Supreme Court increases client protection fund limits

Based on the recommendation of the Tennessee Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection, the Supreme Court today increased the benefits the fund may pay to claimants with established losses. The fund is designed to restore trust in the integrity of the legal profession by reimbursing clients for fees lost when attorneys withhold or misappropriate funds.

For the last several years, the fund has been limited to a $25,000 benefit per claim and an aggregate benefit of $125,000 for all claims against a particular lawyer. The court's action today raises the limits to $100,000 per claim and $250,000 per lawyer. In making the change, the court recognized that the fund has financial reserves in excess of $2 million and that other states with less reserves provide greater benefits. Download a copy of the amendment to Supreme Court Rule 25, Section 13.01: 25_amendment_041007.pdf

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


Court: TCA

Judge: KOCH

This appeal involves a dispute arising out of the development of a subdivision in Wilson County. After the planning commission refused to approve two phases of the subdivision, both the Chancery Court for Wilson County and this court determined that the planning commission had acted arbitrarily and capriciously. Thereafter, the developers sought permission to amend their original petition for common-law writ of certiorari to add an inverse condemnation claim. The trial court permitted the developers to amend their complaint but granted the planning commission permission to pursue an interlocutory appeal. We have determined that an interlocutory appeal is necessary to prevent needless, expensive and protracted litigation. We have also determined that trial court's order allowing the amendment must be reversed because an inverse condemnation claim cannot be combined with a petition for writ of certiorari.


Court: TCA


Fletcher W. Long, Murfreesboro, Tennessee and Charles E. Sizemore, Nashville, Tennessee, for appellants, Elaine S. Bildner and John H. Bildner, Jr.

Rose P. Cantrell and Joel P. Surber, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellee, Gaylord Entertainment Company


Elaine S. Bildner and her husband, John Bildner, Jr., have appealed the decision of the trial court in granting Gaylord Entertainment Company's Motion for Summary Judgment thereby dismissing their negligence action. We are called upon to review the propriety of the action of the trial court in this determination. After reviewing the record, we hold that the Bildners failed to establish that Gaylord Entertainment Company breached any duty of care. Specifically, the Bildners failed to offer any proof tending to show that the porch composed of aggregate concrete surface where Ms. Bildner fell constituted a defective and/or dangerous condition. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court's granting of summary judgment to Gaylord Entertainment Company.


Court: TCA


Phillip L. Davidson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Barbara E. Runions

Jeffrey M. Beemer, Jennifer L. Gremillion, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Maury County, Tennessee

Judge: CAIN

This case concerns a slip-and-fall on county property in which the injured party asserted that a slope in the floor of the office caused her fall. The county argued that the injured fell as a result of health problems, and that she never reached the office, but fell in the hallway outside the office. Following the trial on the matter, the injured filed a Motion to Reopen Proof, maintaining that an internal accident report had been altered by the county in an attempt to bolster its case. The trial court denied the injured's Motion to Reopen Proof, and found in favor of the county. The injured appeals the trial court's denial of its motion, the trial court's findings of fact and conclusions of law, and the trial court's refusal to allow Appellant to introduce Federal Safety Requirements as a notice of a dangerous condition. We affirm.


Court: TCA


James F. Logan, Jr., Cleveland, Tennessee for the Appellant, Teresa D. Sherlin

Parks T. Chastain and Michael K. Smith, Nashville, Tennessee for the Appellee, Farmers Insurance Exchange


Teresa D. Sherlin (Plaintiff) sued Sandra G. Hall in the Circuit Court for Bradley County (Trial Court) seeking compensation for personal injuries and property damage sustained when a vehicle driven by Ms. Hall collided head-on with a vehicle being driven by Plaintiff while Plaintiff was acting in the course and scope of her employment. At the time of the accident, Ms. Hall did not have a driver's license and was an uninsured motorist. Plaintiff's uninsured/underinsured motorist carrier, Farmers Insurance Exchange (Farmers), answered Plaintiff's complaint and filed a motion for summary judgment. The Trial Court granted Farmers summary judgment finding and holding, inter alia, that Plaintiff was receiving workers' compensation benefits, these workers' compensation benefits exceeded the limits of liability of Plaintiff's uninsured motorist policy, and because the limits of liability of the uninsured motorist policy are reduced by the amount of the workers' compensation benefits pursuant to the insurance policy, Farmers had no liability to Plaintiff. Plaintiff appeals to this Court. We affirm.


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