New CLE tackles challenges of trust account management

If you manage a trust account, you know the challenge of meeting ethics requirements as well as following the rules used in trust accounting. To help you in this difficult task, the TBA's TennBarU now has a pair of interactive text programs from management consultant Suzanne Rose. Her "Avoiding Ethics Violations in Trust Account Management" has been updated with new information on the basics of trust account management. A new advanced program is also now available, offering the latest developments, such as what it means today for an account to be FDIC insured and how a recent Supreme Court decision relative to fee disputes affects attorneys.

Learn more about this TennBarU course or register now

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 or to obtain a text version of each opinion, 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 the TBA's Membership Central.

00 - TN Supreme Court
04 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
01 - TN Court of Appeals
05 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
01 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR

You can obtain full-text versions of the opinions two ways. We recommend that you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. 1) 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. 2) 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.

THE HOLLAND GROUP v. AUDREY SOTHERLAND, ET AL.

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

Wm. Kennerly Burger, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Audrey Sotherland.

Kitty Boyte, Nashville, Tennessee, for appellee, The Holland Group.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael Moore, Solicitor General; Juan G. Villasenor, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, Second Injury Fund of the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WALLACE

This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-225(e)(3) for a hearing and a report of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The employee filed a Request for Assistance with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development ("Department"), seeking medical treatment and temporary disability benefits for an alleged work injury. The Department ordered that treatment be provided and benefits paid. The employer filed this civil action in the Chancery Court of Bedford County against the employee and the Second Injury Fund ("Fund"). Subsequently, the Department ordered the termination of disability benefits. The employee filed her answer and a counterclaim against the employer. The Fund filed a motion for summary judgment, contending that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction because the parties had not exhausted the benefit review process. The trial court granted the motion and dismissed the action. The employee has appealed. We conclude that the trial court lacked jurisdiction over the subject matter, and therefore affirm the judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2009/hollandgroup_042409.pdf


JAMES KENNETH LANE v. PERDUE FARMS, INC.

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

Donald G. Dickerson, Cookeville, Tennessee, for appellant, James Kenneth Lane.

Walter S. Fitzpatrick, III, and Daniel H. Rader, IV, Cookeville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Perdue Farms, Inc.

Judge: WALLACE

This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-225(e)(3) for a hearing and a report of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The employee in this case alleged that he had sustained gradual injuries to his shoulders and arms as a result of his employment. Three doctors testified concerning the injuries. The two treating physicians assigned 0 percent impairment. An evaluating physician assigned 5 percent impairment to each arm, and 0 percent impairment for the shoulder injuries. The trial court awarded 7.5 percent permanent partial disability ("PPD") to the arms, and 15 percent PPD to the body as a whole. The employee has appealed, contending that the trial court erred by using the "last day worked" rule to determine the date of injury. The employer asserts that the trial court erred by awarding permanent disability benefits for the shoulder injuries. We affirm the trial court's finding concerning the date of injury, and reverse the award of benefits for the shoulder injuries.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2009/lanej_042409.pdf


LISA SHELTON v. CENTRAL MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

Bert H. Bates, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lisa Shelton.

Stuart F. James and S. Todd Hastey, Chattanooga, Tennessee for the appellee, Central Mutual Insurance Company.

Judge: KURTZ

This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn.Code Ann. section 50-6-225(e)(3) for a hearing and a report of findings of fact and conclusions of law. In 2004, Employee was found to be permanently and totally disabled as a result of a work-related injury. In January 2006, he died as a result of an overdose of prescription medication. His widow sought workers' compensation death benefits, alleging that his death was the direct result of his prior work injury. Employer filed a motion for summary judgment, contending that the medical evidence was insufficient. The trial court granted the motion. Employee's widow has appealed. We reverse the judgment and remand for further proceedings.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2009/sheltonl_042409.pdf


DEBORAH SMARTT v. M-TEK, INC., ET AL.

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

Randolph A. Veazey and Thomas W. Tucker, III, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants M-Tek, Inc. and Sompo Japan Insurance Company of America.

Russell D. Hedges, Tullahoma, Tennessee, for appellee, Deborah Smartt.

Judge: WALLACE

This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-225(e)(3) for a hearing and a report of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The employee had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ("COPD") as a result of cigarette smoking. She was exposed to residual smoke and odors from a fire which occurred in the building she worked in. Shortly thereafter, she was hospitalized with acute breathing problems. She has been unable to return to work since that time. The trial court found that she had sustained a compensable aggravation of her pre-existing COPD, and awarded permanent total disability benefits. Her employer has appealed, asserting that the trial court erred in finding that she had sustained a compensable injury. We affirm the judgment on that issue. However, we reverse the trial court's award of reimbursement of health insurance premiums paid by employee.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2009/smarttd_042409.pdf


PUGH'S LAWN LANDSCAPE COMPANY, INC. v. JAYCON DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Stuart B. Breakstone, Kathy Baker Tennison, Memphis, TN for the Appellant, Pugh's Lawn Landscape Company, Inc.

Stephen F. Libby, Memphis, TN for the Appellee, Jaycon Development Corporation.

Judge: STAFFORD

This is an appeal of the trial court's order confirming an arbitration award entered in favor of Appellee. The arbitration agreement entered between Appellant and Appellee permitted either party to appeal the arbitrator's decision directly to this Court. The agreement specified that this Court would conduct a de novo review of the arbitrator's decision as if it had been reached by the trial court. We find that Tennessee's arbitration statutes do not permit the parties to expand the scope of judicial review. Accordingly, we apply the standard of review specified in the statute and affirm the trial court's order confirming the arbitration award.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/pughlawn_042409.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ADAM B. BURNETTE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

J. Liddell Kirk, Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal), and Mack Garner, District Public Defender (at trial), for the appellant, Adam B. Burnette.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; Mike Flynn, District Attorney General; and Ellen Berez, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Adam B. Burnette, appeals the revocation of his probation. The defendant concedes that he violated the terms of his probationary sentence but nevertheless claims that "[r]evocation in this case was too severe." Discerning no error, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/burnettea_042409.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JASON LARRY DELGADO

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Stephen M. Wallace, District Public Defender, and Joseph F. Harrison, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Jason Larry Delgado.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; and James Franklin Godwin, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The defendant, Jason Larry Delgado, was convicted on his guilty plea of assault, a Class A misdemeanor. See T.C.A. section 39-13-101 (2006). The trial court sentenced the defendant to serve eleven months, twenty-nine days in jail with seventy-five percent release eligibility. In this appeal, the defendant contends that the trial court erred in denying him an alternative sentence. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/delgadoj_042409.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. LARRY FRANK and SHURROD TOWNS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Garland Erguden (on appeal) and Tim Albers (at trial), Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Larry Frank.

C. Michael Robbins (on appeal), Covington, Tennessee, and Howard Wagerman (at trial), Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Shurrod Towns.

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

Judge: OGLE

A Shelby County Criminal Court jury convicted the appellants, Larry Frank and Shurrod Towns, of attempted first degree premeditated murder in case number 04-01201 and first degree premeditated murder and four counts of attempted first degree premeditated murder in case number 04-01202. The trial court imposed life sentences for their murder convictions and twenty years for each attempted murder conviction, with the sentences to be served concurrently. On appeal, Frank contends that the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions and that the trial court improperly imposed five-hundred-dollar fines. Towns argues that the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions, that the trial court should have dismissed the indictments because he was denied his right to a preliminary hearing, that the trial court should have declared a mistrial when a State witness testified that Towns had an arrest record, and that the trial court should have granted his motion for a new trial based upon newly discovered evidence. Based upon the record and the parties’ briefs, we conclude that the trial court improperly fined both appellants. However, the judgments of the trial court are affirmed in all other respects.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/frankl_042409.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TRAVIS KNOTTS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Gregory D. Gookin, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Travis Knotts.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, 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: GLENN

The defendant, Travis Knotts, pled guilty to theft of property over $10,000, a Class C felony, and was sentenced to six years on probation. On appeal, he argues that the trial court erred in denying his request for judicial diversion. After review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/knottst_042409.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. LARRY SIGMON REESE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Robert W. White, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Larry Sigmon Reese.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; Mike Flynn, District Attorney General; and Ellen Berez, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

A Blount County Circuit Court jury convicted the defendant, Larry Sigmon Reese, of one count of aggravated assault, and the trial court imposed a sentence of four years' incarceration. In this appeal, the defendant asserts that the trial court erred by denying his motion for judgment of acquittal at the close of the State's proof and that the trial court should have granted a mistrial. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/reesel_042409.pdf


The City Paper, if Revised, as a Newspaper of General Circulation

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2009-04-23

Opinion Number: 09-65

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2009/ag_09_65.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Politics
TBA Convention 2009
TBA Member Services

Legal News
House members push high court for more transparency
The annual House hearing called to consider the U.S. Supreme Court's budget request started out cordial, but shifted moods when a Texas congressman asked the court to ramp up its transparency and public face. Other committee members proceeded to pile on, telling the court that the momentum toward openness that the Internet has created is so strong that the court would be wise not to resist it.
Law.com has the story from the Legal Times
Contempt notice filed against Knox attorney
Circuit Court Judge Dale Workman has filed a notice of civil contempt of court against Herbert S. Moncier, accusing the Knoxville attorney of disobeying an order on what questions he could pose to potential jurors during jury selection for a civil suit being tried this week. Last year Moncier was suspended from federal practice in East Tennessee for at least five years after being found in criminal contempt by U.S. District Judge Ronnie Greer.
Read more from the Knoxville News Sentinel
Vanderbilt law recognizes student leaders
Vanderbilt University law students Scott Goldman, Byron Sarhangian, Georgia Sims and DeNae Thomas have been honored with awards recognizing their leadership during their time at the school. Commencement activities for the class of 2009 will be held May 8.
Read more about their accomplishments
Politics
McWherter to make gubernatorial run
Mike McWherter, the son of one of Tennessee's most beloved governors, has put an end to speculation and said that he will be running for the state's highest office. He joins businessman Ward Cammack, former state House Majority Leader Kim McMillan, and current state Senate Democratic Caucus chair Roy Herron in the race on the Democratic side.
Read more from the Nashville Post
Heron to step down from Caucus post
State Sen. Roy Herron says he will step down as chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus after this legislative session to focus on his run for governor, the Memphis Daily News reports. The Dresden senator said it would be difficult to fill both roles at the same time because they both involve substantial fundraising.

TBA Convention 2009
Law firm support boosts TBA Convention
Law firms in Memphis and across Tennessee have stepped forward to underwrite and sponsor a number of exciting events and compelling programs at the upcoming TBA Annual Convention, June 18-20 at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis. Their support and commitment to the TBA convention make possible big events such as the Memphis Music Extravaganza and marquee CLE programming.
Learn more about opportunities at the 2009 TBA Convention
TBA Member Services
Free online legal research is hot TBA benefit
Online legal research is available free to all Tennessee Bar Association members through an agreement with Fastcase, a leading online legal research firm. The new TBA member benefit is national in scope and offers TBA members unlimited usage, unlimited customer service and unlimited printing -- all at no cost.
Log in now to try it out

 
 
Discontinue your TBA Today subscription? ... Surely not!
But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at:
http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/unsub_tbatoday.php

Questions, comments: Email us at TBAToday@tnbar.org

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.

© Copyright 2009 Tennessee Bar Association