Rothberg v. Fridrich & Assocs. Ins. Agency, M2022-00795-COA-T10B-CV

CourtCourt of Appeals of Tennessee
Writing for the CourtARNOLD B. GOLDIN, JUDGE
PartiesADAM J. ROTHBERG v. FRIDRICH & ASSOCIATES INSURANCE AGENCY, INC. ET AL.
Docket NumberM2022-00795-COA-T10B-CV
Decision Date17 June 2022

ADAM J. ROTHBERG
v.

FRIDRICH & ASSOCIATES INSURANCE AGENCY, INC.
ET AL.

No. M2022-00795-COA-T10B-CV

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

June 17, 2022


Assigned on Briefs June 16, 2022

Appeal from the Circuit Court for Davidson County No. 15C3198 Kelvin D. Jones, Judge

This is an expedited appeal pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 10B. Based on the Appellant's failure to comply with the requirements of Rule 10B, we dismiss the appeal.

Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 10B Interlocutory Appeal as of Right; Appeal Dismissed

Neil M. McIntire, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Adam J. Rothberg.

Arnold B. Goldin, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which D. Michael Swiney, C.J., and Andy D. Bennett, J., joined.

OPINION

ARNOLD B. GOLDIN, JUDGE

In this accelerated interlocutory appeal filed pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 10B, we are asked to review the propriety of the trial court's denial of Appellant Adam Rothberg's motion to disqualify the trial court judge. We proceed to address the appeal summarily based on Mr. Rothberg's submissions alone and without oral argument. See Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 10B, § 2.05 (providing that the appellate court may act summarily on the appeal if it determines that no answer is needed); Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 10B, § 2.06 (providing that the accelerated interlocutory appeal shall be decided on an expedited basis and, in the court's discretion, without oral argument).

Mr. Rothberg's motion appears to have been filed on June 10, 2022, mere days before the scheduled commencement of trial on June 21, 2022. According to the order included in Mr. Rothberg's appellate submissions, the trial court determined that Mr. Rothberg filed the motion for the purpose of delaying trial. Whereas the trial court also noted that Mr. Rothberg complained about several past rulings as indicative of alleged judicial bias, the court referenced well-settled case law that "adverse rulings, 'even if erroneous, numerous and continuous, do not, without more, justify disqualification.'"

1

See Alley v. State, 882 S.W.2d 810, 821 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1994).[1]

Inasmuch as Mr. Rothberg is pursuing accelerated interlocutory review under Rule 10B, he is subject to the Rule's requirements. Regarding the contents of a petition for recusal appeal, Rule 10B specifies in pertinent part as follows: "The petition shall be accompanied by a copy of the motion and all supporting documents filed in the trial court, a copy of the trial court's order or opinion ruling on the motion, and a copy of any other parts of the trial court record necessary for determination of the appeal." Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 10B, § 2.03. Here, Mr. Rothberg's appellate submissions are lacking in several respects. First, we observe that the proffered recusal motion, along with certain other documents supposedly filed with the trial court, are not file-stamped copies.[2] We have raised this issue in past decisions and cautioned litigants and the bar about the concern such omissions generate. For example, in one decision, we stated as follows:

In expedited interlocutory
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