Tennessee Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments in Knoxville in May

May 5, 2017

The Tennessee Supreme Court will hear three cases on Tuesday, May 9, 2017, in Knoxville, Tenn.  The details of the cases are as follows:

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

  • Chuck’s Package Store, et al. v. City of Morristown – This case involves a municipality’s inspection fees imposed upon six businesses.  The issues are: (1) whether the statute applicable to taxes collected or administered by the Tennessee Department of Revenue, found in Tenn. Code Ann. § 67-1-1801, applies to and governs a lawsuit seeking a refund of municipal taxes; (2) whether Tenn. Code Ann. § 67-1-1807 removes the requirement that taxpayers must pay the municipal tax in question under protest as a condition precedent to filing suit; and (3) whether the plaintiffs in this case complied with the jurisdictional pre-suit requirements of Tenn. Code Ann. § 67-1-1801 et seq.

  • John Howard Story, et al. v. Nicholas D. Bunstine, et al. – In this legal malpractice case, the issues are: (1) whether Carvell v. Bottoms and its progeny should be reversed and replaced with a rule that the statute of limitations for a legal malpractice cause of action commences at the final conclusion of the underlying litigation or no earlier than the end of the attorney’s representation of the client in the underlying litigation; (2) when an attorney continues to represent the client after an unfavorable event in the underlying litigation and makes representations to the client regarding the nature and cause of the unfavorable event, whether the fact that the attorney made those representations can create genuine issues of material fact in a later legal malpractice case; (3) whether an interlocutory, non-appealable ruling dismissing one of the plaintiff’s claims in the underlying litigation is a “legally cognizable injury” that commences the statute of limitations for a legal malpractice suit pursuant to Carvell v. Bottoms and its progeny; and (4) whether the client’s allegation that the attorney committed negligence at an early (statute-of-limitations-barred) stage in the underlying proceeding negates any allegation that the client suffered damage for later (within the statute of limitations) negligence of the same attorney.

  • Kenneth M. Spires, et al. v. Haley Reece Simpson, et al. – This wrongful death case examines the issue of whether Tennessee’s wrongful death and intestate succession laws permit an estranged spouse and non-supporting father to commence an action and recover proceeds from an insurance settlement arising from his wife’s death.

Tennessee Supreme Court oral arguments are open to the public.  For the schedule of oral arguments, visit TNCourts.gov.