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


Tennessee Supreme Court Holds Prevailing Party Entitled To Agreed-Upon Attorney's Fees

The Tennessee Supreme Court has reversed a decision of the Court of Appeals, which declined to award attorney’s fees on appeal in a post-divorce proceeding.  In the underlying final divorce decree of the parties in this case, the husband and wife were parties to a marital dissolution agreement, which contained a provision for the award of attorney’s fees to the prevailing ... (click for more)

Tennessee State Revenues Exceed Budgeted Amounts In April

Tennessee tax revenue exceeded budgeted estimates in April. Department of Finance and Administration Commissioner Larry Martin on Tuesday announced that overall April revenues were $1.9 billion, which is $148.9 million more than the state budgeted.                        “Total reported revenues in April reflect significant ... (click for more)

Alexander: Corps Allocates $37 Million For Chickamauga Lock, Construction For 3rd Consecutive Year

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said the Army Corps of Engineers Work Plan for Fiscal Year 2017 "includes good news for all of East Tennessee – and everyone who benefits from river traffic passing through the Chickamauga Lock in Chattanooga." In addition to funding slated for the first three priority projects of the Inland Waterways Trust Fund, the Corps of Engineers’ Work ... (click for more)

Chris Thomas Serving As Interim Executive Director At Finley Stadium; Stadium And Pavilion Constantly In Use

The operation of Finley Stadium is in transition since the departure of former Executive Director Paul Smith and his staff. At the meeting of the Stadium Corporation’s board of directors Tuesday, Chairman Gordon Davenport announced that Chris Thomas, principal manager of the Chattanooga Market has stepped in to serve as interim executive director. Mr. Davenport told the board that ... (click for more)

Tennessee Business Expansions On Rise Across State

In 2016, Tennessee was named State of the Year for Economic Development by Southern Business & Development Magazine based on project totals and the variety of industries that invested in the state and created jobs. To a great extent, Bradley and Polk Counties have benefited from that investment.   From February 2015 to February 2016, Cleveland/Bradley County led the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Life With 007

I was 13 when the first of 24 James Bond movies came out and, at a time when my sap was just beginning to rise, I will never forget Ursula Andress stepping out of the sea wearing that white bikini. Our hero walks over to the dripping Honey Ryder – that was her name in “Dr. No” – and she says in the Swiss accent, “Are you looking for shells too?” And the first classic reply of thousands ... (click for more)