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TODAY'S OPINIONS
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IN RE B.D., R.M.T. & V.F.T.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Hillary H. Duke, Dickson, Tennessee, for the appellant Regina C.

James L. Baum, Burns, Tennessee, for the appellant Nicholas T.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, and Dianne Stamey Dycus, Deputy Attorney General, General Civil Division, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, State of Tennessee, Department of Children's Services.

Jack L. Garton, Dickson, Tennessee, Guardian ad Litem for B.D.

B. Kyle Sanders, Dickson, Tennessee, Guardian ad Litem for R.M.T. and V.F.T.

Judge: KURTZ

Mother and Father appeal the order of the Juvenile Court for Dickson County, Tennessee terminating their parental rights. Mother's termination was based on: noncompliance with the permanency plan; failure to visit; failure to establish a suitable home; and the persistence of conditions that prevent return of the children; and the children's best interests. Father's termination was based on noncompliance with the permanency plan and the children's best interests. Finding by clear and convincing evidence that grounds for termination exist and that termination is in the children's best interests, as modified, the judgment is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/bd_030309.pdf


TODD D. DINGMAN et ux, SHARON DINGMAN, v. RANDY GARRISON and DONNA GARRISON

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

J. Arnold Fitzgerald, Dayton, Tennessee, for appellant, Randy Garrison.

Michael S. Pritchard, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for appellees, Todd D. Dingman et ux, Sharon Dingman.

Judge: FRANKS

This is a factual dispute about whether defendant signed a lease as a tenant and is liable under the terms of the lease. The Trial Court held defendant liable for damages under the lease. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/dingmant_030309.pdf


ROBERT H. GOODALL, JR. v. WILLIAM B. AKERS

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

George E. Barrett and Laurel A. Johnston, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, William B. Akers.

Barbara J. Perutelli, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Robert H. Goodall, Jr.

Judge: BENNETT

Buyer sued seller of large tract of real estate for intentional misrepresentation, fraudulent misrepresentation, breach of contract, and breach of express warranty based upon allegations that an earthen dam on the property was unsafe. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the buyer on all issues of liability. Because we have concluded that there is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the buyer reasonably relied upon the seller's misrepresentations, we reverse and remand.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/goodallr_030309.pdf


GARY M. GOSSETT v. TRACTOR SUPPLY COMPANY, INC.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Wade B. Cowan, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Gary M. Gossett.

Douglas R. Pierce and James Andrew Farmer, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tractor Supply Company, Inc.

Judge: FARMER

This is a common-law retaliatory discharge action. The trial court awarded summary judgment to Defendant employer where Plaintiff, discharged at-will employee, alleged he was discharged for refusing to participate in, but not reporting, Defendant's allegedly illegal data reporting practices. The trial court awarded summary judgment to Defendant on the grounds that, under Collins v. AmSouth Bank, 241 S.W.3d 879 (Tenn Ct. App. 2007), reporting of the alleged illegal activity is a necessary element of a common-law retaliatory discharge claim. To the extent to which Collins so holds, we disagree with Collins that a common-law retaliatory discharge claim can never be sustained based on an at-will employee's refusal to participate in an illegal act or an act in contravention of a clearly-established public policy. Summary judgment in favor of Defendant is reversed, and this matter is remanded for further proceedings.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/gossettg_030309.pdf


MICHAEL S. MORANI v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

G. Earl Patton, Crossville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael S. Morani.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; Randall A. York, District Attorney General; and Mark Gore, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The petitioner, Michael S. Morani, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. In this appeal he asserts that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel at trial. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/moranim_030309.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Passages
Legislative News
Upcoming
TBA Member Services

Legal News
ACLU files amicus in prisoners' rights case
The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, joined by five national journalist groups, filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of efforts by a monthly prisoners' rights magazine to gain access to documents in the possession of Corrections Corporation of America. The amicus curiae brief urges the Court of Appeals in Tennessee to uphold the lower court's ruling that CCA must comply with the Tennessee Public Records Act and provide access to certain documents. The brief also asks the Court to overturn Chancellor Bonnyman's decision denying attorneys' fees to Prison Legal News, which it incurred as a result of CCA's refusal to produce public records in its possession.
Read the ACLU release
DOJ memos allow super presidential powers
Newly disclosed memos written soon after 9/11 were released yesterday from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel and were described by one observer "like a how-to document on how to evade the rule of law." The nine legal memos showed a broad interpretation of presidential authority, asserting as well that the president could unilaterally abrogate foreign treaties, deal with detainees suspected of terrorism while rejecting input from Congress, and conduct warrantless eavesdropping.
ABAJournal.com connects you to this story
Justices critical of possible bias in W. Va. court
Concern about dwindling confidence in the impartiality of elected judges was evident in the Supreme Court today, as a majority of justices expressed support for a ruling that the Constitution's guarantee of a fair trial could require judges not to participate in a case in which there was a likelihood of bias. Their comments came during arguments in a closely watched case from West Virginia, in which more than $3 million was spent by the chief executive of a coal company to help elect state Supreme Court Justice Brent Benjamin at the same time his company was appealing a verdict.
NPR carries an Associated Press account
Results from Anderson County judicial election will stand
Tennessee's Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling that dismisses a lawsuit seeking to void a 2006 election for a General Sessions Court judge's seat. Incumbent Republican Don Layton defeated Democrat David Stuart by a 119-vote margin to win re-election to the eight-year Anderson County judgeship. The court upheld Senior Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood's decision that Stuart's legal challenge should be tossed out. Stuart in his lawsuit contended that hundreds of voters spent longer than allowed in the voting booth, and that's in violation of state election law.
The News Sentinel reports
Passages
Knoxville attorney Cecil Meek dies, Thursday services set
Knoxville lawyer Cecil D. Meek Jr. died Feb. 28. He was 74. Mr. Meek graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1959. In his nearly 50 years of practice, he served as an assistant U.S. attorney, practiced with the law firm of Stone and Bozeman, and was in private practice. In 1974, he became one of the founding members of the law firm of Haynes, Meek, Jones and Summers (now Haynes, Meek, Summers and Stanuszek). The memorial service will be March 5 at 7 p.m. at Fountain City United Methodist Church (212 Hotel Road). The family will receive friends following the service. On March 6 there will be a graveside service at Greenwood Cemetery on Tazewell Pike at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society.
Read more about Mr. Meek in the News Sentinel
Visitation Wednesday for Jackson lawyer Tim Latimer
Jackson lawyer Timothy Bryan Latimer died of a sudden unexpected illness yesterday. He was 50. Mr. Latimer was a partner with Utley & Latimer and a 1984 graduate of the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. Visitation will be Wednesday, March 4, from 5 to 9 p.m. at George A. Smith's Funeral Home North on North Highland. The funeral service will be Thursday at 10 a.m. at the First Cumberland Presbyterian Church on the 45 bypass. Burial will be at 2:30 p.m. in Waverly. Donations may be made in his honor to the church.

Legislative News
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The TBA Action List tracks bills in the General Assembly that the TBA has a direct interest in. This means it has either initiated the legislation, taken a postiion on the bill or has a policy on the issue. The TBA Watch List is a broader list of bills of interest to the Tennessee legal community.
TBA Bill Tracking Service
Upcoming
Elder abuse campaign gets underway
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, sponsored by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, is set for June 15.
Learn more
TBA Member Services
TBA, Bank of America team up for no-fee credit card
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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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