Supreme Court solicits proposals for using surplus fees

The Tennessee Supreme Court has appointed a Blue Ribbon Commission to recommend how to spend approximately $1.5 million in surplus funds, which accumulated as a result of late fees paid by lawyers to the CLE Commission from 2002 to 2006. Members of the Commission are: Chair Margaret L. Behm of Nashville, Frank F. Drowota III of Nashville, John T. Fowlkes of Memphis, Max Bahner of Chattanooga and E. Riley Anderson of Knoxville. The court also is seeking proposals from the legal community on how to use the funds. Details on submitting a proposal can be found at:

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ROY BREWER v. ROCHELLE S. PIGGEE and heirs and next of kin of SIDNEY L. PIGGEE deceased

Court: TCA


James H. Forsythe, Memphis, Tennessee, for appellants, Rochelle S. Piggee and heirs and next of kin of Sidney L. Piggee, deceased.

Lang Wiseman and Chris Patterson, Memphis, Tennessee, for appellee, Roy Brewer.

Judge: KIRBY

This is a quiet title action. The plaintiff's mother owned a parcel of real property. In 1977, the mother executed a deed, conveying the property to one of her sons. Two years later, the plaintiff and her four siblings filed a separate but related lawsuit to set aside the 1977 deed for fraud. In 1985, by court order, the trial court divested the son of sole ownership and created a trust; the son was appointed as trustee for the use and benefit of the mother's grandchild and the grandchild's minor children, until the youngest minor child reached the age of majority. In 1986, by court order, the trial court removed the son as trustee and substituted the grandchild in his place. Despite these orders, in 1994, the son executed a deed purporting to convey the property to a third party. In December 2001, the defendants obtained a deed to the property from a successor in interest to the son. Meanwhile, the youngest beneficiary of the trust reached the age of majority. The plaintiff later obtained a warranty deed to the property from the youngest beneficiary and a quitclaim deed from the trustee grandchild and her other four children. The plaintiff then filed this lawsuit and moved for judgment on the pleadings and/or summary judgment. The defendant answered, raising the defense of adverse possession, and filed a motion to dismiss, raising a defense under T.C.A. section 28-2-110. The trial court denied the defendant's motion to dismiss and granted the plaintiff's motion for judgment on the pleadings, finding that the 1985 and 1986 orders, as well as the deeds from the grandchild and her five children, established the plaintiff as the rightful owner. The defendant appeals. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand the case for further proceedings.


Court: TCA


Ron L. Quigley, Atlanta, Georgia, and Stephen H. Price, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Colonial Pipeline Company.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; and Mary Ellen Knack, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellees, John G. Morgan, Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, et al.


Colonial Pipeline Company, an interstate common carrier and transporter of refined petroleum products, appeals the dismissal of its constitutional challenges to portions of Tennessee's tax system. The Chancery Court dismissed the complaint on the basis that Colonial failed to exhaust its administrative remedies. Finding that declaratory judgments against the State are permissible in certain circumstances such as the ones presented here and that the nature of Colonial's claim relieved it of any obligation to exhaust its administrative remedies, we reverse.


Court: TCA


Nicholas J. Owens, Jr., Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellants, Du Sik Lee and Won Jae Lee.

James W. Hodges, Jr., and Regina Morrison Newman, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, Kenneth R. Davis and Linda P. Davis.

Judge: KIRBY

This is a breach of contract case. The defendants own a commercial building that was seriously damaged by a fire. The plaintiffs entered into a lease-purchase contract with the defendants to acquire the building at the expiration of a ten-year lease. Under the contract, the plaintiffs agreed to renovate the building from the fire damage, consistent with the local city building code and the defendant owners' approval. After some renovations were made, prior to the expiration of the contractual repair period, the defendants deemed the renovations to be not in compliance with the city code and disapproved them. The defendant owners then declared the plaintiffs to be in breach of the contract and repossessed the property. The plaintiff lease-purchasers sued the defendant owners for breach of contract, claiming that, at the time of repossession, the renovations were not yet completed and that they still had time under the contract to complete them. After a bench trial, the trial court determined that the plaintiffs had breached the contract because the renovations were not in compliance with the city code and did not meet the approval of the defendant owners. The plaintiffs now appeal. We affirm, concluding that the evidence does not preponderate against the trial court's finding that the plaintiffs breached the contract by making repairs that were not in compliance with the applicable code; the fact that the contractual repair period had not yet expired is immaterial.


Court: TCA


Charmaine Nichols, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jeffrey R. McMahan.

F. Michael Fitzpatrick, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center and Fort Sanders Sevier Medical Center.


The plaintiff's complaint was filed April 20, 2004. In its present posture, this medical malpractice case involves the claim of the plaintiff, Jeffrey R. McMahan, that his left leg had to be amputated as a result of the malpractice of John D. Watson, M.D.; Southeastern Emergency Physicians, Inc. (SEP); Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center (Ft. Sanders Knoxville); and Fort Sanders Sevier Medical Center (Ft. Sanders Sevier). Each of these defendants filed a motion to dismiss. The two sides filed material in support of their respective positions, after which the trial court heard oral argument. Later, the court entered an order dismissing the plaintiff's complaint. The sole issue is whether the defendants are entitled to summary judgment based upon their claim that the plaintiff's complaint was filed outside the period of the applicable statute of limitations. We hold that the material relied upon by the defendants fails to establish the absence of a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the plaintiff "discover[ed], or in the exercise of reasonable care and diligence for his own health and welfare, should have discovered the resulting injury," see Teeters v. Currey, 518 S.W.2d 512, 517 (Tenn. 1974), more than one year before the date of filing of the original complaint. Accordingly, we vacate the trial court's grant of summary judgment and remand for further proceedings.


Court: TCA


Steven G. Roberts, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Harriet Caci (O'Shields) Rogers.

Jason A. Creech, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Scott Allen Rogers.

Judge: KIRBY

This is a parental relocation case. After the parties separated, the mother and the child moved in with the mother's parents in Memphis, Tennessee. Under the parties' marital dissolution agreement (MDA), the mother was designated the primary residential parent for the parties' child, and the father was granted parenting time every other weekend. Two months after entry of the divorce decree incorporating the MDA, the mother sent the father a letter notifying him of her intent to move to South Carolina with the child. The mother explained that her parents were moving to South Carolina and she wanted to move with them. The father filed a petition in opposition to the mother's proposed relocation, arguing that the move had no reasonable purpose. After a bench trial, the trial court determined that the mother did not have a reasonable purpose for the move and denied her request to relocate. The mother now appeals. We affirm the trial court's finding that the proposed relocation did not have a reasonable purpose but remand the case to the trial court for a best interest determination as required pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 36-6-108(e).

Random Drug Testing for Students in Voluntary Extracurricular Activities

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-07-02

Opinion Number: 07-96

Cocke County General Sessions-Juvenile Court Clerk

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-07-03

Opinion Number: 07-97


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