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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.

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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.

LINDA F. SEALS v. H & F, INC. ET AL.
CORRECTION on Page 12, Line 11 of the Koch concurring/dissenting opinion: "the directions of" has been added before "any person who is an heir...".


Court: TSC

Attorneys:

Robert D. MacPherson and Elizabeth Lee Luongo Youmans, Lebanon, Tennessee, for the Plaintiff, Linda F. Seals.

Alisha M. Toll, Benjamin James Miller, and Dianne M. Schwartz, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Defendant, H & F, Inc.; and James Randolph Tomkins, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Defendant, Sellars Cremation Service, Inc.

Judge: WADE

The defendants, a funeral home and a crematory operator, arranged for and conducted a cremation at the joint request of the decedent's fiance' and his fourteen-year-old son. The decedent's mother, who claims the entitlement to have directed the disposal of his body, filed suit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee contending wrongful cremation and seeking damages under a variety of theories in tort. Three certified questions of state law have been presented to this Court for consideration. Our responses are as follows: (1) where decedent did not make a pre-mortem election for the method of disposal of his remains, a parent has a right of control superior to that of a fiancée or minor child; (2) while a minor may be an "heir" under the safe harbor provisions for crematory operators under our statute, reliance on the instructions of a minor may qualify as so reckless as to subject the operator to liability; and (3) a funeral home that merely makes arrangements for a cremation and contracts for another party to perform the cremation is not the operator of a crematory facility for purposes of the statutory safe harbor.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2010/sealsl_011510.pdf

KOCH concurring in part and dissenting in part (Corrected)
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2010/sealsl_CORR_CON_020210.pdf


JAMES K. PATTERSON, M.D., ET AL. v. METHODIST HEALTHCARE- MEMPHIS HOSPITALS

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Robert L. Moore and Dawn Davis Carson, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellants, James K. Patterson, M.D. and Rushton E. Patterson, Jr., M.D.

William L. Bomar, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Methodist Healthcare-Memphis, Hospitals.

Judge: FARMER

The plaintiffs/appellants, two doctors, filed suit after they were deemed to have voluntarily relinquished their medical staff privileges at Methodist Healthcare-Memphis Hospitals for failure to maintain compulsory insurance coverage. The doctors' complaint and amended complaint alleged breach of contract, intentional interference with business relationships, common law retaliatory discharge, and violation of federal and state whistleblower statutes. In separate orders, the trial court dismissed the doctors' whistleblower and retaliatory discharge claims. The court later granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant on the remaining claims. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/pattersonj_020210.pdf


LYNETTE LINTON STRANGE v. CRAIG PIERREPONT STRANGE

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Brent R. Watson and Suzanne N. Price, Knoxville, Tennessee, for Appellant, Craig Pierrepont Strange.

Lauren G. Strange-Boston, Knoxville, Tennessee, for Appellee, Lynette Linton Strange.

Judge: MCCLARTY

This appeal involves a wife's effort to set aside or modify a final judgment of divorce after learning that the husband had concealed the receipt of pension benefits prior to wife signing the marital dissolution agreement. The trial court granted the wife's Rule 60 motion and the trial court awarded her attorney fees and interest. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/strangel_020210.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CORY SHANE ROLLINS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Brian Hunt (on appeal), Clinton, Tennessee; Mark Stephens, District Public Defender; and Christy Murray and Jessica Greene (at trial), Assistant Public Defenders, attorneys for appellant, Cory Shane Rollins.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Senior Counsel; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Philip Morton, Assistant District Attorney General, attorneys for appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: THOMAS

The Defendant, Cory Shane Rollins, was convicted by a Knox County Criminal Court jury of aggravated robbery, a Class B felony; evading arrest, a Class D felony; and driving under the influence (DUI), a Class A misdemeanor. Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced the Defendant as a career offender to consecutive sentences of thirty years and twelve years for the aggravated robbery and evading arrest convictions, respectively. A concurrent sentence of eleven months and twenty-nine days was imposed for the DUI. In this appeal as of right, the Defendant argues that: (1) the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress identification testimony based upon an inherently suggestive pretrial showup; (2) the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress his statement where the waiver of rights was not voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently given; (3) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction for the aggravated robbery; (4) the trial court erred in denying his pretrial motion to exclude references to his drug use contained within his statement; (5) the trial court erred in denying his pretrial motion to exclude testimony regarding destroyed evidence; (6) the trial court erred in overruling his objection to witness testimony that the Defendant was "in the projects" on the night of the offense; (7) the trial court erred in denying his motion to allow him to display the tattoos on his arms to the jury to rebut the victim's identification testimony; (8) the trial court erred in denying his requested jury instruction regarding an alleged violation of the rule of sequestration; and (9) the trial court erred in sentencing him as a career offender for the aggravated robbery conviction and in imposing consecutive sentences for the aggravated robbery and evading arrest convictions. After reviewing the record, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/rollinsc_020210.pdf


Constitutionality of Restriction on Fund-Raising Activities of Incumbent Legislators

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2010-02-02

Opinion Number: 10-11

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2010/ag_10_11.pdf

Ability of Municipalities to Charge a Fee for Building Permits for Agricultural Land

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2010-02-02

Opinion Number: 10-12

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2010/ag_10_12.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Politics
TBA Member Services
Your Practice

Legal News
No charges for Jackson lawyer
A felony charge against Jackson attorney Jerry Spore was dropped Monday, at the request of the man who accused Spore of punching him.
The Jackson Sun reports
Appeals court agrees with punishment of court clerk
Yesterday, the Tennessee Court of Appeals rejected Juvenile Court Clerk Vic Lineweaver's appeal of his jailing for contempt of court in 2007. "The evidence shows that, underneath the thin veneer of words," Judge Holly Kirby wrote in the court's opinion, "Lineweaver's actions amounted to utter indifference in the face of the court's order to take action to produce the needed files."
The Tennessean has the story
Legal Opportunity Scholarship deadline March 1
Applications are available for the American Bar Association's Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund, which is "intended to encourage racial and ethnic minority students to apply to law school and to provide financial assistance to scholarship recipients." The fund awards $5,000 of assistance annually to each recipient attending an ABA-accredited law school. Apply by the March 1 deadline at
www.abanet.org/fje
Thomson Reuters buys Super Lawyers
Thomson Reuters has purchased the Super Lawyers attorney rating system, the company announced today. The Super Lawyers service provides an annual consumer-oriented listing of leading attorneys by state and practice area.
ABAJournal.com gives you the story
Top officer supports repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell'
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Mike Mullen told lawmakers today that repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that bans openly gay people from serving in the military is "the right thing to do." His statement followed an announcement that the Pentagon would review the law with an eye to repealing it. Mullen, who appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee alongside Defense Secretary Robert Gates, emphasized that he was speaking for himself in calling for an end to the controversial policy, which dates back to 1993.
National Public Radio has the story
Politics
Campaign fundraising reports now available
Yesterday was the deadline for those running for public office in Tennessee to declare how much money their campaigns have raised for the period of July 1, 2009, to Jan. 15, 2010. Reports show that gubernatorial candidate Bill Haslam has brought in $1.86 million, bringing his overall fund-raising total to more than $5.7 million; Congressman Zack Wamp's campaign says it raised $1.3 million during the same time frame, which gets them to almost $2.6 million; and Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey broke the $1 million mark as well, raising $1.42 million and amassing more than $2.7 million overall. The campaign of Republican Shelby County District Attorney Bill Gibbons said it raised a total of about $640,000 and that $415,000 of that was reported in last July's disclosure.
NashvillePost.com has more results
Shelby sheriff wants to be mayor
Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell has announced his plans to run for Shelby County mayor.
The Commercial Appeal reported the news
TBA Member Services
Learn more about Memphis's 'new' law school from TBJ
The February issue of the Tennessee Bar Journal sheds light on an old subject, with coverage of the new space for the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis. You'll also find stories about how the Tennessee Department of Revenue has shaped the law by losing court cases, and a look at challenges to unemployment insurance claims. Regular columnists Gail Vaughn Ashworth, Edward G. Phillips, Donald F. Paine and Bill Haltom round out the issue.
Read the Journal online
Let JobLink help you with your next career move
A career service for Tennessee attorneys and law students, TBA JobLink is a job seeking and recruitment tool available at no charge. Whether you have a position to fill or are seeking employment, this site will guide you through a simple process to post your information.
Visit the site
Your Practice
Options for life after law career are many
If you are considering giving up the practice of law, at least you will have a leg-up on your next career, a career column advises. "In the broadest terms, practicing law is about analyzing facts, solving problems, advocating a position, and communicating with clients and adversaries," Cari Sommer says. "I use these skills every day in my work as an entrepreneur." More advice: Be cautious, and don't make a long-term job change based on a temporary situation, such as a difficult partner or case.
Read the column in the Wall Street Journal

 
 
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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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