its annual day-long CLE for new lawyers on Friday, Nov. 21 in Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville. The New Lawyer Experience introduces new attorneys to the nuts and bolts of practicing law; provides opportunities to interact with senior associates, partners and judges; includes sessions on both litigation and transactional practice; and offers solutions for balancing life and work, avoiding burn out and achieving success in the practice of law. The day wraps up with a social event allowing participants to network with TBA leadership, experienced lawyers and new colleagues.
Register now or find out more
TBA Member Services
New benefit provides communications solutions
PAETEC personalizes communications solutions for professional practices in Tennessee, offering a comprehensive suite of data, voice and IP services, as well as enterprise communications management software, network security solutions, CPE and managed services. The TBA has teamed up with the company to offer special products and pricing for members and their firms. For more information contact Sharon Joyce in Nashville at (615) 324-1845, Mark Priest in Memphis at (901) 312-1802, or Mark Morrell in Knoxville/Chattanooga at (865) 251-1765.


 
 
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About this publication: Today's News is a compilation of digests of news reports of interest to Tennessee lawyers compiled by TBA staff, links to digested press releases, and occasional stories about the TBA and other activities written by the TBA staff or members. Statements or opinions herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Tennessee Bar Association, its officers, board or staff.

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