Clarifications adopted to medical professional liability law

The state Senate completed action today on legislation sponsored by Sen. Doug Overbey, R-Maryville, and House Judiciary Committee Chair Kent Coleman, D-Murfreesboro, to improve the process for notice, clarify the extension of the statutes of limitations and repose, and facilitate medical records exchange in the medical professional liability law that became effective last Oct. 1. This year's bill now goes to the governor, who is expected to sign it. The revisions were the result of an agreement between the Tennessee Association for Justice and the Tennessee Medical Association. They will take effective July 1. Download the bill

To help you prepare for this new law, the TBA's TennBarU will host a one-hour webcast CLE at 11 a.m. Central Time on Monday, June 15. Join veteran Nashville attorney John Day, who was one of the principal architects of the bill, for an explanation of the changes.

Learn more about this webcast or sign up today

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Court: TCA


William Kennerly Burger, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Fred R. Hobbs.

John H. Baker III, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellee, Thomas R. Ralston.


Plaintiff filed this action to recover more than $279,000 that his nephew allegedly converted while acting as his attorney-in-fact. Plaintiff alleged, inter alia, that Defendant, his attorney-in-fact, breached his fiduciary duties by transferring Plaintiff's life-savings into Defendant's personal bank accounts. The trial court granted summary judgment for Plaintiff finding that there were no genuine issues of material fact, that Defendant admitted a confidential relationship with Plaintiff, and that the depletion of Plaintiff's life-savings was unfair as a matter of law. On appeal, Defendant argues that genuine issues of material fact exist, that the claim for conversion is barred by the statute of limitations, and that the trial court failed to join an indispensable party under Tenn. R. Civ. P. 19. With the exception of the first three transfers which occurred more than three years prior to the filing of this action, we affirm the trial court's denial of Defendant's motion to dismiss and the grant of summary judgment for Plaintiff finding that there are no genuine issues of material fact, and that Plaintiff was entitled to judgment as a matter of law because Defendant breached his fiduciary duty as attorney-in-fact when he converted the funds from his uncle's savings account for his own use and benefit. As for the first three transfers, each of which occurred more than three years prior to the filing of this action, we have determined there is a dispute of fact concerning whether Plaintiff could have discovered the conversion of those funds upon reasonable inquiry; therefore, summary judgment was not appropriate as to Plaintiff's claim to recover those funds.


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TJC offers program on TennCare appeals
The Tennessee Justice Center is presenting a program on Handling TennCare Appeals on June 10 in Knoxville that will allow attorneys to earn 3.5 hours of dual CLE credit for no charge. The only requirement is that participants agree to handle one TennCare appeal when called upon at a later date. The program will be held at the offices of Hodges, Doughty and Carson, 617 Main Street in Knoxville, with registration getting under way at 12:30 p.m. and programming running from 1 to 4:45 p.m. For further information, contact Cindy Wyrick.

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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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