Tennessee Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments at Lane College as Part of SCALES Program

November 27, 2017

The Tennessee Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for two cases on November 30, 2017, in front of hundreds of high school and college students when it brings court to Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee, as part of the Court’s SCALES program – Supreme Court Advancing Legal Education for Students.  This nationally acclaimed program, over twenty years in operation, has allowed tens of thousands of students across Tennessee to learn more about the Tennessee legal system and the function of the appellate courts.  The program provides the students this first-hand experience through a partnership of attorneys, teachers, and students. 

“Taking cases directly to Tennessee students is one of our most enjoyable experiences,” Chief Justice Jeff Bivins said. “It is a unique opportunity for the Court to participate in civics education for our State’s students.  Many thanks to Lane College, the local legal and business community, and the educators whose hard work has made this event possible.” 

The details of the cases that the Court and students will hear are as follows: 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

  • Tommy Nunley v. State of Tennessee - This case reaches the Court after both the trial court and Court of Criminal Appeals denied the petitioner’s request to reopen his case based on alleged newly discovered evidence.  The Court will consider whether the trial court correctly treated the petition for writ of error coram nobis as a petition for DNA testing and whether the petitioner is entitled to coram nobis relief on the ground that the State withheld exculpatory evidence.  In addition to these two issues raised by petitioner, the Court requested the parties address whether the Court of Criminal Appeals should have affirmed the trial court’s summary dismissal of the petitioner’s coram nobis petition as barred by the statute of limitations.
  • Tiffinne Wendalyn Gail Runions, Individually and on behalf of her minor child, Laileean Wendalee Scott v. Jackson-Madison County General Hospital District, et al. - This case comes to the Court by way of an interlocutory appeal. The Supreme Court granted review of this case in order to determine whether the trial court correctly granted the plaintiff’s motion to amend her complaint in order to substitute as a party defendant Jackson-Madison County General Hospital District in place of Bolivar General Hospital, Inc.

Media members planning to attend oral arguments should review Supreme Court Rule 30 and file any required request.