Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Marble v. Underwood

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

June 24, 2019

MATTHEW MARBLE
v.
JAIMEE UNDERWOOD

          Session June 5, 2018

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Macon County No. 2015-CV-83 Amy V. Hollars, Judge

         This appeal concerns a legal malpractice action filed by the father of a minor child for his attorney's alleged negligence in her representation of him. The court granted summary judgment in favor of the attorney. We affirm.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit Court Affirmed; Case Remanded

          Connie Reguli, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the appellant, Matthew Marble.

          Tom Corts and Kobina P. Ankumah, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Jaimee Underwood.

          John W. McClarty, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Frank G. Clement, Jr., P.J., M.S. and Richard H. Dinkins, J., joined.

          OPINION

          JOHN W. McCLARTY, JUDGE

         I. BACKGROUND

         The Child at issue was born to Aren S. ("Mother") and Mathew Marble ("Father") in August 2012. Father, who was listed on the birth certificate and later signed an acknowledgment of paternity, lived in Michigan, while Mother cared for the Child in Tennessee. The Tennessee Department of Children's Services ("DCS") removed the Child from Mother on June 23, 2013, due to allegations of severe abuse stemming from a head injury the Child received while in Mother's care. Father contacted DCS and advised them of his paternity.

         Jaimee Underwood ("Attorney") was appointed to represent Father, who participated in the development of two permanency plans, one on September 9, 2013, and another on March 4, 2014. Father agreed to the requirements contained in the plans at Attorney's direction, and these plans were ratified by the trial court. Father was required to (1) complete an alcohol and drug assessment and follow recommendations; (2) develop a relapse prevention plan; (3) submit to random drug screens; (4) demonstrate a minimum of six months of sobriety; (5) sign releases of information; (6) discontinue use of illegal drugs and demonstrate correct usage of prescription medication; (7) obtain and maintain suitable housing for six months; (8) contact community resources for help in obtaining housing; (9) remit payment for food and housing utilities on time; (10) have a contingency plan; (11) establish and maintain legal income; (12) notify DCS of changes in employment and provide proof of income; (13) take a parenting class; (14) develop and maintain a relationship with the Child; (15) remit child support; (16) obtain a medical clearance for his seizure disorder; and (17) complete a mental health assessment and follow recommendations.

         Meanwhile, a dependency and neglect petition was filed on June 24, 2013, and amended on September 15, 2013. DCS claimed that the Child was dependent and neglected as to Father because he failed to legitimate her and to protect her. Attorney advised Father to stipulate that the Child was dependent and neglected. He did so and also admitted to the court that he did not have stable housing. The Child was adjudicated as dependent and neglected.[1] Attorney then withdrew from her representation in September 2014, and new counsel was appointed to represent Father.

         DCS filed a petition to terminate Father's parental rights on September 18, 2014. During the pendency of the termination proceeding, Father hired his current counsel and appealed the dependent and neglect finding to the circuit court. He received a de novo hearing, beginning in April 2015, at which DCS again alleged that Father had failed to legitimate the Child but added a second ground based upon his inability to care for her. After two days of trial, the circuit court entered a stay when DCS advised the court that Father's parental rights had been terminated in a separate action on April 30, 2015.

         The de novo trial resumed on January 12, 2016, after our Supreme Court granted Father's application for an extraordinary appeal, vacated the stay, and remanded with instructions to resume the trial. The trial court ultimately ruled that the Child was dependent and neglected as a result of Father's ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.