Davis v. Davis
Supreme Court of Tennessee
842 S.W.2d 588 (1992)
Junior Lewis Davis (plaintiff) filed for divorce from his then-wife, Mary Sue Davis (defendant). The parties agreed to all the terms of their marriage dissolution except who was to have “custody” of seven frozen pre-embryos stored in a fertility clinic. Junior wanted the pre-embryos destroyed while Mary Sue wanted to donate them to a childless couple. The trial court held that the pre-embryos were “human beings” from the moment of fertilization and awarded custody to Mary Sue. Junior appealed and the court of appeals reversed, holding that Junior had a protected right not to beget an unwanted child and also that there was no compelling state interest to justify the ordering of the implantation of the pre-embryos against the desires of the parties. The appellate court also held that Junior and Mary Sue shared an interest in the seven pre-embryos and remanded the case for an entry of an order giving both individuals joint control and equal voice over their disposition. Mary Sue appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Daughtrey, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 708,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 708,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 44,500 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.