Under the Tennessee Constitution, the Tennessee Supreme Court hears appeals in Nashville, Jackson, and Knoxville, as well as other cities if needed. It reviews appeals of both civil and criminal cases from courts such as the Tennessee Court of Appeals and the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals. If one of the lower appellate courts fails to reach a decision in an emergency situation, the Supreme Court may assume jurisdiction and decide the case. In addition, the Court may review cases that pose constitutional questions, cases that involve state tax rules, and cases that relate to the right to hold public office. The Court consists of five justices, each of whom serves a term of eight years.
Article 8-18-101 of the Tennessee Constitution provides specific requirements for a prospective justice on the Tennessee Supreme Court. In addition to meeting these requirements, a candidate must be at least 35 years old and must be licensed to practice law in Tennessee. They must have been a resident of the state for at least five years. The Governor of Tennessee appoints each new justice, and the Tennessee General Assembly must confirm each appointment. In the next general election after a justice is appointed, they must go through a retention election. If they are retained, they will need to go through another retention election at the end of their term to stay on the Court. This system has faced several legal challenges, but the Supreme Court has held that retention elections are constitutional. Only one justice has been removed or not retained under the current system.
The Chief Justice currently serves a term of two years, although this has varied during the history of the Court. The justices of the Court choose the Chief Justice, as provided by the Tennessee Constitution.
In Re: Loring Edwin Justice
Date: August 16, 2021
Milan Supply Chain Solutions, Inc. v. Navistar, Inc.
Date: August 2, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the economic loss doctrine applies when a fraud claim seeks recovery of only economic losses and is premised solely on nondisclosures or misrepresentations about the quality of goods that are...
Regions Bank v. Prager
Date: July 8, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the trial court's judgment dismissing Plaintiff's second lawsuit, holding that the doctrine of res judicata did not bar the lawsuit.
Snake Steel, Inc. v. Holladay Construction Group, LLC
Date: June 30, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: In this case involving the correct interpretation of provisions in the Prompt Pay Act, Tenn. Code Ann. 66-34-101 to -704, relating to retainage withheld on construction projects, the Supreme Court held that the $300 per...
Yebuah v. Center For Urological Treatment, PLC
Date: June 2, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: In this healthcare liability action filed by a surgery patient and her husband, the Supreme Court reversed the holding of the court of appeals affirming the judgment of the trial court applying the statutory cap to Plain...
Phillips v. Hatfield
Date: June 1, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the decision of the trial court enjoining Defendant's proposal to build a structure for the operation of a retail business, holding that restricti...
Affordable Construction Services, Inc. v. Auto-Owners Insurance Co.
Date: April 26, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court answered a question of law certified by the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee by holding that Tenn. Code Ann. 56-7-111 does not provide for a private right of action....
State v. Rimmer
Date: April 16, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: In this appeal in a capital case, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of criminal appeals affirming Defendant's convictions and sentence, holding that Defendant was not entitled to relief on his claims o...
State of Tennessee v. Michael Rimmer (Concurring)
Date: April 16, 2021
State v. Reid
Date: March 26, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of criminal appeals reversing the trial court's order denying Petitioner's motion to correct an illegal sentence under Tenn. R. Crim. P. 36.1, holding that Petitioner'...
In Re Larry E. Parrish
Date: March 8, 2021
State v. Weems
Date: March 1, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of criminal appeals and vacated the decision of the trial court to grant Defendant's motion for judgment of acquittal as to an aggravated child neglect charge, holding...
Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. v. City of Memphis
Date: February 24, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals affirming the trial court's dismissal of Plaintiffs' action seeking a declaratory judgment concerning the rights and obligations of the parties under a 2001...