DEBORAH ANNE DILLON ET AL.
CRAIG MORRIS ET AL.
September 3, 2019
from the Chancery Court for Davidson County No. 18-750-II
Anne C. Martin, Chancellor
plaintiffs/appellants filed a notice of appeal from the trial
court's order dismissing one of the plaintiffs'
claims as to all of the defendants and all of the claims as
to one of the defendants. The defendants/appellees responded
to the notice of appeal by filing a motion to dismiss this
appeal as premature and not subject to a final appealable
order of the trial court. Because the trial court has not yet
resolved all the claims between all the parties, we dismiss
the appeal for lack of a final judgment.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Appeal Dismissed
Robert Reynolds and Martha M. Gentry, Nashville, Tennessee,
for the appellants, Deborah Anne Dillon, d/b/a V&E
Associates and Personal Representative of the Estate of
George A. Dillon, Sr.
Carson Stone, III, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees,
Craig Morris, Scott John Morris, and Allegiant Entertainment
G. Clement, Jr., P.J., M.S., Andy D. Bennett, and Richard H.
MEMORANDUM OPINION 
January 29, 2019, the trial court dismissed all the claims
against one of the three defendants, Doyle E. Moore, and
dismissed the claims for violation of the Tennessee
Securities Act as to all defendants, Craig Morris, Scott John
Morris, and Allegiant Entertainment Group, LLC. The trial
court also granted the defendants leave to file further
dispositive motions. The plaintiffs filed a timely motion to
alter or amend which the trial court denied on May 29, 2019.
plaintiffs filed their notice of appeal on June 28, 2019. The
defendants filed a motion to dismiss the appeal for lack of a
final judgment. The plaintiffs' response to the motion to
dismiss confirms the relevant procedural history.
is entitled to an appeal as of right only after the trial
court has entered a final judgment. Tenn. R. App. P. 3(a). A
final judgment is a judgment that resolves all the claims
between all the parties, "leaving nothing else for the
trial court to do." In re Estate of Henderson,
121 S.W.3d 643, 645 (Tenn. 2003) (quoting State ex rel.
McAllister v. Goode, 968 S.W.2d 834, 840 (Tenn. Ct. App.
1997)). An order that adjudicates fewer than all the claims
between all the parties is subject to revision at any time
before the entry of a final judgment and is not appealable as
of right. Tenn. R. App. P. 3(a); In re Estate of
Henderson, 121 S.W.3d at 645.
January 29, 2019 order is not a final judgment because it
disposes of only a portion of the plaintiffs' claims. The
plaintiffs' own docketing statement concedes the order is
not a final judgment.
not specifically mentioned in the plaintiffs' response,
the docketing statement indicates the plaintiffs may be
relying on Tenn. R. Civ. P. 54.02. Under Tenn. R. Civ. P.
54.02, the trial court may direct the entry of a final
judgment as to one or more but fewer than all of the claims
or parties. However, the trial court may do so "only
upon an express determination that there is no just reason
for delay and upon an express direction for the entry of
judgment." Tenn. R. Civ. P. 54.02. The trial court's
order does not contain the express determination and
direction required by Tenn. R. Civ. P. 54.02.
the order contained the requisite language, it would still
have to actually adjudicate one or more of the claims or
parties. Bayberry Assocs. v. Jones, 783 S.W.2d 553,
557 (Tenn. 1990). While the portion of the order resolving
all the claims against Mr. Moore may be susceptible to
certification under Tenn. R. Civ. P. 54.02, the portion of
the order dismissing the claims for violation of the
Tennessee Securities Act is not. Carr v. Valinezhad,
No. M2009-00634-COA-R3-CV, 2010 WL 1633467 at *2 (Tenn. Ct.
App. Apr. 22, 2010) (holding a "claim" for the
purposes of Tenn. R. Civ. P. 54.02 is defined as the
"aggregate of operative facts which give rise to a right
enforceable in the courts"); Paul v. Watson, ...