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

Chattanooga Chamber Presents Calendar Of Events For Oct. 24-28

MON/24 2016  Want to Bid on a Contract? Get the Right Certification 9 a.m. –  Noon INCubator: 100 Cherokee Blvd. Part of Chattanooga Minority Enterprise Development Week, this event is geared toward businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans, service-disabled veterans, and other small business owners.  ... (click for more)

Report Highlights Effect Of Pro Bono Legal Services

The Tennessee Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission’s released annual report shows Tennessee attorneys are donating more than 500,000 hours of their time annually worth more than $100 million.  For the calendar year 2014, nearly half of all attorneys reported doing some kind of pro bono work. The report shows 7,615 attorneys practicing in Tennessee provided 568,170 ... (click for more)

Fire Displaces Family Of 7; Blaze Ruled Accidental

No injuries were reported in connection with a house fire on Saturday afternoon that displaced a family of seven. The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm at 4:11 p.m. and responded to 3308 Dodson Ave. with five fire companies. Captain Wadie Suttles with Engine 4 said heavy fire was showing when the first firefighters arrived on the scene. As additional firefighters ... (click for more)

Clarence Ross, Leshawn Witherow Shot On Walden Avenue Friday Afternoon

Chattanooga Police are investigating a shooting that happened early Friday afternoon at the 6300 block of Walden Avenue.  Clarence Ross, 41, And Leshawn Witherow, 40, suffered non-life threatening injuries.  Hamilton County EMS transported both victims to a local hospital for treatment.  There is no suspect information at this time.  Investigators with ... (click for more)

Where Is The Speed Control On Our Highways? - And Response (2)

I am teaching my 15-year-old to drive in the North Georgia and Chattanooga area. I have warned her of the dangers of exceeding the speed limit both as a hazard to herself and in terms of receiving a ticket. What a liar I am.  Have you driven on the local freeways and highways recently? I never see any highway patrolmen helping to reduce speeding or pulling over those who ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Vol Is Worth $521,854

The definition for the term “fair market value,” this from the IRS tax code, “is the price at which the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or to sell and both having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts.” So a recent article in Business Insider has just revealed a University of Tennessee scholarship ... (click for more)