Chapman v. Bearfield
Tennessee Supreme Court
207 S.W.3d 736 (2006)
Cathy Chapman and other Chapman family members (the Chapmans) (plaintiff) retained Rick Bearfield (defendant) to represent them in a medical-malpractice action. The Chapmans became dissatisfied with Bearfield’s representation and filed a legal-malpractice action against him. Bearfield maintained in the affidavit supporting his motion for summary judgment that he had not committed malpractice, citing as authority the professional standard of care applicable to attorneys in the upper East Tennessee area. The Chapmans submitted the affidavit of a medical-malpractice attorney who asserted that he was familiar with the standard of care for medical-malpractice attorneys in Tennessee and that Bearfield’s representation of the Chapmans fell below the standard of what a reasonable attorney under similar circumstances would have done. The trial court granted summary judgment to Bearfield because the affidavit submitted by the Chapmans did not meet the locality rule. The court of appeals vacated the grant of summary judgment. The Tennessee Supreme Court granted review.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Clark, J.)
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