The following section from Day on Torts Leading Cases in Tennessee Tort Law​​​ is out of date and should not be used. It remains a part of this site for historical purposes only. An updated version of the book is available by subscription at (Additional information below.)

§46.1 Generally

The Case: Parrish v. Marquis , 172 S.W.3d 526 (Tenn. 2005).

The Basic Facts: Lawyer filed malicious prosecution case after he was sued for legal malpractice.

The Bottom Line:

  • "A plaintiff must show (a) that a prior lawsuit or judicial proceeding was brought against the plaintiff without probable cause, (b) that the prior lawsuit or judicial proceeding was brought against the plaintiff with malice, and (c) that the prior lawsuit or judicial proceeding terminated in the plaintiff's favor. Christian v. Lapidus, 833 S.W.2d 71, 73 (Tenn. 1992); see also Roberts v. Fed. Express Corp., 842 S.W.2d 246, 248 (Tenn. 1992)." 172 S.W.3d at 530.

Other Sources of Note: Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-20-205(a) (providing immunity from claims of malicious prosecution for governmental entities; not government employees); Pera v. Kroger Co., 674 S.W.2d 715 (Tenn. 1984) (quoting Restatement (Second) of Torts § 655 (1977) and holding that a private person who exercises some control over the prosecution other than mere participation by taking an active part in continuing or procuring the continuation of proceedings is subject to liability for malicious prosecution just as though he had initiated the proceedings himself).

Recent Cases: 

Sanford v. Waugh , No. M2007-02528-COA-R3-CV, 2009 WL 1910957 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jun. 30, 2009) (upholding jury verdict on malicious prosecution claim finding it was reasonable for the jury to conclude there was no probable cause and therefore it was permissible for the jury to infer malice); Hibbard v. Receivables Management Bureau, Inc., No. E2007-00152-COA-R3-CV, 2007 WL 4117268 (Nov. 20, 2007) (affirming dismissal of plaintiff's malicious prosecution claim, finding no proof that defendant instituted a criminal proceeding against plaintiff, or that the warrant was issued without probable cause or with malice).

After an accident, many injury victims and their families want more information on the accident and their legal rights. Consequently, many of them have found their way to these pages. While we are happy you are here, please understand Day on Torts: Leading Cases in Tennessee Tort Law was written to be a quick, invaluable reference for Tennessee tort lawyers. While the book provides the leading case for more than 300 tort law subjects and thousands of related case citations, it is not a substitute for personalized legal advice from a qualified lawyer.

Rather than researching these legal issues alone, we urge you to contact one of our award-winning lawyers who can sit down with you, review your case, answer your questions and clearly explain your rights and your options in a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. Our experienced attorneys handle all personal injury and wrongful death cases on a contingency basis, so we only get paid if we win. If for any reason you are unable to come to our office, we will gladly come to you.

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The foregoing is an excerpt from Day on Torts: Leading Cases in Tennessee Tort Law, published by John A. Day, Civil Trial Specialist, Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, recipient of Best Lawyers in America recognition, Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ rated attorney, and Top 100 Tennessee Mid-South Super Lawyers designee. Read John’s full bio here.

The book is now available electronically by subscription at The new format allows us to keep the book current as new opinions are released. BirdDog Law also has John's Tennessee Law of Civil Trial and Compendium of Tennessee Tort Reform Statutes available by subscription, as well as multiple free resources to help Tennessee lawyers serve their clients

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