April, 2012

Cover Story


In Federal Insurance Company A/S/O Robert and Joanie Emerson v. Martin Edward Winters, D/B/A Winters Roofing Company, the Tennessee Supreme Court recently held that general contractors have an implied duty to perform services required by their contract with homeowners in a careful, skillful, diligent and workmanlike manner...

President's Perspective

April in Tennessee means spring is here. As we see our beautiful state come to life again, it is important that we as attorneys take the time to do the same. Our profession is tough enough. With the time pressures of clients, recent legislative changes, the need to make payroll and a host of other pressures, it is no wonder that exhaustion, depression...

Letters of the Law

Call Your Next Witness

I certainly enjoyed “Jilted” by Don Paine and Sarah Sheppeard (“When Breaking a Heart Is Breaking the Law,” February 2012 Tennessee Bar Journal). It reminded me of the first time I sat as a special judge in Knox County General Sessions Court in the mid-90s. Andy Fox’s male client sued Jeff Witt’s female client for...

Where There's a Will

“The life of the law has not been logic but experience.”
— Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

The law of wills is notoriously rigid. Comply completely with the statute[1] or the will fails, regardless of intent.[2] Bar examinations routinely test on this point.


Caroline “Callie” Caldwell has been named the first public interest counselor at the University of Memphis School of Law. As a member of the career services staff, she will help implement the school’s mandatory pro bono requirement that goes into effect with the fall 2012 entering class. Among her duties, Caldwell will identify existing...


Volunteer to Help

‘Hometown Support’ Provides Legal Help for Military

The Tennessee Bar Association’s Access to Justice Committee is proud to announce “Hometown Support,” a new program that makes free legal help available to service members and their families with limited income who are facing legal problems in Tennessee. The efforts...

Licensure & Discipline


The following attorneys were reinstated to the practice of law after complying with Supreme Court Rule 21, which requires mandatory continuing legal education:
Andrew Jackson Dancy, Nashville
Kent Meyer Lashley, Edmond, Okla.
Kevin James Moore, Albuquerque, N....

Bank on It

At this writing, at least two Tennessee banks have failed, Tennessee Commerce Bank in Franklin and BankEast in Knoxville. There may be others. Prior to Friday, Jan. 27, 2012, the last bank to be closed in Tennessee was the Bank of Alamo in 2002. Tennessee has weathered the recessionary economy better than many of our sister states, has been fortunate to...

Paine on Procedure

We usually consult Civil Procedure Rule 15.03 when we have sued the wrong defendant. As I wrote back in April 2006, we should act fast to remedy the situation. Amend to substitute the correct defendant and serve a new summons and complaint within 120 days after commencement. That’s conclusive proof that the correct defendant knew of the mistake.

But Seriously, Folks

When it comes to entertainment, you just can’t beat a jury trial. Hollywood realized this a long time ago. Some of these most memorable scenes in cinema history feature jury trials.

The first jury trial I ever saw was State of Alabama v. Tom Robinson. I’ll never forget Atticus Finch’s incredible closing argument. (“I’m no idealist to...