Oral Arguments in Knoxville

The Tennessee Supreme Court will hear arguments in the following cases that are of interest to tort lawyers in Knoxville on September  6:

Konvalinka v. Chattanooga-Hamilton County Hospital Authority – (Swiney, author) (Susano & Lee) –
1. Whether the Court of Appeals erred in holding attorneys John Konvalinka and Jennifer Lawrence in contempt without any evidentiary hearing;
2. Whether the Court of Appeals erred in holding attorneys John Konvalinka and Jennifer Lawrence in contempt when case law supports a separate request for documents pursuant to a statute not being in violation of a stay of litigation.
3. Whether the Court of Appeals erred in holding attorneys John Konvalinka and Jennifer Lawrence in contempt for pursuing a Tennessee public records act request when only lower court proceedings in the Stratienko action were stayed, and not a separate action to enforce the right of access to public documents.
4. Whether the Court of Appeals erred finding contempt when counsel acted in good faith and reasonably interpreted the stay order at issue pursuant to existing law.
5. Whether the Court of Appeals erred in not remanding this matter for production of the requested documents, and in not awarding attorney’s fees pursuant to the valid public records act request.

Tenn. Farmers Life Reassurance Co. v. Rose – (Susano) (Franks, concurring;
Swiney, dissenting)
1. Whether the C/A erred in affirming the Trial Court’s grant of summary judgment by concluding that the attorney in fact under the durable general power of attorney did not have the specific authority to execute an effective life insurance change of beneficiary form, notwithstanding the
fact that the power of attorney specifically authorized the attorney in fact to "transact all insurance business", to "take any other action necessary or proper in this regard . . .", and to "execute and perform all and every act and thing whatsoever without limitation whatever and without being confined to the specific acts hereinabove set out . . . ."

Michael Hannan et al v. Alltel Publishing Co., et al. (Susano,
author) (Franks & Swiney)
1. Whether the Court of Appeals erred in holding that the Applicants’ motion for summary judgment failed to negate an essential element of the Respondents’ breach of contract claim and in vacating the trial court’s grant of summary judgment?