Getting paid a problem? TennBarU ethics course can help

Collecting fees is not directly addressed in the Rules of Professional Conduct, however both the rules and malpractice carriers have something to say on the issue. A new online course from TennBarU explores practice management strategies to help reduce the number of non-paying clients and discusses ethical obligations for collecting fees from such clients.

http://www.tnbaru.com/usercatalogdrb.php?517936U=25&bprnum=888888#

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, 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 http://www.tba.org/getpassword.mgi.

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

TBA members can get the full-text versions of these opinions three ways detailed below. All methods require a TBA username and password. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on-line at http://www.tba.org/getpassword.mgi

Here's how you can obtain full-text version. We recommend you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. 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. 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. Browse the Opinion List area of TBALink. This option will allow you to download the original version of the opinion.

Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink

RANDY ALAN BARNES v. AMY ROBERTSON BARNES

Court: TSC

Attorneys:

Mitchell D. Moskovitz and Adam N. Cohen, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Amy Robertson Barnes.

William T. Winchester, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Randy Alan Barnes.

Judge: BARKER

In this appeal, we must determine whether the trial court had the authority to enforce the marital dissolution agreement signed by the parties when one of the parties repudiated its terms prior to court approval. The parties entered into and signed, in the presence of a notary public, a marital dissolution agreement. Shortly thereafter, the husband filed a complaint for divorce in which he expressed his repudiation of the agreement. The wife filed a motion to enforce the agreement as a validly executed contract. The trial court granted the husband a divorce, but enforced the terms of the marital dissolution agreement as a valid contract between the parties. The Court of Appeals overruled the trial court's enforcement of the agreement, holding that the trial court did not have authority to enter a consent judgment because one of the parties had withdrawn his consent prior to the entry of judgment. We granted the wife's application for permission to appeal and hold that the marital dissolution agreement was an enforceable agreement, and reinstate the opinion of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2006/barnesr051706.pdf


GREAT SOUTHERN HOMES, INC. v. EATON'S CREEK PARK REAL ESTATE INVESTORS FUND, LLC, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

W. Gary Blackburn and Michael D. Hornback, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Great Southern Homes, Inc.

James W. Fisher, Goodlettsville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Eatonís Creek Park Real Estate Investors Fund, LLC, et al.

Judge: CLEMENT

Great Southern Homes, Inc., a home builder, appeals the summary dismissal of its complaint for breach of contract. Plaintiff sued the developer of the Eaton's Creek Park Subdivision contending the developer breached the parties' contract by failing to honor Plaintiff's preferential option to purchase lots in the second phase of the development, and by failing to develop the lots in a timely manner. The trial court summarily dismissed the complaint, finding no material facts were in dispute, and the contract did not support Plaintiff's claims. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/greatsouthern051706.pdf


DAVID MOSLEY, ET AL. v. PHILLIP L. MCCANLESS, THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Erica Kruse and John Kennedy, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County.

Lance B. Mayes and Bill Hodde, Madison, Tennessee, for the appellee, David Mosley, et ux.

Judge: CLEMENT

The trial court held the Metropolitan Government comparatively liable for injuries sustained by a motorist injured in a vehicular accident. The Metropolitan Government was held comparatively at fault based upon the finding the intersection where the wreck occurred was dangerous, it had notice of the danger, and it failed to remedy the situation. It appeals, contending the design of the intersection and whether to install a stop sign or traffic light is a discretionary function, for which it is immune under the Governmental Tort Liability Act. The evidence supports the findings that the intersection was dangerous and that the Metropolitan Government had notice of the danger, but failed to take remedial action. We therefore affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/mosleyd051706.pdf


NORTHEAST KNOX UTILITY DISTRICT v. STANFORT CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, SOUTHERN CONSTRUCTORS, INC., and AMERICAN ARBITRATION ASSOCIATION, INC., STANFORT CONSTRUCTION COMPANY C v. NORTHEAST KNOX UTILITY DISTRICT, ROBERT G. CAMPBELL & ASSOCIATES, LP., and RICHARD PHILLIPS
Corrected Case with Dissenting Opinion


Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Andrew R. Tillman and Joshua R. Walker, Knoxville, Tennessee, for counter-plaintiff/appellant, Stanfort Construction Company.

John M. Neal, Knoxville, Tennessee, for appellee, Richard Phillips.

Robert H. Green, Knoxville, Tennessee, for third party defendant/appellee, Robert G. Campbell & Associates, LP.

Judge: FRANKS

The Trial Court granted defendants summary judgment on the grounds the statute of limitations had run on plaintiffís claims. On appeal, we vacate and remand.

This case was originally published on May 16, 2006 and showed Judge Susano joining with the majority. The corrected version shows Judge Susano filing a separate dissenting opinion.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/northeast_corr051706.pdf

Susano Dissenting
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/northeast_diss051606.pdf


RICHARDSON'S BRENTWOOD HOMES v. TOWN OF COLLIERVILLE, TENNESSEE, MUNICIPAL PLANNING COMMISSION

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Michael G. McLaren and William E. Cochran, Jr., Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Richardsonís Brentwood Homes, Inc.

Edward J. McKenney, Jr., Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Town of Collierville, Tennessee, Municipal Planning Commission.

Judge: FARMER

The trial court dismissed Appellant's appeal of the Collierville Municipal Planning Commission's denial of Appellant's subdivision application as barred by the statute of limitations. We reverse, vacate the order of dismissal, and remand.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/richardsonhomes051706.pdf


STATE EX REL. DEBRA WOODARD v. JOHN S. WOODARD

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; and Stuart F. Wilson-Patton, Senior Counsel, for the appellant, State of Tennessee, ex rel. Debra Woodard.

Brad W. Hornsby and Kerry Knox, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellee, John S. Woodard.

Judge: CLEMENT

The State of Tennessee appeals the denial of its ex rel. Petition to Set Child Support for the benefit of a mother and her three children. The parents of the children were granted a divorce in 2001, a year prior to the filing of this petition. Pursuant to the Divorce Decree and Permanent Parenting Plan, the mother was designated as the custodial parent and she was awarded equal parenting time with the father; however, the father was excused from paying child support other than medical insurance and expenses. Subsequent to the divorce, the mother qualified for public assistance, which led to the State filing this petition. The Chancellor dismissed the State's petition based upon the conclusion child support was set pursuant to a previous order that had become final and the State's petition was deficient on its face because it did not allege a substantial and material change of circumstances. Finding no error, we affirm the dismissal of the State's petition.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/woodardd051706.pdf


Legislation Regarding Carter County Probate Clerk

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-05-17

Opinion Number: 06-088

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2006/ag_06-088.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Legislative News
BPR Actions

Legal News
Reprieve may last months
Governor Bredesen's decision to give Sedley Alley a 15-day reprieve is being criticized by both opponents and proponents of his death sentence. Alley supporters wanted the governor to direct the attorney general to make evidence available for DNA testing. Instead, Alley's lawyers will have to continue arguing their case in the courts. Others expressed anguish at the reprieve, saying that the decision may mean a much longer delay.
Read more in the Tennessean
Judge blocks naming of Ford replacement
U.S. District Judge Bernice Donald blocked the appointment of an interim state senator to replace Ophelia Ford. The Shelby County Commission was to vote on a replacement on May 22. Judge Donald still has to rule on the larger question of the Senate's action. Ford has asked the court to make her ouster void and unenforceable.
The Memphis Commercial Appeal has the story
Cumberland County considers jail expansion
Cumberland County commissioners got good news this week: the county jail is in excellent shape after 15 years and a 96-bed expansion plan likely will meet growing needs into the future. The commissioners also have expressed interest in seeing plans for moving all courtrooms and affiliated offices to the justice center, the Crossville Chronicle reports.
Read the full story
Tennessee Bar Foundation launches new website
The Tennessee Bar Foundation today unveiled its new website. The site features information on foundation leaders, the newest class of fellows and the IOLTA program.
Check it out here
Chief justice to deliver Webb School commencement
Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice William M. Barker will deliver The Webb School commencement address at 1:30 p.m. May 26 at the school's historic campus in Bell Buckle.

Legislative News
Senate approves Cover Tennessee program
The Senate today approved Governor Bredesen's Cover Tennessee program to expand health insurance to children, the working poor and people with chronic health conditions. The final vote was 30-1, reports the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Attempts to add medical liability provisions, including a cap on damages in medical malpractice cases, were not successful. The House must now pass the bill.

BPR Actions
Suspension issued for Memphis attorney
On May 12, the Tennessee Supreme Court suspended Gerald F. Easter from the practice of law for 11 months and 29 days, but then suspended the time and imposed a probationary period for an equal amount of time.
Read the BPR's press release
Memphis attorney censured
On May 12, Charles R. Curbo of Memphis received a public censure for violating Rule 1.15(a) of the Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct regarding safekeeping of clients' property.
Read the BPR's press release

 
 
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