TALS Executive Director to Step Down

The Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS) executive director Erik Cole is leaving the organization at the end of January. Cole, who has served as executive director since 2005, is moving to the Nashville mayor’s office, where he will be working on creating new programs related to financial stability and empowerment for low-income Nashvillians.

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.

00 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Workers Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
01 - TN Court of Appeals
00 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR
00 - TN Supreme Court - Disciplinary Orders

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.

TN Court of Appeals


Court: TN Court of Appeals


Kathryn J. Dugger-Edwards, Elizabethton, Tennessee, for the appellant, David Desgro.

John B. McKinnon III, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the appellee, Paul Pack d/b/a Resi Chek.


Plaintiff, David Desgro, alleged that he hired defendant, Paul Pack d/b/a Resi Chek, to perform an inspection on a house plaintiff wanted to purchase. After defendant inspected the house and reported the house had no major problems, plaintiff purchased the house in reliance on defendant’s report. Plaintiff claims that he then discovered multiple serious issues with the house, including plumbing problems, insulation and heat pump problems, and inadequate floor support. Plaintiff filed suit 13 months after the inspection was completed, and defendant moved for summary judgment, claiming that plaintiff’s signed contract with defendant provided that plaintiff must file suit on any claims within one year of the date of inspection. The trial court found that plaintiff signed such an agreement and that the contractual limitations period of one year was reasonable. The trial court granted summary judgment to defendant, ruling that plaintiff’s claims were untimely. Plaintiff appeals. We affirm.

Judge to Review DCS Records

Chancellor Carol McCoy said today in court that she will review a sample of records of children who died after being brought to the attention of the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) in order to determine whether the agency is required to release child fatality records. McCoy presides over the lawsuit brought by the Tennessean and a coalition of other news organizations against DCS for allegedly violating the Tennessee Public Records Act by declining to disclose the records of about 30 children who died in the first half of 2012 while under the agency’s supervision.

Montgomery Co. Bar Elects Officers

The Montgomery County Bar Association recently elected new officers for 2013. They are President Stanley Ross, Vice President Nathan Hunt and Secretary/Treasurer Bradley M. Carter. The association also named new board members. They are Jennifer Ray, Shelby Silvy and Kathryn Stamey and Lee Willoughby.

Newspapers Urge Senate to Approve Judges

Editorial boards across the country are urging the Senate to move past partisan politics and confirm federal judges, Gavel Grab reports. Editorials from Sacramento, Fort Worth, Tulsa, and Reno, to name a few, are demanding the Senate approve qualified individuals for judgeships to alleviate the judicial vacancy crisis. “Further delays are affecting case flow and impeding litigants’ day in court,” the Tulsa World editorial says.

HOPE Scholarship Limits Affecting Students

A 2011 legislative bill that limits HOPE scholarship funding is catching up with nearly 3,000 students who are expected to run out of funding over the next two years, the Tennessean reports. Students who have double majors, changed their majors, or transferred school are especially at risk. State Sen. Doug Overby, R-Maryville, said he plans to reintroduce a bill that would provide lottery scholarship money through eight full semesters, not just through the minimum number of hours required to complete a degree program.

Memphis Councilmen Propose Tax Increase for Pre-K

Memphis City Council members Shea Flinn and Jim Strickland will present a proposal to increase the city sales tax rate one-half percent in an effort to raise $27 million annually for Pre-K education and $20 million more to fund a city property tax reduction, the Memphis Business Journal reports. The increase would put Memphis sales tax rate at 2.75 percent, the highest rate allowed under state law. Combined with the state tax, shoppers would pay 9.75 percent on purchases.

AIG Considers Joining Bailout Suit

American International Group (AIG) may join a $25 billion lawsuit against the U.S. government, claiming the insurer’s $182 billion bailout harmed shareholders, the ABA Journal reports. The complaint alleges the government charged “punitive” interest rates on its loans and enabled a “backdoor bailout” of the insurer’s Wall Street clients by using AIG money to pay off credit default swaps. If the company does not join the suit and the action ultimately proves successful, it could face additional shareholder lawsuits.

Tenn. Legislative Session Convenes

The 108th General Assembly convened today by re-electing House Speaker Beth Harwell of Nashville and Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey of Blountville. The legislature has its largest freshman class in years, with 31 new members of the 132. The 99-member House has 23 new members, and the Senate has eight. Republicans rule both chambers with a supermajority of more than two-thirds of the membership in each house. Read more at the Commercial Appeal.

NFIB Supports Workers’ Comp Revisions

The Tennessee chapter of National Federal of Independent Business (NFIB) said this week that it will support reforms to the state’s workers’ compensation system. State Director Jim Brown said in a news release that the organization looks forward to working with Gov. Bill Haslam and members of the General Assembly to improve workers’ compensation. The Nashville Business Journal has more. 

Hawkins County Attorney Disbarred

Hawkins County attorney James Franklin Taylor was disbarred yesterday and ordered by the Supreme Court to pay restitution before reinstatement. The Court temporarily suspended Taylor’s law license last June and suspended him in October. The Board of Professional Responsibility filed Petitions for Discipline, charging Taylor with misappropriation of client funds and foundation funds, and filing false claims with the Administrative Office of the Courts. Taylor submitted a Conditional Guilty Plea, and was ordered to pay the expenses and costs of the disciplinary proceedings against him and fully comply with the requirements and obligations of disbarred attorneys. Download the BPR notice.


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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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