Court to unveil access-to-justice plan tomorrow

The Tennessee Supreme Court will unveil its recommendations for making legal aid more accessible to state residents at an event tomorrow (Tuesday). The plan is expected to be based on the work of the Access to Justice Commission, which was created by the court in December 2008 to examine access to justice issues in the state. Among its proposals, the commission recommended creation of a pro bono network to match needy clients with low-cost attorneys, an online system linking clients in rural areas to lawyers in bigger cities, and new policies that require courts to pay for interpreters.

The Tennessean has more

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS Grants & Denials List

Court: TSC

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2010/certlist_062110.pdf


MELISSA MICHELLE COX v. M. A. PRIMARY AND URGENT CARE CLINIC et al.

Court: TSC

Attorneys:

C. J. Gideon, Jr., and Heather Piper-Coke (on appeal), Nashville, Tennessee, and John R. Rucker, Jr. (at trial court), Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellants, M. A. Primary and Urgent Care Clinic and Austin Adams, M.D.

Wm. Kennerly Burger and Claire S. Burger, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellee, Melissa Michelle Cox.

Judge: CLARK

We granted permission to appeal in this case to address the standard of care that applies to a physician assistant in a medical malpractice case. The plaintiff sued for injuries she allegedly suffered as a result of physician assistant Michael Maddox's failure to diagnose her condition accurately. The plaintiff did not sue Maddox, but sued the clinic which he owned and in which he practiced and Dr. Austin Adams, Maddox's supervising physician. The defendants filed a joint motion for summary judgment, supported by their testimony that (1) Maddox did not violate the standard of care applicable to physician assistants and (2) Dr. Adams did not violate the standard of care applicable to physicians. The plaintiff responded with her cardiologist's testimony that Maddox violated the standard of care applicable to primary care physicians. The cardiologist testified that he was not familiar with physician assistants or their supervision. The trial court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment on the basis that the plaintiff had failed to establish that Maddox violated the professional standard of care applicable to him. The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court, holding that the standard of care applicable to physician assistants is the same as that applicable to physicians. We reverse the Court of Appeals and hold that the standard of care applicable to physician assistants is distinct from that applicable to physicians. The trial court's summary judgment in favor of the defendants is reinstated, and the case is dismissed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2010/coxm_062110.pdf


ROBERT J. DAVIDSON and wife, JEANETTE DAVIDSON v. RILEY WILSON

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Michele L. Coffman, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellants, Riley Wilson.

John C. Cavett, Jr., Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellees, Robert J. Davidson and wife, Jeanette Davidson.

Judge: HIGHERS

This case involves a contract for the sale of real property and a subsequent verbal agreement. The trial court found that the seller breached the contract. We reverse and remand.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/davidsonr_062110.pdf


ALLEN MATHIS, ET AL. v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Allen Mathis, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General and James D. Foster, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: FARMER

This is an appeal from the Tennessee Claims Commission. The Commission dismissed the appellant's claim pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 9-8-402(b) for failure to prosecute. In its order, the Commission also denied a motion to transfer the claim to the Wayne County Circuit Court for consolidation with a companion case. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2010/mathisa_062110.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MICKEY EARL BROWN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Charles E. Walker, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Mickey Earl Brown.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lindsy Paduch Stempel, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Jeff Preston Burks, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The Defendant, Mickey Earl Brown, appeals his conviction upon a guilty plea in the Davidson County Criminal Court for aggravated assault, a Class C felony. The trial court sentenced the Defendant as a Range III, persistent offender to eleven years in the Department of Correction, to be served consecutively to a prior six-year sentence. On appeal, the Defendant contends that his sentence is excessive and that the trial court erred in imposing consecutive sentencing and in denying alternative sentencing. After review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/brownm_062110.pdf


JOE MARVIN ELLISON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Joseph T. Howell, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Joe Marvin Ellison.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; James G. (Jerry) Woodall, District Attorney General; and Jody S. Pickens, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The petitioner, Joe Marvin Ellison, appeals the post-conviction court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, arguing he received the ineffective assistance of counsel which caused him to enter unknowing and involuntary guilty pleas. After review, we affirm the denial of the petition.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/ellisonj_062110.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. GEORGE C. KILGORE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Gregory D. Smith, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, George G. Kilgore.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, Lindsy Paduch Stempel, Assistant Attorney General; John Carney, District Attorney General, and Arthur Bieber, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

The Montgomery Count Grand Jury indicted Appellant for aggravated robbery and possession of .5 grams or more of cocaine. After a bench trial, the trial court found Appellant guilty as charged. Appellant was sentenced to two, concurrent twelve-year sentences to be served at 35% as a Range II, multiple offender. On appeal, Appellant argues that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction for aggravated robbery. After a thorough review of the record, we conclude that the evidence was sufficient. Therefore, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/kilgoreg_062110.pdf


DANIEL LIVINGSTON V. STEPHEN DOTSON, WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Daniel Livingston, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Bret Gunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Petitioner, Daniel Livingston, appeals the trial court's denial of his petition for writ of habeas corpus. The State has filed a motion pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, for this Court to affirm the judgment of the trial court by memorandum opinion. We grant the motion and affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/livingstond_062110.pdf


ERIC P. LUMPKIN v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Neil Umsted, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Eric P. Lumpkin.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Greg Gilbert, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The petitioner, Eric P. Lumpkin, appeals the post-conviction court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. He argues that the post-conviction court erred in finding that he received the effective assistance of appellate counsel. After review, we affirm the denial of the petition.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/lumpkine_062110.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CRAIG O. MAJORS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Roger E. Nell, District Public Defender; and Sarah R. King (on appeal) and Rebecca Stevens (at trial), Assistant Public Defenders, attorneys for appellant, Craig O. Majors.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Senior Counsel; John Wesley Carney, Jr., District Attorney General; and Steven L. Garrett, Assistant District Attorney General, attorneys for appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: THOMAS

The Defendant, Craig O. Majors, was convicted by a Montgomery County jury of especially aggravated kidnapping, a Class A felony, attempted aggravated robbery, a Class C felony, and aggravated burglary, a Class C felony. The trial court sentenced the Defendant to concurrent sentences of twenty years as a Range I offender for the especially aggravated kidnapping conviction and to six years each as a Range II offender for the attempted aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary convictions, for a total effective sentence of twenty years. In this appeal as of right, the Defendant contends that (1) the State's exercise of peremptory challenges to excuse African-Americans from the jury pool resulted in a systematic exclusion of African-Americans from the jury, (2) his convictions for especially aggravated kidnapping and attempted aggravated robbery violate due process, (3) there is insufficient evidence of his identity as the perpetrator, and (4) the trial court imposed an excessive sentence. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/majorsc_062110.pdf


IVAN MORENO a/k/a FERNANDO FILETO a/k/a ROBERTO LEPE-CERVANTES v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jeremy W. Parham, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ivan Moreno.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, District Attorney General, and Rachel Sobrero, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Petitioner, Ivan Moreno, a/k/a Fernando Fileto a/k/a/ Roberto Lepe-Cervantes, pled guilty to felony murder, aggravated rape, and especially aggravated robbery. Petitioner received an effective sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Petitioner then filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief claiming ineffective assistance of counsel and an involuntary guilty plea. After a hearing, the post-conviction court denied relief. Petitioner seeks a review of the post-conviction court's decision. Because Petitioner has failed to prove that his guilty plea was involuntary or that he received ineffective assistance of counsel, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2010/morenoi_062110.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Career Opportunities
TBA in the News
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Jarret appointed Knox law director
Knox commissioners this morning selected Joe Jarret to lead the county's legal department. In late April, the commission appointed Jarret to the job on an interim basis following the resignation of former director Bill Lockett. Jarret, who won out over three other local attorneys -- David Buuck, James Shastid and George Underwood -- will serve the final two years of Lockett's term.
The News Sentinel has more
Bredesen: view on judicial appointments has evolved
While in Memphis to swear in new Circuit Court Judge Rhynette Northcross Hurd, Gov. Phil Bredesen spoke with the Memphis Daily News about his views on judicial appointments. "When I started, I probably put the highest priority on legal knowledge and the ability to rule accurately and understand the law. I think as time went on I understand just how powerful these positions are. More and more I've started placing a high premium on what I call judicial temperament -- people I thought would exercise that power intelligently," he said.
Read the full article
Charter school with law focus to open in Memphis
A new charter school, the New Consortium of Law and Business, will open its doors in downtown Memphis in August. The school will focus on teaching students the basics while also introducing them to the fields of law and business. The school will start with 35 seventh graders and add a grade each year. It currently is accepting students for the inaugural class. Contact the Consortium at (901) 214-5298 for more information.
WREG-TV has the story
Special gang prosecutor takes office
Former Clarksville police officer Samuel Knolton Jr. took office last week as a special assistant U.S. attorney for guns and gangs. His work will focus on decreasing violence and crime in Montgomery and Robertson counties. His hiring is part of the Project Safe Neighborhood initiative, which U.S. Attorney Jerry Martin and District Attorney General John W. Carney Jr. announced had been expanded to the counties. Knolton earned his law degree in 2009 from the Nashville School of Law.
The Clarksville Leaf Chronicle reports
Moncier: Sleep deprivation was cause of behavior
Knoxville defense attorney Herbert S. Moncier is being retried this week on a federal contempt charge filed against him in November 2006. At the time, Moncier was held in contempt for continuing to speak after the judge told him to be quiet. Today, Moncier offered a new defense for his actions: sleep deprivation caused by sleep apnea. Moncier said he now believes his conduct at the hearing "was wrong."
Read about it in the News Sentinel
Career Opportunities
Security company seeks corporate attorney
Universal Safety Response Inc. is seeking a corporate staff attorney to handle agreements, contracts and regulatory matters; coordinate outside counsel; and conduct legal research. The position requires a minimum of two years experience in government contracting or construction law. The company -- a provider of access control, perimeter security and physical security solutions -- is located in Franklin. Candidates should apply on the firm's web site.
Read more about the job's duties and requirements on TBA's JobLink
TBA in the News
Ramsaur: Legislature is more philosophical, less pragmatic
In a recap of the 106th General Assembly, the Commercial Appeal explores how Republican majorities in both chambers affected the process and policies of the last session. TBA Executive Director Allan Ramsaur is quoted in the story saying, "I think what we've seen in the last couple of years is a shift from an approach where a balance of power between various interests is seen as a good way to govern, to a more philosophical viewpoint."
Read the paper's review of the legislature's work
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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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