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

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 or to obtain a text version of each opinion, 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 the TBA's Membership Central.

00 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's 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

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. 2) 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.

THOMAS R. RALSTON v. FRED R. HOBBS

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

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

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

Judge: CLEMENT

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.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/ralstont_060409.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Legislative News
Upcoming
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Missing tickets found in court clerks' desks
Officials have found thousands of missing traffic tickets, hidden by clerks, in the Metro Davidson County courthouse. The more than 5,000 tickets were found stuffed inside two desks that previously belonged to data-entry workers. Those individuals have been fired. Appearing before a county judge yesterday, Circuit Court Clerk Ricky Rooker sought permission to process the tickets despite the fact that some date back to a year ago. Rooker also has referred the matter to the district attorney's office for possible criminal action.
News 5 has the story
IRS, TBI investigate Lockett
An Internal Revenue Service investigator is probing the personnel records of Knox County Law Director Bill Lockett, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has also received a request to investigate possible theft by Lockett, who has admitted not remitting clients' payments to his former law firm. The TBI request came this morning from Sullivan County District Attorney H. Greeley Wells Jr., who was appointed yesterday by Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner to serve as special prosecutor in the case.
The News Sentinel has the latest
Meanwhile, Knox County Commissioners have succeeded in calling a special meeting next Wednesday to consider the situation. Learn more about the options available to the commission in the
News Sentinel.
Memphis rape center controversy continues
Funding and staffing issues connected with the Memphis Sexual Assault Resource Center continue to plague local government leaders almost a month after becoming public. The atmosphere intensified this week when Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton spoke out for the first time in opposition to transferring the center to the Shelby County government -- a move being considered by commissioners. Yesterday, a city council budget committee voted to eliminate funding for the center contingent on Shelby County or a third party taking over its operations.
The Memphis Daily News has more
Baker Donelson beefs up diversity initiatives
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC recently began beefing up its diversity initiatives by adding a pipeline program to encourage minority undergraduate students to consider law school and offering help with law school admissions. The pipeline program will be launched at two schools this fall: the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Miles College in Birmingham, Ala.
Read more in Memphis Daily News
Firm launches automotive industry task force
The Kentucky-based law firm of Frost Brown Todd, which has offices in Nashville, has formed a task force to focus on the automotive industry. The group will monitor the industry, serve as a clearinghouse for information and issue legal updates to clients.
Read more on the firm's web site
Legislative News
House panel approves $50 million increase for LSC
The U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies approved a $440 million budget for the Legal Services Corporation today. The funding represents a $50 million, or 13 percent, increase over last year though it is short of the $485.8 million requested by the agency. The funding bill reportedly will continue existing limitations on the use of funds but will lift restrictions on the ability of LSC-funded programs to collect attorneys' fees.

Upcoming
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.

TBA Member Services
Discounts from Office Depot
Are you saving yet? Sign up for the TBA-Office Depot Program and begin saving. TBA Members receive significant discounts on office supplies from Office Depot.
Find out more

 
 
Discontinue your TBA Today subscription? ... Surely not!
But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at:
http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/unsub_tbatoday.php

Questions, comments: Email us at TBAToday@tnbar.org

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.

© Copyright 2009 Tennessee Bar Association