Supreme Court Rules Investor Lawsuit Can Continue In Tennessee Courts

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Tennessee Supreme Court unanimously decided Tuesday that a lawsuit filed by an investor against a Tennessee movie start-up company could proceed in state court.

The case involves a lawsuit first filed in a California state court by Jeffrey R. Cooper against Phillip, Richard and David Glasser, claiming that they misrepresented facts to induce Mr. Cooper to invest $500,000 in their production company, Hi-Def Entertainment.

Richard Glasser moved to dismiss the suit because a portion of the contract stated that any conflicts had to be resolved in a court in Williamson or Davidson counties. Mr. Cooper voluntarily dismissed the suit and filed it in federal court in Middle Tennessee, including both federal and state claims. Then defendant Phillip Glasser moved to dismiss the suit because the deadline for filing Mr. Cooper’s federal claims had passed. Mr. Cooper again voluntarily dismissed the suit.

Mr. Cooper next filed an action in Tennessee state court on several claims that were included in both earlier suits. The defendants sought a judgment in the case based on a federal rule that precludes proceeding on a claim after two voluntary dismissals. Mr. Cooper argued that he relied on Tennessee’s rule that allows for three dismissals before barring a claim.

The Tennessee Supreme Court addressed whether state or federal law controlled in this instance. The Court determined that the voluntary federal dismissals did not decide the case on the merits and that the claims were still viable in Tennessee. Tennessee procedural rules allow for a case to be dismissed two times “without prejudice.”

“Moreover, we find no discernible reason why permitting Mr. Cooper to pursue his claims in our courts would be incompatible with federal interests,’” wrote Justice Janice M. Holder.

To read the unanimous opinion in Jeffrey R. Cooper v. Phillip Glasser et al., authored by Justice Holder, visit the Opinions section of TNCourts.gov


Corker Announces Opposition To Senate Highway Bill

In a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday, Senator Bob Corker announced his opposition to the Senate highway bill, calling it “generational theft” and “one of the most irresponsible pieces of legislation” considered since he was elected to office. The bill increases spending on highway and transit programs by using 10 years of budget gimmicks to pay for three years of spending, opponents ... (click for more)

Council Is Accepting Applications For Vacancy In 9th Judicial District Criminal Court

The Governor’s Council for Judicial Appointments is now accepting applications for the Criminal Court judge vacancy in the 9th Judicial District – Loudon, Meigs, Morgan, and Roane counties. The impending vacancy has been created by the announcement by Judge E. Eugene Eblen that he is retiring effective December 31. Any interested applicant must be a licensed attorney who is ... (click for more)

Thousands Line Route For Funeral Procession Of Sailor Slain In Chattanooga Shooting; Wife Sings Song At Funeral She Was Singing When They Met

Thousands of people waving flags and signs again lined the streets and highways of Chattanooga for the second of two local funerals for military personnel slain by a gunman on July 16. And at the funeral service for Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Scott Smith, his wife, Angie, sang the song she was singing the first time they met. She said she was singing "You say it best when ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Man Who Declared He Was "An Innocent Man" On Child Pornography Charges Gets Conviction, 24-Year Sentence Overturned

The Federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed the conviction of a Chattanooga man who claimed at his trial and sentencing that he was wrongfully convicted by a jury of possession and distribution of child pornography. James Paul Lowe had been sentenced in May to serve 24 years in federal prison. After the sentencing, he had bid his family goodbye and told them to ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Strong

The hearts, minds and prayers of Tennesseans, and of the entire nation, have been turned toward Chattanooga this month.  We are sickened and saddened by the senseless tragedy, and we grieve for the families of the five service members who were killed, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan, Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist, Lance Cpl. Squire “Skip” K. Wells, Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Could Obama Win Again?

When President Barack Obama spoke to the African Union yesterday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, he made a pretty brash statement: “I actually think I’m a pretty good president,” he told the African leaders. “I think if I ran, I could win. But I can’t.” While everyone is entitled to their opinion, I don’t think that’s true. Obviously, term limits keep Obama from running, but as I sit ... (click for more)