BENJAMIN RUNYON v. LISA ZACHARIAS - Articles

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Posted by: Landry Butler on Jan 23, 2018

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Dorothy J. Pounders and Timothy M. Ginski, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Benjamin Runyon.

Attorneys 2:

Robert V. Redding and Sadia S. Staton, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellee, Lisa Zacharias.

Judge(s): CLEMENT

This is an action against an attorney who previously served as a Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 40A court appointed guardian ad litem for the benefit of the plaintiff and his two younger siblings in their parents’ divorce. Plaintiff alleges that he had an attorney-client relationship with the guardian ad litem, and the guardian ad litem violated the attorney-client relationship by disclosing confidential information to the divorce court after he was 18 years old. The guardian ad litem denies any liability or actionable conduct, insisting that all of her actions were pursuant to Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 40A and the Order Appointing Guardian Ad Litem in the divorce action. The trial court dismissed the complaint pursuant to Tenn. R. Civ. P. 12.02(6) upon a finding that the complaint failed to state a claim because the guardian ad litem’s duties in the divorce action did not terminate when the oldest child turned 18 due to the fact that the custody proceeding concerning his two younger siblings was still ongoing, and the order of appointment authorized the guardian ad litem to disclose to the court confidential information that may affect the best interests of the children. Finding no error, we affirm.

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